Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Bloody Hell!

I have a big soft spot for Halloween (and British curses... actually, make that British slang, period)! The cheesy B-movies, the psychobilly music, hours spent preparing kinky costumes for a late-night "Rocky Horror Picture Show", universal permission to binge on sweets...

Any excuse to bake cupcakes is a good excuse for me, so I volunteered to bring a batch to my office's Halloween lunch, but I wanted something a bit more out-of-the-box than the traditional pumpkin cupcakes (I find pumpkins very cute, but not especially tasty). So when Marilla of Cupcake Rehab posted these, the "Dexter" fan in me could not resist whipping them up!

I wanted the blood stains to really pop out, so I opted for one of my favorite combos: vanilla cupcakes and cream cheese icing (although I did seriously consider red velvets).

Vanilla cupcakes (24):

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
5 egg whites
2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add egg whites, one at the time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternatively add flour mixture, about 1/3 of mixture at the time, and milk, about 1/2 at a time, beating until just blended. Divide batter in the lined baking cups, filling them about 2/3 of the way. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Wait until completely cooled to frost.

Cream cheese frosting (yes, I know, I have an addiction...):

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
1 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

And the finishing murderous touch is some gel food coloring, diluted in warm water until it has the perfect bloody, gooey consistency; you then dip the wider end of a chop stick in, and go Jackson Pollock on the cupcakes! Beware: concentrated food coloring stains, so cover your work surface in garbage bags and wear gloves if you want to avoid the unpleasant experience of cleaning up a crime scene (or going all Lady Macbeth... unless that's your costume!).

A big thank you to Cupcake Rehab, for the coolest Halloween cupcake idea EVER! You rock! These were a blast to make, and were a huge success with the Halloween lunch crowd!


  1. They might be the coolest looking cupcakes I have ever baked :-)