Halloween-themed carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Give your cupcakes a Halloween twist using the Carr’s Carrot Cake Mix. It’s really simple to create little gravestones by dipping rich tea biscuits of the way into some black icing or plain chocolate. You can even make little pumpkins with shop bought orange icing and white “writing icing” for the gravestones, or keep it simple and go for a cream cheese frosting and walnut topping.
By: Juliet Sear
Makes: approximately 16 cupcakes
Bowl and wooden spoon/stand mixer/electric whisk
A baking sheet lined with baking paper
Piping bags if doing pumpkins and writing
Cupcake tin with liners
Modeling tool, knife or cocktail stick
1 pack of Carr’s Carrot Cake Mix and ingredients listed on the pack
150g unsalted butter at room temperature
300g sifted icing sugar
100g full fat cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste
For Halloween style:
Rich tea finger biscuits
A few dark colored biscuits, such as Oreos, crushed or blitzed to resemble earth
100g thick runny black royal icing
1 tbsp eqch soft peak white and green royal icing
Approx 150g orange sugar paste
A little icing sugar for rolling and dusting the pumpkins
1. Make the cupcakes as described on the back of the pack and allow to cool.
2. For the frosting, beat the icing sugar, butter and vanilla together until you have a pale and smooth buttercream frosting, then beat in the cream cheese. Use a spoon or palette knife to cover over the top of the cupcakes, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, or if doing them in a Halloween style, decorate as shown.
3. To make the gravestone decorations, take a rich tea biscuit and spoon over black royal icing. Ensure the surface and edges are covered, but leave a small gap at the bottom for you to hold it. Place these onto a parchment lined tray and leave to set until they’re dry. Once set, add the Boo or RIP writing using a tablespoon of soft peach white royal icing in a piping bag with a small hole snipped in the end or you can use a small round piping nozzle if you have one. Leave to dry.
4. For the pumpkin decorations, using the orange sugar paste create various sized balls and dent lines into the side of each using a modeling tool, blunt knife or cocktail stick to give the pumpkin effect. Leave to firm sat on a little icing sugar for a few hours.
5. To assemble the cupcakes, spread the cream cheese frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle over the crushed biscuit to resemble dirt. Place a gravestone into each cupcake, pushing gently into the top of the sponge and pop one or two pumpkins on top.
6. Put the green royal icing into a piping bag and pipe this onto the top of the pumpkins to create stems.
Tip: It’s a good idea to make the gravestones and fondant pumpkins a few hours in advance so they’re easier handle and won’t damage as you push them into the frosting.
Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Tray Bake
This traybake is my twist on a millionaire’s shortbread. I’ve replaced the biscuit layer with a salted caramel sponge, using the Carr’s Sumptuous Salted Caramel Cake Mix and topped with a layer of caramel and chocolate frosting and a couple of crushed biscuits. It’s really easy to make and so, so scrumptious!
You’ll need a deep traybake tin, approx 20x30cm, lined with baking paper on the base and up the sides
1 packet of Carr’s Sumptuous Salted Caramel Cake Mix (plus the ingredients listed on the pack)
For the caramel layer:
175g unsalted butter (softened)
175g unrefined golden caster sugar
80g golden syrup
1 x 397ml can of condensed milk
For the chocolate topping:
180g dark chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
150ml double cream
50g salted butter
75g icing sugar
A couple of digestives or similar biscuit to crumble on top
1. Line the tin and prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the back of pack.
2. Pour the batter into the tin and bake until cooked through, risen, golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin and start the caramel layer.
3. To make the caramel, place the butter, sugar, syrup and condensed milk into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted and sugar granules have dissolved.
4. Slightly increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Be sure to keep stirring so that it doesn’t catch and create lumps in your caramel. Stir the mixture gently for 5-7 minutes, until the mix is thickened, slightly darker and looking fudgy. Pour over the cooled cake in the cake tin and leave to set at room temperature.
5. Once it’s set, make the chocolate topping. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Boil the cream and pour over the chocolate, then place a large plate over the bowl to trap the heat. After a few minutes, use a wooden spoon to stir in one direction to bring the cream and chocolate together.
6. Beat the icing sugar into the chocolate mixture and then whisk in the melted butter, pour over the top of the caramel and level off with a palette knife or spoon. Sprinkle with crumbled biscuit to finish. Once set, cut into small squares to suit. This will last well for 3 days in an airtight container or cake tin.
Makes: 15 cupcakes
Microwavable mixing bowl
Cupcake/muffin tray lined with cases
Round cutter or tumbler
175g self-raising flour
150g granulated sugar
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150ml vegetable or sunflower oil
100g dark chocolate
White fondant icing
1. Preheat the oven to 160C (fan).
2. In the mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda with the whisk before adding in the oil, milk and eggs. Whisk until a smooth batter is achieved.
3. Divide the batter evenly between 15 cupcake/muffin cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and springy to touch. Allow to cool completely.
4. Wash the original mixing bowl and use it to melt the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments (being careful not to burn it). Dip the base of each marshmallow in the melted chocolate and affix one on top of each cupcake. Pop in the fridge/freezer for a few minutes to set.
5. Roll out the fondant and cut out rounds (approx 10cm). Drape the rounds over the marshmallows on top of the cupcakes to form ghost shapes.
6. Dip one end of the toothpick in the melted chocolate and use to dot two eyes on each ghost and enjoy!
Mummy sausage and pumpkin pies
Makes: 9 portions
Lined baking tray
350g plain flour
175g salted butter, cubed
4 tbsp cold water
350g sausage meat
150g pumpkin puree
1 tsp dried sage
½ tsp salt
18 edible eyes
1. Preheat the oven to 200C (fan).
2. In the large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter by rubbing it together between your fingertips, until a crumb consistency is achieved. Add the water and bring together with your hands to form a pastry dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and pop in the freezer to rest while you make the filling.
3. Wash up the mixing bowl then use it to combine the sausage meat, pumpkin purée, sage and salt. Set to one side.
4. Take the dough out of the freezer and, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a large rectangle (2-3mm thickness) then portion into 12 smaller rectangles.
5. Place 9 of the pastry rectangles onto the tray and spoon the sausage filling into the center of each one leaving an index finger width border around every edge.
6. Beat the egg, then use your finger to egg wash the edges of each pie.
7. Cut the remaining 3 rectangles into 1cm strips and lay them over the filling of each pie, using the egg washed edges to stick them. Trim if necessary.
8. Use your finger to egg wash the strips then bake the pies for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before placing two edible eyes on each one and serving. They can also be enjoyed cold.
Pumpkin spice muffins
Makes: 12 (70g per muffin)
prep time: 10 minutes
Large mixing bowl
Whisk or spoon
Lined muffin tin
215g pumpkin puree (this comes in a can and is available in supermarkets)
125ml/g sunflower or vegetable oil
300g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp mixed spice
1. Preheat the oven to 160C (fan).
2. In the large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, oil and water then add in the sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice and whisk until a smooth batter is formed.
3. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cases, top with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and bake for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden and springy to the touch.
4.Allow to cool before serving.
Toffee apple crumble
150g toffees (from the supermarket sweet aisle)
2 tbsp water
7 Granny Smith apples – each one peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
200g plain flour
100g unsalted butter
100g demerara sugar
Ice cream or custard, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan).
2. Place the toffees in the saucepan with 2 tbsp of water over a medium heat and stir continuously with the wooden spoon until melted and combined.
3. Add in the apple wedges, coat evenly in the toffee and cook for a few minutes before transferring to the baking dish.
4. In the mixing bowl, bring the plain flour, butter and demerara sugar together by rubbing it between your fingertips. Once a crumble consistency is achieved, sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the toffee apple mixture in the baking dish.
5. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and crisp on top. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.