Halloween Cupcakes 2022
So my new game plan is to take pictures of things and then drop the ball, only to let them simmer on my hard drive for a year. The following season then becomes fertile ground for pretending I accomplished more than I actually did. I’d not normally admit this, but you may notice some props that were then used in last year’s Halloween countdown, and then I’d be busted anyhow.
So let’s jump into it. This will be the first in a duo of baking articles, of which the second will be more of a hodge-podge of things. I did buy a third mix, but time will tell if I get around to either making and/or writing about it.
For now, let’s tackle the cupcakes. It knocks two off the list, but they’re similar enough to lump together. We’ve got the Funfetti “Chocolate Cake Mix with Colored Bits”, which doesn’t really roll off the tongue. I’d expect a more creative name that at least alludes to monsters or eyes of some sort, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The other is “Raise the Dead” which hits a better chord. I’m guessing that Crafty Cooking Kit is part of a larger conglomerate, but they take more pride in their presentation. Pillsbury take note. Your cute doughboy can only carry your marketing campaign so far. And on a side note, while the alliteration holds true verbally, the ‘C’ in cake sort of ruins it visually. But I suppose Crafty Cooking Cits would come off sounding like ‘sits’, and Krafty Kooking Kits would likely cause an uproar on Twitter. Can’t win.
Enough chit-chat, let’s dig in. What do we get with each? Well the Pillsbury, in addition to a terrible name, failed to give you much of anything. See the nice green frosting? Well, that’s bought separately. See the eyes? Are they included too…? Actually they are, but that’s about it. I also had to buy cupcake liners separately too, so thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who bought the box alone.
The Raise the Dead cupcakes, however, provide a bit more. Still no liner, but you do get the frosting mix, some green ‘jimmies’ and the plastic zombie hands. I had some other decorations sitting in the cupboard from decades past, so those came out to add some much needed flare.
Oh yeah, another product worth mentioning is the BooStruck editions of Hood milk. There’s a spooky chocolate, which is pretty much just normal chocolate milk (ie: milk that’s borderline spoiled, so the chocolate acts as a mask and helps the bottom line), but the Vanilla has a rather vibrant orange food coloring. It does have a much thicker texture to it too, but nothing too offensive.
So since the mix called for milk, I used this. Did it many any difference? No, but I can rest more comfortably knowing that the end result had a hidden but of spookiness to it.
Now it’s time to mix. I dug out this CuisinArt mixer that I got in 2003 and haven’t used since, only to realize how futile mixing things by spoon had been. Now I feel bad for letting it gather dust for two decades. Oops.
Into the oven. Out of the over. Onto a rack. Now it’s time to frost. The pre-made frosting helps immensely, but can be a bit thick, so make sure to let the cupcakes cool. Few things are worse than breaking the delicate seal of a cake crust. It never goes back to normal once the crumbling begins.
Thankfully, all went well, and I was able to get it looking nice. Better than my usual attempts in any case. I think the black and purple bits were part of the mix, but I did end up adding some extra flourishes later with the excess supplies on hand.
The second kit was a bit more interesting. Prior to adding the frosting, you were to remove a bit of the top and set it aside. This breaks my rule as outlined above, but fortunately didn’t seem to make the frosting step too much worse.
You then crumbled up the scoops a bit and add it back on top of the frosting, following by the ritualistic stabbing of the zombie hand. I have to admit, the result is simple but looks great insofar as selling the effect.
While I had to use my own cupcake liners, they did include these paper outer wrappers for an earthy look. It adds a little something to it, which is nice.
I had some edible bloody bones left over from 2019, so those got dumped in. I wouldn’t recommend just chomping into them though, as they can be a bit hard, and no one needs a surprise trip to the dentist. That’s the true Halloween horror that goes far beyond the threat of zombies or poorly marketing baked goods.