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I’m not sure who decided that Halloween cupcakes, cookies, and regular-sized cakes were a good idea for Halloween, but I’m not the one to buck tradition, especially when it involves frosting. And creative decorating.

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So over the years I’ve made quite a few graveyard cakes, and in recent years I’ve branched out to spider cakes, ghost cakes, jack-o-lantern cakes, and dirt cakes. I do, however, refuse to make a litter box cake, no matter how many times I get sent the photos, links, and recipe. Apparently, imitation cat poop is where I draw the line.
Ive figured out that donating the majority of the cakes to the local Halloween Carnival helps reduce sugar consumption. Well, until my kid wins a cake in the cakewalk and brings it back home. But at least I tried!

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Here are some hints for making fabulous Halloween cakes, if you dare!

  • For glowing eyes on the Ghost Cake, use halves of egg shells, rinsed off and dried. Then place a sugar cube in each half of the shell, poor a very small amount of lemon extract on the sugar cubes, and light that sucker. Don’t leave this unattended!
  • For the ghosts on the Graveyard Cake, I’ve used cut-and-slice cookie dough, cut out sugar cookies, and lollipops wrapped in white cloth. Whatever you’ve got around will suffice.
  • For legs on the Spider Cake, find some Pockys, which are delicious cookies from Japan. I’ve found them at Cost Plus and specialty grocery stores. I also thought Pirouette wafers might work, or maybe even Twix bars.
  • For all the cakes, don’t be afraid to substitute Skittles for M&Ms for Reeses Pieces for Gummy Bears. Most anything will work when seen in context — you’re bound to hear “Oh, those are the spider’s eyes,” or “Oh, little bears are lining the walkway, how spooky!” (As opposed to, “Why did you use Skittles instead of M&Ms? That doesn’t work at all!”)

shawnconna

Sometimes helpful editor and digital media director at MAKE and CRAFT.


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