Whether you want to make Halloween cupcakes that are cute or creepy, these decorating tips will do the trick for your treats.
Step 1: Make eyeballs Make a bleeding eyeball cupcake: Put a green, candy in the center of a vanilla- or cream cheese-frosted cupcake and stick a chocolate chip into the middle. Then mix some red food coloring into a small batch of white frosting and use it to pipe wiggly lines outward from the eyeball.
TIP: Stick a chocolate chip-stuffed mini-marshmallow onto a piece of red shoestring licorice to make a dangling eyeball cupcake topper.
Step 2: Create creepy crawlies Make a long-legged spider: start with a chocolate-frosted cupcake, cover the top with chocolate sprinkles, and add two red candies for eyes. Insert four 3-inch pieces of black shoestring licorice on either side of the eyes for legs.
Step 3: Go with a ghost To make a ghost cupcake, pipe vanilla frosting onto a cupcake in the shape of a soft-serve ice cream swirl, about 1 1/2 inches high, and use mini-chocolate chips for eyes.
TIP: Add an unwrapped chocolate coin to some of the cupcakes as a mouth.
Step 4: Design jack-o'-lantern Design jack-o'-lanterns: make orange icing, then use a craft knife to carve black licorice nibs or chocolate bars into eyes, mouths, and stems.
TIP: If you want green stems, cut candied lime slices or fruit roll-ups into the appropriate shape.
Step 5: Dig your own grave Turn a chocolate-frosted cupcake into a gravesite by piping "RIP" on an oval-shaped cookie and standing it up into one end of the cupcake. Spread crumbled graham crackers in front of the headstone to represent a mound of freshly dug dirt. Happy Halloween!
FACT: Black cats are associated with Halloween because they were once believed to be witches' assistants, or even witches in disguise.