A Spidey Story: Halloween Spider Cupcakes
My Halloween theme this year is creepy, crawly, but oh so cute spiders.
Let me take a moment to clarify something here: I actually hate spiders. In our house spiders are a bone of contention. The hubs maintains that they are good to keep around and thus won’t kill them unless I pretty much threaten to burn down the house to take one out. See, in our downstairs, we had a resident wolf spider last year. Good grief, this thing was HUGE. Easily the size of a small child. I swear it was plotting to kill me as I slept and would laugh at me whenever I went downstairs.
Eventually, the wolf spider was laid to rest. See, behind our downstairs family room, where Spidey (my hubs named him) resided, is the laundry room.
I went on total laundry strike. This lasted until we both ran out of clean underwear and socks. And then my hubs broke and finally disposed of his pet.
Although there was debate about buying more underwear and socks… (In fairness, Spidey was just a really good excuse for the Great Laundry Strike of 2012. I LOATHE doing laundry. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I start a load of wash and totally forget that it is running and leave it in the washer and then have to rewash it two days later when I go looking for a pair of pants or something… Anyone else with me on that one?)
Anywho, since I don’t like the real thing- I thought I’d cute spiders up a bit to try to make peace with them a bit. Yes, cute them up. Cute is a totally appropriate verb here.
Also, you know, I just love to play with my food and these cupcakes fit that bill perfectly. They also illustrate reason number 5002 why I need to have a kid or someone needs to lone me their child to entertain with projects like this stat. These cupcakes are a perfect project for kids, or quasi grownups like me that just really like to play with their food. (Side note: I’ve heard the term and used the term manchild, but I have never heard anyone refer to a woman as a womanchild. Does that term exist? What would you call someone like me, who is generally a functional adult but relates so much better to the under 8 set then other 20somethings? Womanchild, ladychild, none of those fit do they?)
These don’t need to be complicated at all. In fact, since I was going to spend so much time decorating them, I even used boxed cupcake mix (gasp!). I did use homemade triple chocolate buttercream frosting though. Frosting is pretty easy to whip up and in my opinion store bought frosting tastes not nearly as good as homemade frosting. I kind of feel that way about cupcakes too. (These cupcakes by the way were Wegman’s Gluten Free Chocolate cupcake mix cupcakes. I added an extra half cup of cocoa powder because they didn’t smell super chocolatey and about 1/4 cup of honey because the batter wasn’t the sweet. When baked, they taste almost like a HoHo or Ding Dong and not so much like a cupcake, but they aren’t horrible.)
Aside from cupcakes and frosting, you just need some marshmallows, licorice (Trader Joe’s has gluten free licorice fyi), and other candy like Reeses Pieces or M&Ms, candy corn, and whatever other candy might make a your cupcakes adorable. (By the way, in my mind, everytime I write the word adorable, I pronounce it “ah-door-ah-blay”.)
These would be the perfect thing to entertain the kiddos with on a yucky, rainy day before Halloween, or would be a super fun Halloween party (“par-tay”) activity to break up the standard bobbing for apple stuff.
You know, get creative. Play with frosting. Make a mess, and send the kids back to their parents with a total sugar high. Good times.
Chocolate Spider Cupcakes
- chocolate cake mix of choice (to keep mine gluten free- I used Wegman’s chocolate cake mix) OR any chocolate cupcake recipe of your choosing OR prebought unfrosted chocolate cupcakes (giving you lots of options here)
- other ingredients that the cupcake mix of choice calls for- my mix called for 1 large egg, 4 tbs melted butter, and 3/4 cup of milk but the ingredients needed will vary based on brand or gluten free versus not gluten free
- chocolate buttercream store-bought or homemade (check out my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe)
- jumbo marshmallows
- Reeses Pieces or M&Ms
- Candy corn
- Licorice laces (to keep it gluten free Trader Joe’s sells gluten free licorice as does this online retailer- I can’t speak for the quality of either since I dislike licorice)
- Any other candy that might be fun to decorate with
How to Make:
(If using store-bought cupcakes skip ahead)
- Bake the chocolate cupcakes according to the directions on the package. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- When cupcakes are cool, frost with chocolate icing.
- Unroll the licorice laces and cut them each into 8 shorter parts. (Precut the licorice if doing this with kids). Push the licorice lace pieces into two opposite sides of the cupcake, 4 on each side.
- Using poultry shears, cut your marshmallow into smaller disc pieces. (Again precut the marshmallows to make this super kid friendly.) Press 2 cut pieces of marshmallow onto the cupcake perpendicular to the sides of the cupcake with legs.
- If your marshmallows are a little sticky like mine were, just press 2 Reeses Pieces or M&Ms into the marshmallows to finish the eyes.
- Cut small pieces of red licorice and press on just below the eyes to make a mouth, OR press two pieces of candy corn onto the spider just below the eyes to give your creation fangs.
- Embellish the back of the spider with other candy as you see fit. I used Reeses Pieces (because they are my favorite and just so Halloweeny looking) and candy corn, but use whatever candy you’d like. The sky is the limit.
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Tagged: baking with kids, chocolate, cooking with kids, cupcakes, easy Halloween cupcake, food crafts, fun Halloween cupcakes, Gluten free, gluten free cupcakes, gluten free dessert, gluten free Halloween treats, Halloween, Halloween party ideas, Halloween project for kids, kid friendly baking, semi homemade dessert recipes, semi homemade Halloween cupcakes