Bring Halloween treats to the kitchen

With a buttercream icing, candy corn garnish and some gel food coloring, this cupcake is an appropriate Halloween snack or dessert.

Halloween 2020 looks and feels a lot different.

Even though plans have been altered that doesn’t mean Halloween can’t be a fun time for everyone. Families still can get together for planned activities. “10 Fun Halloween Activities to do Instead of Trick or Treating” at rilesandbash.com has some great ideas for families. And of course, Halloween-themed food should be made and enjoyed. Today’s recipe is for Candy Corn Cupcakes.

These cupcakes are easy to make as you use a cake mix that is doctored up to taste moist and delicious. And for those of you who hate candy corn, these cupcakes do not taste like candy corn. They are just regular cupcakes made to look like candy corn.

The hardest part of preparing these cupcakes is dividing your cake batter in half and coloring one half yellow and one half orange.

To doctor up a cake mix, add sour cream and use milk instead of water to a white cake mix. Once you have your batter mixed together, divide it into two bowls. Cake mixes yield about four cups of batter and place two cups of batter in each bowl.

Using a gel food color such as Wilton’s, not a liquid one, tint one bowl orange and the other bowl yellow.

Remember, gel food colors get darker after they sit. Always stop about one shade lighter than you want.

I mixed my batter by hand but you can use a mixer if you wish. I did add a teaspoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of almond flavoring to my cake batter simply because I like the flavor of both. If you do not care for almond flavoring feel free to leave it out.

The icing is a simple buttercream frosting.

The recipe calls for 1 cup of butter and I like to use ½ cup of butter, which is one stick, and ½ cup of Crisco shortening. This mixture holds up better when decorating, plus it lessens the yellow tint. I did not add salt to my frosting as I had used salted butter.

Cream the butter and shortening together using a mixer, scraping down the sides occasionally, until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla (and again I added one teaspoon of almond flavoring to the frosting), heavy cream and salt if you used unsalted butter.

Once everything has been added, mix for three more minutes till all ingredients are incorporated and frosting is fluffy. Decorate by adding a piece of candy corn and orange sprinkles.

Additional websites to find other Halloween treats are “31+ Days of Kid’s Halloween Food Crafts” from frugalcouponliving.com and “23 Spooky & Creative Halloween Treats” fromthecookierookie.com.

However you choose to celebrate Halloween, make it fun for all and a delicious day to enjoy.

Candy corn cupcakes

1 white cake mix

2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream

½ cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Garnish: candy corns and orange sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper/cupcake liners.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and then beat on medium-high speed for two to three minutes.

Divide batter in half and color one half orange and the other half yellow using gel food coloring. Each bowl will have about 2 cups of cake batter.

Fill paper liners with about 1-2 tablespoons of yellow batter. Then top with 1-2 tablespoons of orange batter. Bake according to cake mix package directions – about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool cupcakes, frost and garnish with a candy corn and sprinkles. Makes 18 cupcakes.

Buttercream frosting

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

4 cups powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla and heavy whipping cream. Mix on low speed until moistened. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy – about three minutes.

Cherie Mingus is a retired teacher who taught family and consumer sciences at Central Hardin High School. She can be reached at cheriemingus@gmail.com.

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