Marshmallow Monster Cupcakes for Halloween
Fondant-Covered Marshmallows Become Scary Characters
I made these cool and creepy cupcakes last Halloween. This was my first time using fondant, so I thought I'd start small, with cupcakes.
I saw a picture of some Halloween decorations similar to these, but it didn't include instructions, so I thought I'd try to reproduce them on my own. I used marshmallows to drape the fondant over to create my little figures. You could use the same decorations for a full-sized cake if you wanted to.
I found a really easy fondant recipe that didn't take more than five minutes to put together. I used my favorite carrot cake for the cupcakes. My little Halloween figures are not perfect, but I think they're pretty cute. I learned a lot about fondant in the process; my next ones will be better. So, if you're interested in giving fondant a try, read on.
I found a simple fondant recipe online. I had to reduce the amount since I didn't need very much for cupcakes. For 12 figures I used:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Use cold butter. In a small mixing bowl, beat the first 4 ingredients together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar all at once and beat briefly, just until crumbly. If you beat it too long it will turn to frosting. If that happens, just add more powdered sugar and try again.
- Gather the crumbly mixture together with your hands and press it into a ball. It should be nice and pliable. If you're not ready to use it yet, wrap the ball in plastic and refrigerate it.
My Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe
Of course, you can decorate any flavor of cupcakes with these Halloween characters, but somehow carrot cake seems appropriate.
- 1 cup sifted flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/4 cup applesauce or crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup chopped dates or nuts
- Sift together dry ingredients.
- Mix in sugar, eggs and oil, then stir in remaining ingredients.
- Spoon into baking cups and bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes.
Yield: 12 Cupcakes
Make the Cupcakes and Cool Them Before Starting the Figures
I was not sure of the timing on everything, and I was baking cupcakes while I was making my decorations. Then I had to wait until the cupcakes cooled before I could put the decorations on them; otherwise, the fondant would melt.
Next time I will wait until after the cupcakes are cool to make the decorations. Fondant dries out, then it hardens and you can't work it anymore.
If you are using fondant on cakes for an event, be sure to decorate your cakes the same day so they will be looking their best when they arrive for their big moment.
Covering the Marshmallows
Take your fondant out of the refrigerator and divide it into thirds. Color one third purple by kneading in 1 drop of red food coloring and one drop of blue. You will use the purple fondant to make the spiders. Color another third green for the Frankensteins by kneading in 2 drops of green food coloring. Leave the last one white for the ghosts, be careful not to touch it while you have any color on your hands. It does not take much color to spoil the crisp pure look of the white.
The warmth from your hands will have made the fondant very soft. Put it back in the refrigerator to firm up again. When it's ready, take one color at a time out, pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball, then flatten it out with a rolling pin. Use powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to the cutting board and rolling pin. Then pick up the flat piece of fondant and drape it over a marshmallow.
For the ghosts and Frankensteins, the marshmallow will be set upon a flat end to be covered, but for the spiders the marsmallow will be lying on its side.
Avoid manipulating the covered marshmallows, put them in a cool place and let them set for a while. If there is powdered sugar on the surface, like my green marshmallows have, don't worry about it for now. Later, after they set a little, you can use a moistened finger to rub any remaining powder off.
Creating the Monsters
I wasn't sure if I wanted to frost the cakes or not. I mixed up a small batch of cream cheese frosting. I just beat 4 oz of cream cheese with enough powdered sugar to make it the right consistency.
For the ghosts, they obviously looked better without the frosting, but I used a small dab to stick the marshmallow to the cupcake. The ghosts were the easiest figures to make. I made some semi-black fondant by adding some green color to the leftover purple, rolled it into tiny balls and then pressed them on to make the eyes and mouth. Just wet the spot where you want to put it, then hold it on until it sticks.
For the Frankensteins, I tried with and without frosting. I used apricot fruit roll-ups for the hair. I cut it into strips with scissors and stuck it on with water. The eyes are fondant balls, dyed a darker green than the face, with little decorating candies in the centers. I think a chocolate sprinkle would have made a good mouth for Frankenstein, and some round candies would have probably made better neck bolts.
For the Spiders legs, I used Gummy Worms. I cut them to the length I wanted and stuck them on underneath the marshmallow. On some I used frosting, and on one I used strawberry jam to stick the legs and body on.
Which one do you think came out the best?