Halloween is definitely one of the greatest holidays ever created.
I say this mostly because once it’s over, the Christmas season starts. However, I do thoroughly enjoy the scary movies, costumes, and all of the other frightful things that Halloween has to offer. Everything about this holiday is fun to me, and it made choosing a Halloween-themed treat that much more exciting.
There were so many different paths to choose that I actually had a pretty difficult time deciding what I wanted to make. I narrowed it down to the generic Halloween themes, like spiders, witches, bats, and Frankenstein. But what I think I like the most are the ghosts. They can be scary, yes, but they can also be funny, goofy, and very charismatic (the ghostly characters in Casper come to mind). So ultimately, I decided to do a ghost theme: ghost cupcakes to be exact. No wait, GLOW-IN-THE-DARK ghost cupcakes to be exact. That’s right. (Read below or watch the video HERE).
I remember reading somewhere that tonic water glows in blacklight, and that theory was proven fact when I went out dancing and saw that everyone’s gin and tonics were glowing green. I have to admit, it was really cool. So I decided to try putting that tonic into my buttercream to make the frosting glow. It worked!
Now, these won’t glow in the dark-dark, only in blacklight. But blacklight is especially appropriate because it’s so common for Halloween, and it still gives that eerie feeling without going pitch black. So grab your blacklights (they come in light bulb and flashlight form, and other forms too) and watch these babies glow! And if you don’t have a blacklight, that’s okay, because they’re just as cute with the lights on.
Putting it Together
The first thing I started with was a chocolate cake mix. Ultimately, you can choose to use whatever cake flavor you want, but I decided to go with chocolate because it’s dark and less likely to be seen when the glowing is in effect. I also prefer a cake recipe that is rich and full of flavor, because what’s a cool looking cupcake if it doesn’t taste just as great? Fat-free is not a part of our vocabulary here at Nicki Lee Bakes. I prefer fat-filled, soon-to-be-lard, or future-spare-tire. That’s better. You can find the recipe that I love HERE. Thank you, Jamie, for creating such an awesome cake.
After you’ve mixed your cake batter to perfection, fill your liners about ⅔ of the way full; you don’t want them to rise too much, or else you’ll see more cake on top than frosting. Bake them as your recipe calls, then take them out and let them cool.
The Special Buttercream
As they’re baking, you can go ahead and start making the buttercream. I decided to use a recipe that calls for shortening instead of just butter alone, and I personally don’t like the taste as much, but it makes for a much whiter frosting (and a better glow). I continued to add the tonic water a teaspoon at a time until I got the right amount of fluorescence, and these are the measurements that worked for me, but feel free to adjust it to your liking.
Once the cupcakes are cooled and the frosting is mixed, put your frosting into a piping bag, using a rounded pastry tip (the Wilton 2A works well). The rounded tips work best, since ghosts are usually round…ish. Either way, I made sure to squeeze and release at the top so that it had that pointy, curved tip.
You can do a normal spiral design, or you can do it in kind of a layered type design, like this:
I bought some googly eyes to stick on there, and used melted chocolate to pipe on the mouth. You can always draw eyes, or create them yourself with fondant or chocolate melts, or candy, or real eyeballs. Or just candy. Either way, the face makes the ghost. Here’s the face I went with:
Last but not least, let’s seem them glow!
Incredible. Yummy cupcakes that make for great Halloween decor.
Eat them up fast, because I heard they start haunting your kitchen if you don’t acknowledge their presence. 😯
Thanks for stopping by, everyone! Let me know what you think, and if you made any spooky treats this season, I’d love to see/hear about it!