The more revolting and gruesome the better! The perfect Halloween activity to get children involved: just give them the icing, colours and a piping bag or two (and this photo to spark their imaginations) they will have hours of fun creating their very own little monsters!
For the cakes:
- 16 cupcake cases
- 250g unsalted butter, softened. Diced, plus more for the tins
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
- Juice of ½ large orange
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the syrup:
- juice of 1 orange
- 5 tbsp caster sugar
For the icing:
- 500g icing sugar, sifted
- 5–6 tbsp orange or lemon juice
For the monsters:
- 500g white sugarpaste (or ready mixed colours of your choice). The colours I used were:
- pink food colour paste
- green food colour paste
- red food colour paste
- yellow food colour paste
- blue food colour paste
- violet food colour paste
- orange food colour paste
- black food colour paste
- 60g piping bag white royal icing,
- no. 1 nozzle
- Preheat oven to 180°C/fan 170°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and line two cupcake tins with the paper cases. For the batter, I use an electric mixer and beater attachment, but do use a food processor, or a bowl and an electric whisk if you prefer.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, then add the orange zest, sugar, butter and eggs. Beat together and lastly add the orange juice. Do not overmix. Divide the batter between the cases. Bake for 15–18 minutes, or until the cakes spring back to the touch.
- Meanwhile, for the syrup, mix the orange juice and sugar in a bowl. Immediately after the cakes come from the oven, prick holes all over each with a cocktail stick and douse with syrup. Leave to cool completely in the tins.
- When ready to ice, place the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually add just enough orange juice to make a pourable consistency which coats the back of a spoon. Pour a spoonful or so of the icing over each cake, gently easing it over the cake with a spoon so it spreads to the edges. Allow to set for an hour or so.
- To decorate divide the white sugarpaste into however many colours you wish to use (each of my monsters took 20–30g) and colour it by kneading colour paste in until even, keeping back a little white for the eyes and teeth. I have listed the colours and quantities of icing I used, but this is only a rough guide. Then, make your monsters!
- Stick the monster parts together with royal icing (You could use food colouring pens too – although the sugarpaste will need to have dried overnight first), and decorate each cake with a monster, adhering with a blob of royal icing, if necessary.
Copyright © Fiona Cairns, 2011. Photography by Laura Edwards. Extracted from THE BIRTHDAY CAKE BOOK by Fiona Cairns published by Quadrille Publishing Ltd.