Tag Archives: The Big Bake: Halloween

Anna Olson's Easy Cupcake Decorating Guide for Beginners

Anna Olson’s Easy Cupcake Decorating Guide for Beginners

Cupcakes are the ideal way to jump into the world of baking, or to make a fun afternoon activity with kids…after all, who can resist a cupcake?

So let’s keep things really simple, and get you started:

Tools

  • Only a muffin tin, paper liners, basic mixing bowls and electric beaters are needed to make delicious cupcakes
  • Foil-lined cupcake liners retain their colour, where the pattern on a regular paper one can disappear once the cupcake is baked (especially if you’re baking chocolate cupcakes)
  • If you think you are going to get serious about cupcake baking, then invest in a mechanical ice cream scoop – this is the best tool for precise and tidy portioning

Ingredients

  • Butter, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder and milk or buttermilk are the basics needed
  • For the frosting, you just need butter, icing sugar and a little milk
  • Keep in mind that cupcake recipes are designed to be baked as cupcakes.

Tip: Not all cake recipes can bake into a cupcake, and may frustrate you because the wet batter spills over the edge of the paper liner, or when you peel the paper liner, half of the cake comes away with it.  For a tasty classic cupcake, try my recipe for Lemon Coconut Cupcakes.

For even more delicious options, check out Anna Olson’s Very Best Cupcake Recipes.

Now let’s get to the real reason we love cupcakes: frosting!

Buttercream cupcake frosting is the easiest style to make — you simply whip butter and icing sugar together with a touch of milk until it is light and fluffy.  Then you are ready to dollop, pipe or get fancy with you cupcake décor like with this rainbow cupcake frosting.

Whether kids are involved in this process or not, I usually make sure there are plenty of sprinkles around. With such a selection of colourful sprinkle now available, you can really express your sweet side when decorating cupcakes, no matter your skill level.

Cupcakes are a universal, year-round treat, and your décor can suit any occasion.  I love to make these “I Want my Mummy” ghoulish little cupcakes for Halloween, Mummy Mini Chocolate Cupcakes.

I hope I’ve inspired you to jump into the kitchen and play!

For more sweet tips, check out Anna Olson’s Top Tips for Icing and Assembling Cakes and watch Anna Olson guest judge on The Big Bake: Halloween.

The Big Bake Halloween judges reveal their favourite Halloween memories

The Big Bake Stars Reveal Their Favourite Halloween Memories

There’s no denying that the talented competitors on The Big Bake: Halloween have been simultaneously wowing us with their masterful creations while also putting us in a spooky state of mind with their ghoulish cakes. So, while the bakers continue to think outside the box when it comes to concocting jaw-dropping and scrumptious cakes as they vie for the $10,000 prize, we took the opportunity to catch up with host Brad Smith and resident judges Harry Eastwood and Eddie Jackson to ask them about their favourite childhood Halloween experiences.

Related: 50 Killer Recipes for Your Halloween Party

What are your favourite food memories around Halloween?

Brad Smith: “I’m a candy-holic. It was all about going out and getting as much candy as I could. But my mom, who is [usually] one of the worst cooks ever, used to do this pumpkin cheesecake for Halloween every year and it was just the best thing ever.”

Harry Eastwood: “I have a really great story! I grew up in France and we definitely didn’t have Halloween. England barely has it, but France absolutely did not have it in the 1990s, which is when I was a kid growing up there. But my grandmother, who was a very old-fashioned English woman, loved ghost stories. So she used to throw her own Halloween parties for just my sister and me and a couple of our school friends. Basically, she would do things like peel grapes and put them in buckets and turn the lights off so we’d dive in with our hands. She’d say, ‘Oh, those are eyeballs!’ She also used to make cookies with ketchup on them [for blood]. It was fairly basic and definitely not sophisticated but it was a lot of fun.”

Eddie Jackson: “First and foremost, I think pumpkin. Any type of pumpkin reminds me of Halloween because me and my dad would carve [them together]. I remember growing up, we used to do a lot of old school treats, like candy apples and things like that.”

Related: 45 Perfect Pumpkin Desserts to Make Your Fall Menu Sweeter

Growing up, what was your favourite Halloween costume? 

Brad Smith: “You know what’s funny? I’m allergic to cats but my mom used to dress me up in the family’s go-to hand-me-down cat costume. I wore that for four straight years, even when I outgrew it. It was a black leotard with a tail.”

Harry Eastwood: “I was never keen on anything ghoulish or zombie-like. I actually get really creeped out by those things, Any excuse I got, I would turn up at parties in a Tinkerbell outfit – basically [I loved] anything that involved pink and bells that jangled when I walked. I was all up in that.”

Eddie Jackson: “Growing up, I would throw a bedsheet over my head and call myself Casper the ghost. That costume is probably the one that stands out.”

Eddie isn’t the only one who loves a good DIY Halloween costume. If your kids are stuck on ideas this year, try one of these last-minute budget-friendly Halloween costumes using everyday household items.