I have been thinking and planning a lot the Halloween recipes for you this year. I wanted to create recipes that are equally fun AND delicious and I must say these two do not always come together in Halloween theme baking. Bloody cupcakes are easy and fun way to turn cupcakes into epic Halloween treats and this recipe come with no compromise on taste! In fact, the "strawberry cheesecake" flavour is so delicious that I would definitely make this again even after Halloween maybe in a different design though.
This Bloody Halloween cupcake is moist, fluffy and tastes just amazing! Beside its fun design with the edible glass and fake blood, it has a super delicious strawberry cheesecake flavour due to the cream cheese frosting and strawberry sauce added as decoration. Try it, you won´t regret it!
First let’s start with some important notes regarding the ingredients of this Bloody Halloween cupcake recipe
- read the recipe carefully
- avoid using substitutes unless aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavours
- measure your ingredients with the help of a digital kitchen scale
For the cupcake
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. In this recipe butter needs to be at room temperature which technically means soft enough to be able to cream but not too soft or runny so avoid last minute microwaving
- Granulated Sugar: Standard, all purpose granulated or white sugar is perfectly fine in this recipe, nothing fancy. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Egg: Room temperature as always
- Flour: All purpose flour or pastry flour makes the best cupcakes. They are so called “soft flour” which are low on protein resulting in delicate, tender texture. It is always a good idea to sift your flour as it tends to form lumps. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Balances flavour and enhances other ingredients
- Baking powder: Has two functions: increase the volume and lighten the texture
- Milk: Room temperature whole milk is the best
- White vinegar+baking soda: The SECRET ingredients to make cupcakes that stay super moist and tender even after days, the exact opposite of those sad looking dry ones from the supermarkets
For the frosting
- Mascarpone: Very rich Italian cream cheese, exceptionally smooth and easily to spread or whip. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet. Use at room temperature.
- Cream cheese: I always use Philadelphia when I state cream cheese in my recipes. I find it easy to cream (need to bring it to room temperature first) and very pleasant in taste. I usually beat it with a hand mixer for less than a minute, just until it becomes fluffy and increases a bit in volume. Please avoid over whipping
- Icing sugar: Icing sugar is the first choice when it comes to whipping up frosting. Question I often get is whether the quantity is a typo. NO, it´s not! You do not actually need a lot of sugar when making cupcake frosting! It stays beautifully fluffy without tons on sugar, the secret is the technique of whipping, not the amount of sugar
For the fake blood
- Strawberry: Use fresh or frozen, the key is to boil it until it thickens into a "blood like" consistency
- Sugar: Use granulated sugar, easy. The exact amount of sugar will need your judgement depending on the sweetness of the strawberry you use
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice to balance the sweetness
For the fake glass
- Sugar: The fake glass is made of granulated sugar and glucose syrup (and water) so easy and looks super impressive. Corn syrup works too instead of glucose syrup and you can even use food colouring
Now let’s continue with my top 5 tips regarding the technique of making this Bloody Halloween cupcake
1. How to make vanilla cupcakes
I have a popular vanilla cupcake recipe that I use for this Bloody Halloween cupcake. Couple of important notes to remember
1. Do not overmix the batter: Once you beat up butter and sugar and mix the egg in, I suggest to add the remaining dry (flour+baking powder) and wet (milk) ingredients in 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry, that keeps the mixture well blended. Do not overmix, instead fold with Rubber spatula just until combined
2. Do not overfill your cupcake tin: For this recipe I recommend to fill your cupcake tin until ¾. The cupcakes will beautifully rise but won´t explore as there is not too much baking powder in the recipe
3. Let cupcakes fully cool down before filling: The cupcakes will be filled wit strawberry sauce and it is really important that they are fully cooled down to room temperature before filling and frosting
2. How to make fake blood
It is so easy! Many recipes out there recommend food colouring and sugar syrup but why would you do that when you can use flavourful ingredients like strawberry sauce? Some tips to prepare the fake blood for this Bloody Halloween cupcake:
1. Cook strawberry sauce until thickens: Whether you use frozen or fresh strawberries, first blend strawberry then cook with sugar and lemon juice over medium heat until slightly thickens. You don´t want to cook it for too long (that would be jam texture) just long enough until reaches a "blood" consistency
2. Strain the cooked sauce through sieve: We want a clean sauce that does not look like strawberry sauce at all so you will want to use a sieve
3. Let sauce slightly cool down before using: You will have to use the sauce on top of frosting and on the fake glass pieces too so make sure you let the sauce slightly cool down. We want to avoid the sauce melting the frosting!
3. How to make edible glass
It is actually easier than you might think and you can absolutely use this recipe to decorate other type of cakes too! It is actually an edible sugar glass that I use for the Bloody Halloween cupcake
Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper ahead. Mix sugar, glucose syrup and water in a saucepan and start boiling the mixture over high heat until it reaches 150C / 302F, stir constantly. As soon as mixture reaches the desired temperature pour sugar syrup over the prepared baking pan with parchment very carefully, do not burn yourself! Make sure to pour it thin and spread it out if necessary to achieve a thin "glass". Make sure the pan is level as well. Let the syrup cool down in the fridge then break it into pieces! Be throuhgout the whole process, hot sugar syrup as well as broken sugar "glass" is not something I recommend experimenting with while small children around!
4. How to make cupcake frosting
I am using my go to cream cheese frosting; it is whipped cream cheese, mascarpone and a small amount of icing sugar whipped until fluffy, pipeable consistency. Key here is to 1. have all the ingredients on room temperature 2. sift icing sugar and 3. do not over whip. Basically you will have to whip the mixture with an electric hand mixer for a minute or two until it reaches a creamy, fluffy consistency then stop. It won´t get more stiff after this point, in fact if you over beat it, it will get only runnier then it will break. I don´t use my standmixer to whip cream cheese frosting since it is really easy to over whip it.
5. How to assemble the Bloody Halloween cupcake
I recommend to make the edible glass first since it will need to set in the fridge for a few hours
Continue with the cupcakes and let them completely cool down
Prepare the fake blood and let it cool down slightly
Make a small hole on each of the cupcakes and fill it with fake blood (approx. one table spoon per cupcake)
Prepare the frosting and pipe on top of each cupcake, I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip
Break edible glass into pieces and use 2-3 on each cupcake
Decorate the cupcakes with some further "blood" to your liking
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Why not try some other Halloween recipes too?
Now let´s see the recipe of this Bloody Halloween cupcake!
Bloody Halloween cupcake
- 200 g strawberry pure fresh or frozen
- 50 g Granulated sugar depends on sweetness of strawberry
- 10 g lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 60 g Mascarpone full fat
- 40 g Icing sugar
- 200 g Cream cheese full fat
- 125 g water
- 170 g Granulated sugar
- 75 g Glucose syrup
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Start with making the edible glass. Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper
- Boil sugar, glucose syrup and water until it reaches 150C / 302F then carefully pour it over the prepared baking pan. Let it cool in the fridge for a few hours then break it into smaller pieces
- Continue with the cupcakes. Heat oven to 175 C / 347°F
- With an Electric hand mixer beat room temperature butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then beat the egg in. Do not overbeat
- Sift flour, salt and baking powder together, this is the “dry ingredients”, while the room temp milk is your wet ingredient
- Start adding the dry and wet ingredients into the batter in the following 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. With a Rubber spatula fold each time
- Mix vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter. This is the secret ingredient to keep the cupcakes soft for days without the taste of vinegar of course!
- Spoon the mixture into Cupcake pan till approx. ¾. This batch makes 6 large cupcakes
- Bake for 25 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean then let them cool on Cooling rack
- Cook the ingredients for about 10-15 minutes until thickens to a "blood" consistency. After cooking, use a sieve to get a smooth texture. Let it cool before using it
- Whip mascarpone, cream cheese and icing sugar with an Electric hand mixer. until smooth and fluffy, about one or two minutes. Once it has reached the right consistency, do not overbeat as it can become runny.
- Once cupcakes cooled to room temperature, make a small hole on each of them and fill them with fake blood (approx. one table spoon per cupcake)
- Pipe frosting on each cupcakes, I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip
- Break edible glass and place 2-3 pieces on each cupcakes
- Use more fake blood on top of the cupcakes