RIP, sweet little cupcakes... Create your own creepy cupcake graveyard—the
tombstones are made of gingerbread cookies, surrounded by cocoa soil.
Make or purchase 12 Chocolate Cupcakes
Make or purchase 1 batch of Chocolate Frosting
cocoa (for “soil”)
small white fondant flowers
For the gingerbread:
3 cups (450g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra to dust
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
11⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
2⁄3 cup (160ml) unsulphured molasses or black treacle
1⁄2 zest of a lemon, finely grated
1 large egg
white icing pen
1. To make the gingerbread, sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt and set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture and lemon zest gradually, and beat until incorporated.
3. Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
5. Lightly flour your worktop and roll out the dough to a thickness of around 1⁄4 inch (5mm). Use a cookie cutter to cut out the tombstone shapes, or cut them out freehand with a knife or cut around objects of the right shape and size. (You can make really effective cookie cutters using sheets of aluminum–using scissors, cut long strips with very straight edges from an aluminum tray, fold to a double thickness, and shape however you like, bending around things helps you to get a clean shape. Staple ends together and you have a bespoke cookie cutter!)
6. Transfer cookies onto the lined baking sheets, about 1 inch (2.5cm) apart. Bake for 6–8 minutes depending on size, until each cookie is firm and the edges are just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Using an icing pen, ice text onto the tombstones.
8. Cover the top of the cupcake with chocolate frosting, then dust with a thick layer of cocoa “soil.” Insert the iced gingerbread tombstones and decorate with white flowers.
To scare up some more Halloween recipes and ideas, visit A Zombie Ate My Cupcake! by Lily Vanilli.