Wednesday, 29 October 2014


If you are still looking for inspiration for some home made treats for Halloween, try these quick fondant pumpkins and witches hats!

Firstly make a batch of your favourite cupcakes. I am experimenting with some healthier carrot cake muffins. Sadly they sunk in the middle so frosting them wasn't an easy task! Still sunken cupcakes mean more frosting, right?

Make or buy some frosting and divide in half. Pick 2 Halloween colours and tint the frosting (I used Wilton Kelly Green and Wilton Violet paste colours). Now you can use a palette knife to frost your cupcakes but I wanted fun edges so I used Wilton tip #12 for the green cupcakes and Wilton tip #2D.

As you can see I had a little trouble due to the sunken middles but still all primed and ready for decoration!

Fondant pumpkins

Get a piece of orange fondant and roll it into a ball.

Next take a blade/shell decorating tool or anything that you can make indents with, and carefully indent the ball around the middle, leaving the top and bottom smooth.

Take a small piece of green fondant and fashion a stalk. Take another piece of green fondant and roll out a small sausage shape. Cut this in 2.

Take a toothpick and carefully wrap the green sausage around it. Carefully slide off and you will have the vines for your pumpkin.

Fix them to the top of your pumpkin and finish off with the stalk.

I was able to just lightly press these down but you can use a little edible glue or water to fix in place.

Pop onto your cupcake and it's done!

Witches Hats

Once you have finished your pumpkins, it's time to move onto the witches hats. I have done these very quickly, you could do these much neater than I but they show you what can be done in just an hour or 2.

Take a large piece of black fondant and roll into a fat sausage shape.

Basically you are going to use your fingers to manipulate the sausage into a hat shape. I started about half way down and began to push the fondant down and out to make the base of the hat. I then worked the top half into a cone type shape with a pointed end for the top of the hat. This makes a crumpled looking hat, slightly uneven, but more in keeping with a ghastly witch!

Next I got some orange fondant, rolled it out and cut it into strips. These are going to be used to make a ribbon for your hat. Take one strip and wrap it around the base. Then take 3 smaller strips, form into a bow and attach to the front. Job done!

Cutting strips.

2 strips form the outside of the bows while a 3rd strip is placed over the other 2 to finish it off.

There you have it, quick and easy and very festive! Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Sorry for the radio silence this month. I have been very busy making Halloween costumes and getting ready for Christmas!! It's not long you know! I will be sharing some of my favourite picks for homemade presents and decorations as well as what I have been making! Plus this week I lost a lot of my dinner service to a shelf collapsing in one of my kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately the set is no longer made so I am on a quest to source replacements from around the web. So with all that trauma, some cake is definitely called for and as Halloween is just over a week away I thought I would share my spooky cake pops.

These were super fun to make and the pops themselves were very easy thanks to my cake pop maker.

Said cake pop maker! This makes 6 pops at a time. The recipe states to cook the pops for 4 minutes but I found 5-6 was more accurate.

To make these absolutely delicious, chocolate has to be involved right? I made 14 cake pops but the recipe I have given below is to make about 30.

Chocolate Cake Pops

125g softened butter
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
100g self raising flour
8 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk

Beat together butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Add one egg at a time and beat after each addition until fully incorporated. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and add the milk. Beat until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly mixed.

Bake in the maker for 4 minutes (as I said mine took 5-6 minutes but just keep checking them). The maker suggests 2 tsp of mix per cake pop but they does mean you end up trimming excess once they are baked. I went with a heaping teaspoon per pop instead. 

But not for the first batch! Live and learn!

While they were cooling I gathered my decorating supplies together.

I used Wilton candy melts in orange, green and dark cocoa (I wanted black but couldn't get hold of them, in the end it didn't matter), liquorice whirl, edible glitter in steel grey and some lollypop sticks. 

To make the pumpkin pops you'll need some of each of the candy melts. Firstly melt a few green candy melts, dip each stick into the melts and stick into a cake pop. Leave them to set, either somewhere cool or in the fridge for a few minutes.

You won't need much just to dip the sticks in.


Next melt the orange candy melts. I found I needed about half the bag to do 7 pops and I also used a large pudding bowl so that I could dip the cake pops easily. I found that the orange candy melts were not as smooth as the dark cocoa ones so would recommend adding some vegetable oil to the melts for ease of dipping. I needed to use a teaspoon to spoon some over the tops of the pops. I swirled them in the candy melts and then placed them face down on some grease proof paper.

Leave to set before adding the pumpkin features.

Melt a few of the dark cocoa melts. Get a disposable icing bag and fill with the melted candy melts. Snip a tiny bit of the bag and pipe eyes and mouths onto the pops. You will find that the melts start to harden in the bag, so just pop the bag in the microwave for a few seconds to soften again.

Fine looking Jack O Lantern!

I piped a mixture of expressions onto my pops for a bit of fun!

The spider pops are little more involved but really make a fun addition to your Halloween treats!

Melt some dark cocoa melts as before, dip the lollysticks in the melts and insert into the pops. Once set, melt some more candy melts and dip the whole pop into the melts. Now you need to move quickly. I used nearly my whole pot of glitter on just 7 pops so be aware if you decide to do more! I tipped the glitter into a small bowl (one of the ones that survived the carnage!) and with a teaspoon I spooned the glitter all over the just melted pop until it was covered. I gave it a little shake and left it to set on the greaseproof paper, again stick up.

One of a few bowls that survived! 

 Some of them turned out a little uneven once dipped but I don't think it matters for something like spiders.

While they set you need to get your licorice whirl and unravel it. String licorice would be a quicker alternative here! Discard the middle and start cutting lengths.

These easily unravel.

I just eyeballed the lengths I needed.

I then got one of my cheese knives as it has a flat wide end. I used this to cut the lengths in half lengthways. This made the perfect size for spider legs.

This was the perfect tool for this task.

7 sets of eight legs, some long, some short!

Take another disposable decorating bag and fill with some melted candy melts. Cut a small hole at the end and pipe small dots on either side of the pop near the top. Attach the legs and let set. This can be tricky especially with the longer legs. You may find you need to fiddle with them to get them to stay where you want them to be, but thankfully as the melts set quickly this doesn't cause too much of a problem. Finally, pipe a dot or 2 on the front of the pop and attach candy eyes to the pop. I used the Wilton candy eyes for my spiders, but you could even pipe some on with green or white candy melts or make some using fondant.

 One eyed spider with very long legs!

Little spider with big eyes and short legs, or is it an alien with unruly hair?!

Considering this is only the 4th time I have attempted to make cake pops, I am pleased with the results. They took under 3 hours in total to make and would be a super fun thing to do in the holidays with the kids. Have fun!

 These ones are off to the school bake sale!

Spiders I ain't scared of!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Well I have been very busy making costumes for Halloween, hence the radio silence on the blog.  We are going as a double act this year Trick or Treating around our local neighbourhood. My son picked the theme, Maleficent and her dragon!  I bought a Maleficent headdress on a trip to Disneyland, a cape and long dress from EBay. Very easy! Then came the dragon!  I just couldn't find a black dragon costume anywhere, so I scoured the net for a tutorial and came up trumps! has a fantastic tutorial to turn 2 plastic milk bottles into a dragon! It took a bit of patience on my part and a bit of help from the family but it all came together and the boy is very pleased! I'll post pictures after the event, but if you are looking for a cheap costume idea head on over to the tutorial. In all the dragon has cost me £5.00 for a metre of fabric for the wings. I had everything else to hand.

Now that the costumes are sorted, decorating the house comes to mind. I concentrate a lot on the outside with a few spooky touches inside, mainly to annoy my husband! So here are my favourite picks for decorating with pumpkins, jars and props!

1. I thought the idea of making your own Halloween lights was so cute that we decided to have a go! Black cats and friendly ghosts on My Cakies shows you a very simple tutorial to make these. My son and I had a go and it took all of 20 minutes to make a set of black cats. Here's our version turning party lantern lights into spooky cats!

2. I really like to see the creative ways people get with pumpkins and this topiary from Tatertots and Jello is no exception! The pumpkins are lighted ones but I can't see why you couldn't do this with actual pumpkins. Hop over there for the tutorial to make these Black and white pumpkin topiary.

stacked pumpkin topiary planter at tatertots and jello

3. Another different take on pumpkins are these fun cats using more than one to make up the bodies. Martha Stewart always has such good ideas. I'm really hoping to have a go at these if I can find the right shape pumpkins. Instructions to make these can be found here.


4. The glow stick pumpkins are something we are very excited to try out this year! We have a stair case and steps running up to our front door where these would look just spectacular. We are going to have a go with some plastic tubs we have accumulated over the past few months rather than glass jars. This is also just in case any little trick or treaters knock one off as they walk up the steps in the dark so they won't break! Head on over to Create Craft Love to view the tutorial.

 These Glow Stick Pumpkin Jars will be the talk of the neighborhood on Halloween night! via for The 36th Avenue #glowstick #halloween #pumpkins

5, If you want to do more then place a few pumpkins at your front door, howabout sharing with the neighbours that the witch is in and she's making a brew?! Take an ordinary plastic cauldron and turn it into something super creepy with this tutorial from Let it Shine. I love all the extra touches she put into this, it looks so authentic!


6. Or if you are just looking for carving inspiration, have a look at these 22 ideas over on DIY Network. Loads of inspiration!

Cat Jack O Lantern

Happy Halloween!

Monday, 6 October 2014


Well it is a cold and wet day here, completely different to the end of last week with sunshine and warm temperatures. Over the weekend I celebrated a friends birthday. I made her cupcakes with little cats on top as she recently became Mummy to a lovely little furball! Now I am just an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to cake decorating but I thought I would share how I made the cats for the cupcakes as they were a lot easier than I expected!

I found a couple of tutorials and used this one as a starting point.

Firstly, get some fondant in the colour you want your cat, give it a knead and then shape it into a pear.

Said pear!

Next take a toothpick or something similar to create the front paws.

You just want to make 3 indents as if the cat is sitting.

Take some fondant in a different or same colour, roll into a ball shape and attach to your main piece at the base of your indentations. Then use the same technique on these smaller pieces to represent the paws.

I've gone for a contrasting colour so you can see it more clearly.

Next you want to add some detail to the neck of your cat. In the case of this one I got some white fondant, rolled it out, and made a crown like cut across one edge. This is the same as the tutorial I looked at. I eyeballed how long this would need to be and then wrapped it around the top of my pear. Any excess can be cut off at the back. I didn't need to use any edible glue for this though it is always handy to have some on hand.

You don't have to add this, you can keep it plain or as I did on some of the other cats, create a collar. Use your imagination!

Finally, it's time to add a head! Roll a ball of fondant in the same colour as the body and place on top. This covers the top of your neck detail as well. Then take 2 small pieces of fondant and roll them into tiny balls. Place these on the front of the head and press them down next to one another. Take your toothpick and indent some whisker holes. I didn't add any whiskers to mine but you could use uncooked spaghetti.

Get an even smaller piece of pink fondant and roll this into a tiny ball and place at the top and in the middle of your 2 cheeks.
Get another 2 pieces of white fondant, roll these into balls and place above the nose for eyes. Then get 2 even smaller piece of black fondant, roll these and add to the white for pupils.

You can give your cats different coloured eyes. I also used green and blue for variety.

Next take 2 pieces of fondant and using your hands shape them into triangles. I used a ball tool to indent the ears in the middle. Place these either side of the head.

All that is left is to do is roll a sausage piece of fondant and attach at the base of your cake for a tail.
As you can see from this critter, I curled the tail around the body and gave him a collar.

All that was left to do was place them on top of the cupcakes!! I cut out some heart shapes as well, sprinkled edible glitter onto them and placed these on half the cupcakes. My friend was very pleased when they arrived!

I wanted each cat to be slightly different and made one to look a little like her cat!

Isn't she fluffy?! All done with a toothpick!

This one really was my favourite!

I hope you are inspired to have a go!

Have a great week!