Annabel Karmel’s Halloween brain cupcakes recipe

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makes: 18
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 20 min
Cooking: 20 min
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  • Kids will love these ‘brain’ Halloween cupcakes from kids’ food expert, Annabel Karmel. They’re spot-on for a scary Halloween party or for little boys and girls who love everything grim and gory.

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    • For the cupcakes:
    • 125g (4½oz) soft margarine
    • 125g (4½oz) caster sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 125g (4½oz) self-raising flour
    • 1tsp vanilla essence
    • 1 tub creamy vanilla icing (available in large supermarkets)
    • For the decoration:
    • 1 tub of vanilla frosting
    • Icing sugar
    • Red and black food colouring


    • Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at time, together with a tablespoon of flour. Add the vanilla essence and fold in the remaining flour.

    • Line a bun tin with paper cases and half fill each case with the mixture. Bake in the oven for 20 mins. You can tell they are done when they have risen, are golden in colour and spring back into shape when pressed with your finger. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

    • Add the icing sugar to a tub of ready-made vanilla frosting to make it stiff enough to pipe. Add a little red and black food colouring to make the brain pinkish grey. Pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes and, using red food colouring and a cocktail stick, draw red veins on the icing.

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