Spooky Spooks and Red Velvet Cupcakes

A few things have been going on with the offspring.

Archie had planned a weekend at home.  A weekend where he would be unusually attentive and focused and clean my car (fulfilling the promise he made back in MARCH) and having fulfilled this promise he would study in preparation for his final semester at uni.

Some friends called at the last minute causing him to reshuffle his plans because they invited him to an exhibition in the city that surprise surprise, was the one he was most desperate to see.  While at the exhibition some other friends phoned and invited him to their property in the country for the weekend.

Spooky Spooks

‘But what about my car, Archie?’

‘Don’t worry, mum, it’s all sorted.  I’ll be back late on Sunday afternoon and I’ll do it then.  The boys and I are just going to the country to ride motorbikes and all that sort of stuff’.

And that didn’t worry me one bit.

‘And I’m taking my guitar and we’re going to make a big bonfire and I’ll sing some songs’.

‘Oh, okay; well make sure you pack something warm.  It gets cold in the country’.

But Archie didn’t listen.  He went away and had the best time.  ‘It was so good, mum’.  And they stayed up all night sitting around the campfire as the temperature plummeted and Archie strummed his guitar with nothing on but a loose fitting shirt.

Fast forward 48 hours and Archie has man-flu.  I know it’s man-flu because he made me go out and buy $200 worth of pharmacy goods when all he should have done was pack his $7.00 singlet.  And he asked me to take his temperature and he doesn’t have one.  He looked positively disappointed.  Nothing wrong with him except stupidity.  He couldn’t even get to uni today and spent the day in this room with his doona wrapped around him.  Moping.  On such a death bed he couldn’t possibly clean my car.

If it was me, my condition wouldn’t even rate a mention.

Man flu.

You’ll have to trust me but these are red velvet cupcakes

On a happier note (but I am just a little sad), Arabella had her last day EVER in school uniform.  She had her final HSC exam and so at 5pm today an enormous chapter in her life closed and her schooling finished forever.  Her father bought her a little gift to celebrate the occasion and I took photos of her in her very smart school uniform – for the last time!  And her comment to me upon returning from school for the last time was, ‘I just don’t know what I’m going to do with myself’, which had me burst into laughter as she’s been talking about and planning and looking forward to this moment for the longest time.

And as for Alfie, he’s just super-excited that tomorrow is Halloween.  Only because he gets to go from house to house begging for lollies.  ‘It’s the best day, mum, except for Christmas’.

A hand-made Halloween decoration that looks edible except it isn’t!

I live in a street where there are lots of families so I’m expecting my share of ‘trick or treaters’.  I don’t want to be handing them more lollies so I’ve made some spooky spooks.  Mind you, once you eat all the food dye these red velvet cupcakes contain you probably might just be better off eating store-bought lollies.  But tell me these look better!

A little witch joining the spooky spooks

Spooky Spooks

Makes:  18

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  Hmmm, the red velvet cupcakes are inexpensive but the bought icing and little eyes were expensive.

  • 350g (2 1/3 cups) plain flour
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
  • 250ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • 185ml (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp red food colouring
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • black icing
  • icing eyes

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Line eighteen 80ml (1/3-cup) capacity muffin pans with paper cases.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl.  Stir in the sugar.

Whisk the buttermilk, oil, eggs, food colouring and vinegar in a jug until combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir until just combined.

Divide the mixture among the prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Roll out icing until a few millimetres thick.  (You don’t want to use icing sugar as this will make the black icing turn grey).  Just roll out and cut into a square.  Using a spatula, scrape icing off bench and place over the cupcake.  Take 2 eyes and press into icing.  Repeat until all 18 cupcakes are decorated.

Hand to those who say, ‘Treat’.

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found on Taste.

If you liked this post why not like me! 





  1. I thought these were the cupcakes. What a nice decoration. Could also be used for card games.

  2. I’d love to come trick or treating at your house and sample those cupcakes. If anyone in most U.S. neighborhoods made homemade goodies, though, parents would toss them away. We are all a bit paranoid here about needles or poison or whatever. Not me when I was growing up. Homemade goodies were just fine. But times have changed.

  3. Your creativity continues to impress me! 🙂 Red velvet cupcakes are good for any holiday!

  4. I love these little ghouls they are so sweet!

  5. Oh Charlie, these are so adorable I almost can’t bear it!

  6. So perfect! The treats and the references to”man-flu”. How unmanly they are when have it, right?

  7. “SCARY” looking indeed. I would have never guessed there were red velvet cupcakes under the black sheet. 🙂

  8. Hi Charlie! Those cupcakes look so beautiful. And is true, the witch looks edible too 😉
    Happy Halloween!

  9. I love this post. Your kids sound so wonderfully normal. Archie’s story could have been Zack’s, my son. Sounded just like him from the warm clothes, to the car, to the moping. Love the recipe as well–what’s not to love about red velvet cupcakes. Yes, I know, except the dye. I once saw a version made from beets to make them red. I wasn’t impressed.

  10. Those “spooky” cupcakes are so cute, if you are expecting many kids you must have spent days making and decorating.

  11. Haha man flu great concept 😉
    And love your mini ghosts they are much too cute 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. OMG! I LOVE that term…Man Flu. Perfect. Such babies they can be.
    Your cupcakes are lovely, Charlie, and I’m certain everyone will adore them, home made is ALWAYS better.
    I just saw a friend on FB from New Jersey post that Halloween is postponed until November 2 in their city, and other cities have done the same! Sandy is sure making of mess of things. We had an enormous tree topple in our neighbourhood that took out our hydro…I’m hoping I don’t lose everything in the freezer since I just stocked up. It’s been out since around 3am, now it’s 3pm. I read somewhere that you can actually be OK for about 20 hours if the freezer is full and not opened. I have my fingers crossed.
    Toronto’s Mayor hasn’t postponed Halloween just yet, even though Sandy will dump some more rain on us. I feel bad for the kids. I’m going to a friends with a bottle of vino. Cheers!

  13. Oh Charlie, these are so cute…so creative, and yes love the red red velvet cupcakes.
    Have a great Halloween and a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  14. They are so gorgeous! I love getting into the Halloween spirit too!

  15. Charlie!! these cupcakes are devine, so clever of you. Alfie is going to have the best time this arvo. I loved hearing of Arabellas last day of school and uniform moments. Congratulations to her & you all.

  16. I love your spooky spooks 🙂

  17. Man flu…Ha! I’m so happy you named it. And you’re right, you could be in bed, with a humidifier and covered up to your ears, coughing, (or worse), and one of your offspring…maybe even your husband, would surely say, “What’s for dinner?”. 😉

  18. These are so very cute indeed, not spooky at all 🙂
    Men! They never learn do they? Don’t give him too much sympathy Charlie, or he’ll milk it for a week! I’m sure once Arabella gets into her social swing, she’ll be fine and find there’s not enough time in the day 🙂

  19. Happy Halloween!

  20. Oh, these are gorgeous Charlie! I almost wish I’d seen them ahead of my own cupcake efforts – I love the black icing. And many, many congratulations to Arabella, and to you and the rest of the family for surviving this enormous year. It is indeed a big milestone and chapter to close.

    As for Archie…well, what can one expect from young men? 😉

  21. These are definitely better than lollies Charlie!
    Last day in school uniform must have been a rather emotional one 🙂
    I loved the photo of your man-flu sufferer on Instagram. He looked so miserable.

  22. That’s so sweet of you! Here, you can’t hand out homemade treats.

  23. My kids would love to come to your house Charlie! These are just adorable and so festive! Congrats to Arabella for finishing up her schooling. And here’s to Archie recovering from his man-flu. There really is nothing more debilitating than the man-flu. 😉

  24. These cupcakes blow me away! What spooky spooks! I envy any kids that come to your house!

  25. Man flu is the worst! Argh. I’m nervous just thinking about it. Tyler said he had a sore throat last night. Your cakes are so so cute. So you used black icing, not white with black food colouring. Makes sense. I can never get that true black the other way!

  26. Your spooky spooks are so cute! And they are red velvet cupcakes! That’s a nice surprise for red velvet cupcake fans like me. 🙂 Archie sounds like my daughter who never listens to wear extra layer when it’s cold and ends up catching a cold. I repeat “I told you so!!” many times…still not listening! And she’s only 4. What do I do. x'(

  27. These look spookily wonderful. Not sure about all that colouring either. I imagine their tongues will be red and black. But Halloween only comes around once a year.
    Silly Archie and lucky Arabella. But I will always remember that feeling through school and University of finishing the exams and having that emptiness in my life, which should have ben great but somehow wasn’t. The busyness has to somehow be replaced.

  28. You give cupcakes on Halloween?!!?! Yours must be a very popular house. News of “loot” like yours spread like wildfire among us Trick or Treaters. We’d swarm your home like locusts — until word came that the Alinosi’s were handing out candy They owned a candy shop. Once their porch light went on, we were in a race to get there before they ran out of candy.

  29. They’re so cute! I wish I had trick or treaters but it’s a bit hard being in an apartment. Maybe I’ll stop by your street for a spooky spook hehe 😛

  30. Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!

    Now that that’s done, I’d love one of those cupcakes, please. Very cute.

  31. Always so much going on in your home Charlie. I love your cupcakes!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  32. I LOVE these, Charlie. They are so special. I don’t precisely know the techniques for rolling out the icing. That’s something I’m unsure about, except with fondant. I am curious enough to figure it out, though, and always appreciate that I learn new things from you. Once again, stories of your children make me smile. I am thrilled for Arabella, and understand how you feel a little sad. It is a passage for parents, too. And gregarious and outgoing Archie is undoubtedly going to crash from time to time…he runs at such a pitch. And for your darling little guy, Halloween is certainly special. Cheers all round!

  33. Amazing,
    I love this

  34. Absolutely adorable. HAPPY HALLOWEEN 🙂

  35. These were my favorite Halloween inspired food/treats of all time! So clever and so cute.

  36. Boys can be stubborn creatures. 🙂

    Awesome cupcakes Charlie!!

  37. haha man flu. At least he was a good boy in other ways, right? your halloween cupcakes look so cute and perfect.

  38. Oh my, how creative!! These are so cute, I will definitely have to make them next Halloween =)

  39. I also thought these sre cupcakes: they look superb & very yummy too, these spooky spooks! 🙂


  40. Oh, but don’t you know – man flu is a very serious affliction! I’ve had it a number of times… it’s terrible! Women never understand just how terrible it is! 😀

    I hope some of these little delights made him feel better though in any case 🙂

  41. Those are so incredibly cute!

    I bet they were delicious too.


  1. […] we hired a black cape and a mask so he could be dressed up as a vampire.  A few hours ago I made Spooky Spook cupcakes for the hoards of ‘trick or treaters’ I was expecting on my […]

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