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Halloween Spider Web Cupcakes

These cupcakes remind me so much of my childhood. I so vividly remembered the taste of these that it makes me crave them every year at Halloween. And they are so cute! A lot of work, but so fun! The day I made these, my children didn’t eat dinner until 8 pm (yikes, right?!)…I was literally working on these all day…

This recipe is from Redbook 1989 – how ’bout that? 23 years old, too funny.

You start by using box devil’s food cake mix to make cupcakes, nothing crazy, just plain old chocolate cupcakes (I think these are the most perfect cupcakes I ever made by the way).

You then make a huge batch of the icing and separate about 1/2 cup out, into which you add a few drops of green food coloring…it’s supposed to be “slime” inside the cupcakes. You cut out a small section in the middle and pipe the green icing into each one.

Replace the “caps” and the next step is to frost all the cupcakes.

Once again, you’ll separate the icing, this time in half and add cocoa powder to one part of it. Then, from that, take out about 1/2 cup from each of those! You’ll be piping more icing on top as a decoration so you can either use a plastic bag with the tip cut off or I used these squeeze bottles from Wilton.

All iced, half plain icing and half chocolate!

And here’s where the squeeze bottle really came in handy. Draw 3 circles in the opposite color icing on each cupcake.

Take a toothpick and pull, either from the middle or the opposite side to form the “spiderwebs”!

Pretty cool, huh?

And now for the spiders…I used a little tube of gel icing, in black, squeezed it out to form a circle and then used a toothpick to pull the “legs” out from the body. I thought those little plastic spider rings would look pretty cool, too (probably even cooler…my spiders ended up looking like beetles!). In the original recipe, they suggested getting black jelly beans and thin black rope licorice (jelly beans for the spider’s body and the licorice for the legs – I just didn’t have time to cut like a million tiny little legs).

Makes 18 cupcakes

Halloween Spiderweb Cupcakes

1 package devil’s food cake mix

2 packages of cream cheese, 8 oz

2 cups butter, softened

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Green food coloring

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; place cupcake liners in 18 standard muffin-pan cups. Prepare cake mix according to directions. Spoon batter in prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake 20-25 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar until blended and smooth. Remove 1/2 cup frosting to a small bowl; stir in a few drops of green food coloring to tint to a “slimy” green. Spoon green frosting into a piping bag or squeeze bottle and set aside. Carefully cut out center cores of each cake using an apple corer or paring knife. Reserve cake centers. Squeeze about a teaspoon of the green frosting into center of each cupcake. Press reserved cores back into place.

Spoon half of remaining frosting into second bowl; stir cocoa powder into one bowl to blend completely. Spoon 1/2 cup each chocolate and plain frosting into 2 squeeze bottles or piping bags. Set aside. Using remaining frosting in bowls, frost tops of cupcakes, half with chocolate and half with plain. Using the reserved frosting in the piping bags or squeeze bottles, pipe 3 concentric circles on top of each cupcake, using the opposite color of frosting.

To make “spiderweb” effect on frosting, draw a wooden toothpick back and forth through the circles of frosting like spokes of a wheel. Make your spiders with gel frosting or find some to use as decorations.

(Source: Adapted from Redbook Magazine)