Halloween is rapidly approaching and I’ve been desperately wanting to make some halloween treats. It’s been another busy week around here, so I needed to find a project that wasn’t too time intensive. That’s when I decided to try out these Halloween Mummy cupcakes! They’re incredibly quick and easy to make and require minimal effort when it comes to the actual decorating part.
This is a great Halloween baking project to try out if you haven’t done a lot of cupcake decorating before. You don’t need to worry about making tons of different coloured frostings, and the piping technique is very simple. Best of all, these mummies look better if they aren’t perfect, because they’re supposed to be a little dishevelled looking!
For the cupcakes I used my favourite recipe from Add a Pinch, along with a half batch of vanilla buttercream for the frosting. This recipe will yield 36 mini cupcakes (which is what I made) or 12 regular cupcakes. The frosting recipe makes just the right amount of frosting needed to ice them all. I recommend both these recipes, but you can use whichever cake and frosting recipe you prefer.
The only tools you need to decorate with are a piping bag and a wide, flat piping tip to create the mummy’s wrappings. I used a #44 Wilton tip like the one in the picture below. This was a good size for the mini cupcakes. If you’re making full size cupcakes, you might want to use a slightly larger version of this tip.
For the eyes I used a packet of candy eyeball decorations. I’ve seen a few tutorials on how you can make your own eyeballs with royal icing, but I wasn’t feeling that ambitious this week.
The eyeballs are all just a little bit different, which I quite like because it adds a little bit of quirkiness to each of the mummies.
To start out, place two candy eyeballs onto the cupcake in the spot where you want the eyes to be. The reason I placed them on first was so that I could pipe a bit of frosting overtop of them so that it looked like the eyes were peeping out from behind the wrappings.
Next, pipe the frosting back and forth into a sort of zig zag shape across the whole width of the cupcake, starting at the top and ending just above the eyes. Pipe another zig zag starting just below the eyes to the bottom of the cupcake. Again, don’t worry about trying to make these look too perfect or even. An authentic mummy would not have picture perfect wrappings!
Once you’ve piped on the zig zags, pipe a few extra strips of frosting diagonally across the cupcake, starting at the outside corner of one eye and going across to the other side of the cupcake.
It doesn’t matter whether you pipe the stripe in a downwards direction, below the eyes, or in an upwards direction above the eyes. Your goal is to cover the bit of cupcake that is still exposed on the outside corner of each eye, and to break up the horizontal stripes from your zig zags a bit so the wrappings look a little more interesting and not too uniform.
If you don’t have any candy eyeballs, you can experiment with making the eyes out of all sorts of things. I ran out of eyeballs halfway through decorating, so I also tried using smarties. I cut them in half and placed them cut side down onto the top of the cupcake. I kind of liked these because the coloured smarties give the mummies glowing eyes, which is a little spookier than the more cartoony candy eyeballs.
I also tried cutting the smarties into quarters, instead of halves and stuck them into the frosting. I think these ones look a little cuter and less spooky.
Lastly I tried using some chocolate chips. For the first few, I placed the chocolate chips on to the cupcakes before frosting, the same way I had done with the eyeball candies. However, I felt the chocolate chips didn’t stand out as much this way.
I then tried piping on all the frosting first, not leaving a gap for the eyes, and then placing the chocolate chips on top afterwards (see bottom right mummy in the photo below). When using chocolate chips, I preferred this approach of nesting them into the frosting afterwards.
After trying out a few different versions, my favourites are still the ones with the candy eyeballs because they remind me of googly eyes. I especially like the ones where the eyeballs are a little uneven. It adds a lot more character to these little mummies!