By Nadia Sheikh

Senior, English major

Creepy, Crawly Cupcakes

The trick-or-treating scene slows down considerably when you’re in college. There are no houses to tee-pee, no doorbells to ding-dong-ditch, no candy bowls to plunder.  Luckily, you’ve got a roommate, or a few. Halloween is the perfect time to show that roomie some love with a good trick. Try tee-peeing their bed or executing a simple, masked sneak attack. Just make sure to follow up with some even better treats, like one of these spooky cupcakes.

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The kind of cupcake is up to you. If you have a special recipe, or a favorite boxed mix, go for it. For a little somethin’ extra, try out these sweet tricks with that recipe or mix.

  • With a chocolate cake mix of your choice:
    • Bake the cupcakes according to the box’s instructions. Scoop out the center of each cooled cupcake and fill with M&M candies, or any miniature chocolates that you like. Cover with cupcake center again and reseal with frosting.
  • With a white cake mix of your choice:
    • Prepare the batter according to the box’s instructions. Then divide the batter into two equal portions and pour into two bowls. In one bowl, mix in six drops of orange food coloring. In the other, mix eight drops of black food coloring. Using spoons, layer the two colors of batter into a lined or sprayed cupcake tin until each section is two-thirds full. Swirl each gently with a butter knife to create a few swirls. Don’t mix them too much or the cupcakes will turn gray.

Once you’ve baked a batch, bring them to life (or the afterlife) with some decoration.

  • Witch hat: Frost the cupcake in chocolate icing and top with a chocolate sugar cone. Add color and detail with squeeze-tube icing.
  • Eyeball: Decorate with vanilla or butter cream frosting, and use red squeeze-tube icing to draw veins. Top with a blue, green or brown M&M pupil. Stick a plastic fork or knife into the top of cake for easy devour-ability. Try making mini cupcakes for a real eye-popping treat!
  • Frankenstein: Use green food coloring in vanilla icing to concoct some color for Frank. Top with a giant marshmallow and cover in green icing. Draw a face with squeeze-tube icing. Stick pretzel pieces into the sides of the marshmallow for his head bolts.
  • Spider: Cover cupcakes with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles. Add on red M&M eyes and eight black licorice lace legs. Don’t let the cake crawl away.
  • Owl: Frost cupcake with chocolate icing. Break graham cracker pieces into triangles for ears, frost in chocolate, and place on the cake. Twist two Oreos open and place the cream-covered halves of each cookie onto the cupcake, with the cream facing up. Use icing to stick two brown M&M pupils to the Oreos and place a yellow M&M beak.
  • Pumpkin: Decorate with orange icing, adding on green ovals at one edge for leaves. Use black squeeze-tube icing to decorate with triangle eyes and nose, as well as a toothy grin.

Eat treats and stay tricky, my friends!