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Cupcakes get a bloody makeover for Halloween

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The Canadian Press
Oct 20, 2008

The best part about these creepy bloody eyeball cupcakes — aside from being delicious – is the surprise factor. Don’t warn your guests that when they bite into the cupcakes, they will get a bloody (and maybe messy) surprise.

Adding white food coloring to the frosting isn’t essential, but it will make for a more vivid contrast between the bloodshot eyes and the blood. White food coloring is available at baking supply shops and online. Gumballs can be purchased online at

Bloody Eyeball Cupcakes


425 ml (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder

3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt

250 ml (1 cup) sugar

175 ml (12 tbsp or 3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into 12 pieces

3 large eggs

175 ml (3/4 cup) milk

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) vanilla extract


90 ml (6 tbsp) seedless raspberry jam

4 drops red food colouring

45 ml (3 tbsp) light corn syrup


250 ml (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

500 ml (2 cups) powdered sugar

22 ml (1 1/2 tbsp) milk

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) vanilla extract

0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) table salt

15 drops white food coloring (optional)


12 small red gum balls

2 small tubes red decorating gel

Cupcakes: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Lightly coat two 6-cup muffin tins with baking spray. Alternatively, coat tins with cooking spray, then dust with flour and tap to remove any excess.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on low to combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add butter, a piece at a time, and beat until mixture resembles coarse sand, about 3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Add milk and vanilla, then increase speed to medium and mix until light and fluffy and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes.

Fill muffin cups three-quarters full (do not overfill) with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Filling: In a small bowl, whisk together jam, food colouring and corn syrup. Set aside.

When cupcakes have cooled, cut a cone of cake out of the centre of each. To do this, insert tip of a paring knife at a 45-degree angle about 3 mm (1/8 inch) from the top edge of the cupcake and cut all the way around the top (cutting about 2 cm/3/4 inch into the cupcake).

Eyeball Cupcakes

Remove the cone of cake from the center. Cut away all but the top 5 mm ( 1/4 inch) of the cones, leaving only small disks of cake. Set aside.

To fill the cupcakes, spoon about 7 ml ( 1/2 tbsp) of the filling into the cavity of each cupcake. Gently place the disks of cupcake over the filling, being careful not to press too hard. You do not want the filling to ooze out.

Frosting: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on high to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Slow mixer to low and add powdered sugar, 125 ml ( 1/2 cup) at a time, and mix until combined.

Increase mixer to high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium and add milk, vanilla and salt. Increase speed to high and beat until fluffy, about another 30 seconds. If desired, beat in white food coloring.

Spread a generous amount of frosting over each cupcake, being careful not to detach the top disk of cake. Place one red gum ball in the frosting at the center of each cupcake to form the pupil.

Use red decorating gel to draw veins in the frosting radiating outward from the pupil.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: The cupcake portion of the recipe is from “The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book” by America’s Test Kitchen (2008).

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