Spooky Spider Cupcakes/Muffins for a Howling Halloween!

Recipe by French Tart
READY IN: 1hr 5mins


  • Spider Cakes
  • 200
    g butter, softened and room temperature
  • 200
    g golden caster sugar
  • 1 12
    ounces cocoa, NOT drinking chocolate
  • 4
    eggs, beaten
  • 12
    teaspoon baking powder
  • 1
    teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 -4
    tablespoons milk
  • 4
    ounces chocolate chips, drops or 4 ounces chopped chocolate
  • paper cupcake liners, cases preferably brown (optional)
  • Butter cream Icing
  • 100
    g softened butter
  • 1
    ounce cocoa
  • 12
    teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 -2
    tablespoon milk
  • Decoration
  • liquorice allsorts, sweets (Liquorice Catherine wheels, shoe strings, boot laces etc for the legs.) or candy, for the eyes and the mouth (Liquorice Catherine wheels, shoe strings, boot laces etc for the legs.)


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/360°F.
  • This is a VERY easy all in one mix; simply put the softened butter into a large mixing bowl with the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, beaten eggs and vanilla extract. Mix on slow with a hand mixer, incorporating all the dry ingredients gradually into the butter and eggs. Increase the speed to medium and then to high. Stop and add the milk, tablespoon-by-tablespoon, whisking in between each spoon until you have a smooth, silky mixture with no lumps. Add the chocolate chips or chocolate pieces and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture into well-greased muffin tins, or tins lined with muffin cases - I do not use cases as a rule!
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until well risen - check with a wooden cocktail stick by pushing it in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, the cakes are ready.
  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then gently run a knife around the sides to release the cakes - or take the cakes out if they are in muffin cases. Put them on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.
  • Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the butter cream icing. Put the softened butter and icing sugar into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly by hand with a fork. Add the vanilla extract and mix again before adding the cocoa powder - mix all the ingredients together and then add the milk if you need to loosen the mixture for spreading. The butter cream icing should be soft and silky - but should still hold its shape.
  • When you are ready to decorate the spider cakes, cut the liquorice Catherine wheels into "legs" that just dangle over the edge of the cake - mine were about 2" in length. Take the liquorice allsorts sweets/candy that have a white inside and a liquorice exterior - see photos - gently make a hole in the centre with a cocktail stick and push in a small sliver of liquorice to make the eyes. Choose a red or orange liquorice allsorts sweet/candy, which is layered - see photo - and cut each sweet/candy into 4 pieces for the mouth.
  • Gently push the legs into the top of the cake at intervals - the icing will go over the top to keep them in place later, so do not worry how they look! You need 8 legs per spider - of course! Spoon on some chocolate butter cream icing to cover the legs and come within 1/2" of the edge - make it look "hairy" by stippling with a fork. Then place two eyes in the top, finishing off with a mouth! Continue to decorate all the cakes in this way, place them all on a plate with some extra sweets/candy scattered around them, and watch the looks of delight on the children's faces when they see them!