Halloween Celebrations!


Happy Halloween everyone!!

It is my absolute favorite time of year! I love the baking, the pumpkin patch, and dressing up! This past week I had 2 awesome events, a pumpkin carving party at my house & a Halloween party at my Grandma’s community. They were both SO fun! And both involve cupcakes and other equally delicious treats.

First was my pumpkin carving bash! I made a bunch of food; butternut squash soup, cornbread, spiked apple cider, marshmallow pops, cupcakes, whoopie pies, and more!

Gettin’ ready to roast some fresh butternut squash for soup. And my Dad loves to photobomb...haha.

My assistant and best friend Kayla Berry dipping some marshmallow pops!


I love the way these turned out!


Orange Velvet Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting, yum!


Whoopie pies! Spiderwebs done by Kayla!


Dylan made a batch of his famous dirt & worms! (Crushed oreos, chocolate pudding & gummy worms!)


Everyone brought their pumpkins to carve!


Love this girl, couldn’t have done it without her!


Dylan did a Mustache-O-Lantern and I did a kitty. Typical us =]


Everyone and their pumpkins, amazing job!! Thank you to everyone who came.


Now on to the Halloween party!! I catered the cupcakes, of course.

It was my grandma’s party, so I figure I better start off with a picture of us! I’m Little Red for Halloween this year. Can anyone guess what Dylan is?!


My creepy cupcake display!


I did a Pumpkin cupcake, topped with a green Tic-Tac for a stem and some glitter, of course!


A bloody Red Velvet cupcake!


And Chocolate Mint, topped with my leftover Nightmare Before Christmas toppers I made last week!


Love all the bright colors.


Dylan met me at the party dressed as the Big Bad Wolf! Love.


I hope everyone has a safe & delicious day!


Happy Halloween from hollicakes!<3

Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcakes!


Hey friends! So sorry this post is a little late. These guys took some time in the kitchen!

So Dylan & I just renewed our Disneyland passes, and got to go see the park all decked out for Halloween. Oh my gosh, my favorite!

And every year we go on the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion, it is amazing what a transformation that ride gets for the holidays! Impresses me every time. Needless to say, that is where my inspiration for the week’s cupcake came from!

What did I make? I did a white cake with a dash of cinnamon, baked with a Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kiss inside, topped with cider caramel buttercream!

These cupcakes have multiple, time sensitive steps to them, so I’ll go through them in the order that I worked in!

The first thing I did, a couple days before: I made the cider caramel.
What is cider caramel? Apple juice, reduced down to a think cider, then caramelized and mixed with butter & cream to make a cider caramel sauce! And its delicious and caramely with a hint of apple cider. A new fall favorite, for sure.

Here’s how I did it, in a little more detail.

Cider Caramel Sauce
-makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 container of apple juice (yes a whole container!)
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 - 2 cups heavy cream, depending on how thick you want your sauce

1. Pour container of apple juice into a large pot, simmer on medium-high heat until reduced by about 75%. (This took me almost 2 hours. I had it on medium heat while I worked on the decorations)
2. Once all the water has evaporated from the apple juice, it will become a sticky, thicker liquid. Keep going. At this point you will want to stop what you’re doing and watch it closely. Since it is a caramel, it can go from almost there to burnt very quickly! Also, be careful friends, especially with children in the kitchen. Hot caramel is dangerous and can burn you!
3. You will see it start getting darker, once its a medium amber color, remove from heat, add butter & cream. It will bubble, watch out!
4. Stir until combined, if sauce is too thick, add more cream. When hot it will seem very liquid, but once it cools it’ll set up. To test, dip a spoon in caramel & set in fridge for 5 minutes. Will keep for 7-10 days, refrigerated.

What it looked like when it started to get sticky.


Have your butter & cream ready. Missing 1 stick of butter in the picture though! I was kind of winging it, didn’t know how much I was going to use.


What it looks like when its caramelized and ready for the cream & butter!



I was working on the Nightmare decorations, using stencils Dylan made for me!


And here they are for your piping pleasure! Minus the mummy eyeball guy, I didn’t end up liking him!

Screen shot 2011-10-21 at 11.07.54 PM

First I piped the outlines for each, like in the above picture. Then I flooded them with the royal icing.

Never used royal icing? Well its pretty easy to make, and perfect for frosting sugar cookies with. (Think decorated Xmas sugar cookies! Yep that’s royal icing.)

Or also perfect for piping out decorations onto parchment! Once they dry(mine dried in about a day and a half) they peel of nice & easy.

Here is a recipe for you guys.

Royal Icing (Wilton’s Recipe)

3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).

For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.

When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.

Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.

Now time for the cupcakes! I used this recipe by Martha Stewart, but the only things I added to it was cinnamon and Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses!

Cinna-White Cupcakes
-makes about 24

3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
8 large egg whites
24 Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.

4. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.

5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each with 2/3 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Found these kisses at Target, yum!


Look at the pumpkin cream inside!


Anyways, back to the cupcakes...


I used clear Vanilla Extract to make sure the cupcakes would be nice and white!


Look at that beautiful white batter.


Kisses in the cupcakes.


Baked and ready to be frosted!


Time for some frosting with that caramel we made earlier!

Cider Caramel Buttercream

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
12 tablespoons shortening
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons cider caramel
3-5 drops orange food coloring (optional)

1. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat butter and shortening until smooth.
2. Sift powdered sugar, add 1/2 cup at a time to taste.
3. Add caramel and food coloring, beat until smooth and fluffy. Frost cupcakes as desired!

Caramel, yummy!


Ready to frost?!


I used a plain star tip to frost my cupcakes, then placed the royal icing decorations on top with a little glitter.

Hello fabulous Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcakes!!


Jack & Sally<3


Pumpkin Monster & Oogy Boogie


Happy Halloween Everyone!!

nmbxchupcakes20

Mint Chocolate-SPIDER-Chip


BOO! Happy 2nd week of October, cupcake lovers!

So sorry for the randomness & lack of updates, finally figuring out the issues with the program I publish the blog with. Whew!

Just in time, because starting now, October-December I will be posting a holiday flavor of the week, every week!

Last week, the first week, I posted my Pumpkin Pie Latte cupcakes. And this week I will be featuring one of my new Halloween favorites, Mint Chocolate-SPIDER-Chip.

Yep, you heard right. One of my favorite ice cream flavors transformed into a Halloween cupcake. Life couldn’t get any better right?

Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 20-22

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Heaping 1/2 cup, I love my chocolate chips!


Bunch of cute Halloween liners. & I didn’t end up using these sprinkles on the cupcakes, but they are super cute anyways, and will definitely use them soon!


Chocolate cupcakes, they almost look like brownies!


Mint Buttercream
-makes enough to frost about 24 cupcakes

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, to taste
1/2-1 teaspoon mint extract, depending on how strong you want the mint
5-7 drops AmeriColor Electric Green food coloring

1. Cream butter and shortening until fluffy. Sift powdered sugar, add 1/2 cup at a time until desired sweetness is achieved.
2. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix until combined and smooth. Frost cupcakes.

Mint Buttercream, yum!


LOVE the lime green.

Piped chocolate spiderwebs and “BOO”s with chocolate melting wafers.


This is what you get if you’re a neighbor of hollicakes. The extras!


Like the creepy photos?!


And the cute spider cupcake stands? From the Halloween section at Target! $4.99 for a set of 4! So cool.


Dylan and I had so much fun taking these pictures; fog machine, candy corn & spooky lights!


Have I mentioned Halloween is my favorite holiday? LOVElove love it.

Do YOU guys have any fun Halloween cupcake/cookie/cake/brownie decorating ideas that you want to see featured on my blog?
Send me a Halloween decorating challenge & I’ll try my best to tackle it =]