Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Owl and Bat Cupcakes

Halloween is such a fun holiday.  I'm not so into the scary, creepy and gross side of things.  But I do love to dress up, taking the Littles out Trick or Treating and of course the fun party at my sister's afterwards.  There is always great "spooky" food (think Mac a Boney and Cheese, Ghoulash, Eyeballs- deviled eggs with olives, etc.).  This year I was incharge of dessert. Yum!

My little family all dressed up and ready to get our Trick or Treat on.
I decided to go as a 1950's Housewife, not much of a stretch, huh?!

Our Crew:
My sister the witch, her husband the Inmate, their two devilish daughters and baby Lion.  
My husband the um, OSU tailgater (er, no costume, bummer!) his 1950's housewife and our great protector Thor and his trusty lizard.  

It was super chilly so we had to bundle up.  As a kid I always hated having to cover my costume with a coat.  Still do now!  

When I was put in charge of dessert I knew I had to make these adorable owl cupcakes that have been floating around blogland.  I am not sure who thought of it "first", probably Martha Stewart.... anyways they are so easy, no intimidating ingredients (i.e. fondant) and super duper kid friendly- I mean who doesn't love Oreo's and M&Ms?!!  I also threw together a bat because right now my Jackson is obsessed with super hero's.  I thought he would get a kick out of a few of them mixed in.  And goodness was I right.  When he got home from preschool and eyed the cupcakes he points at the bat and says "Mommy, this is amazing!"  Right then and there I knew I just went up a few notches on the cool ladder....

Sure I made these for Halloween, but they would totally be cute for birthday parties (animal, woodland, super hero, etc.) as well.

Owl and Bat Cupcakes
for the cupcakes: 
1 box devils food cake (or your favorite cake mix)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
18-24 cupcake liners

Prepare cupcakes according to box directions.  Allow to cool completely before decorating.

for the decorations: 
1 large package of Oreo cookies (You won't need them all, but it takes some practice to cut them.  You'll want extra)
1 bag of M&Ms (You only need the brown and the yellow, the rest is for you to snack on while baking) 1 toothpick
1 tub of your favorite chocolate frosting, homemade or store-bought
1 icing pen (I accidently bought a gel pen, but I kinda like how the details are subtle on the bats)

Smooth the chocolate frosting over the surface of the cupcakes.  Set aside.

To make the Owls:
Separate the Oreo cookies, keeping the white frosting intact.  These will be your eyes.  I found that giving them a gentle twist released them pretty well.  Have a butter knife on hand incase some frosting sticks to the opposite side.  It scraps off pretty neatly.  Then just press it back down where it goes and smooth out the crack with the knife or a finger.  Use your butter knife to very gently scrape the tops of the white frosting to remove the  brown cookie residue getting them as white as possible.  Gently press a brown M&M on the white frosting to make the iris of the eye.  If the frosting cracks a little just smooth it with your finger or the blunt edge of the knife.  If you run out of brown M&M's just use green or blue ones.  That would be cute too!  Set the eyes aside.

Now you want to cut the plain cookie tops in half to make the owls horns.  You can use a sharp knife, or what I found was that kitchen scissors worked nicely.  It is very difficult to cut the cookies in half without having one of the halves shatter.  No worries, you have a whole box right?!  (I used the imperfect ones to make the bat wings since I was trimming them up a bit with my scissors anyways.) Using your kitchen scissors, carefully clean up the edges to get the halves nice and smooth.  This was really easy to do.  I couldn't believe how will the scissors worked for this.

Now go get your cupcakes.  It is time to assemble!  I slightly smoothed out a flat section where the "eyes" were going to go to to give them a bit of support so they would sit somewhat nicely.  I thought they were going to slide off, but they surprisingly stuck rather well.  Now take two "horns".  On a slight angle, stick a point into the cupcake above-behind the eye.  Do this with both halves.  Take a little dollop of frosting and put it on the cupcake behind the horns to give them a little support so they don't fall over.  Take another little dollop of frosting and put it between the eyes below the horns to give a little "hair".  Take a toothpick and use it to make little points in the frosting creating the "hair".  Do the same thing with the toothpick over the surface of the rest of the cupcakes making them look a little fuzzy and cute.

Next take a yellow M&M, turn it up on its side and stick it in the cupcake between the eyes.  This is your beak.

Ta-da!  You just made an owl!

To make the Bats:
There are two options for the bat wings.  1)You can smooth out your cut Oreo cookie halves to make nice clean edges and sharp points like you did for the owl's horns.  2)Or you can carefully cut little points in the flat side to create the points on the bat wings.  If you don't cut the points, that is fine, just draw them in with the icing/gel pen.  If you want to go with option 1, using your kitchen scissors make small "v" shaped cuts on the flat edge of the cookie half.  I found it pretty easy to do.

Once cut, using the gel pen draw the shape of the bat wing on the decorative side of the cookie.  Carefully on an angle stick the corner of the bat wing just off center into the middle of the cupcake.  Do this again with the other side.

On the brown M&Ms, gently draw two small dots to make the eyes.  Place the "head" in between the bat wings.

And there you go- you just made a bat!

I linked up on Sweets For a Saturday #43. Come find some other delicious sweet things :)


  1. Those are really cute Amie! Great photos too.

    Happy baking!

  2. Very cute! I made similar owls, but without the owls horns... Will try that out next time :)

  3. I absolutely LOVE these! Adorable!

    ~Melissa Placzek

  4. I LOVE these! I have made them a few times and they are always a huge hit!



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