Hello, my goblin friends! With my kitchen being under construction, it’s been very difficult for me to bake. This has taken quite the toll on my seasonal celebrating. Luckily, we finally hooked up my stove the other night. What recipe did I christen my new stove with, you ask?
I sort of cheated, actually. Hey, I still don’t have any countertops or sink! Instead of creating a new recipe, I revamped one from spooky seasons past. These crystal ball Halloween cupcakes are perfect for your next party, and this new version is even easier than the last.
For the actual cupcake, I made a small batch of my tried-and-true bakery style vanilla cupcakes. Even though I made a small batch, I still think this decorating technique will be easy to replicate on a large scale, and the cost will be the same.
Because my house is not in any shape for entertaining, I brought these Halloween cupcakes to my sister’s house to spread some holiday cheer. They were a huge hit, and it’s easy to see why.
The gumball crystal ball is swirling with edible luster dust, which gives the illusion that it’s coming to life. Any second now, a spooky spirit will appear to tell you your future. All you need to do is take a bite! That’s right. These crystal ball Halloween cupcakes are hollow in the middle and filled with spooky sprinkles. Hopefully, your future isn’t as grim as this prediction!
On a side note, I had originally planned to use a large sucker, a similar process as in the other version of this cupcake. Though this is certainly an option for anyone considering it, and there are plenty of suckers that would work, I absolutely love how the gumball turned out.
The gumballs I found had a pearl-like sheen on them, which I already loved. I found them in a party supply store, so while there were plenty of gumball options, not all of them were cupcake-ready. The flat white gumballs just didn’t scream crystal ball, you know? Of course, I can’t leave well enough alone, though, so I put together a mixture of vodka and luster dust to drive the point home.
The trick to make it swirl around the sides is to add just a bit more vodka than dust. That way, the mixture will maintain some liquid aspects and drip down the curves of the ball.
The fondant tablecloth was so easy to make, and the way they hang over the edge of the cake really sells the idea that these are tiny tables. Don’t you love the effect their draping has? It took no effort at all. I simply rolled out pre-made red fondant, cut circles to the size of the cakes, and draped them over the bottoms of an upturned popover pan. The popover pan is deeper than a traditional cupcake pan, which gave the tablecloths more room to comfortably billow.
Transporting these Halloween cupcakes was no effort, either. Because the assembly is so minimal, I was able to use any traditional carrier for the cakes, and then I dropped the popover pan into a large Ikea bag. The bag had a sturdy enough bottom to keep the pan in place, and the depth of the pan kept the tablecloths from sticking to one another.
I don’t think I stress this part enough, so I’ll have to say it again. These crystal ball Halloween cupcakes are so easy to make. After baking, which is a step you could skip if you’re short on time, decorations only took about 10 minutes to create. Assembly took less time, about one minute per cupcake. These really are the perfect treats to make when you’re short on time but want to make quite an impact.
Crystal Ball Halloween Cupcakes
12 cupcakes of your choosing
Buttercream frosting of your choosing
24 oz. of pre-made red fondant
12 one-inch white gumballs
Edible silver luster dust
Small amount of vodka
Various sprinkles for decoration
On a flat surface protected by a sheet of wax or parchment paper, roll out the premade fondant as thin as possible, but at least () thin. Using a cupcake as a guide, cut out circles of fondant that are about an inch wider than the cupcake. Roll the edges flat to smooth down any damage caused by the knife.
Drape the circles over the bottoms of upturned cupcake pans, popover pans, or even upturned drinking glasses. Try to find a cylinder that is about the same width as the cupcakes. Flatten the top of the fondant and tug down the sides to create the look of the tablecloth. Shape waves with your fingers. Allow fondant to dry at least 30 minutes before attaching to cupcakes.
Set your gumballs on a surface that can get messy, like a cutting board or a sturdy paper towel. In a small bowl or cup, like a shot glass, mix vodka and luster dust together. You’ll only need a small amount of both, but make sure there is more vodka in the mixture than dust. The consistency should be very watery. Using a food-safe paintbrush, apply the mixture to the gumballs, swirling to create different smoky patterns. Let those dry for at least 30 minutes or until the stickiness wears off.
For the cupcakes, first remove a small portion of the center. The hole should be about one inch wide and one inch deep. You don’t want the hole to be too big or else the cupcakes might fall apart in the first few bites. Be sure to save the bit of cupcake that you remove to cover the hole.
Fill the hole with sprinkles of your choosing. You can also insert small candies or rolled up fortunes, like a fortune cookie. Trim the excess cupcake from the top of the portion removed from the cupcake. This will act as a cover to make the cupcake complete again and prevent the frosting from drooping into the hollow center.
Once reassembled, frost the tops of the cupcakes with a generous dollop of frosting. Try to shape the dollop into a round with a flat top. This will make it easier for the tablecloth to rest. Pop the cupcakes in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the frosting to harden.
After the fondant as stiffened a bit, you can either transport the cupcakes and decorations to another location, or you can go ahead and assemble them. To assemble the cupcakes, place the fondant tablecloths over the tops of the cupcakes. Using vodka that has not been mixed with luster dust and a clean food-safe brush, attach gumball and various sprinkles across the tabletop to create a witchy table.