Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Halloween Cupcakes

Servings: 24
The kids will love helping out in the kitchen with this fun project. Decorate these delicious cupcakes together, and then be sure to try one yourself.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks/6 oz./170g) butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt

For the Frosting:
Orange food coloring paste or yellow and red liquid food coloring
2/3 cup water
12 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/4 cups solid vegetable shortening
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring

You will need:
Cupcake or muffin liners
Muffin pan (s)
Electric mixer

For the Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Place cupcake liners in cups of muffin pan (s).

Place all cupcake ingredients in bowl of electric mixer. Mix on low speed until thoroughly combined, scraping bowl frequently. Increase speed to medium and beat for four minutes. Pour into muffin cups. Bake in prehated oven for 25-30 minutes (Do not overbake). Cool cupcakes in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely on wire cooling rack.

For the Frosting:
Mix 4 cups of the confectioners' sugar with water, one cup at a time, beating after each addition at low speed. Alternately add shortening and remainder of sugar. Add salt and extracts and butter flavoring; beat at low speed until smooth (To avoid confectioners' sugar from going all over, cover your bowl with a towel while mixing). Mix in orange color paste or 2 drops of yellow and 1 drop of red food coloring and mix.

Fill a pastry bag with frosting and using a large star tip, pipe frosting onto each cupcake. If desired, top each cupcake with decorative candy or sprinkles for decoration.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Date: October 13, 2006