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Image / Living / Food & Drink

5 spooky bakes to make at home this Halloween

By Erin Lindsay
31st Oct 2023
5 spooky bakes to make at home this Halloween

Make your own treats this Halloween with these brilliant recipes.

Eerie eyeball pops

Cake pops are one of the easiest things to make with the family, and you can customise them for any holiday or occasion. These eerie eyeballs from BBC Good Food are the perfect way to get the kids hyped for Halloween.


  • 100g/4oz Madeira cake
  • 100g Oreo cookies
  • 100g bar milk chocolate, melted
  • 200g bar white chocolate, melted
  • A few Smarties and icing pens, to decorate

You will also need

  • 10 wooden skewers
  • ½ small pumpkin or butternut squash, deseeded, to stand pops in


  1. Break the Madeira cake and cookies into the bowl of a food processor, pour in the melted milk chocolate and whizz to combine.
  2. Tip the mixture into a bowl, then use your hands to roll into about 10 walnut-sized balls. Chill for 2 hrs until firm.
  3. Push a skewer into each ball, then carefully spoon the white chocolate over the cake balls to completely cover. Stand the cake pops in the pumpkin, then press a Smartie onto the surface while wet.
  4. Chill again until the chocolate has set. Before serving, using the icing pens, add a pupil to each Smartie and wiggly red veins to the eyeballs.

Traditional barmbrack

What’s an Irish Halloween night without a barmbrack to tuck into? The secret to this time-honoured recipe is steeping the fruit in whiskey and cold tea overnight before serving, to ensure it keeps moist and delicious for Halloween night. One of the best methods we’ve found for a delicious barmbrack is this recipe by Donal Skehan.


  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsps of baking powder
  • 375g packet of fruit mix
  • 250ml cold tea
  • 50ml of whiskey
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp of mixed spice
  • A ring to place inside


  1. Place the fruit mix in a bowl and pour over the whiskey and cold tea. Allow to soak up the liquid overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170?C/327°/Gas Mark 3 and grease and line a 900g loaf tin.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and mixed spice in a mixing bowl.
  4. Make a well and break in the egg, using a wooden spoon, mix the egg with the dry ingredients. Add a little bit of the liquid the fruit mix is sitting in and mix it through. You may not need all the liquid, you are looking for a wet dough.
  5. Then stir through the fruit mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
  6. Add in the ring and stir through.
  7. Spoon the wet dough into the lined loaf tin and place in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 1 hour.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the loaf tin and placing on wire rack.
  9. Cover in cling wrap and tin foil and allow to sit for 1-2 days before cutting into it. Serve in slices spread with a little butter and good cuppa!

Frankenstein mug cakes

These brilliant Frankenstein cupcakes from Tesco are perfect for an afternoon project with the kids. Get creative with the decoration and see who can create the scariest monster.

For the cake

  • 20g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 30g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 2 tsp boiling water
  • ½ Conference pear, peeled

For the decoration

  • 1 tbsp milk chocolate sprinkles
  • red writing icing
  • 8 green M&M’s
  • 2 liquorice twists
  • 24 mini marshmallows



  1. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Microwave for 45 secs-1 min on medium until melted. Add the caster sugar, egg, flour and coffee and whisk until just combined. Grease the base of a 300ml, straight-sided microwave-proof mug and put the pear in the bottom. Top with the cake mixture. Cook for 2 mins on high until risen.
  2. Leave the cake in the mug to rest for 10 secs, then turn out cool for 10 mins, then scatter each with 1 tbsp milk chocolate sprinkles. Poke holes for the eyes, then squeeze a little red writing icing onto 2 green M&M’s and push into the holes. Use icing for pupils.
  3. For the bolts, poke holes either side and push in half a liquorice twist. Use red writing icing to stick on 6 mini marshmallows in a row to make teeth. Draw around them to create lips, then draw on some stitches too.

Pumpkin spice doughnut holes

Every Starbucks’ lover will know the joy of reaching autumn for the sweet flavours of a pumpkin spice latte. This warm flavour combination is perfect for baking, and we love these doughnut holes from Tasty that are as easy to make as they are to eat.

Serves 8

  • 250g flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (make your own using 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of ginger, 1 tablespoon
  • of nutmeg and 1/2 a tablespoon of cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 280g pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • oil, for frying

For the topping

  • 150g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice


  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, egg, and butter.
  3. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir together with a rubber spatula until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan to 160 degrees Celsius.
  5. While oil is heating, use your hands to shape and roll the pumpkin doughnut dough into balls. (Greasing your hands with oil will make this process much easier).
  6. Fry the dough balls until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. (For best results, fry only 3-4 at a time).
  7. Drain them on a paper towel and immediately transfer to a bowl of the pumpkin pie spice-sugar mix. Gently toss to coat.
  8. Enjoy!

Gingerbread zombies

Another fantastic idea from Tesco Real Food, make sure to bookmark this recipe and make it again come Christmas – a Santa hat and gloves are all you need to give them a festive update.


  • 350g (12oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125g (4oz) butter, cubed
  • 175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • decorations, such as writing icing, royal icing, coloured pearls, mini razzle dazzles and mocha beans


    1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line two baking trays with nonstick baking paper. In a food processor, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon. Add the butter and pulse until it has been incorporated. Add the sugar and pulse a further 3-4 times.
    2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and golden syrup with a fork. Pour it into the food processor and whizz until the mixture comes together in sticky clumps. (Alternatively, put the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers. Mix in the remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon, before bringing the gingerbread dough together by hand.) Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm; chill for 30 minutes.
    3. On a large sheet of lightly floured, nonstick baking paper, roll out half the dough to roughly the thickness of a pound coin. Using a 14cm gingerbread man cutter, stamp out 7 shapes. Arrange on one of the prepared trays and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
    4. Once the biscuits have cooled, add sugar decorations and icing in the design of your choosing. Leave to set before serving.

    Tip: To create a bandage effect, pipe white royal icing over the gingerbread using a ribbon nozzle.