Vegan Halloween Cupcakes with Marzipan Pumpkins and Severed Fingers


I love baking for the holidays. Nothing gets me going more than playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen. Going through old blog posts, I came across my Halloween Cupcakes recipe from 2008. Marzipan Pumpkins! It’s been forever since I made them, but I recall it being relatively easy, if a bit time consuming.

I decided to give it anther crack recently.




Yep, still easy, still a bit time-consuming. But totally worth it.

The entire project took around 3 hours, but I had enough time to cook soup in my slow cooker and periodically check Facebook for breaking news about kitties and the election.




I used my basic chocolate cake and vanilla icing recipes, but you can use whatever your favorites are. Regardless of the recipes you use, these fun little marzipan guys are festive ways to thematize your cupcakes for Halloween.



SO GROSS, right?! I love it.

Marzipan is an edible almond and sugar paste that is extremely malleable (just don’t let it dry out) and naturally vegan.

Nut allergy enthusiasts, stay away from ze Marzipan!

Everyone else, dig in!


I’m rewriting and reposting my recipes here because I wrote the 2008 post on Blogspot and the transition to WordPress does not make for an aesthetically pleasing read. Plus, I tweaked a few things, most notably the cooking time on the cupcakes.


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups natural vegan sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 cups cool water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl. With a spoon, make three separate indentations in dry mixture; 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large.

3. Pour oil into large indentation, vinegar into medium, and vanilla extract into small.

4. Pour the water evenly over the dry ingredients with the indentations and mix (do not overbeat).

5. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, fill each portion almost to the top and pour in wrappers or oiled tins.

6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

You may want to adjust cooking time depending on the baking pan you are using.


P1090978 <—I found cute wrappers!


Cupcakes should be moist and springy when done.



Take them out of the tins to cool. You don’t want to ice cupcakes when they’re even remotely warm.It’ll melt the icing into goo.




While cupcakes are cooling, make your icing.




Quick Vegan Vanilla Icing

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons soy creamer (my favorite is Wildwood, but So Delicious creamer works well too)

In a large bowl, add powdered sugar slowly to room temperature Earth Balance. With beaters, beat until smooth. Add soy or coconut creamer until mixed in, followed by vanilla extract.

Use powdered sugar or soy creamer to adjust consistency. Icing should be creamy and easily spreadable.


Now for the fun!!


Marzipan Halloween Pumpkins, Severed Fingers and Skulls


Using one tube marzipan, divide into 2 balls.

The first one will be for your pumpkins and stems. Save the second for your severed fingers and skulls.

1/2 a tube of Marzipan makes 10 pumpkins of varying size.

Use 1 part red to 2 parts yellow for a nice bright orange.


The gels don’t stain your hands nearly as much as the more traditional food colorings, so I just get in there and roll it around, immediately washing my hands after.

By the by, wax paper will save your life with this project.

Pulling smaller pieces apart, roll each into a ball.



Make an indentation with your pinky finger into the top of each ball.



Now, for the next part you’ll want to use a toothpick dipped in oil to prevent sticking.



From the top of the indentation, slowly drag the toothpick down to the bottom of the ball.



Repeat equal distances apart until it starts looking pumpkiny.

Repeat with rest of balls.



For the stems, take a small portion and roll into a log.

Add one line of green food coloring and work into marzipan.


Roll into the size you want your stems to be.


Use a sharp knife to cut into pieces, and stick each stem into the indentation you made.



Now step back and look at the adorableness you have created.




For the fingers, I followed this tutorial.


I used my own fingers as models to get the knuckles and finger wrinkles accurate.


To make the knuckles and the finger lines, use a toothpick dipped in oil.


The red gel really looks gross, so I didn’t need to do much; I just dipped the finger ends in a pool of gel and cackled quietly to myself.



There is just enough Marzipan left to do about 3 more pieces, so by this time if you’re feeling Marzipanned out, you may want something easy. Like skulls.




Using a ratio of 3 blue to 1 red, work the color in and then roll them into balls.



Then simply flatten them, pinch the middles in, and using a toothpick, carve out the eyes and make a Día de los Muertos-type smile.


All together now:



For the icing, separate into 3 small bowls. Leave one pure and unadulterated and white. With the other two, make any color you like. I chose green for grass and orange for Halloweeeeeeeeen.



Choose whatever suits your needs, and go to town. Here are a few examples of what I did:






And for the grand finale pictures, please note the pig cutting board used as my backdrop. Because, really, how cute!




The cupcake and icing recipes are very simple, and the Marzipan decorations are sure to liven up any Halloween gathering you attend. I would say these are great treats to bring to people who need to be convinced that vegan baked goods taste just as good or better than traditional dairy-based treats, but most people by now should know that. I mean, it’s 2012. Don’t they watch Ellen?