Bake some gruesome cupcakes with Lily Vanilli.
I made these with chocolate cupcakes, but you can use any cupcake recipe you like for this design because the cake is covered by the pie topping. You may want to peel away the marzipan to eat.
© 2023 Lily Vanilli / Ryland Peters & Small · Reproduced with permission. · A Zombie Ate My Cupcake by Lily Vanilli, photography by David Munns, © CICO Books.
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You Will Need
Tint approximately a third of the marzipan for the “fingers” with ivory and copper food coloring in order to make a pale flesh color. Roll it out into a cylinder shape with the size and thickness you want the “finger” to be, and sculpt with your hands, using a scalpel or a knife to form the details, such as the wrinkles on the skin and to mark out the area around the “fingernail.” Brush the “nail” with piping gel to make it appear shiny. Set aside in an airtight container.
For the “pie lids,” roll out the remaining uncolored marzipan to a thickness of 1⁄4 inch (5mm), and cut circles to fit the top of each cupcake, allowing an extra 1⁄4 inch (5mm) all the way around. Cut a hole in the top of each “pie lid” to fit each “finger.” You may also want to cut a hole into the top of each cupcake to help anchor the “finger” in place, but make sure these holes
Dollop a tablespoon of frosting into the center of each cake and lay a “pie lid” evenly across the top. Score the marzipan around the edges of the cake and, using a fork, press into the sides as you would with a pie crust.
Brush the top of each pie with some copper luster dust to make it look freshly baked and press the “finger” into the cake through the marzipan lid. You may want to use a pipette or a spoon to add a little cherry sauce “blood.”
To make the cherry sauce, blend the cherries in a bowl using an electric hand blender, then place in a medium-sized heavy-based pan with the sugar, water, lime juice, and cornstarch or arrowroot. Heat on medium until the cherries begin to release their liquid, and then slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and heat until the cherry mixture has thickened to the desired consistency (runny enough to pipe but thick enough to prevent bleeding into the frosting). Allow to cool.
Covers 12–15 cakes
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter in a bowl until smooth.
2. Add the milk, vanilla extract, two-thirds of the sugar, and the double cream, and blend until smooth.
3. Slowly add the remaining sugar, beating constantly until smooth.
Makes 12 cakes
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/
gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until thoroughly incorporated.
3. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
4. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the sour cream. Then slowly add the cooled coffee.
5. Using an ice-cream scoop, spoon the batter into the paper cases, filling them three-quarters
full. Bake for 15 minutes or until
a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Cool in the muffin pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.