Deadly Desserts

Bloody Cutcakes

1 Yellow Cake Mix

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/4 cup whole milk

3 eggs

1 box raspberry or cherry Jello

Blue food coloring

Red food coloring


Preheat oven to 350º and line 2 cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.


Prepare cake mix as directed on box (see note below), pour into cupcake liners, and bake as directed. Let cool completely.

Prepare jello as directed on the box. Add one very tiny drop of blue food coloring (insert the tip of a toothpick to pick up coloring) and 2 drops of red food coloring, then whisk to distribute. Let cool slightly. 


With a wooden skewer poke a few deep holes on the top of cupcakes. Pour a teaspoon of jello into the holes – too much will over-saturate the cake and too little will not create the intended effect. Use a marinade injectors if you have one!

Chocolate Ganache

8oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking bar

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp espresso powder

Black food coloring, optional


Gently heat cream in a pan (or microwave) until warm but do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate, butter & espresso powder. Let sit for 3 minutes until chocolate has melted. Whisk until smooth adding the food coloring, and  spoon onto cupcakes.

Cake Box Mixes Made Better

  • Replace water with milk or buttermilk, or

  • Replace water with Dr. Pepper, Coke, Sprite or other complementary soda

  • Replace half or all oil with butter

  • Add an extra egg or egg yolk, or

  • Add 2 tbsp of mayo

  • Add a tsp of lemon juice to yellow cake or espresso to chocolate cake

  • Add more vanilla or other extracts

  • Add more spices, like cinnamon

Witch Finger Cookies

1 cup whole almonds (plus 36 extra almonds for the “nails”)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract

2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.


Fill a small bowl with ice and water; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat a cup of water until boiling. Add the reserved 36 whole almonds and boil about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, carefully scoop out the almonds and drop into the ice water. Wait about a minute and drain. The blanched almonds should pop right out of the skin. Set aside to dry on paper towels.


Using a food processor, pulse 1 cup of almonds until very finely ground. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar until well incorporated. Add salt, cinnamon, and almond extracts. Add flour and ground nuts a little at a time until well combined. Do not over work the dough. (See note below.)


Scoop about 2 tbsp of dough and squeeze in the palm of your hand to form into a finger shape. When shaping, use your own fingers for reference and form two bumps for knuckles and insert an almond into the tip. Place on cookie sheet about 1-inch part. Lightly score knuckles with the back of knife to resemble creases. Refrigerate the fingers for at least 30 minutes before baking (this will help the dough from spreading too much).


Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool completely. After baking, you can secure the nails with a little icing (powdered sugar mixed with a few drops of water), and dust with a little powdered sugar. For an extra ghastly touch, dip the ends into icing tinted with red food coloring.


Note: For the recipe to succeed (and not spread while baking) the dough must be very dry, crumbly and just hold together when pressed. It will resemble slightly damp sand. Humidity can impact the recipe. Start with 2 1/2 cups of flour and add up to 1/4 cup more if needed.

Caramel Apple Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted 

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

2 cups packed light-brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs 

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled & diced

1 cup caramel sauce (see below)

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray bundt cake pan with Pam Baking Spray; set aside. 


In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Whisk well to combine evenly and set aside. 


In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until well combined; fold in diced apples. (Do this by hand – using a mixer will crush the apples and release too much liquid into the batter.) Add flour mixture; mix just until combined (do not overwork the batter). Spoon thick batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. 


Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pan 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack; let cool completely. Place cake on a serving plate and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water 

1/2 cup whipping cream, warmed 

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp butter

In a small, deep saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over medium-high until sugar starts to melt. If any sugar granules stick to the sides of the pan, use a brush to wash down sides with water. Continue to cook, without stirring  until it starts to darken, first light amber then darker (this happens very quickly). Immediately turn off heat and add the cream. The syrup will splatter and steam. Add the vanilla and butter and stir until smooth. Set aside, and DO NOT be tempted to try it – it is incredibly hot! It will thicken as it cools. Pour over warm cake, letting the cake absorb some of the caramel.

Here's a YouTube video for reference.

Chocolate Slime Cake

1 1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, plus one yolk

Preheat oven to 375º. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with Pam with flour.


In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a small bowl, stir the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together. 


Beat the butter and sugars together using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and yolk, one at a time. Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and buttermilk mixtures in thirds.


Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a tester, inserted in the center, comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool layers completely before icing.



Orange Cream Frosting

6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups (+ 3/4 cup) powdered sugar 
2 1/4 teaspoon cocoa
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp orange food coloring
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 


Beat softened cream cheese using a mixer set on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, cocoa, cinnamon and orange extract. Beat on low speed until well combined. 


In a separate bowl, beat heavy cream with 3/4 cup confectioners sugar and orange food coloring on medium high to soft peaks. Gently fold in the whipped cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Spread the frosting between layers, sides and top. Chill 30 minutes.


Make a chocolate ganache (recipe above) and cool 5 minutes until it starts to thicken. Spoon over cake, spreading over the edges to allow the glaze to drip down.

Maple Jack-o-Lantern Cupcakes


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter (room temp)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp maple or vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup maple syrup
12 preztel sticks
black icing pen

Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with orange paper liners.


In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.


In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in buttermilk and maple syrup. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, stirring only until batter is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.


Divide evenly into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Turn cupcakes out on to a wire rack to cool before frosting. 


Spread frosting onto cupcake in a slight mound. Insert a pretzel stick for the base. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes until frosting is set.


Draw three triangles for the eyes and nose using a black icing pen. Makes 12 cupcakes. 



Maple Frosting

1 stick cream cheese (room temperature)
4 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp maple syrup (room temperature)
2 tbsp heavy cream, room temperature
Pinch of salt 
2-3 cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter and whip until well combined. Add maple syrup, heavy cream and pinch of salt. Beat until well combined. Lower speed and add confectioners sugar a little at a time until you reach a good spreading consistency.

Pumpkin Tres Leches Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour 

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 (15 oz) can Libby's pumpkin puree 

1 tsp vanilla extract


1 can Carnation evaporated milk

1 can Carnation sweetened condensed milk

1 cup whole milk

1 container whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 9x13-inch glass or ceramic cake pan with non-stick baking spray; set aside.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to incorporate. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil, eggs, brown sugar, regular sugar, pumpkin, and vanilla until well combined. Add flour mixture a little at a time until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the whole milk in a small bowl. Whisk until the sweetened condensed milk has dissolved. With a fork, evenly prick the top of the cake 1/2-inch intervals. Ladle the milk mixture over the warm cake, a little at a time until all the milk is absorbed. Let cool completely, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. 


Before serving, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a cold stainless steel bowl until light and fluffy. Spread over the cold cake and serve.

Bloody Pots du Scream

2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (about 1/2 packet)
1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt

6 oz raspberries, frozen
1/2 cup water (or orange juice)
2 tbsp apricot preserves
1/4 cup sugar

Place the cream in a saucepan. Add the vanilla and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Do not boil.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl and let stand until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Stir the gelatin mixture into the hot cream mixture until dissolved, then stir in the yogurt.

Divide among six dessert goblets, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight.

For the raspberry coulis, place raspberries in a pan with water, apricot preserves, and sugar. Stir and break up fruit. Bring to a boil. Strain through a fine sieve using spatula to push through. Discard seeds. Spoon over panna cotta and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Moldy Scream Puffs

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, room temp

1 tsp vanilla

Green food coloring
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400º. Line two large cookie sheets with no sides with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, water and salt. Bring to a boil stirring until butter is melted & combined. Add flour all at once and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (The dough should look like mashed potatoes.)  Transfer dough to stand mixer bowl and cool slightly.


Set on low, add in eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. Dough will first look broken and clumpy with with enough mixing will look shiny and soft. Add a drops of green food coloring and fold in slightly. You don't want to mix to color in completely.

Transfer the dough to a large piping bag fitting with a large round tip. Pipe rounds mounds about 1-inch apart. Press down any tips that formed while piping. Dust generously with powdered sugar, then bake until puffed and brown, about 25 minutes (do not open oven while baking). Remove from oven, turn oven off, and with a toothpick, poke a hole in each puff. Return to oven (still off, door ajar) for 10 minutes to help the puffs dry out. Once cool, fill with pastry cream and dust with more powdered sugar.


Quick Pastry Cream
1 small box of instant pudding, any flavor
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

In a small bowl, slowly whisk vanilla pudding mix with milk until fully dissolved. Slowly add whipping cream and continue to whisk slowly until no lumps remain. With a hand held mixer, whip until cream thickens. Transfer to a piping bag and refrigerate to fully set.

Chocolate Dread Pudding

1 tbsp butter, plus more for baking dish
8 slices (8 ounces) cinnamon-raisin bread
2 cups milk
3 ounces semisweet chocolate baking bar
2 large eggs
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter an 11-by-7-inch (or 9-inch square) baking dish; set aside.


Toast bread (in the oven or toaster) until lightly crisped.


In a medium saucepan, combine milk, chocolate, and butter; place over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes.


Cut a few slices of bread into cross shapes, and triangle the remaining bread. Scatter triangles in baking dish, creating a few mounds, then arrange crosses on top of mounds.


In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Whisk in warm milk mixture until combined. Pour over bread, pressing with spoon to saturate.

Bake until pudding has puffed and is firm, about 25 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes, and dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Decorate with a half batch of chocolate ganache (recipe above).