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The pastry chef at Little Dom's in Los Angeles stuffs a surprise inside her eerie treats

By People Staff
October 01, 2016 12:00 PM
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We’re celebrating Halloween with a week’s worth of Facebook Live videos full of festive food and spooky crafts. Here, we show you how to decorate Brain Cupcakes that bleed red jam. Check the People Food Facebook page for more fun ideas all week!

Ann Kirk’s Vanilla Brain Cupcakes

The pastry chef at Little Dom’s in Los Angeles stuffs a surprise inside her eerie treats

1 vanilla bean
¾ cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp. salted butter
1 large egg
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. whole milk
½ cup raspberry jam
1 (16-oz.) container ready-to-spread vanilla buttercream frosting
Red liquid food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Split vanilla bean lengthwise, and scrape seeds into sugar. Stir mixture and set aside.

2. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and vanilla seeds, and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, and beat on low until combined.

3. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.

4. Place paper baking cups in a 12-cup muffin pan. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling two-thirds full. Bake until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed in the middle, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, 30 to 45 minutes.

5. Scoop out a hole in the top center of each cupcake with a melon baller. Fill the holes with raspberry jam.

6. Transfer frosting to a bowl, and stir in 1 drop food coloring. Fit a piping bag with a No. 4 plain tip. Fill bag half full with frosting. Pipe frosting onto half of the top of each cupcake, creating long S-like switchbacks. Pipe the mirror image on the other half.

Makes: 12
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes