Frankenweenie and Orange Velvet cupcakes

I loved Frankenweenie.  Absolutely loved it.  I think this will go into my repetoire of Halloween classics (along with my annual showing of Hocus Pocus.)  I was a bit skeptical because I don’t always love Tim Burton movies (there seems to be a die-hard Tim Burton fan club, but I tend towards the “eh, most of them are ok” group.  But I actually really loved this movie.

Tim Burton based this on his first dog and it really does capture the unconditional love between a child and their first pet (it made me think of my beloved cat Max, who died when I was 11.)  When Victor Frankenstein’s beloved dog Sparky is run over by a car, he finds a way to bring Sparky back to life (minus a few torn pieces of flesh).  But try as he might, he’s unable to keep Sparky’s resurrection a secret and hijinks ensue once all the neighbourhood kids demand a reborn pet of their own!

It’s impossible to talk about this movie without talking about the visual look (Burton wisely portrays Frankenstein’s home as a 1950s Pleasantville, drawn in the black and white of 1930s horror movies) and the humorous nods to the horror classics of mummies, vampires and creatures from various lagoons!

It’s a great introduction for children who like a safe horror (and will keep parents interested) and I found that it really put myself and Beardy Boyfriend in the Halloween mood!  I would definitely recommend it, as it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in ages.

I wanted something which said “fun” as well as saying “Halloween.”  As a result, I went with a nice idea from Love from the Oven – orange velvet cupcakes and because I loved the black and white colour scheme, I decided to go for Orange Velvet Cupcakes with a Black and White Swirled Cream Cheese Frosting.  I hope this helps get you in the holiday mood!

Orange Velvet Cupcakes (adapted from Love from the Oven)

1 1/3 cups caster sugar

226g of unsalted butter

Red and yellow food colouring

3 eggs (not pictured)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 1/2 cups plain flour

Cream together the butter and the sugar.   Add in the red and yellow food colouring to make an orange coloured batter.  A note of caution on this one: the batter subsequently becomes a lighter shade and so I’d make just a bit brighter than you’d actually like it to be. (See the before and after photos below)

Mix in the egg and the vanilla and half of the buttermilk.  Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.  Add the other half of the buttermilk.  Combine together.

The colour really does get lighter.  Preheat the oven to 170C and line your muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Fill it about half full (these cupcakes rise quite a bit) and bake for about 20 minutes.

Next, whip up your favourite icing (I love cream cheese with velvet cupcakes, so I went with a cream cheese, but depending on your interest, you could go with a vanilla or a chocolate)

I admit, if I made these cupcakes again, I would be a bit more careful with the colour.  I would have used vegetable shortening instead of butter in my frosting to make the white very white and I was disappointed that my black food colouring (despite extensive use) came out as more of a silver than a black.  Does anyone out there have a good black food colouring they’d recommend?

Both otherwise, I’m very happy with these Halloween-y cupcakes!  Make some a bring them with you to watch Frankenweenie.
Frankenweenie is in theatres now.


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