Halloween Treats – Easy Spider Cupcakes

Planning a Halloween Party? Having a spooky cake sale at school? Need cute Halloween Cupcake ideas? Read on. Today we have seriously cute and EASY to make spider cupcakes. How fun and lovely!

Also check out our Halloween Craft Ideas – 50 of the best ideas from around the web or take a look at these Scarily Cute Halloween Crafts! What a setting!

Simple and cute Spider cupcakes - recipe and how to! The kids are going to love this!

Ingredients for Cakes

  • 100g plain chocolate
  • 150g unsalted butter,
  • softened 150g caster sugar 20g cocoa,
  • sifted 3 eggs, beaten
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 1 ½tsp baking powder

2 tbsp Rachel’s Greek Style natural yogurt Ingredients for Frosting

  • 4tbsp golden syrup
  • 80ml double cream
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 100g plain chocolate

3tbsp Rachel’s Greek Style natural yogurt Ingredients for Decoration

  • Chocolate sugar strands Smarties or similar sweets (for the eyes)
  • Liquorice laces or Catherine wheels


1.Pre-heat the oven 180°C, Gas Mark 4 and line a muffin tray with paper cases

2.Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave on medium power for 1 minute until melted, alternatively place over a pan of simmering water

3.In a mixing bowl beat the butter, caster sugar, cocoa powder and eggs, until soft and creamy. Add the flour and baking powder. Lastly add in the yogurt ensure the mixture is well combined

4.Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 20 minutes until risen and firm to touch. Leave to cool

5.Meanwhile in a small bowl gently heat the icing ingredients (except the yogurt). Either do this in a microwave, medium power or over a pan of simmering water until the chocolate has melted, leave to cool then add the yogurt. The frosting should be soft but not runny

6.Spoon the frosting onto each cake and carefully spread with the back of a knife. Dip each cake into chocolate sugar strands then place the Smarties for eyes, cut the liquorice laces into 8 equal pieces and push into the icing – work quickly before the frosting sets. To make the eyes stand out and a mouth simply place some of the frosting in a piping bag with a small plain nozzle and pipe for the desired effec

Makes: 12 cakes

Right.. you will find me in the kitchen stuffing my face!

How to Make Easy Jam Tarts with Kids

The kids are at it again – showing us how easy it is to get busy in the Kitchen! Today the boy makes some delicious Jam Tarts and they are SO SO EASY!!!!!!! Really.. take a look.yt2To make these Jam Tarts you will need:

  • Pastry (you can buy it or shortcrust pastry recipe)
  • Jam (use jam, not marmalade.. yuk.. who likes that! Ha)
  • A glass
  • A muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 180C and bake for approx 10-15min

And this is How To make these Jam Tarts:

Aren’t they just yummy?!

Chocolate Surprise Cake – will with favourite treats

A super quick post to share the hubby’s Birthday cake – it was a “Sweetie Chocolate layered surprise cake”. It sounds far more grand and difficult to make than it is….. and everyone LOVED the surprise!!! The key to the “flatness of the cake” (my mother in law was asking), is to bake 4 “thinner” cakes. rather than say, two bigger ones and then cutting those in half to layer… my thinner cakes just didn’t rise as much and ended up much flatter naturally!

Chocolate Surprise CakeTo make i..

  • Use your favourite Vanilla sponge recipe x 2
  • Make up your mixture and then halve.. had  2-3 table spoons of cocoa (mixed with a little milk) to half the mixture.
  • Bake in four round baking trays

Chocolate Surprise Cake filled with sweets

  • Once cooled, make your favourite Butter Icing Filling
  • Make a big hole in the middle and the stack your 4 layers with the icing
  • Fill with sweets

Chocolate Surprise Cake

Once assembled use some of that “melt & spread” cake covering you can get from the shops (I actually found this the hardest bit)! and top with some unwrapped treats (ours are fudge sweets and twirls).

Chocolate Surprise Cake - filled with treats



Super Easy Moist Chocolate Cake (Malteser Cake!)

Sooo it is that time again at Life At The Zoo – we are bang in the middle of our family “birthday season”.. and with family birthdays.. comes the need for CAKE! We all like a yummy cake now and again, but it is nice to make your cake a little bit more special for a birthday. Special, does not mean difficult.. here we have a super easy moist chocolate cake recipe (really, so easy, so rich and tasty) and we a little trick or two we dressed it up into this three layered delicious Maleteser cake. Mother in law was delighted!

Maltese moist chocolate cakeEasy Malteser Cake

Visit our Easy Chocolate & Raspberry Cake recipe.. and make these simple changes:

  • This time I used three medium sized cake tins (instead of one or two and having to cut the what is a very moist cake). In fact I lie.. I used 3 medium sized tins. And two mini ones.. to make an extra mini cake for the kids…
  • Take cake out of oven, when a skewer “test” shows that the cake is cooked
  • I omitted the “Gelatine” from the raspberry cream, as faffy.. just add a handful of raspberries to the cream on the inside of cake (I used about 2/3s of one pot of double cream for this
  • Buy Maltesers and pop them on top

Malteser Cake - Easy chocolate cake recipe

This chocolate cake really is sooooooo easy! The kids loved the mini cake too!

Easy Chocolate CakeAnd here you see the Raspberry Cream. Yum!


Choc & Raspberry Muffins

Sorry! No photo this time. What a shame too, as the muffins did look rather scrummy, if I say so myself – even if the icing was a bit runny! No photos as they ALL got scoffed before I remembered to take one. And I tell you, that is quite an achievement, I made 12 + a cake (the original ingredients were for far too many, the recipe below is adjusted for about 12 muffins!!!). Much to the dismay of The Englishman and Red Ted, half he cake went to neighbours (saying thanks for all the fab hand me downs we get) and 10 muffins to a tea party in Ham!

Enough. Here is he recipe:


  • 110g Butter
  • 225g Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt (unless you have used salted butter)
  • 60g coco powder
  • 120g milk
  • 1tsp vanilla


  • 150g Butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • handful of raspberries


Mix sugar and butter. Add eggs & vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients, then add alternating with the milk. Bake in 180 C approx 25min – but check. Also used these ingredients in a cake tin and it worked!!


Now my icing went all wrong. So the above is guess work. Not v helpful, eh? But it was yummy and the yummy bit where the raspberries. So. Advice from icing queen: use lots of butter. Whisk for AGES until it is nice and soft. Add some liquidised/ blended raspberries and then icing sugar. Don’t add all the raspberries (like i did) as they are v liquidy. Once you have a nice consistency, add remaining quartered raspberries for flavour and texture.