Recipe of the week: spooky popcorn brains

These delicious ginger cakes are topped with popcorn brains and squirming with icing maggots for a perfectly ghoulish Halloween treat! Find more spooky recipes in HELLO! out now.

Serves: 12
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes


100g/4oz butter
110g/4oz lightly muscovado sugar
60g/2½oz Lyle's Black Treacle
60g/2½oz Lyle's Golden Syrup
175g/6oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
2tsp ground ginger
1 large egg, beaten
150ml/¼pt milk
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the topping:
150g/5oz cream cheese  
2tsp icing sugar
2-3 drops green food colouring
100g/4oz sweet popcorn
40g/1½oz white fondant icing  
2-3 drops yellow food colouring
Lyle's Strawberry Squeezy Syrup


1. Preheat the oven to 190C, 375F, Gas 5 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cup cake cases.

2. Put the butter, sugar, black treacle and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat gently until melted (don't allow it to get too hot). Cool slightly.

3. Sift the flour, salt and ginger into a mixing bowl. Add the melted mixture and beaten egg, stirring all the ingredients together.

4. Heat the milk until lukewarm, add the bicarbonate of soda, then stir into the mixing bowl. Transfer to a jug and pour into cake cases. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until risen and firm. Cool on a wire rack.

5. For the topping, mix the cream cheese and icing sugar with 2-3 drops of green food colouring. Spread onto the cakes and top with the sweet popcorn to resemble brainds.

6. Colour the fondant icing with 2-3 drops of yellow food colouring, then roll tiny pieces into shapes to look like maggots. Arrange these on the "brains", then drizzle a line of strawberry syrup over the top.