Here at AIL Malaga, we love Halloween, we love baking… and obviously, we love our Spanish courses!  Here we combine the three with this frightfully good recipe for spooky skull cupcakescomplete with some fun Spanish Halloween vocabulary to get you in the mood for the season. The trick for these treats is in the fun skull shape!


1. Ingredients / Ingredientes:

For the cakes:


  • 360g flour / 360 g de harina de trigo
  • 225g salted butter, room temperature, in small chunks /
    225 g de mantequilla con sal, a temperatura ambiente, en trozos pequeños
  • 110g sugar / 110 g de azúcar
  • 1.5 tbsp baking powder / 1.5 cucarachas de levadura en polvo
  • 4 large eggs / 4 huevos grandes
  • 235ml whole milk / 235 ml de leche entera
  • 235ml plain yoghurt / 235 ml de yogur natural
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract / 2 cucharaditas de extracto de vainilla

For the buttercream icing:

  • 225g unsalted butter, room temperature, in small chunks /
    225 g de mantequilla sin sal, a temperatura ambiente, en trozos pequeños
  • 450g icing sugar / 450 g de azúcar glas
  • 235ml milk / 235 ml de leche
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract / 2 cucharaditas de extracto de vainilla

For the skull decorations:

  • You will need some small (clean!) metal bolts. You will insert two of these into each cupcake pan so the cupcake cooks in a skull shape. Marbles, balled-up tin foil or any other small oven-safe material will work too.
  • Sweets for making your skulls’ faces: be creative! You could use M&Ms for the nose, Smarties for eye sockets, chocolate chips for teeth etc…



2. Instructions / Instrucciones:

1. Line a muffin/cupcake baking tray with cupcake liners in each hole. Preheat oven to 260⁰C. This is just so the oven is still very hot after the cupcakes go in the oven, for a good rise. You will turn it down to 180⁰C once they are in.

2. Sift the flour if needed, and stir in sugar and baking powder. Combine well.

3. Add the salted butter to flour mixture, then blend until it resembles the texture of breadcrumbs.

4. In a separate bowl, blend or whisk the eggs, milk, yoghurt and vanilla extract together, until frothy.

5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

6. To make the skull shape, put the bolts (or marbles) into the cupcake pans, outside of the cupcake papers. Place them where you would like the cake to cook around – one on each side of the bottom half of each circle will form a skull-like jaw. Then fill the cupcake papers 2/3 of the way up with the mixture.

7. Place the tray into the preheated oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 180⁰C.

8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops spring back when poked.

9. Meanwhile, make the buttercream icing. Add the unsalted butter to the icing sugar and stir to fold the butter and sugar together. Mix on low speed until well blended, then increase mixer speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Once the mixture resembles icing, add the milk and vanilla and blend on medium for one more minute.

10. When cakes are ready, let them cool before icing. Then ice with the buttercream mixture, and make your skulls’ faces! Try brown or red Smarties for eye sockets, halved M&Ms for nostrils and sliced chocolate chips for teeth.

Recipe credit: Adapted from scoochmaroo’s Halloween Cupcakes


EXTRA: Halloween Vocabulary in Spanish

Continue with the Halloween theme and impress your friends with some spooky Spanish vocabulary!

Aterrador – Scary
Una bruja – Witch
Una calabaza – Pumpkin
Una calavera – Skull
Un disfraz – Costume
Embrujado – Haunted
Un esqueleto – Skeleton
Un fantasma – Ghost

Un hombre lobo – Werewolf
Una lápida – Tombstone
Una máscara – Mask
Una momia – Mummy
Un monstruo – Monster
Un murciélago – Bat
Un ogro – Ogre
Un vampire – Vampir