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Halloween – vanilla cupcakes with raspberry preserve and peanut butter icing


Halloween is one of my favorite pagan holidays… It’s just dark and depressive enough for me to feel at home. In Slavic tradition you’re supposed to have a feast for lost souls who are very active at that time.

From time to time I make a feast and invite people round. We eat, drink and sometimes watch films suitable for the occasion (depending on participants and how we feel).

My top Halloween films list consist of:

1. Sleepy Hollow – classic, beautifully shot, Depp at his best.

2. Beetlejuice – well, Tim Barton again, but he’s the man. I could put more of his films on the list but I’m going to refrain myself. I just say six  words: Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas…

3. Misery – King again is the man, just like Burton, and this is one of his best adaptations. There are only two that compete and that’s the original Carrie directed by Brian De Palma (remake was not so good I’m afraid) and The Shining. Delicious…

4. Night of the Living Dead – I’m sorry but Romero kicked asses before Walking Dead.

5. The Exorcist – I’m drooling even thinking about it…Owen Roizman did a brilliant job as a cinematographer, eerie soundtrack gives me chills even now, the whole ‘curse’ surrounding the making of the film…what else would you ask for?

6. Most of the Hitchcock’s films. Bow to the master.

7. The Ring (Japanese original) – after watching it I couldn’t stay in a dark room on my own. I also used to freak out my sister by creeping up on her in the darkness with my hair down, or hiding behind the door, waiting for her to find me there…good times, good times…

8. Rosemary’s Baby – again, the music – lullaby by Krzysztof Komeda is the most haunting, atmospheric soundtrack ever. The film is also not too shabby…

I could go on and on, because there are so many good Halloween films, but there are lost souls to be fed…

So, when you are feeding souls, you can’t just go healthy, gluten free and wheat free. After all you have to make sure that the visiting souls are happy, high on calories and satisfied enough to go away. My proposition for this year’s feast are cupcakes filled with raspberry preserve and peanut butter icing.

vanilla raspberry cupcakes with peanut butter icing

vanilla raspberry cupcakes with peanut butter icing

Raspberry preserve and peanut butter cupcakes:

For the cupcakes:

120 g butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup xylitol (or sugar if you like living dangerously)

2 free range eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup spelt flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

raspberry preserve or jam (I use the sugar free St Dalfour’s one)

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line muffin tin with cases.

2. Cream butter and xylitol or sugar till pale. Add 1 egg at the time and mix. Add vanilla extract and milk. Sieve flour with baking powder into the mixture and fold gently.

3. Spoon the mixture into the cases until they are half full. Pipe raspberry jam or preserve into the cupcakes.

4. Bake for 10-15 minutes till they are golden brown. Set aside to cool.

For the peanut butter icing:

1 cup of smooth peanut butter

2 tbsp cream cheese

1/3 heavy cream

1/2 cup agave syrup

1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl, beat together.  Spread onto your cupcakes.

vanilla raspberry cupcakes with peanut butter icing

vanilla raspberry cupcakes with peanut butter icing

vanilla raspberry cupcakes with peanut butter icing

vanilla raspberry cupcakes with peanut butter icing



About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

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