Spider cake
Halloween is fast-approachingGetty

Halloween is approaching and it's time for all things spooky. Here are some delicious treats and handy tricks for scary sweets and savoury dishes.

Ghost cupcakes

For the cakes (makes 12): 120g plain flour, 140g caster sugar, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, pinch of salt, 40g softened unsalted butter, 120ml milk, 1 egg.

For the "ghost" icing: 250g icing sugar, softened 80g unsalted butter, 25ml whole milk, vanilla extract. Chocolate sugar strands for decoration.

Preheat the oven to 170C (375F). Put the flour, sugar, salt and butter into a bowl and mix, or use an electric mixer. Add around half of the milk a little at a time until it is all mixed in.

Whisk together the egg, vanilla and the rest of the milk in another bowl, then pour into the first mixture and mix together until smooth.

Spoon mixture into cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool once baked.

To make the icing, mix the icing sugar and butter together, then add the vanilla and milk. Keep mixing until fluffy and then you can pipe or spoon the topping onto each cake into a "ghost" shape. Add the chocolate sugar strands for the ghost's eyes.

Ghost cupcake
Ghost cupcake with vanilla sponge and icingGetty

Cobweb cookies

One packet of digestive/rich tea biscuits, 100g dark or milk chocolate, three tablespoons icing sugar, pastry bag.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for around 20-30 seconds, or break chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl and sit over a pan of simmering water – stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted.

Spread the chocolate over each biscuit and leave to cool and set for 15 minutes. Mix the icing sugar with water to make a paste and spoon into a pastry bag with a fine nozzle. Carefully pipe three circles onto each biscuit, then use a skewer or knife to create lines moving outwards – dragging the icing to form a cobweb shape. You can fill in any gaps with the icing mixture and then leave to harden.

Pumpkin soup

650g of peeled, seeded and chopped pumpkin, two chopped carrots, two dined onions, one large chopped potato, vegetable oil, 250ml double cream, one litre of water, two cubes chicken or vegetable stock, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 220C. Place the vegetables (except the potato) on a try and bake for 35-40 minutes until soft. Crumble stock cubes into the boiling water and cook the potato in the simmering stock until soft.

Add the roasted vegetables to the liquid and blitz with a liquidiser. Add the cream, salt, pepper and grate a little nutmeg in, to taste.

Pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soupGetty

Spider cupcakes

For the cakes: Use the same recipe as the ghost cupcakes, but add four tablespoons of cocoa powder.

For the icing/decoration: 100g chocolate, liquorice laces, jelly beans, edible glitter.

After you have made the cupcakes and left to cool, cut the liquorice laces into 6cm sections.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave for around 20-30 seconds, or break chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl and sit over a pan of simmering water – stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted.

Working one cake at a time, cover each cake in melted chocolate and add four piece of liquorice lace to each side to form the spider legs (before the chocolate cools). Cover the cakes in edible glitter (optional) and add jelly beans (or other small sweets) for eyes. Repeat with all cakes.

Spider cupcake
Scary spider cupcakesGetty

Witches fingers

Fish fingers or vegetables fingers, two/three fresh tomatoes, tomato ketchup.

Cook the fish/vegetable fingers according to instructions. Chop the tomatoes (leaving skins on) into small diamond shapes to represent fingernails. Stick fingernails to the fingers using a small amount of tomato ketchup.

Bug jellies

4 x 135g packs of lime jelly, 12 individual ramekins/clear plastic pots/bowls, a selection of bug jelly sweets, chocolate biscuits.

Make the jelly according to instructions on the pack. Pour the mixture into the bowls and add some of the bug and animal sweets (tip: add jelly snakes and drape over the side of the bowl) and leave it to set.

Once set, crush the cookies and crumble over the jelly to resemble soil. Add a few more bug sweets on top.