Some people think the smells of Halloween can be better than Christmas. Cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin mixed with chocolate and marshmallows – yummmmm!

Here are our favourite Halloween bakes

Easy cakes for non-bakers

Most supermarkets sell trays of fairy cakes, perfectly baked that you can decorate.  If you’re busy or you’re not blessed with the baking gene, these can be a great way to wow the kids without trashing the kitchen.

It’s all about the toppings; from black liquorice strands to make spider legs to bright orange icing to turn them into pumpkins.  In general, stick to orange, green and black and you can pretty much make anything Halloween inspired.

Fondant icing is great fun, feels like play dough and can be dyed any colour you want.  Great for making bat wings, spider legs it you don’t like liquorice or witches’ hats to stand on top of the cakes.  It can also be bought ready-made from the shops!

Pumpkin soup with bat croutons

Pumpkin soup is a great winter warmer.  It’s sweet so it goes down well with the kids and with bat croutons makes for a fun Halloween meal.

You’ll need a pumpkin, an onion, a few carrots, chicken or vegetable stock, nutmeg and a chilli or chilli flakes if you want it to be spicy.

First chop the veg into reasonable sized chunks, but make sure everything is the same size.

Instead of boiling the veg throw them onto a baking tray, toss in salt, pepper and olive oil and add the chilli flakes.

Roast in the oven for half hour on 200°C (180°C fan) and turn frequently.

While the veg is roasting chop the onion, fresh chilli if you’re adding it and boil the kettle and make the stock.

Once the veg has roasted, add it to the softened onion and chilli and toss together. Then add the veg to the blender and add in enough hot stock to get to your desired consistency.

For the croutons cut out bat shapes from brown bread, use a stencil if easier. If you want to you can brush them with green or black food dye. Brush with oil, season with salt and pepper and pop on a baking tray in the over for a few minutes until crisp.

Serve on top of the soup.

Pumpkin spiced muffins

Following on from the much-loved drink, why not pumpkin spice your muffins too? This is one for the adults, who deserve a treat after trick or treating or doing the school run in the cold.

You can either make your own muffins, vanilla, coffee or even pumpkin are great, or buy muffins from the shop.

Make a cup of strong coffee and add in a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until dissolved and add a pinch of sugar to taste.  Brush the coffee spiced mixture onto the muffins. It’s best to prick them with a toothpick first to allow the coffee and spices to soak in.

You have two choices for toppings:

Whipped cream finishes with a sprinkling of cinnamon

or

Coffee buttercream drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinkled with cinnamon

Tough choice.