- Cooks&Books&Recipes - http://www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com -

Zombies Rising Cupcakes {Recipe}

Zombie Cupcakes Recipe {Zombies Rising}, from Zombie Cupcakes: From the Grave to the Table with 16 Cupcake Corpses, cookbook by Zilly Rosen

Zombies Rising Cupcakes - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Zombies Rising Cupcakes

Author Zilly Rosen writes:

Take a close look at the graveyard, and you might see a zombie rising from the dead. If you see a rotting hand reaching out from underground, you can be sure the rest of the zombie will soon follow. They’re coming to get you. . . .

This delectable mud cupcake gives you a taste of the grave from the zombie’s perspective. The earth is made from very finely crushed chocolate cookies. Remember to warn your guests that the hand is secured using a toothpick.

Cooks&Books&Recipes Featured Cooks Chris & Karen:

These cupcakes were a bit of a stretch for us. We have never worked with fondant. Or gum paste. But Rosen’s instructions made it simple and safe to jump right into the fun. Our results, to be painfully honest about our artistic abilities, were nowhere near as wonderful as the sixteen gorgeous cupcakes featured in the book. But our zombie hands bursting from the chocolate mud cupcake grave were charming in their imperfections. Our green undead hands made from a combination of fondant, gum paste, and a drop of green food coloring ranged from looking like a hand used on the set of The Walking Dead TV series (good) to a casual wave at a neighbor whose dog is doing its business in the yard (heyyyyyy there). From terrifying to casually annoyed, our hands were inconsistent but so much fun to make. We laughed as we worked together, trying to get the fingers just so.

Zombies Rising Cupcakes - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Photo credit: Karen Thornton

Zombies Rising Cupcakes - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Photo credit: Karen Thornton

Zombies Rising Cupcakes - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Photo credit: Karen Thornton

Zombie Cupcakes cookbook

Buy on Amazon

Zombies Rising

Featured Recipe From: Zombie Cupcakes: From the Grave to the Table with 16 Cupcake Corpses

Yield: Makes 12


Difficulty Rating three skulls

Make the decorations the day before baking.

  • 10 Oreo cookies
  • 1¾ oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup white all-purpose, cake, or pastry flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tsp sour cream
  • 6 tsp water
  • ½ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 12½ oz Half and Half, colored green with 1 drop mint green paste food coloring (see below)
  • 1 quantity Dark Chocolate Ganache (see below)
  • 4 oz chocolate cookies, finely crushed
  • 2/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • a little clear piping gel
  • 12 Flies (see below)

Half and Half, Makes about 8 oz

  • 4 oz store-bought white fondant
  • 4 oz ready-to-use gum paste
  • white vegetable fat (optional)

Dark Chocolate Ganache, Makes enough to cover 12 to 14 cupcakes

  • 2¾ cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter

Flies, Makes 12

  • 1½ oz Half and Half, colored black with 4 drops black paste food coloring
  • 1 oz plain white Half and Half
  • 1 oz Royal Icing (see below), colored red with 4 drops red paste food coloring
  • red edible marker pen
  • black edible marker pen

Royal Icing, Makes about 8 oz

  • 1 large egg white, plus extra if necessary
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1¾ to 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • paste food coloring (optional)


1. The day before, make the hands. Roll the green Half and Half into 12 balls and then roll and press one end of each ball to thin it out into a cylinder shape. Flatten the rounded end so that the piece of frosting vaguely resembles a Ping-Pong bat.

2. Using a craft knife, make one cut on one side of the flattened area to make a thumb. Pull it out to the side. Make a second cut in the middle of the remaining rounded portion, and a third and fourth cut on either side to create 4 fingers.

3. Pull and mold the tips of the fingers to make them slightly pointed. Using a toothpick, score 3 lines into each finger to create joints. This will be the palm side of the hand. On the reverse side, use the toothpick to indent a fingernail shape at the end of each finger.

4. Bend the fingers up from the palm to resemble a claw. Prop the hand against a vertical surface so that it dries in the claw shape. Make another 11 hands in the same way and let dry overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°f. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 12 large paper baking cases. Crush the Oreo cookies into 1/4-inch pieces. Spoon 1 tablespoon into each paper case, reserving the remaining pieces.

6. Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven on low or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Remove from the heat and let cool. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Put the butter and sugar in a large bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat together until pale and fluffy. Blend in the melted chocolate and then gradually beat in the eggs and mix well together. Mix in the vanilla extract and sour cream. Add half the flour mixture and blend in, then mix in the water and remaining flour mixture until incorporated.

7. Spoon half the batter into the paper cases and spread over the cookies. Add 1 heaping teaspoon of chocolate chips to each. Add the remaining batter and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and cookie pieces over the tops. Bake for about 25 minutes, turning once halfway through baking, until well risen and firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

8. When the cupcakes are cold, spread or pipe the Dark Chocolate Ganache on top of each cupcake. Mix together most of the chocolate cookie crumbs and all of the chocolate chips in a dish and dip the top of each cupcake into the mixture to create graveyard earth.

9. Push a toothpick into the wrist end of each hand and press into the earth to anchor it. To enhance the effect of the hand rising from the grave, paint clear piping gel in different places on the hand and at the base, and sprinkle the remaining chocolate cookie crumbs on the gel so that it sticks. Finish by adding a Fly.

Half and Half

1. Knead the fondant and then the gum paste separately on a counter until smooth, then combine and knead until well mixed. If the mixture becomes sticky, add a little white vegetable fat.

2. Cover with an upturned bowl or cup to prevent a crust from forming. To store, roll the mixture into a ball, double wrap in plastic wrap, and keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

1. Put the chocolate chips in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan.

2. Before the bubbles reach the top of the pan, pour the cream into the chocolate chips and whisk together until smooth.

3. Add the butter and stir until smooth and shiny. Place plastic wrap directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming, then let stand at room temperature overnight to cool. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three weeks.


1. Divide the black Half and Half into 12 small balls and then shape into ovals for the bodies. Divide the white Half and Half into 24 small ovals for the wings. Pinch the ovals flat.

2. Press an oval down on the handle of a wooden spoon to curve, angling inward. Press a second oval down on the spoon so that it overlaps the first, angling inward from the opposite side. Use a little water to join the wings where they overlap. Repeat to make 11 more pairs of wings. Let set for about 10 minutes.

3. When the wings have set, curve the joined edge under to create a surface to attach to the body. Use a little water to attach the wings to the center of the body.

4. Use a small amount of red Royal Icing in a pastry bag or parchment paper cone fitted with a fine plain piping tip to pipe 2 eyes on the fly. Use the edible marker pens to make lines on the wings. Repeat to make the other 11 flies. Let dry overnight. Store in a cool, dry place, but not in the refrigerator.

Royal Icing

1. Put the egg white and cream of tartar in the bowl of a large freestanding electric whisk and whisk together until frothy.

2. With the machine still running, gradually add the confectioners sugar until the mixture begins to stiffen and turn opaque white. Scrape down the side of the bowl and whisk briefly on high. The mixture should be stiff but still pliable.

3. If necessary, thin the mixture with a little extra egg white or a drop of food coloring. Cover with a damp dishtowel to prevent a crust from forming. To store, put it in a container, place plastic wrap directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and seal the container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

4. To color the icing, add the appropriate paste food coloring in drops or on a toothpick or the tip of a knife and beat in until you achieve the required color.

© 2011 Zilly Rosen

Reprinted with permission from Zombie Cupcakes: From the Grave to the Table with 16 Cupcake Corpses, by Zilly Rosen (Andrews McMeel Publishing)

Print Print Recipe