Braces-Friendly Recipe: All-Natural Zombie Cupcakes


Halloween is right around the corner! McFarland Orthodontics loves that this holiday gives our patients a chance to stretch your creative muscles in coming up with a unique costume idea. It can also be a time to splurge a little with sugar. McFarland Orthodontics would prefer that all of our patients avoid sugar, as it can cause cavities and other disruptions to your braces, but we also know it's a little unrealistic to ask all of our patients to abstain from sweets 100% of the time!

Today we are sharing a spooky recipe with a not-so-spooky twist: These Zombie Cupcakes don't get their rich hues from artificial dyes! Beets are responsible for the rich red cupcake color, and the fuschia frosting. And don't worry, you can't taste any beet flavor.

This decadent spice cake tastes surprisingly like pumpkin cake with one difference, the intense red color! Rich cream cheese frosting is piped on top for the perfect brain-tease.



Serves: 24 Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup beet puree*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cupcake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line mini muffin tin with cupcake papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, beet puree*, egg and vanilla.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix until completely combined.
  4. Use a small scooper or spoon to drop two teaspoons of batter into each cupcake paper.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. The cupcakes should spring back when lightly touched.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cupcakes cool completely.

*How to make beet puree: Wash and boil three small to medium beets until tender. Remove skins and puree until smooth. (Add a tablespoon or two of the water you boiled the beets in if necessary to puree.)



Making the brain decorations is easy. You need pink icing (see recipe below) and a pastry decorating bag with a 1/8 inch or #6 round icing tip.

Servings: 2 cups

Icing Ingredients

  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2-1 tsp beet puree
  • dash salt

Icing Instructions

  1. Cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until no lumps remain.
  2. Scrape down sides of bowl and add 1 tsp beet puree. Mix until uniform in color.
  3. Stir in powdered sugar one cup at a time until you have a stiff icing.
  4. Use to frost cupcakes.

Steps to Icing Your Cupcakes

  1. Bake 24 mini beet cupcakes and cool completely.
  2. Use about 1 tsp of icing and a small knife or spatula to smoothly frost the top of each mini cupcake.
  3. Pipe a line to the right of the center, slightly curve the end.
  4. Pipe a line to the left of the center, slightly curve the end.
  5. Stating at the curved end of the right line, pipe two squiggly lines outside the right line.
  6. Stating at the curved end of the left line, pipe two squiggly lines outside the left line.


For the original post about Zombie cupcakes and further helpful tips and links to free cupcake-box printables, head over to this page:


**Candies you should definitely avoid when you have braces: Sticky candies like caramel, gummy bears, tootsie rolls, taffy, and hard candies like skittles and m&m's.**



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