Not Martha

to make: crawly cakes for halloween

I used snack cakes and Pocky to make crawly spider cakes for Halloween. Thanks go out to Scott for a bit of inspiration.

I had planned to bake a Halloween dessert this year, but an unrelated baking accident left me with a burned thumb (poor me), so I had to look to easier options. I turned to Hostess and Little Debbie snack cakes for the bodies of crawly spider like creatures, and used Pocky to form legs. I managed to find Pocky in a variety of colors and textures, here is what I used: regular Pocky, coconut and milk chocolate Pocky for the texture, Kurogo (poppy seed) Pocky because it is black (!!) and Goka (fruit and nut) Pocky because it somewhat matched the orange Halloween edition Hostess Glo Balls. It’s a shame I couldn’t find this green Matcha Pocky.

Overall, these look better and more edible in person, I’m not sure what was lost in the pictures but I hope it means I need a new camera. Also, I need to buy a set of plates which match.

Seattle source list:
– all varieties of Pocky were found at Uwajimaya
– black food coloring, color spray, candy eyes, black edible glitter (unused) at Home Cake Decorating Supply, 9514 Roosevelt Way NE, (206) 522-4300
– black sprinkles from Cookies
– Wilton meringue powder for royal icing at grocery stores
– Little Debbie Star Crunch took a trip to Target, and,
– Hostess treats, practically everywhere

I also think those oversized chocolate chocolate chip muffins you can find in grocery store bakeries would make great lumpy spider bodies if you cut an inch off the bottom. Something that looks sort of like these (but larger):

I used Ding Dongs, Sno Balls, Glo Balls, Twinkies and Little Debbie Star Crunch for the bodies. Besides some black sprinkles, I decided the only other decorations I would use would be sugar eyes.

I had to come up with a plan to attach the eyes. I knew I could use royal icing to glue the eyes onto cakes covered in smooth chocolate, but the spongy cakes might not hold. So, I piped royal icing spikes onto the backs of the eyes, turning them into tacks. This worked pretty well.

Next came the legs.

I used dark and white melting chocolate to glue the Pocky together. I colored the white chocolate with orange or black food coloring to match, or at least blend in.

Trim the cookie end of the Pocky short so that it won’t show outside of the cakey treat.

Cut the Pocky at an angle, this will help form sharp angles at the joints. I cut mine in half but you could make them different lengths for drama. The Pocky is very likely to crumble when you cut it, this is ok as the chocolate glue will cover this up in the next step.

Pick up both halves of the Pocky and dip the cut ends in the chocolate. Be careful to cover the cookie with chocolate so that it won’t show – you can rub one cut end with the other to spread it if you need. Then, arrange the two pieces at a leggy angle on some parchment paper, being sure there is enough chocolate glue to hold. Now don’t touch it! Let it set, you can slip this into the fridge. This will create a strong enough bond.

I’ll start with the easiest. I simply used regular Pocky and a Ding Dong, and attached the eyes with royal icing. I used a knitting needle to pre-poke holes for the legs, be careful to hold the legs by the end you’ll be pushing in so you don’t break the knees.

The second one is like the first, but cracks on the top of the Ding Dong inspired the use of many eyes to cover the flaw. This one is my favorite.

I found the coconut Pocky first, and sought out a snack cake to match the color and texture. These are Little Debbie Star Crunch.

I cut a small round to use as a foundation to give it some more height. I pre-poked holes for the legs and used royal icing to glue on the eyes.

He looks a little bit like a crab.

This one is made using the orange colored Glo Balls which come out around Halloween. I was pleased to find orange Pocky that went pretty well with the color. I used the thumb tack eyes for this one, and the cake is soft enough that you don’t have to poke holes for the legs.

This is a more anatomically correct spider made combining a white Sno Ball and half of a Twinkie. I had planned to spray both with black Color Mist spray, and then add a red Black Widow hourglass shape to the back with red spray. I took a tip from Alton Brown and sprayed the cakes while holding them over the open door of my dishwasher, no need to wipe up the mess if some color strays from the plate they were sitting on.

The color didn’t take well to the treats, it soaked in leaving them gray-ish, so I decided to cover them with black sprinkles instead, which stuck nicely to the outside after they’d been sprayed. I used the thumb tacked eyes on this one as well.

Cut the Twinkie to a little bit less than half, and angle it so that it will bump up against the Sno Ball. I used half a Twinkie here and I think it’s a little too long.

more pictures!


If you do not know about them already I simply insist you take a look at Clare Crespo’s books. She is the inspiration for Snack Cake Sushi and has several cupcake recipes for halloween:

I still love the Creepcakes from Martha Stewart Kids:

Rather make your own snack cakes?

Chow has recipes for Little Ditsy Cream Pies, Chocolate Ding-a-Lings and Twinks in Snackie Cakes.

And here is a grown up version of the Sno Ball at Leite’s Culinary – Some Like It Pink.

Here is some spooky food found on Flickr:


58 responses so far ↓

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  • 3 Wendi // Sep 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    What a WONDERFUL idea!! I absolutely can’t wait 2 try it & put nifty little spins on it!! Thank u so much 4 sharing this….that’s really great of u!! Kudos & props!! ;)

  • 4 Top 10 Halloween Treats - // Oct 23, 2013 at 6:34 am

    […]   3.  Creepy Spider Cakes […]

  • 5 Candy Dish: Candy, Parties, Cupcakes…it’s Halloween! // Oct 23, 2013 at 7:35 am

    […] Don’t go to those costume parties empty-handed! Bake up a batch of spider cakes, wicked witch cupcakes, or […]

  • 6 Donald // Oct 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I made these with 3 inch chocolate marshmallows and licorice cut up for legs. I loved the spider ‘blood’ effect. What a simply stunning idea!! Many thanks


  • 7 barry // Oct 31, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    We just celebrated halloween, and Wanda made a spider center piece. It was adorable. I found it on her computer and decided to comment on it here.

    You are very talented

    thank you for sharing …. this will get bigger every year.


  • 8 barry // Oct 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    great idea… we just had Halloween with the spider as a centerpiece.

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