Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C for fan assisted ovens)/Gas Mark 4. Line 2 x 12-hole muffin trays with paper cupcake cases.
In a mixing bowl, stir the cake mix, oil, water and eggs gently together, then whisk (by hand or electric mixer) for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases.
Bake both trays together in the oven for 18-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely; about 30 minutes.
The cupcakes will keep in a cool place for up to 2 days.
Halloween Scarecrow Cupcakes
Frost 8 cupcakes with half of the vanilla icing (reserving about 1 teaspoon).
Cut 4 of the wafer biscuits in half lengthways and cut the rest in half widthways. Arrange 1 long and 1 short length of wafer on top of each cupcake to form a hat, pressing down gently.
Attach 1 strip of liquorice Catherine wheel to each hat using the reserved icing.
Use the mini chocolate beans and the liquorice triangles to make eyes and noses on each cupcake. Use some of the writing icing to pipe mouths and add strands of shredded wheat to give each scarecrow straggly hair and a beard as desired.
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the vanilla icing, then put the rest in a bowl with enough green food colouring paste or gel to give a bright green colour.
Frost 8 cupcakes with the green icing, smoothing with a small palette knife.
Using some of the remaining black writing icing, pipe 4 concentric circles on each iced cupcake. Gently draw the tip of a cocktail stick through the circles from the centre outwards at intervals to create a spider’s web pattern on each cupcake.
Use a rolling pin to flatten 8 of the fruit pastilles into ovals. Cut each one into 8 thin strips and place the strips on top of each cupcake to form the spider’s legs. Top each with a whole fruit pastille for the spider’s body, using the reserved icing to secure in place. Pipe tiny eyes on the spiders using the black writing icing.
Frost the remaining 8 cupcakes with some of the chocolate fudge icing.
Place the remaining icing in a disposable piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle.
Place 2 milk chocolate button halves on each cupcake for ears. Pipe the rest of the chocolate icing over the ears and around the edges of each cupcake to resemble tufty feathers.
Place 2 white chocolate buttons on each cupcake, below the ears, then attach 2 dark chocolate chips to the buttons with a tiny dot of any leftover chocolate icing for the eyes.
Push 1 yellow or orange sugar-coated chocolate bean sideways into each cupcake (just between the eyes) for the beak.
Background Decorating Tips
Choose a smooth flat surface on which to create your background, such as a large chopping board, baking tray or even the kitchen work top. (Note: make sure it is a clean and food safe surface or cover surface with a sheet of baking paper before you begin.)
Spoon Betty Crocker™ Indulgent Chocolate Fudge Icing and/or Betty Crocker™ Velvety Vanilla Icing (coloured with food colouring paste or gel, as desired) into piping bags fitted with medium writing nozzles. Pipe background features from the story onto your chosen surface.
Use sweets, crushed biscuits, cake crumbs, fruit, etc. to create additional details.