These Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Cupcakes are AWESOME! The marbled cupcakes are pink, yellow, and teal to match Sally’s dress and topped with vanilla frosting. The final touch is the teal Minnie Ears complete with stitches and a fondant hairbow on top. Make a batch of these cute Sally cupcakes and celebrate the Nightmare Before Christmas!
I’ve got 50+ freakishly good Halloween Recipes for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
This post is part of the Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog – a celebration of everything Halloween and Autumn. Now in its 8th year, the 2019 series is bigger and better, running from September 1st, all the way through All Hallows’ Eve on October 31st!
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Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Cupcakes
These cute Sally cupcakes are going to sit perfectly beside the Jack Skellington cupcakes, it’s like they were meant to be together… Which in the film they totally were! And there are also the Oogie Boogie Cupcakes to complete the trio!
If you are planning an NBC party then I’ve got a whole set of themed party printables that you can download and use for your party too. And of course you NEED to make these Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Cupcakes to put on the dessert table!
Ingredients used in this recipe
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here is a brief outline so you know what to expect from the recipe. I highly recommend always reading a recipe all the way through before starting.
- Fondant (Sugarpaste) in the following colors:
- Edible Marker Pen in the following color: Black
- Powdered Sugar (Icing Sugar) – for dusting and in the frosting
- French Vanilla Cake Mix – the usual box ingredients are replaced with whole milk, eggs, and butter.
- Gel Food Coloring in the following colors:
- Heavy Whipping Cream (Double Cream)
- Vanilla Extract
Equipment used in this recipe
You are likely to have many of these cooking tools in your kitchen already, but I’ve added some Amazon links for your convenience should you need to purchase anything for this recipe.
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Wilton Bow Mold (from Michaels in the US) or a silicone bow mold from Amazon
- 4″ round cutter
- Fondant Rolling Pin
- Cupcake pan
- Cupcake liners
- Piping Bag
- Large Star Tip – Wilton 1M
- Wire Cooling Rack
- Ice Cream Scoop – this helps to scoop cupcake batter evenly. Get one with a trigger mechanism.
- Electric Mixer – stand or handheld
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Sally Cupcake Recipe Tips
If you have never worked with fondant before, don’t panic – it is really easy to use, follow my tips and you’ll be just fine!
- Dust your work surface with powdered sugar so that the fondant doesn’t stick. Think of it like the way you use flour when rolling out dough.
- Rub a little powdered sugar into your hands and knead a handful of the fondant to make it more pliable before rolling, rather than using straight from the package.
- Dust your rolling pin too, and roll fondant to about ¼” thick. Some fondant rolling pins have guides you can use. You don’t want it too thick as it will take ages to dry, and you don’t want it too thin as it will become more tricky to work with.
- Cutting the Ears: Pour a little pile of powdered sugar onto your surface and dip the cookie cutter into it before cutting the ears – again, this is to prevent sticking. Place on a cookie sheet to dry for at least 6 hours – overnight and up to 24 hours is best. Make sure they are fully dry before drawing on the stitches with an edible marker pen.
- Molding the Bows: Using the yellow and pink fondant pinch off pieces of fondant and place it into the large bow mold. Lightly use your finger to mold together the two colors into the bow making sure not to blend the colors. Carefully pop out the bow and set aside. Then make black bows with the smaller mold. Pop those out too and attach the black bow to the colored bow by rubbing or brushing some water to the back of the black bow and sticking on top. Place on a cookie sheet to dry for at least 6 hours – overnight and up to 24 hours is best.
- If there is excess powdered sugar on the pieces, you can gently brush away with a pastry brush, or an unused, clean paintbrush.
- Alternatively, you can use a vodka spray. Pour some vodka into a mini spray bottle and gently mist the fondant wings. Vodka dries quicker than water which is why it is usually used when handling fondant.
- Always make extra pieces – that way if some break or you have another mishap, you have got backups that you can use.
- Leave the fondant pieces to harden in a cool, dry place – do not place in the fridge.
- The fondant pieces should be solid enough to handle and insert into the cupcakes after 3 – 6 hours. I personally leave fondant pieces to dry for around 24 hours. How long this takes, however, is based on the size and thickness of the fondant, and how humid your house is, so judge best if they will hold up as they need to in the cupcakes.
- When making cakes or cupcakes that use fondant decorations I like to make them a few days ahead of time which allows for drying without the stress. Fondant that isn’t dry enough can mean disappointing end results.
- After using fondant the surface will be super sticky (it always is in my experience!) so you will probably have to wipe away the sugar first, then give it a soapy hot wash over and then another clean over! You can always by a fondant rolling mat for easier cleanup!
Cupcakes & Frosting
- French vanilla cake is also a vanilla cake, but with a more distinct flavor. If you can’t find a French vanilla cake mix, a box of the regular vanilla will be fine to use.
- Instead of the extra ingredients required to make the cake as directed on the box, this recipe replaces them with whole milk and unsalted butter (plus eggs as usual) which will enrich the cake further.
- Split the batter into three bowls to add food coloring – yellow, pink, and teal.
- Food Coloring Tips: Use good quality food coloring gel or paste as the color will be more vibrant. Do not use liquid color as this will change the consistency of the cake batter, and really won’t taste good!
- Remember that you can always add more color, but not take it away. Add a little to start with and add more to get the shade required.
- Spoon a tablespoon or so of each color into each cupcake liner, layering the colors to get a marble kind of effect.
- If you are not confident with your piping skills you can practice on some parchment paper first and scoop the frosting back into the bag.
- If your piped swirl doesn’t turn out how you want it on the cupcake, you should be able to wipe it off and try again!
Make It A Nightmare Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses? Here are some recipes to take a look at to make a complete meal!
- Appetizer: Halloween Quesadillas
- Main Dish: Bloody Mary Soup (vodka optional)
- Side Dish: Cheesy Chilli Cornbread
- Cocktail: Hocus Pocus Cocktail
- Mocktail: Oogie Boogie Mocktail
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy! Please feel free to check them out too.
More Halloween Desserts
If you’re throwing a party and need some more dessert recipes, here are some to consider:
- Maleficent Cupcakes
- Jack Skellington Mickey Mouse Rice Krispies Treats for Halloween
- Halloween Spider Web Cookies
More Cupcake Recipes
Want to make more cupcakes? Try these recipes:
I’ve got lots of fun and easy Cupcake Recipes for Parties and celebrations (and for everyday treats!) for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
For the Cupcake Decorations
- 1 package (4.4oz/124g) sky blue fondant
- 1 package (4.4oz/124g) yellow fondant
- 1 package (4.4oz/124g) pink fondant
- 1 package (4.4oz/124g) black fondant
- Powdered Sugar (Icing Sugar)
- Black edible marker
For the Cupcakes
- 1 box French vanilla cake mix
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- Teal food coloring gel
- Pink food coloring gel
- Yellow food coloring gel
For the Frosting
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar
- 10 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (double cream)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- To make the fondant Sally Minnie ears, dust your surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar and roll out the sky blue fondant to ¼" thick. Cut out 24 x 4" circles with a round cutter. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and leave to dry for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours if possible. When fully dried, draw Sally's stitches onto the ears with a black edible marker.
- To make the bows, use about half a tablespoon each of yellow, and pink fondant and press it into a large bow mold. Lightly use your finger to mold the colors together, but don't over blend. Make 12 total. Carefully remove and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Make smaller bows with black fondant and pop out of the mold - make 12 total. Stick the black bows to the front of the colored bows by rubbing or brushing some water to the back of the smaller black bow and placing it in the middle of the colored bow. Leave to dry for a few hours - up to 24 if possible.
- Make a few extra fondant decorations as backup, just in case any break!
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 degrees and line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Using an electric mixer, mix the cake mix with the milk, eggs, and softened butter until combined.
- Divide the mixture between three bowls and color one each: yellow, pink, and teal.
- Spoon about a tablespoon of each color cake batter into cupcake liners to create a kind of marbled effect.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla on medium speed until combined and smooth.
- Scoop the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Pipe frosting swirls onto the cooled cupcakes.
- Place the bow in the middle of the frosting.
- Place the Sally Minnie ears on either side of the bow.
Make the fondant ears and bows at least 6 hours in advance (or 24 hours if you can) so that they can harden for use.
You will also need the following tools for decorating the cakes:
- silicone bow mold - with a large and small bow
- 4" round cookie cutter
- Large piping bag
- Large star tip (Wilton 1M)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 831Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 355mgCarbohydrates: 102gFiber: 1gSugar: 84gProtein: 5g
This site uses an outside source (Nutritionix) to provide estimated nutrition. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
The Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Halloween and Fall! You can check out Crafty October from 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 for tons of awesome Halloween ideas and inspiration!