Cute Halloween Cake Pop Spiders (or Spider Pops) made from left over cake. Great fun to make with the kids. Optional dairy free.
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Halloween Cake Pop Spiders – Cute or Scary?
I can’t decide whether these Halloween Cake Pops are cute or scary. Even as an arachnophobe, I sort of want to scoop them up and look after them. What do you think?
Either way, Spider Pops are definitely a Halloween treat. Fun to make with the kids. A bit ‘messy play’ to prepare. And definitely ‘black tongue’ to eat. But that all fits in with the season, right?
The Lost Meaning and Cost of Halloween in the 21st century
Halloween is a time to celebrate all things spooky, scary and spine-shiveringly dark. All Hallows Eve or the Festival of the Dead apparently has its origins with Celtic tribes and the Druids. They used this date to celebrate the transition from life to death.
In the 21st century however, much of the original meaning has been lost. Although in Mexico the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) still celebrates those we have lost, it seems for most of us, Halloween has become yet another commercial money-spinner. With pumpkin carving, sweets, dress up and make up, the annual spend keeps on rising. In 2019, UK Halloween spending was somewhere in the region of £474 million. Scary? That’s peanuts compared to the US, where (according to Forbes) they managed (in 2019) to splash an approximate $8.8 billion on this yearly ritual.
I am (frankly) shocked. I can’t really see in a world where so many people are suffering that there is any justification for such financial frittery on what appears to have become a meaningless party and scrounge fest.
Maybe I sound old and humbug. I am not averse to dress up, crafty pumpkins or fun and spooky treats, but those figures hit a raw spot.
Recently, I asked on social media how people celebrate Halloween. One of my followers replied that he celebrates quietly… He sets an extra plate at the table and invites those who have passed on to join him. I LOVE that…
Halloween Cake Pops and a Fear of Spiders
Halloween often falls around school ‘half term’ holiday in the UK. And that means it is a great time to make stuff with the kids. These particular Halloween spider pops were a follow-on from an earlier Easter Cake Pop experiment…
If there’s one mutual fear our family share, it’s spiders. Big fat, black, furry house spiders in particular result in terrified shakes. Over the years, I have had to get braver in the art of spider disposal… If only because neither my husband or daughter have shown any signs of doing this for me. And the thought of a house filled with spiders lurking in dark corners is worse than the terror of grabbing a large glass to catch and remove one.
So, it seemed apt to make ‘Spider Pops’ for Halloween. Give them cute little eyes and liquorice flavoured legs and they actually seem quite friendly!
What are Halloween Cake Pop Spiders made of?
Like all cake pops, these Spider Pops are basically made of old cake! Any cake will do, as the cake is broken down into crumbs before being moulded into shapes. But these particular Halloween cake pops are made with a spare 7 inch gluten free chocolate cake left over from a batch bake.
Something to bind the cake crumbs
Moulding cake crumbs requires something to make them stick together. Most cake pop recipes use frosting. Personally, I think that makes them over-sweet. So, these Halloween Cake pop spiders take a different direction. The cake crumbs are mixed with a little coconut cream and a squeeze of runny honey instead. This both makes them a little less sugar-laden and also adds a delicious complementary flavour dimension.
Spider Pops decoration
Once the moistened cake crumbs have been moulded into balls, they need to be given their spider identity. The black body has been created by brushing on melted black candy buttons, topped with a quick dip of black sugar sprinkles. Just make sure the products used are gluten free if needed.
The legs are a little trickier. Finding black liquorice laces that don’t contain wheat is a bit of a nightmare. I have however managed to find some Candy Tree Liquorice Laces (gluten free) from Jamie’s Sweet Emporium. I cut mine in half lengthways to get more ‘spidery’ legs.
Lastly, most supermarkets now sell gluten-safe candy eyes in the baking section.
Can I make these Halloween Cake Pops dairy free?
You should be able to make my Spider Pops dairy free by using dairy free cake. Candy melts appear to be dairy free as are the liquorice laces and candy eyes.
To be honest… I’m not a huge fan of candy melts. I find them to be a bit hit and miss on ‘meltability’ and quite difficult to brush on. They also have an ingredients list which is less than appealing. But having bought some to try, we figured we might as well use them.
The best alternative is to use some very dark, dairy free chocolate. It’s not black, but then I guess spiders come in all sizes and colours!
Here’s the recipe for Halloween Cake Pop Spiders…
So here you go… The recipe for my spidery Halloween Cake Pops is just below. If you make them or just think they’re fun, let me know. Leave a comment, a rating or tag me on social media (links at the top of the page).
For other Halloween inspiration, you might like to take a look at the recipes for :
- Pumpkin Mini Rolls (topped with frosting ghosts)
- Spider Cupcakes
- Halloween Trick or Treat Rocky Road (with a hidden trick)
- Pumpkin and Walnut Cakes (with spider web icing)
- Roasted Pumpkin Soup
For everything else, head over to our Gluten Free Recipe Book recipe index with over 400 recipes to choose from.
Other fun Halloween recipes on Gluten Free Alchemist
Halloween Cake Pops Spiders
- sharp knife
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- 1 chocolate cake sponge (7 inch) broken into crumbs
- 2 to 3 tbsp coconut cream
- 2 to 3 tsp runny honey or golden syrup
- 70 g black liquorice laces (approx weight) cut into 8 equal-length pieces for each spider (GF if needed)
- 200 g black candy melts approx weight
- black sprinkles (optional) make sure they are gluten free as needed
- 16 candy eyes
- In a large bowl, mix the cake crumbs with the coconut cream and honey/syrup until sticky and combined.
- Using your hands, mould and roll the mixture into 8 equal-sized quite condensed cake balls.
- Place in the fridge to chill for 2 to 3 hours.
- Use a skewer to poke 4 holes in each side of each cake-ball, where you want the legs to go.
- Take your cut liquorice 'legs" and carefully push one into each hole about 1 cm deep.
- Melt a couple of handfuls of candy melts according to the manufacturer’s instructions (if you need more later, you can add and re-melt).
- Take each cake ball in turn and using a small pastry brush, 'paint' each cake spider with candy melt ensuring the sponge is covered completely. (TIP – Use a skewer poked into the bottom to hold the cake ball. This will allow access the the whole ball, without having to touch the cake).
- Whilst the candy melt is still a little sticky, dip the spider’s head into sprinkles (if using).
- Once covered, remove the skewer (if used) and cover the hole with a small blob of candy melt.
- Place on a piece of non-stick baking paper and leave to set.
- Once all the spiders are covered and dipped, stick on the eyes. Use a small spot of candy melt to stick each eye in place.
- Leave the spiders to set completely (This process will be quickened by placing in the fridge for 10 minutes).
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist