October 2018

Ghost Peeps Cupcakes


October 31:Halloween

Get into the Halloween a”spirit” and decorate devil’s food cupcakes with marshmallow ghost Peeps and pumpkin candies. They are a simple, cute and quick treat to make with the kids and they sure beat store-bought desserts. Plain cupcakes can be transformed from boring to “boo-tiful” and can be a festive food for Halloween.



  • Devil’s food cupcakes (or other favorite flavor)
  • Chocolate frosting (canned or homemade)
  • Marshmallow Peeps ghosts
  • Pumpkin candies (Brach’s brand)


Bake cupcakes according to the package directions. Cool completely. Spread or pipe frosting on the cupcakes.


Separate the marshmallow Peeps ghosts in the package by cutting between them. Stick a toothpick on the bottom of the Peeps ghost. Insert into the top of a cupcake. Finish decorating by placing a pumpkin candy next to it.



  • Change the cupcake paper colors to orange, purple, green or other Halloween liners.
  • Vanilla can be substituted for the chocolate frosting.
  • Search our blog for other Halloween recipes.


Pumpkin Crunch Cake

October 26: National Pumpkin Day

In Hawaii during fall and Thanksgiving, pumpkin crunch cake is the most-searched recipe on the Internet. As an alternative to pumpkin pie, this dessert holds up well in a tropical climate, can serve lots of local people, is relatively easy to prepare and complements the other ethnic dishes served at potlucks. We have made pumpkin crunch cake for autumn-themed parties and Thanksgiving get-togethers on the mainland and it is a crowd-pleaser. This favorite fall dessert is especially perfect for celebrating National Pumpkin Day!


(From Phyllis S.)


  • 1 can (15 ounces) 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • ¾ – 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves)
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and lightly cooled
  • whipped cream (optional frosting)


Line the bottom of a 9×13” pan with waxed paper. Mist the bottom and sides with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the canned pumpkin and canned evaporated milk. Beat in the eggs. Add the salt.

Mix in the pumpkin pie spice. Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the yellow cake mix evenly over the entire top of the pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Pour the melted/cooled butter all over the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes (test the cake for doneness with a toothpick). Cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate to set. Invert the pumpkin crunch on a tray and cut into squares. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream (optional).


  • Smother whipped cream on the cooled cake as a frosting before serving.
  • For potlucks, we omit the whipped cream, cut the cake into 48 pieces and place them in cupcake papers for easy self-serve.
  • Thanks to our friend, Phyllis S., a Hawaii expatriate now living in Texas, for sharing this recipe with us. She served pumpkin crunch cake when she and her husband Pat S. entertained us and other people at their home and it was nostalgic for the locals!
  • Search our blog for other fall favorite foods or pumpkin recipes.


Queen Elizabeth’s Drop Scones

October 12, 2018: The Royal Wedding Day of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank

Those who live on the west side of the Atlantic Ocean and are planning to follow the second British royal wedding of the year must wake up really early to watch any news reports due to time differences. A simple British-inspired breakfast with tea and scones would make still-sleepy fans rise and shine for the celebration of marriage between Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank (a low-key event compared to her cousin Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on May 19).

We have made many royal recipes for our blog before and are now including Queen Elizabeth’s own drop scones for this occasion. Also known as Scotch pancakes (which are basically like American-style “silver dollars”), Her Majesty served these to U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower when he visited her at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1959. Her old family recipe is included in the National Archives.

Drop scones/Scotch pancakes/silver dollars are a perfect option for celebrating the royal wedding early in the morning or for a tea time breakfast or brunch. Congratulations to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on their wedding day!


(Adapted from Town and Country magazine)


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (superfine preferred)
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (we used European/Irish style unsalted butter)


In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar. Add half the milk. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients.

Mix in the remaining milk and melted butter. Drop by tablespoonsful on a greased griddle/skillet/pan on medium high heat. Do not overcrowd the pan if cooking in batches. Use a spatula to flip the scone on the other side when bubbles appear. Cook until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve warm with jam, jelly, clotted cream, butter or syrup.


  • Queen Elizabeth’s original recipe uses teacups for measurements. We have converted them to modern cup measurements above.
  • Search our blog for other royal recipes filed under the British/English/Tea Time section of our Theme Menus.