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Halloween at home: the best spooky food and drink - from scary Colin the caterpillar cakes to pumpkin recipes

As most of us will be at home this Halloween, here are a range of food and drink ideas to celebrate in style.

Published: October 14, 2020
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With Halloween only a few weeks away, many of us may be celebrating at home this year due to restrictions in place.

With this in mind, here are a range of food and drink ideas to ensure you still have a spooktacular time at home.

From spooky cocktails to pumpkin recipes and Halloween buys in shops, there's plenty to enjoy this month - even if we can't go out guising.

Halloween recipes

Halloween pumpkin soup (serves 6)

halloween home

Picture: Pixabay

This soup recipe is an easy and quick way to ensure no pumpkin wastage this month.


3 onions, skinned and chopped

Approx 1lb/450g pumpkin flesh

3 tablespoons olive oil

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2in/4cm piece of root ginger, skin pared off and the ginger diced

1 teaspoon salt, about 25 grinds of black pepper, a good grating of nutmeg

1 red chilli, sliced, seeds removed from inside and the chilli chopped – optional.

1 fat clove of garlic, skinned and chopped

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11/2 pints/900ml stock, either chicken, vegetable or a stock substitute such as Marigold powder made up with boiling water

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley and snipped chives, to stir through the soup just before serving


Put the chopped onions and pumpkin flesh on a large non-stick roasting tin and mix in the olive oil.

Scottish School Food Awards winner, Alastair MacDonald, on his day cooking for Fettes College

Spread the vegetables evenly over the base of the tin. Scatter the salt over and season with black pepper and nutmeg, and the sliced chilli if you are including it.

Roast, in a hot oven, 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6, for 20 minutes.

Then shuffle the contents of the roasting tin, spread evenly once more and continue the roasting for a further 20-25 minutes.

Scrape the roasted pumpkin and onions into a large saucepan and add the garlic and the stock. Bring the liquid to a simmer, and cook gently for five minutes.

Cool, liquidise till smooth, and reheat the soup in a clean pan. Taste, and add more salt if you think it is needed.

Just before serving, stir the finely chopped parsley and snipped chives through the soup. Serve in mugs.

Top Tip: Whole pumpkins can be stored at room temperature for one month or refrigerated for up to three months.

Tomato & Mozzarella ‘Eyeball’ Bolognese Pasta

Four to six small portions

Tom Kitchin RecipePicture: Marc MillarThis fun recipe for Halloween at home is from Tom Kitchin, who shares more recipes here.


For the Bolognese sauce

• 1 onion
• 1 stick celery
• 1 carrot
• 1 leek (white part only)
• 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
• 250ml red wine (if cooking for the adults)
• 1kg beef mince
• 1 small tin tomatoes
• sugar, salt and pepper

Other ingredients

• 100g red cherry tomatoes
• 150g mini mozzarella balls
• 1 small bunch basil leaves
• 400g spaghetti or tagliatelle
• 4 tbsp green pesto


First make the Bolognese sauce

Finely chop the onion, celery, carrot, leek and garlic. Sweat the vegetables until soft.

Add the red wine if you wish, and reduce to a syrup.

In a separate pan, add the beef mince and caramelise or brown the meat as much as possible. Add the browned mince to the cooked vegetables.

Add the tomatoes and simmer until the sauce is well reduced. Skim/remove excess fat from the surface of the sauce as it reduces. Season with sugar, salt and pepper.

Method for the ‘Eyeballs’

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and remove the seeds.

Cut the mozzarella balls in half.

Place one half inside each cherry tomato.

Cut each basil leaf into small circles.

Place one circle on a piece of mince at the centre of each mozzarella ball to create the “pupils” for each “eyeball”.

To finish the dish

Boil the pasta until just cooked and drain.

Heat the Bolognese sauce.

Stir pesto and any leftover basil leaves through the pasta. Divide servings of pasta and sauce between 4-6 bowls then arrange the tomato “eyeballs” on top.

Sausage, apple and pumpkin bake (serves 4)

halloween home

Sausage, apple and pumpkin bake. Picture: Contributed

Top Scots chef Neil Forbes gave us this delicious recipe for Sausage, apple and pumpkin bake - ideal for a warming meal this Halloween at home.

Neil said: “We love to serve this one-pot-wonder in the Forbes’ household.

“Use proper, juicy sausages from a farm shop with heritage tatties and apples, some onion for background flavour, pumpkin for that sweet, earthy taste, and some sage to marry it all together. Oh, and remember to keep the skin on the apples and potatoes.”


• Allow three sausages per person (I like a good old pork and herb banger)

• 2 medium-sized onions, roughly chopped

• a splash of cold-pressed rapeseed oil

• salt and pepper

• ¼ pumpkin (or butternut squash), roughly chopped

• a few par-boiled potatoes (like a heritage Pink Fir Apple or Sharpe’s Express), cut into large chunks

• a knob of butter

• 1 clove garlic, sliced

• 1 very large cooking apple (James Grieve or Bramley are excellent), cored and roughly chopped

• a small handful of fennel fronds, roughly chopped

• a sprig of rosemary


Heat the oil in a large casserole dish or oven-proof pan, and fry the onions and whole sausages. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pumpkin to the pan. Keep stirring and moving the dish around to get colour on all the ingredients. Then add the potatoes, butter, garlic and apples.

Make sure everything is starting to colour nicely before placing in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at 200C/Gas Mark 6 to cook further and brown.

Remove from the oven, add the fennel fronds and stir. Serve at the table in the dish you cooked it in – no time for pretty presentation here.

Pumpkin chai pie

pumpkin pie

Picture: Eteaket

Pumpkin spice has become the food and drink trend for the autumn. Here Eteaket share a recipe for a spiced pumpkin chai pie, using their limited edition Pumpkin Chai tea.


750g of pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks

350g sweet shortcrust pastry

plain flour, for dusting

150g dark brown sugar

2 tsp Pumpkin Chai tea

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs (beaten)

25g melted butter

150ml milk


Bring the pumpkin to the boil in a large saucepan then simmer for 15mins until tender. Drain & cool.

Heat oven to 180C (160C fan |gas 4).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry and use it to line a 22cm loose bottomed tin. Chill for 20 mins.

Line the pastry with baking paper and bake for 15 mins.

Remove the paper and cook for a further 10 mins then allow to cool slightly on a
baking rack.

Meanwhile, brew 2 tsp of Pumpkin Chai tea in boiling water for 6 mins then remove leaves and allow to cool.

Increase oven to 220C (200C fan | gas 7). Sieve the cooled pumpkin into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, salt, nutmeg, ginger and half the cinnamon.

Mix in the beaten eggs, melted butter, cooled Pumpkin Chai tea and milk, then add to the pumpkin purée and stir to combine.

Pour into the tart shell and cook for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C (160C fan | gas 4). Continue to bake for 35-40 mins
until the filling has set.

Leave to cool, then remove the pie from the tin. Mix the remaining cinnamon with the icing sugar and dust over the pie.

Serve chilled with a Pumpkin Chai tea latte.

Pumpkin seed brownies

Halloween home

John Quigley of Red Onion in Glasgow gave this delicious recipe to Zero Waste Scotland.


• 140g dark chocolate, minimum 55% cocoa, chopped into small pieces

• 120g unsalted butter

• 100g plain flour

• 5 eggs

• ½ vanilla pod, seeds only

• 255g soft brown sugar

• 15g pumpkin seeds, rinsed and left to dry


Toast the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray for 3-4 minutes at 200˚C/gas mark 6, set aside to cool.

Place the butter and half of the dark chocolate in a bowl and melt together using a bain-marie or microwave.

Mix the egg and vanilla together, then add the sugar. Add to the melted butter and chocolate.

Sift in the flour and fold through gently until just combined.
Add the remaining chocolate pieces and mix well.

Pour into a lined, 20cm square baking tray and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds.

Reduce the oven down to 175˚C/gas mark 3 and bake the brownies for 25 minutes. If the middle is still wobbly, place back in the oven until just set.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before turning out and cutting into squares.

Cocktail ideas

The Boë haunted house apple and lime cocktail

Halloween home

The Boë Haunted House cocktail turns unexpected kitchen ingredients into a deliciously eerie dual-colour concoction.


60ml Boë Gin Apple & Lime

20ml lime simple syrup

half shell of lime juice

1 tsp lime marmalade (for added flavour but not essential)

Basil leaves

Liquorice laces

Egg whites

Ice cubes

Butterfly pea flowers (available from supermarkets)


Add a handful of butterfly pea flowers to a teacup or jug and top with 100ml boiling water.

Leave to steep. This will create that vibrant violet colour to your drink.

To make the simple syrup, combine 300g caster sugar, 150ml water and the juice and zest of 1 lime in a pot and simmer until dissolved (100g sugar to 100ml water). Strain out zest before using.

Cut the liquorice laces into four 6cm strands. Wrap another lace around in the middle and loop through to secure.

Add all other ingredients to a shaker and muddle basil. Seal the shaker and shake without ice for 30 seconds.

Once foamy, fill the shaker with the ice and shake again for another 30 seconds.

Strain the shaker contents into a glass of choice and use the liquorice spider to the side.

Your butterfly pea tea should be lovely and purple by now.

Pour 30ml of the butterfly pea tea over the drink to achieve a purple float.

Pumpkin Spiced Espresso Martini

Pumpkin Spiced espresso martini

Picture: Waitrose

Waitrose share this Halloween cocktail recipe, which they say is: "indulgent late-evening sipper with warm winter spice and rich coffee notes to keep any party going until the wee small hours."


40ml vodka

15ml Kahlua

10ml pumpkin spice syrup

25ml espresso or strong brewed coffee

Pared strip of orange zest

For the pumpkin spice syrup

170g light brown soft sugar

225g caster sugar

360ml water

85g pumpkin purée

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp each ground ginger, ground cloves and ground nutmeg

25ml vanilla extract


For the pumpkin spiced espresso martini

Add all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker and stir to combine.

Fill with ice, then shake hard for around 20 seconds.

Strain into a coupette or martini glass, then twist the pared orange zest over the glass to release its oils onto the surface of the cocktail.

For the pumpkin spice syrup

Simmer 170g light brown soft sugar, 225g caster sugar and 360ml water until dissolved.

Whisk in 85g pumpkin purée, 2 tsp ground cinnamon and ½ tsp each ground ginger, ground cloves and ground nutmeg.

Simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cool and stir in 25ml vanilla extract.

(Any extra syrup can be chilled in a sterilised jar for up to 3 months.)


Picture: Richard Chaudry

We asked top mixologist Michael Cameron of the Liquid Academy to create this Spooktacular drink which will be sure to put a smile on the face of even the grumpiest ghoul.

Michael said: “Negronis are designed to be bitter, stimulating appetite (so bring on the monkey nuts), but we’ve added a tight weave of House of Clayton’s excellent Bajan kola nut to ramp up the aromatics and mirror similar notes in the vermouth, plus a charge of Bon Accord’s luscious rhubarb fizz.”


• 35ml Dundee Gin
• 35ml Campari
• 35ml Punt e Mes Vermouth
• Dash of Claytons Kola nut bitters
• 35ml Bon Accord Rhubarb Soda
• Creepy jelly sweets


Mix the gin, Campari and vermouth in the glass. Add ice and continue to stir for about a minute.

Then top with the rhubarb soda and add creepy sweets for decoration.

What's in the shops?

If you'd rather pick up some spooky treats during your weekly food shop then here's what's on offer from some supermarkets for celebrating Halloween at home.

Marks and Spencer

halloween home

Picture: M&S


This year's offering from M&S is bigger than before, and includes: vegan-friendly petrifying popping candy brain - an apple flavoured jelly,  shaped into a gruesome brain, with a raspberry drizzle and popping candy sprinkle.

As well as this there are: toffee apple bangers, yummy mummy yumnuts, sticky toffee cookies and a pumpkin shaped bloomer bread.

The favourite is sure to the a spooky take on everyone's favourite cake - Colin the Caterpillar.

Frankencolin, as he's known for this month, is the usual delicious chocolate roll but has has a Halloween makeover and been decorated with nuts and bolts.


Iceland has recently unveiled its Halloween range for this year, which includes a 12 Jalapeno Roulette Wheel (£3.00, 12 pack) and Belgian chocolate smashing gold skull (£8.00), available in store and online now.

Dessert fans can also pick up a Scarily Sweet Spiders Cheesecake (£4.00, 1.1kg), Cosmic Cones (£1.75, 4pk) and a Scarily Sweet White Chocolate Brain (£8.00).


halloween home

Picture: Lights4Fun

To really get into the spooky spirit, decorate your home this Halloween with these seasonal buys.

Lights4Fun have a range of decorations, from rose gold light up pumpkins to ghosts and witches.

Yankee Candle have recently released a limited-edition Halloween fragrance to its line-up, Pumpkin Patch.

Wilko have budget-friendly Halloween table decorations as well as a range of kids costumes.

George at Asda also have decorations, homewares and costumes.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

Let us know what you think


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