The Sanderson Sisters’ Dead Man’s Toe Cupcakes and Giveaway Hallo-WEENER

I made you guys something. It’s inspired by the movie Hocus Pocus. You know, the one that I added to my Halloween giveaway?

See, there’s this scene in the film where the Sanderson Sisters, witches all, are making a potion to steal the youth of a young girl. Winnifred (played by Bette Midler) calls for a dead man’s toe, and Sarah (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) does this:

She goes on to sing all about the dead man’s toe, and I don’t know why, but it just completely cracks me up every, single time. Especially now. Now that SJP is all world famous, and glam, and totally classy. It’s always hilarious to watch this and see her act so goofy.

You know what, though?

You guys have no idea how disgusting the research for these cupcakes was. All I wanted to know was what the bones of a big toe look like. Like, for really real what they look like.

Unfortunately, all of my searches yielded several dozen photos of people broadcasting their maimed and bloodied real life toes.

It was revolting.

It was vile.

But it had to be done. The blog must go on.

The result, of course, is that I have a very revolting and vile looking treat for you that actually tastes fantabulicious.

That is, if you can bring yourself to bite into a swollen, gray fleshed toe kabob. But I assure you that, if you do, you will indeed find it delicious.

These are a truly excellent Halloween party treat to add to your dessert table. They’re easy, they’re fast, they’re yummy, and they’re creeptastic. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

Before I get into the gory details of how to make these, though, I bet you guys wanna know who won the Halloween swag giveaway, huh?

Alright then. Without further ado…

The winner is…

Comment #250!!!

CONGRATULATIONS, Frances Rose!! I also adored Smarties as a child (and now). My grandmother always had a million of them stashed in her purse, all year long. 🙂 And I’m also a huge fan of Shaun of the Dead! Hilarious!! I’m so happy that you’ve found me, and I hope you keep enjoying what I do, and keep coming back. Thank you for your wonderful words! I will contact you soon for shipping information.

Now then, I can’t gift everyone with lots of awesome Halloween goodies, but are you guys up for the how-to for those fresh, potion-worthy chocolate appendages?

I wanted my dead man’s toes to have bones in them. Like real toes. Cause it’s grosser that way.

After much deliberation on how to achieve this, I decided to use this awesome bone mold, from Wilton, that I found at Michaels for, like, two bucks.

Just fill it with melted chocolate and insert pretzel rods or sucker sticks. I highly recommend pretzel rods, because yum, but I didn’t have any.

Even though I thought I did.

And I was too lazy to go buy any (I just finished out a week of caring for my three young nephews…I’m le tired). You know what, though? The sticks worked great; they just weren’t as yummy as the salty, crunchy pretzels would have been.

Anyway, though.

These turn out pretty awesome. I’m pretty sure that they’re meant to be finger bones, but they sure do work well as toes, too.

Next up, mold some cake bite mixture around the bones, but stop at the second knuckle. The best part about these is that some of that bone sticks out of the bottom of the toe. I love how they look like the bone is protruding from a sort of torn off toe.

Well, actually.

That’s disgusting…

…but I think you know what I mean.

Make sure that your cake bite mixture is chilled before use.

While making these, you’ll need to rinse your hands off occasionally to get rid of some of the stickiness. The cake doesn’t stick well to the bone, so if your hands are all coated in cake mix, then it will want to stick to you, rather than the bones. Also, you have to really press it around the chocolate to get it to hold.

Be sure to make the cake rounded on top and try to make it a little narrower between the first and second knuckle. I also used my thumb to make an indentation where the toenail would go.

Chill these in the freezer for an hour or so before proceeding. The cake stays stuck during the candy dipping process if these are well chilled.

While the toes are chilling, work on the toenails. I used yellow and green candy melts for my toenails, but purple, black, or even red would work great, too.

Trim along the top edge of each candy melt so that it has a similar curve to a real toenail (not so round). I just used scissors to do this, but a paring or craft knife work well too.

Next, trim the sides of the melts so that they are straight. You can trim the corners down a bit to make them less squared off, as well.

Finish the toenails off by cutting chips and splits into the top part. Then, use a paring or craft knife to gently scratch cracks into the surface.

Once the toes are thoroughly chilled, dip them in melted candy melts or chocolates to coat them completely. I chose to mix a small amount of black candy melts with white chocolate to achieve a lovely decomposing flesh gray. I like the effect, considering, but you could also do something more brown or green instead.

Tap off excess coating by holding the toe firmly over your cup or bowl and tapping your wrist with your other hand. You’ll be surprised ay how much excess chocolate comes off of these.

After dipping, immediately press one of the prepared toenails into the candy coating. Since the toes are cold from the freezer, the coating sets relatively quickly, so don’t waste time attaching the toenails. To make these look a little more realistic, press the base of the toenail down and into the candy coating to sink it in a little more, as though it’s actually grown out of the skin.

I intentionally left the bottoms of these sort of ragged and messy. I didn’t completely coat all of the cake at the base; I only let the candy coating touch to bone in a couple of places, in order to secure the cake to the bone. I think the cake sticking out and the rough edge give a good inpression of a toe that has been pulled, or has maybe rotted, off.

Have I completely repulsed you yet?


Well, then, let’s continue.

Push the sticks into styrofoam to allow the candy to dry. If you use pretzel rods, a deep bowl full of dry, uncooked rice works well for holding these, but be sure that it’s quite deep; these are pretty top heavy, so they’ll need to be secure on the bottom.

Once the toes are dry, trim the sticks or pretzel rods to the appropriate length, and insert them into cupcakes (or you can totally leave them as-is and forego the cupcakes entirely).

I chose to make simple yellow cupcakes for these. I topped them with a combination of vanilla frosting, tinted green, and chocolate frosting that I marbled into the vanilla. I put the frosting into a decorating bag, snipped off the end, and simply swirled it randomly all over the top of the cupcake, covering the cake entirely. I love the wormy, brainy, rotting ick effect. Finally, I finished these off with some bug sprinkles.

I think these are incredibly, disgustingly, awesomely fun. I love that when you bite into the toes, there’s even bones inside. It’s just so cool and gross.

Admittedly, these are a little too large to be actual man toes. They’re maybe troll toes, or giant toes.

Or maybe they’re just bloated corpse toes, and that’s why they’re so big. They’re bloated.

I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.


Dead Man’s Toes

1 9×13-inch recipe cake, flavor of your choice
16 ounces (453 grams) frosting, flavor of your choice

white chocolate
candy melts in colors of your choice

Follow instructions found here for preparing cake bite mixture.

Leave a comment


  1. Heather says


    You are so awesome!!!! THESE are frickin VILE, but FABULOUS!!!!!!!

    I LOVE them!!!!!!!

  2. says

    You get tons of credit for being able to do all that research and then being able to prepare and consume food. My stomach couldn’t take it. These toes look gross – that’s a compliment! I love that there are real “bones” inside!

  3. Kim says

    These are so awesomely vile… and I love how completely blase you are about the whole thing. Oh, you’ve got to push the toenail into the flesh to make it more realistic. I just added some black candy melts to get it to look like rotting flesh. I just made the frosting look like rotting brains and added some fun bug sprinkles!

    Seriously, I’m sitting here trying really hard not to crack up, because I’m at the front desk and it’s echo-y, and I’m not supposed to have fun at work. *Shh*

  4. Tracey says

    So sick and twisted, I love them. Unfortunately my 10 yr old is at that ‘Mom that is sooo gross’ stage. Please tell me it’s just a brief passing phase XD
    Congrats to Frances Rose xxx

  5. Candice says

    These are so gross but are definitely make a subject for talk!
    Way cool idea, you should really publish a book if you haven’t already! And not just on toes lol

  6. Mme. Monster says

    Your s’more cupcakes were a big hit earlier this week, and now I think my (community college) students are going to get a special treat on Halloween.

    How have I gone this long without a bone mold? Or the coffin cake pan that hopped into my cart when I was busy planning dismembered toe pops…?