The coming of fall and Halloween, in particular, mark the changing of seasons. Along with the fall of the leaves and days getting shorter, temperatures drop until we can feel the crispness of the fall air.
Many people embrace this near end-of-the-year celebration with as much anticipation as they do other holidays on the calendar. While no one usually gets the day off for this holiday, it is the one time of year that many of us get a chance to dress up and be something or someone else.
As we pass into the darker part of the year that marks winter’s approach, it’s also the time to celebrate family and friends and gather round to hear the retelling of a spooky ghost story or two.
For many, the season of Halloween coincides closely with Dio de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, which is celebrated in Mexico, and in the United States as a festival to honor loved ones who have passed on.
If you’re thinking of scaring up a little bit of spooky fun with family and friends, why not consider hosting a Halloween tea party?
Here are some ideas to help make your end-of-year celebrations something to remember.
Planning Your Halloween Party
At this time of year, there is no shortage of specialty stores that carry party supplies, costumes, and invitations in fall colors and designs.
- Instead of buying something pre-made, why not create your own special invitations made in the shape of witches, ghosts, or ones that look like Gothic invitations to dine at a haunted mansion? You can make it an utterly Victorian affair so that it looks like something right off the pages of Edgar Allan Poe or a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
- Host a themed Halloween party where everyone comes as their favorite werewolf, vampire, ghoul, ghost, or witchy character.
- Find black paper lace doilies to act as placemats. This can serve as the perfect backdrop to plain white china, glassware, and place settings. Get out stemmed goblets, teacups and saucers, and black napkins. Think of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland or a spooky version of Downton Abbey to get your creative juices flowing!
- Make some cookies in the shape of coffins, ghosts, witch’s hats, or bats, or use similarly shaped cutters to make delightful finger sandwiches for guests to enjoy along with their tea.
- Decorate your space with spooky motifs like skeletons, skulls, jack-o’-lanterns, spiderwebs, or anything that evokes the idea of Halloween and the last harvest of the year.
- Light the pathway to your door with jack-o’-lanterns, orange-colored lights, or solar torches meant to look like flames to build anticipation and provide just the right atmosphere!
Spooky Tea Treats
Not sure what to serve your tea party guests? Here are some ideas that may look complicated but are scary easy!
Graveyard in the Dark Cake
Here is a spooky, chocolaty cake that is sure to please even the most discerning ghoulish guest.
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa
- 1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
- ½ teaspoons of table or kosher salt
- 2 cups of firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup of unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee
- 1 ½ cup of heavy cream
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- 3 cups of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. You will need two 9-inch round cake pans. Coat each with cooking spray and line the bottom of each pan with baker’s parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Combine the brown sugar and butter using a mixer in a large mixing bowl for three minutes or until a light and fluffy consistency. Add the eggs one at a time, then add 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed and beat in flour mixture and sour cream until thoroughly combined. Add the coffee to the mixture until it is thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter between the two baking pans and bake for between 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Allow the cakes to cool for approximately 15 -20 minutes, then place on wire cooling racks until completely cool.
To make the frosting, heat the heavy cream, sugar, and ½ cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until smooth. Add the two teaspoons of vanilla and blend thoroughly.
Place the icing in the refrigerator for approximately 30 -40 minutes, occasionally stirring so that the icing does not become too stiff. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the icing to reach room temperature so that it is more spreadable.
Place one of the cake halves on the serving plate and ice with one cup of the frosting. Place the remaining cake on top and coat with the remaining frosting.
Halloween Berry Tea
October marks the last portion of the yearly harvest. The last remnants of apples, nuts, vegetables, and berries are being gathered to be enjoyed over the cold days of winter. Halloween is the perfect time to relish the taste of ripe raspberries or blackberries, dressed up with a bit of spice.
For each cup of tea you intend to serve, you will need one Sir Jason Winters Raspberry Flavored Tea, or for those who like a sweeter tea, Sir Jason Winters Raspberry Flavored Tea with Stevia.
Brew this tea a pot at a time and add to it add a bit of cinnamon, freshly squeezed lemon, and a stick or two of cinnamon to give it a spicy, warming aroma.
Have a bowl of fresh blackberries or raspberries on the side, along with lemon slices or a bit of freshly grated ginger for guests to add to their tea.
What other kinds of fun and monstrous mayhem can you think of for your Halloween tea get-together? Drop us a line and let us know what you come up with.
“Wheel of the Year” by Pauline and Dan Campanelli, 1989, Llewellyn Publications, Minneapolis, MN
“30 Amazing Halloween Cake Recipes That Are Scary-good.” by Danielle Campoamor, Woman’s Day. Woman’s Day, 17 Sept. 2021. Web. 28 Sept. 2021.
“Halloween” by Mark Oxbrow, 2001 Oxbow Press, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
“Halloween and Other Festivals” edited by Jack Santino, 1994, University of Tennessee Press