I always prefer to top my cakes with fresh fruit, nuts and ingredients that work with the overall flavour of the recipe. It seems a shame to put so much work into getting a cake right and only to dust it all over with sugar-shock sprinkles or ultra-sweet fondant, unless I’m making a sculpture or the job absolutely demands it. You can usually come up with ways of using ingredients that work well with the flavours of the cake to decorate cupcakes.

I was recently commissioned to design some cakes for designer Maaike Meeking’s show at Fashion Week the theme of which was the horror film Susperia, directed by Dario Argento. The show also included a video clip of me in a long white dress in the dead of night, being drenched in fake blood, but that’s another story!

I put together some gore-splattered, cream cheese-frosted red velvet cupcakes, using sweet pulped black cherries with lime for the blood & gore, dotted in places with redcurrants. The sweet cherries and ultra-sharp redcurrants worked perfectly with the cocoa buttermilk red velvet and vanilla cream cheese frosting.

Try this easy, quick and affordable way of making a Halloween cake display that’s both striking and delicious. Laid out altogether at the show on cake stands, lined with black lace, it looked like a blood bath! I made these to look like the cakes had Dracula-style incisions but they looked just as good splattered haphazardly with the pulp and cherry juice.

London-based cake specialist Lily Jones bakes under the pseudonym Lily Vanilli. Find out more at: www.lilyvanilli.com