Recipe: Halloween Burger

We like to get creative here at James vs. Burger and since this year marks our first Halloween, we wanted to create some frightful delights to mark the occasion. We wanted to make this burger completely from scratch, right down to the bun itself; however, since it’s Halloween we thought we’d go a bit further and get creative with some food colouring too.

These would be ideal to serve up if you are planning on hosting a scary movie night at home this week to celebrate Halloween!


For the patties:

– 500g mince (Don’t use lean mince, otherwise it won’t bind)
– A generous helping of wholegrain mustard (around 2 tbsp)
– Salt & pepper
– One oxo cube
– One onion
– One red chilli
– 1/4 of a scotch bonnet pepper – de-seeded. Take extra care when handling this. Do not touch your face or eyes. Keep the top of the pepper too. You’ll need it.
– Egg yolk and breadcrumbs to bind
– Cumin
– Mixed herbs
– American cheese
– Mayo
– Green Food Colouring

For the buns:

– 480 grams  (4 Cups)  bread flour  (we used white but you can wholegrain it up if you want to alleviate the guilt.
– 7 grams of dry yeast (roughly 2 1/2 tsps.)
– 1/4 cup lukewarm water for the yeast
– 1 whole egg
– 56grams of butter (diced)
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup lukewarm water (to add to the mix once proofed – make sure the water is not boiling as it can kill the yeast. Similarly, if the water is too cold it will take an age for the yeast to proof.
– 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp water (to glaze the buns)

To prepare / cook:

In a large mixing bowl sift the flour. Make a well in the centre and pour in the 1/4 cup of lukewarm water. Sprinkle in the yeast (you can give a little stir to help it dissolve) and leave at room temperature until the yeast starts to bubble and look a bit spongy. This took around 5-10 mins for us but can vary; depending on the heat of the water and temperature of the room.

Make a well in the centre and leave at room temperature until the yeast starts to bubble.

Once the yeast is active you should then add in the egg, butter and salt.

Once the yeast is active you should then add the egg, butter and salt.

Now comes the fun part!

Add the orange food dye to the half cup of lukewarm water.

Now, we don’t own fancy machinery, such as dough mixers or electric whisks. We simply used a wooden spoon and some elbow grease, slowly mixing in water until the mixture turned into dough (*note* your mixture may not be the exact colour you desired so feel free to add in more dye while mixing).

Mixing it all together to create the buns

Take the dough out of the bowl and place it onto a floured surface. Give it a good kneading for around 5 minutes, ensuring that it’s a firm, but stretchy consistency.

Looking good!

We then placed the dough into an oiled bowl and covered it with cling film. It was then placed in a room temperature cupboard and left to double in size. This can take anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours. It’s best just to keep checking and judge it accordingly.

Wrap, put in a room temperature cupboard and watch it go from this…
…to this!

Once the dough had doubled in size we divided it up into 6 decent sized bun shapes (you can keep the rest of the buns for another time). We then placed them on a baking tray, covered them with cling film and left them to once again, double in size. Pamela went out to get a couple of much needed coffees and by the time she came back, our buns were a site to behold!

The buns
Decorate like a pumpkin and glaze before putting them into the oven

Then it was time to get really creative! We weren’t 100% certain on how to make the buns look like pumpkins so we simply used a knife and tried hand-forming them into some form of pumpkin shape. Use images of pumpkins online as a reference point.

At this point, pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees / 374 F

We then basted the buns with the egg yolk and water mix (added in some more orange dye for added effect)

Pop the buns in the oven and cook them for roughly 20-25 minutes.

The patties

As the buns cooked we prepped our burgers. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and form into patties.

Turning our mayo green

Once ready, we took the buns out of the oven and left to cool. Once they had cooled, we used the green food dye to turn our mayo green and used the top from our scotch bonnet pepper for decoration.

Cooking away

Next, heat up some oil in a pan and begin to cook your burgers ensuring to flip them every few minutes. The time it takes will vary depending on the size of the patties and how you like your burger cooked. Cook until the juices run clear and the meat is nicely browned on the outside.

Our burgers

While your patty is cooking, it’s time to prepare the bun. Slice the buns in half and start with some lettuce, onions and tomato and ketchup and a slice of American cheese on the bottom. Once the burger is ready, place it on top. Take a sharp knife and cut a scary face into your other slice of American cheese and place it on top of the burger. Then, take your green mayo and spread it generously on the top half of the bun.

Have some fun creating your scary faces!
The gooey insides!

And with all of that, the burgers are ready to eat! We wrapped ours lightly in tin foil and placed under the grill for a couple of minutes simply to melt everything together that little bit more. Delicious!

The Halloween Special

Tried our recipe? Let us know what you thought and send us a photo too! Contact us via e-mail, Twitter & Facebook here.


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