How to Make Halloween Cupcakes

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What better time to bake than a holiday designed around sweets? Making Halloween cupcakes with your kids is a great way to get them involved in the kitchen and have some fun with frosting and decorating. It’s simpler than you think to dye frosting, pipe and create spooky Halloween designs. Mix up a batch of your favorite cupcakes (or use our  recipe below), frost with buttercream and then use our tips to make these perfect for Halloween.

1. Make a batch of our delicious Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes using this recipe.

SmartBran Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Yields: 12


* 1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus 1/2 tbsp for greasing muffin liners
* 1 cup vanilla soy milk
* 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
* 2 cup SmartBranâ„¢ Cereal
* 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup light brown sugar
* 12 walnut halves


1. Set the rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in 12 muffin cups. Brush liners with oil.

2. Combine the soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle. Grind the SmartBranâ„¢ cereal into flour in a food processor or spice grinder. (You should have a scant cup.)

3. In a large bowl, blend the ground cereal, flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using) baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chips.

4. In a bowl, beat the sugar and 1/3 cup oil together for 2 minutes. Add the soy milk-vinegar mixture, and beat until well combined.

5. Fold the liquid into the dry ingredients just until blended. Do no over mix. Divide the batter among the prepared cups. Gently pat the tops with your fingers to smooth them off. Distribute the remaining chips on top.

6. Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans back to front and continue baking until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer the cupcakes from the pan to a cooling rack.

7. Working quickly, use a spatula to spread the melted chips into an even coating on top of each cupcake. Gently press a walnut half into the middle.

8. Cool to room temperature. Store in a tightly sealed container in a cool place for up to 3 days.

Notes: This recipe was created especially for Nature’s Path® by Lorna Sass, the award-winning cookbook author of Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way.

2. Make a simple buttercream. Try our simple recipe below. You may want to make 1.5 x this recipe for a batch of 24 cupcakes.

Simple Buttercream

*  1 lb. box powdered sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/3 cup soft butter or margarine
* a few drops of milk


In a mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, salt, milk, vanilla, and butter or margarine. Beat with electric mixer or heavy spoon until smooth and creamy, scraping bowl often. If too thick to spread easily, beat in a few drops of milk.

3. Use food coloring or icing colors to dye your frosting the desired colors. Use orange and black to get the traditional Halloween shades. Food coloring will work, but may alter the texture of your buttercream. To keep a light and fluffy buttecream that is easy to work with, use icing colors. Wilton makes them in a rainbow of colors and they are available at most craft stores for a few dollars per container. When working with icing colors, use a toothpick to pick up a bit of the icing color and add into the buttercream. Mix the buttercream. Do this one toothpick at a time until you have achieved the color you desire. Make sure to use a new toothpick each time, so that the frosting does not alter the icing colors.

4. Frost the cupcakes with a spatula or a piping bag with star tip.

5. Decorate the cupcakes as desired.

  • A simple idea – perfect for younger kids – is to purchase Halloween colored or shaped sprinkles to decorate. Kids can pick out their favorites and sprinkle on top of each cupcake.
  • For older kids, try creating a scary spider on top of the cupcakes. You can use black gumdrops as the body, cut licorice as the legs and small dabs of buttercream for the eyes. You can try the same with clear or white gumdrops to create ghosts and other ghoulish creatures.

For more great cupcake ideas, check out some of these great blogs.

Teresa Foo of buttnakedbaby makes chai latte cupcakes with an awesome bat design.

The Sweetest Kitchen creates chocolate pumpkin buttercream zombie hand cupcakes.

Not Martha creates some beautiful spider and ghost cupcakes.


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