Halloween Cupcakes Recipe

halloween cupcakes

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 18 cupcakes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
394 Calories
18g Fat
55g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 394
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 209mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 78mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These adorable Halloween cupcakes are easy to make and are a great spooky addition to your Halloween treat table. We’ve included a delicious and deeply dark chocolate cupcake recipe, but you can use any cupcake recipe or even boxed mix you like. You will need several different colors of food dye. The gel food dyes are best for the most intense colors. You also need some cute candy googly eyes that you can get at most craft stores.


For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup warm water

For the Decoration:

  • 2 (16-ounce) cans vanilla frosting

  • Gel food coloring, for garnish

  • Candy eyes, for garnish

  • Sprinkles, for optional garnish

Steps to Make It

Make the Cupcakes and Prepare the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

    Ingredients for Halloween cupcakes

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  2. Beat the sugar, butter, and vegetable oil in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment until creamy, about 3 minutes.

    Butter and oil creamed with sugar in a bowl

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments (stirring after every increment) until it is completely smooth.

    Melted chocolate in a bowl

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  4. Add the chocolate and the vanilla to the sugar mixture and beat again. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.

    Melted chocolate added to creamed butter and eggs

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

  5. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Mix the sour cream, milk, and water in a separate bowl.

    Dry ingredients mixed in a bowl

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  6. Mix the flour and milk mixtures alternatively into the chocolate mixture until all of the ingredients are combined. Do not overmix; just add until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to check for pockets of flour.

    Chocolate cake batter in a bowl

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  7. Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Alternatively, you can grease each well with cooking spray. Fill each liner 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until the cupcakes are cooked through and come out clean when pricked with a toothpick. 

    Cupcakes liners filled with cake batter

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly in the pan, remove, and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

    Baked chocolate cupcakes in a pan

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  9. Split the frosting amongst five bowls and dye the colors you wish to use. We made green for Frankenstein’s monster, black for outlining/trimming, orange for pumpkins, and left some frosting white for mummies and decoration.

    halloween frostings in piping bags

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Decorate the Pumpkin Cupcakes

  1. Use the large circle tip to make five curved lines to resemble the segments of a pumpkin.

    Orange icing decorating a cupcake

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  2. Use the green leaf tip to make two small leaves at the top of the pumpkin.

    Pumpkin cupcake with green frosting leaves

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  3. Use the black to make a face for the pumpkin. Get creative and make different faces for each pumpkin if you wish.

    pumpkin face decoration on a cupcake

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Decorate Mummy Cupcakes

  1. Use the flat/basket tip to make long flat stripes in an overlapping pattern over the top of the cupcake. Leave some blank spaces so they resemble bandages.

    White frosting stripes added to a cupcake to resemble a mummy

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  2. Add a dot of frosting to the back of each eye and stick them on the center of the cupcake.

    Cupcake decorated like a mummy

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Decorate Frankenstein's Monster Cupcakes

  1. You can use the leaf tip or just take the tip off and pipe some of the green frosting to the top of the cupcake. Spread it out using a cake spreader.

    Cupcake decorated with green frosting

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

  2. Add black frosting to resemble hair at the top. Draw a squiggly mouth and stitches with the black frosting as well. Make sure to use the smallest tip possible to make the neatest lines. Add the candy eyes to the center.

    Frankenstein cupcake decoration

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney


  • Get creative and try making witches, skeletons, or cats. 
  • Serve the cupcakes immediately or store loosely covered for up to 2 days (too tightly covered will cause the candy eyes to start to melt and the black will bleed into the white).