Owl Cupcakes

Owl cupcakes recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings

Owls are popular for Halloween—especially since the Harry Potter book series brought them into the spotlight—and it's surprisingly easy to turn cupcakes into the nocturnal bird. Just frost the cupcake on all sides, set it upside down, and use halves of chocolate sandwich cookies, some frosting, and M&Ms to make the cutest owl face ever. You could put candy corn on top of the cupcakes upside down for "ears" and use more candy corn for "feet."

If you're short on time, you can easily recreate this treat with both store-bought cupcakes and frosting out of a can. Tint the frosting different colors if you're making a lot of these little cupcakes to look like a whole forest of tiny little owls.

This is a spectacular dessert recipe for Halloween. For even more fun, make a large sheet cake, frost it, then pipe on the branches of a tree using chocolate frosting. Put these cupcakes on the branches for a fabulous centerpiece for your party.


  • 12 cupcakes
  • 2 cans frosting (or one large batch of buttercream frosting)
  • 24 mini chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 1 container chocolate frosting
  • 12 M&Ms

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for owl cupcakes
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Carefully remove the paper liners from the cupcakes and turn them upside down. You may want to trim off a thin slice from the top of the cupcake so the little owls will have a sturdy base and will sit evenly.

    Unwrap cupcakes
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Stir the frosting if you bought cans. If you made your own frosting, don't make it too stiff or it will be hard to frost the little cakes. Tint as desired, using cocoa powder or orange food dye.

    Stir in frosting
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Frost the little cakes all over. An offset spatula is the best tool for this task. When the cupcakes are all frosted, use a spatula to move them to the serving tray or onto another large cake.

    Frost little cupcakes
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Carefully remove one of the cookies from the mini chocolate sandwich cookies. Twist it off so that most of the white filling stays on one of the cookies. You may need to do this a few times so you have 24 little "eyes."

    Candy on plate
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Make the iris on the "eye" by piping a bit of chocolate frosting in the center of the white filling. Let stand for a few minutes so the decorator frosting hardens. Then, carefully put two of the cookies on the side of each cupcake to look like eyes.

    Pipe chocolate
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  7. ​Press an M&M in between each "eye," sideways, to make the nose.

    Press an m&m in
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve and enjoy
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck