Halloween cupcakes


  • food coloring
    • black
    • orange
    • yellow
    • green
    • red>
  • a tub of decorator frosting
  • your preferred cake mix or recipe

My mom took a cake decorating class around the time I started elementary school, and from that point forward she sent my sister and me to school with the prettiest birthday and holiday treats.

Our favorite of her frosting creations was her Halloween cupcakes, of which she turned out at least six dozen – two dozen for my class, two dozen for my sister’s class, and two dozen for my dad to take to work – every fall. I started sharing these cupcakes with my friends in kindergarten, and continued sharing them throughout my high school years.

As a wedding shower gift my mom bought me my own set of cake decorating tools. I had little motivation to use them until my son turned two, when I decided to carry on my mom’s Halloween cupcake tradition for my own kiddos.

Here’s the thing about these cupcakes: they look hard to create, but they’re not. They look like they require professional cake decorating tools, but they don’t. I promise, if you have a little time and a little patience, you can make them yourself!


1. Ahead of time, pick up food coloring (see colors below) and a tub of decorator frosting at your local craft store. You can make decorator frosting from scratch, but mine never turns out or sets up as well as the store-bought version.

2. If you’re interested in really trying your hand at cake decorating, consider picking up a simple set of tools at your local craft store. I use a set like this, but a set like this works just as well.

a. Norpro 8 Piece Cake Decorating Set
b. Wilton 415-0906 Dessert Decorator Plus

3. Bake your cupcakes using your preferred mix or recipe.

4. While your cupcakes cool, mix your colored decorator frostings. How much you need depends on how many cupcakes you’re decorating; when I make six dozen cupcakes I color decorator frosting in the amounts below. (The challenge is that in order to get the colors right you need to tint a little more frosting than you’ll actually use…you may end up with leftovers, but having extra is better than not having enough.)
a. White (untinted)~ 1 cup
b. Black ~ 1 cup
c. Orange ~ ½ cup
d. Yellow ~ ¼ cup
e. Green ~ ¼ cup
f. Red ~ ¼ cup

5. After the cupcakes cool completely, frost them with store-bought or homemade white, tinted orange, or tinted brown/chocolate frosting.

6. Add your colored decorator frostings to your zip lock bags, frosting dispenser, or frosting bags. If you’re using zip lock bags, trim off one corner of the bags – just a little at a time – until the desired amount of frosting comes out of the bag when you squeeze it. If you’re using tools, attach a #2 or #3 tip.

7. Do your best to follow the pictures. As you can see if you compare the original instructions to my cupcakes, I don’t follow the instructions exactly. I change what I do a little each year, both in terms of what the cupcakes look like and which cupcakes I actually make.

Have fun!