Easy Ghost Cupcakes [+ Video]October 18, 2016 By Cathy — 28 Comments
Boo! These ghost cupcakes are super easy to make and the perfect treat for your Halloween party.
So, I’ll admit it. Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday. I’m just not that into the whole dressing up thing and I’m terribly uncreative when it comes to my kids’ costumes. We still have yet to figure out what they’ll be this year and I guess we have to take scary clowns off the shortlist 😉 But Halloween-inspired food? Well that’s another story. I can make spooky treats and scary meals all day long.
I don’t know when it happened that I stopped wanting to dress up for Halloween. Sure, I’ve attended my fair share of costume parties over the years, but it’s always a bit begrudgingly. I’ve had very few notable costumes, in fact, the last one I remember with any fondness definitely dates me.
There was an accident in 1997 during a Rangers hockey game when a pane of plexiglass came crashing down on top of Wayne Gretzy’s wife, Janet Jones. She was knocked unconscious and pretty banged up. Gretzy took a lot of flack for returning to the ice to play out the remainder of the game while she was tended to by the doctors.
I was living in the Manhattan at the time and this story was all over the papers and the local television news. Steve and I still bicker about who had the idea that I dress up as Janet Jones for a party he was throwing, (to be clear, it was my idea) but regardless of who the mastermind was, it was the perfect costume. It was easy, topical and it definitely generated a few laughs. I wore a Gretzky jersey, had a little fake blood trickling down my face and we somehow fashioned a pane of plexiglass to attach to my head (which became slightly dangerous as the night progressed).
But that’s when the well went dry….1997.
My kids have never worn a costume that couldn’t be purchased at a Halloween pop-up store and outside of witch hat and a little black lipstick, I can barely recall a time that I’ve worn a Halloween costume since. And that’s just fine with me. I’ve since channeled all of my Halloween creativity into the edible variety.
These pumpkin cupcakes and cake pops are a couple of recent favorites. I’ve also made just about every kind of Halloween cake pop and cookie that you can imagine (eyeballs, mummies, ghosts, monsters, etc.) over the years. Last year I surprised my boys with this spooky Halloween breakfast; I’ve served witches fingers and eyeball martinis to dinner party guests; and if you come back and see me on Friday, I’ll have the recipe for a mummy-inspired main course.
But there I go, getting ahead of myself. Getting back to today, I have a sweet and easy ghost cupcake recipe to share. No fancy decorations, just a swirl of marshmallow frosting atop of moist chocolate cupcake with a very simple piped chocolate face. It’s cute, it’s quick and it’s just right for Halloween. And if you’re a costume-phobe like me, dressing up these spooky little cupcakes might be the closest we get to a costume party this year!
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup boiling water
- Marshmallow Frosting
- 6 egg whites
- 2 cups sugar
- ⅔ cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup water
- 3½ cup mini marshmallows
- ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- *24 cupcake liners, pastry bags, large round pastry tip, #2 round pastry tip
- Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 - 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add buttermilk, eggs and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well until combined.
- Slowly add in boiling water and mix to combine.
- Fill each lined cup using an ice cream scoop and bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Rotate the pans once while baking.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pans for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Marshmallow Frosting: Place all ingredients except marshmallows in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the pan.
- Beat with an electric mixer until thick and glossy, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add in the marshmallows and continue to beat until marshmallows are melted, about 3 mins.
- Remove from heat and beat for an additional 4-5 minutes, until cooled and thickened.
- Decorate the cupcakes: Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip* about ⅔ full with marshmallow frosting. Pipe frosting in concentric circles on top of the cupcake, creating a peak.
- Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, refilling the piping bag as needed.
- Place the melted chocolate into another piping bag fitted with a small round pastry tip (#2). Pipe eyes and a mouth on each cupcake. Enjoy!
- *if you don't have pastry tips, simply cut a wider hole at the end of a pastry bag for the frosting, and just the tip for the chocolate face.