Easy Ghost Cupcakes [+ Video]

October 18, 2016 By Cathy — 29 Comments
Boo! These ghost cupcakes are super easy to make and the perfect treat for your Halloween party.

Easy Ghost Cupcakes

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.

Easy Ghost Cupcakes

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.

Easy Ghost Cupcakes

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.

Easy Ghost Cupcakes

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.

Easy Ghost Cupcakes

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!

5 from 5 votes
Easy Ghost Cupcakes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Boo! These ghost cupcakes are super easy to make and the perfect treat for your Halloween party.
Cuisine: Dessert
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Cathy Roma | whatshouldimakefor.com
  • Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • tsp baking powder
  • 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
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cup mini marshmallows

  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate melted
  • *24 cupcake liners pastry bags, large round pastry tip, #2 round pastry tip
  1. Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 - 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add buttermilk, eggs and oil to the dry ingredients and mix well until combined.
  4. Slowly add in boiling water and mix to combine.
  5. 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.
  6. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  7. 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.
  8. Beat with an electric mixer until thick and glossy, about 7-8 minutes.
  9. Add in the marshmallows and continue to beat until marshmallows are melted, about 3 mins.
  10. Remove from heat and beat for an additional 4-5 minutes, until cooled and thickened.
  11. Decorate the cupcakes: Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip* about 2/3 full with marshmallow frosting. Pipe frosting in concentric circles on top of the cupcake, creating a peak.
  12. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, refilling the piping bag as needed.
  13. 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!
  14. *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.
Easy Ghost Cupcakes

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Filed Under: Cakes/Cupcakes, Holiday, Recipe


29 responses to “Easy Ghost Cupcakes [+ Video]”

  1. These are just adorable and love your video! I’m not a big Halloween fan either, possibly because we almost always get our first snow-fall around Halloween. Puts a real damper on the dressing up fun 🙂

  2. These are the cutest and I love the video! You really make it look easy. I love your Janet Jones costume too. Have pictures you can share?

  3. These are too cute and I love this video!!! xo

  4. These are adorable, Cathy! And I love your video! I’m with you on Halloween! I’ve never loved it…not really as a kid either (now that I think about it). Just the candy, of course!

  5. Hilarious Halloween costume Cathy! I am absolutely LOVING these adorable cupcakes!! And of course your video is fabulous!! Love all your photos too! What a great setup for a Halloween party!

  6. I am 100% with you on the Halloween thing, except I am not a culinary master mind when it comes to spook-tacular treats to make up for my lack of hallows eve enthusiasm. Lucky for me I’ve got you to come up with all the genius ideas! 😉 These ghost cupcakes are absolutely adorable!! My niece and nephew would definitely love these! Pinned! Cheers, friend!
    P.s. your Janet Jones costume sounded nothing short of epic!

  7. I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween either. It’s not that I don’t like it, I do. It’s just not the top of my list. But, like you, I love all the food things that go along with it 🙂 Of course, right 😉 ? That Halloween breakfast that you made last year looks super cute! Your kids must have loved that! I can’t imagine you attaching some sort of plexiglass to your head. That must have been hilarious 😀 Despite not being the biggest fan of Halloween, I still was thinking of maaaaaybe putting on some face makeup but we shall see 😉 So funny, those little pumpkins that you have in your pics, I have the same ones that will make an appearance in my Halloween cupcakes, lol. I love yours with the marshmallow frosting and those little faces are adorable! Looking forward to seeing your mummy main course!

    • Cathy says:

      Looking forward to your cupcakes Dawn! Now that I’ve made all my Halloween food, guess it’s time to figure out the boys costumes.

  8. At least you make great Halloween foods! I kind of skip over the holiday and go right to Thanksgiving. 🙂 I have no idea how you make so many ridiculously cute desserts. I’m not sure if I want to eat those cupcakes or hug them.

  9. Love, love LOVE these Cathy! They are just darling. And love your video too!

  10. I love these ghost cupcakes!!!! adorable!

  11. Nancy Bodin says:

    I’m making the frosting as I’m writing you. I have a problem, I followed the instructions but it is not thickening up??

    • Cathy says:

      I’m sorry you had issues with the frosting thickening Nancy. A couple of things to consider: be sure you don’t have any egg yolk in the mix and that your heat isn’t too high. Depending on the speed/power of your beaters, it may take a few minutes longer to thicken. The frosting will also continue to thicken as it cools, especially after the addition of the marshmallows. Hopefully it worked out for you!

    • Nancy Bodin says:

      Thanks for replying but I mixed it even longer but it didn’t thicken for me. So I went with my buttercream frosting! Do you know if I can freeze the frosting, I don’t want to waste it. Its delicious! I think I was in too much of a hurry to get them frosted because it was for my friends birthday! She loved them anyways! They are very good! Thank you for sharing the recipe. I will be making them again! =)

    • Cathy says:

      So sorry it didn’t thicken for you. Sometimes if you have some grease or butter left in your bowl it will prevent it from thickening too. I’ve never frozen it as it’s never lasted that long 😉 in our house. Not sure how it would do in the freezer, but worth a try!

  12. Super cute and fantastic video! Your piping is just gorgeous! That is something I’ve never even come close to mastering. Unfortunately my ghosts would probably look like stroke victims 😛 In any event, I love these adorable cupcakes! I’m sure I would eat way more than I should 😉

  13. Awesome video! This one is a keeper. Mmmmm, that marshmallow frosting is billowy and perfect. Keep ’em coming. I love the fact that the decoration is built into the frosting. So smart and easy with kids. Love all your halloween treats. So scrumptious!

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