Halloween Ghost Cupcakes are a super cute Halloween treat that will steal the show at your Halloween party this year. You won’t believe how easy they are. I’m sharing all the keys to success for this quick and easy Halloween desserts.
Halloween is one of those holidays where you’re often crunched for time so we’re sharing an easy dessert that can be made quickly.
The chocolate cupcakes can be made from a boxed mix and the frosting and decorating only takes a few minutes.
Don’t be intimidated by the piping technique. I’m sharing all the details so that your Halloween Ghost Cupcakes will turn out perfectly every time.
Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
Key to Success #1 – Use a Chocolate Cake Mix for Convenience
We’re taking a shortcut by using a boxed chocolate cake mix for these cute little Ghost Cupcakes.
You can certainly use your favorite chocolate cake recipe to make the cupcakes if you’d prefer.
I just think when we’re making cute and whimsical cupcakes like ghosts, the focus is more on the design and you don’t expect to bite into a gourmet cupcake.
Plus, I really like boxed cake mixes for cupcakes because they bake up so light and fluffy.
A light and fluffy cupcake is perfect for these ghost cupcakes because the frosting is as light and fluffy as a cloud.
Substitutions for Bakery-style Cupcakes
To make the boxed cake mix into bakery-style cupcakes, we’re substituting melted butter for the oil.
This is optional. You can use ingredients and instructions suggested on the box of cake mix if you’d prefer.
A box of cake mix makes 24 standard size cupcakes so you will need two 12-cup muffin pans or you will need to bake your cupcakes in batches.
Be sure to use some cupcake liners in your muffin pans.
I like to use the parchment liners made by Paper Chef. They are nonstick. If you use them, you do not need to spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
For regular paper cupcake liners, I highly recommend spraying them right before you add your cupcake batter.
Key to Success #2 – The Fluffy White Frosting is KEY
I am just the biggest fan of the Betty Crocker Home Style Fluffy White Frosting mix, but unfortunately, a lot of big box stores are no longer carrying it.
You can find it at some smaller grocery stories sometimes or you can get it on Amazon.com or Walmart.com.
I love this fluffy frosting on angel food cake and it’s the perfect base for No-Cook Divinity candy.
It is light and airy and you cannot find a substitute in a can anywhere like this frosting.
It’s a lot like 7-minute frosting. If you can’t find the Betty Crocker Fluffy White Frosting mix, try substituting a great 7-minute frosting recipe.
Tall Ghosts Need Double the Frosting
We’re using two boxes of the Fluffy White Frosting mix because these tall ghosts use up a lot of frosting.
If you have a stand mixer, it’s best to use it for this recipe.
Otherwise, you can use a hand mixer but just know going in that you have to beat the frosting for 5 to 7 minutes.
There are no substitutes for the beating time for this frosting. It’s going to take long for the frosting to make stiff peaks.
But it’s totally worth it, I promise.
If using a hand mixer, I would recommend making each box of frosting separately.
I think it would be too much for a hand mixer to handle otherwise.
Key to Success #3 – Piping the Ghosts
The cute little frosting ghosts are really easy to pipe if you have the right equipment.
Here are the supplies you need:
- large 16-inch piping bag
- Wilton 1A (or similar) piping tip
- bag clip to keep the piping bag closed
You can use reusable or disposable piping bags for these Ghost Cupcakes.
I like to use a disposable piping bag that is at least 16 inches long.
First, snip off the tip of the piping bag then press the piping tip down into the bag.
If the piping tip doesn’t fit into the hole that you cut in the bag, snip off a little more until the piping tip fits smoothly.
The piping tip should fit snugly without any gaps between it in the bag.
Once you have the piping tip fitted into the bag, scoop in the frosting. You do not have to fit all the frosting in the bag at once.
Only put as much as you can handle at once. You can always add more later.
Close the top of the bag and fasten it with a clip.
I use these clips from Ikea that I purchased on Amazon for a few bucks and they work great to keep the frosting in the bag.
How to Pipe Ghosts on a Cupcake
Piping ghosts on a cupcake is not as hard as it may seem.
Think of the ghost as three distinct sections.
You want the bottom section to be the biggest. The middle part should be a little smaller. And the top should be the smallest.
Pipe the Bottom Section of the Ghost
This section forms the base of the ghost.
- Hold the piping tip straight up and down about 1/2-inch over the top of the cupcake
- Press the bag firmly until the frosting spreads to the edge of the cupcake
- STOP SQUEEZING THE BAG
- Pull the piping tip away.
When you stop squeezing the bag before removing it, you will get a flat top to your frosting. This will create a flat base for your next section.
For the Middle Section of the Ghost
- Move the piping tip to 1/2-inch above the base of the ghost and hold it straight up and down
- Press the bag firmly until the frosting spreads nearly to the edge of the base frosting
- STOP SQUEEZING THE BAG
- Pull the piping tip away.
Again, you want a flat base for your head so stop squeezing the bag before you move to the next section.
For the Ghost’s Head
- Move the piping tip to 1/2-inch above the middle layer and hold it straight up and down
- Press the bag firmly until the frosting makes the ghost’s head
- KEEP SQUEEZING THE BAG gently as you pull the piping tip straight up to create the pointed head
Now your ghost is perfectly formed! The last step is to add the ghost’s eyes.
We’re using black sugar pearls for the eyes.
Use a steady hand to stick the eyes in place. Put them closer together than you think you need them to be.
One tip about the eyes is to add them right before your party.
After several hours, the color may start bleeding off of the black sugar pearls so it’s best to add them right before you’ll be serving your cupcakes.
Save this Halloween Ghost Cupcakes Recipe to your favorite Halloween Food board or your Halloween Party Ideas board.
For the cupcakes
- 1 box (15 oz) Devil's Food cake mix
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 eggs
For the Frosting
- 2 boxes (7 oz) Betty Crocker Home Style Fluffy White Frosting mix
- 1 cup boiling water
- black sugar pearls
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners into two 12-cup muffin pans.
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer, blend together the chocolate cake mix, water, melted butter, and eggs. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Lightly spray muffin pans with nonstick spray then evenly divide the cupcake batter into 24 cupcake liners in the muffin pans.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Set cupcakes aside to cool completely. Once cupcakes are cool, make the frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, combine boiling water and both packages of fluffy white frosting mix. Beat on low 30 seconds then increase speed to high and beat 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
- Place frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a large round piping tip, such as Wilton 1A.
- Holding the piping tip straight up and down about 1/2-inch over the top of the cupcake, press the bag firmly until the frosting spreads to the edge of the cupcake. STOP SQUEEZING THE BAG then pull the piping tip away. This forms the base of the ghost.
- Move the piping tip to 1/2-inch above the base of the ghost then press the bag firmly until the frosting spreads nearly to the edge of the base frosting. STOP SQUEEZING THE BAG then pull the piping tip away. This forms the middle part of the ghost.
- Move the piping tip to 1/2-inch above the middle layer then press the bag firmly until the frosting makes the ghost's head. KEEP SQUEEZING THE BAG gently as you pull the piping tip straight up to create the pointed head.
- Place two black sugar pearls for the ghost's eyes.
- For the cupcakes, you can use the ingredients and instructions on the box if you'd prefer.
- Use your own chocolate cupcake recipe if you'd like.
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PaperChef (2 Pack) Extra Large Paper Cupcake Liners/Baking Cups, 30-ct/Box, Оne Расk, Tan
Wilton Black Sugar Pearls
KitchenAid KSM150PSBY Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - Boysenberry
Betty Crocker Homestyle Fluffy White Frosting Mix, 7.2 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Ikea Bevara Bag Sealing Clips 30 Pack
Ateco Disposable Decorating Bags, 18-Inch, Pack of 100
Wilton No. 1A Round Decorating Tip, Multicolor
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 172mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g
Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.
But wait, there’s more …
Don’t miss our Cute and Easy Halloween Treats recipe roundup.
We’re sharing lots of great Halloween treat ideas for your next Halloween party.