Photo by Maile Sur

Jack-o-Lantern and Spider web cupcakes are spooky fun, and easy, too, with store-bought cake mix and icing.

How-to: Scare up some Halloween cupcakes

October 26, 2014

With Halloween just a few days away, my sweet tooth is craving more than just lollipops and candy bars – I’m talking cupcakes!

Every year when I was younger, my mom would throw Halloween parties. It was always fun to see everyone in their costumes, but my favorite part was the treats.

With this easy recipe, I’ll show you how to make two Halloween cupcakes – Spider Web Cupcakes and Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yeild: 24 cupcakes

What you’ll need:

1 box of cake mix (I like the Betty Crocker Party Rainbow Chip mix, but any mix will work)
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 containers of vanilla frosting
red, yellow, blue, and green food color
some gumdrops
a few pretzel sticks
24 paper baking cups


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Beat cake mix, water, oil, and eggs on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into cupcake cups, filling them 2/3 full.
3. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing.

While the cupcakes are in the oven, follow these steps to making the icing:

1. Mix 3 drops of red and 5 drops of yellow food color with 1 container of icing in a medium bowl. This should come out orange for the base coating of the Jack-o-Lantern cupcake.
2. Mix 4 drops of red, 4 drops of yellow, 2 drops of green, and 2 drops of blue food color with a 1/2 cup of the remaining icing in a small bowl. This should come out a dark green/black.
3. Place the dark icing into a small Ziploc bag. Cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag.

Once the cupcakes are done, and you are ready to start decorating, follow these steps for the Spider Web Cupcakes:

1. Spread white frosting on half the cupcakes.
2.  Squeeze circles of dark green icing on each cupcake; pull a toothpick through the icing from the center outward to make a web.
3. Roll out 1 gumdrop and cut it into 8 strips for legs; you will use another whole gumdrop on top for the body.
4. Assemble the spider on the cupcake.

Follow these steps for the Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes:

1. Spread orange frosting over the other half of the cupcakes.
2. Draw jack-o-lantern faces using the rest of the dark icing.
3. Flatten 1 green gumdrop and cut it into a leaf shape.
4. Place a small piece of a pretzel stick at the top of the cupcake for a stem and place the gumdrop leaf next to it.

Once you’re done, smile because you just made the cutest cupcakes ever!

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