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Halloween Cupcake Ideas

I had so much making my last batch of Halloween cupcakes, I decided to make another!!

This batch of Halloween cupcakes features a couple iconic cupcake designs.

It includes an homage to Frankenstein, and the classic shattered glass cupcake (inspired by this recipe).

These decorations don’t require fancy tips or difficult techniques, but you will need a bit of gel food coloring, and a candy thermometer!

I made them using a super moist spice cupcake recipe.

They’re frosted them using my American buttercream frosting! The recipes used can be found below, along with a quick tutorial:

Spice Cupcake Batter

  • 1 1/4 cup (162g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (212g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Vanilla American Buttercream Frosting:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Orange, yellow, black and green gel food coloring

Edible Glass Shards:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • candy thermometer

Additional Supplies:

  • Tootsie Rolls
  • piping bags
  • brown and red sprinkles
  • candy eyes
  • Halloween sprinkle blend
  • strawberry jam
  • red food coloring

Bake time: 17 minutes

Yield: 12-14 cupcakes

Spice Cupcakes

Begin by making the spice cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and place cupcake liners in baking pans.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and gently mix.

Add the buttermilk, and gently stir until just combined.

Next, add in the water, vanilla, and  vegetable oil, and mix until the batter comes together. Mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Stir in the egg until well combined.

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, and bake for 17 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

To speed up the cooling process, you can also place the cupcakes in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Buttercream Frosting

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the buttercream frosting.

Beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.

Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.

Add the heavy cream half way through.

Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.

If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 Tablespoon at a time).

If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Edible Glass Shards

Next, make the edible glass shards,  mix 1 cup water, 1/2 cup corn syrup, sugar, and cream of tartar in a large saucepan or pot.

Bring mixture to a boil.

Use a candy thermometer and boil sugar syrup until temperature reaches 300 degrees, stirring constantly.

It’s super important that you get the mixture to exactly 300 degrees, and immediately remove from the heat one it does.

If it doesn’t reach this temperature, it won’t fully harden, and you won’t be able to smash it into smaller shards.

If it gets hotter than this, or if you don’t stir if constantly, the mixture can begin to caramelize and gain a yellowish hue.

When sugar reaches 300 degrees, quickly pour onto a metal baking pan.

Cool until completely firm to the touch.

Break into “shards” using a hard object (I sterilized a hammer for this, but a meat mallet would work too!).

edible glass shards, made with hardened sugar
Breaking up my hardened sugar, to create edible glass shards for my cupcakes

Shattered Glass Cupcakes

For the shattered glass cupcake design, remove the center from each cupcake.

I like to use a 1 inch circle cutter, so that each cupcake is packed with jam. Not only does it make them absolutely delicious, it also makes them look super gory when they’re bitten into.

In a medium bowl, mix together strawberry jam with 1 squirt of gel food coloring.

Fill each cupcake with strawberry jam, and pipe white frosting over the jam.

Stick glass shards into the frosting.

Drizzle some of the remaining red jam between the shards.

photo of shattered glass cupcakes, decorated with jam to look like blood
Shattered glass cupcakes, decorated with edible sugar shards

Candy Corn Cupcakes

To make the candy corn swirl cupcake, color a small portion of the frosting yellow, and orange.

Fit three piping bags with a Wilton 1M (open star) tip.

Fill bags with the yellow, orange and white buttercream.

Pipe the first, largest frosting swirl with the yellow buttercream.

Add a second, smaller swirl with the orange frosting.

Pipe a small finishing swirl on top with the white buttercream.

photo of chelsweets candy corn cupcakes
Simple candy corn cupcakes, frosted using a Wilton 1M frosting tp

Frankenstein Cupcakes

To create the Frankenstein cupcakes, frost cupcakes with a mound of bright green buttercream.

Dunk into chocolate jimmies, and leave one side of the frosting uncovered by sprinkles.

Add candy eyes, a red sprinkle stitch, and a brown sprinkle mouth.

Cut each tootsie rolls into 8 equal pieces, and shape small neck bolts.

Stick into the sides of the frosting.

image of cute frankenstein cupcakes for halloween
Adorable Frankenstein cupcakes, made with buttercream and sprinkles!

Gothic Halloween Cupcakes

To make the gothic halloween swirl cupcakes, pipe a mound of white buttercream onto each cupcake.

Dunk into a Halloween sprinkle blend. I love using blends from Sweetapolita!  If you are in need of some spooky sprinkles, you can use the the code CHELSWEETS15 to get 15% off your entire order!

Pipe a swirl of black frosting on top of the sprinkles, using a wilton 1M tip. Top with some orange sanding sugar.

photo of simple sprinkle cupcake decorated with black buttercream for halloween
Piping black buttercream onto my Halloween sprinkle cupcake, using a wilton 1M frosting tip

Let Me Know What You Think

And that’s how you make all four designs!! I had a hard time picking my favorite, but I think I like the shattered glass cupcakes the best 🙂

Nothing makes me happier than when I get emails or DMs with photos of your amazing creations. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3

If you try this halloween spice cupcake recipe or any of these cupcake designs, please tag me @chelsweets. Also use the #chelsweets so that I can see what your baking!

photo of cut open shattered glass cupcake, filled with strawberry jam
The inside of my shattered glass cupcake , filled with strawberry jam “blood”

The Halloween Cupcake Project • Adventures of an Island Girl

Friday 30th of October 2020

[…] the first of my Halloween cupcakes, my goal was to recreate Chelsweets’ shattered glass cupcakes with glass shards sticking out the top. Except, my edible glass shards experiment was a flop. You […]


Wednesday 28th of October 2020

How did u frost the tie die Halloween cupcakes? I’ve looked everywhere!!


Thursday 14th of May 2020

Hi! I’m in love with this spice cupcake! I am wanting to make a spice cake. Am I able to use the cupcake recipe for a cake? do I double it? Or did I completely miss a spice cake batter recipe lol?


Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Hi Samantha,

You can double the recipe to make 2, 8" inch cake layers :) I have yet to share a spice cake recipe, but I really need to! Happy baking!!


Tuesday 2nd of October 2018

these are so cute and creative!! is there any way to share these to social media (pinterest)?!


Monday 15th of October 2018

aw thanks!! I usually just copy the link and paste it in the create pin button! I'm working on adding the pin button onto my photos but it's a work in progress!!

Gory Glass Shard Cupcakes – The Glitzy Gals

Sunday 29th of October 2017

[…] with Chelsweets spice cake recipe (see […]