Recipes » Dessert Recipes » Cute and Easy Halloween Ghost Cupcakes

Cute and Easy Halloween Ghost Cupcakes

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Use this simple chocolate cupcake recipe and purchased fondant to make these adorable Halloween Ghost Cupcakes to serve to all your trick-or-treaters!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Finished ghost cupcakes on a serving tray.

Use this simple chocolate cupcake recipe and purchased fondant to make these adorable Halloween Ghost Cupcakes to serve to all your trick-or-treaters. Let the kids join in the fun helping you make these cute and spooky, ghostly delights!

Halloween is coming up soon and if you’re looking for a fun treat to serve, these easy to make ghostly cupcakes are perfect! They’re really cute and delicious too! 

Finished ghost cupcakes on a serving tray.

You can’t beat a chocolate cupcake, right? Then add a cute little fondant spirit floating over the top and you have the perfect Halloween Ghost Cupcakes to treat kids and adults alike.

Our house has always had one rule for Halloween. We make it friendly for even the tiniest trick or treaters. There’s never been anything spooky and scary around here. We’re all about the cute! And, my goodness, these cupcakes are simply precious. 


  • Who doesn’t love Halloween themed foods!
  • Made by hand using premium ingredients
  • Decorated with edible icing
  • Great for parties or just for the family

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make the recipe.
  • Vegetable Shortening (You may know this by the brand name “Crisco.”)
  • White Fondant (I used the Wilton brand white fondant for this recipe. It’s available in craft stores or online. You might also like to purchase the fondant tools that Wilton has available.)
  • Black Decorator Icing (Available in tubes in the cake decorating section at the grocery story, or from craft stores.)
  • Black Cupcake Liners (Recommended but absolutely necessary.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How Make Halloween Ghost Cupcakes

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Preheat the Oven and Prep the Pan

Muffin pan prepared with cupcake liners.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins (enough to bake 18 cupcakes) with paper cupcake liners. Set the pan aside.

COOK’S TIP 
Note that I used black cupcake liners for these to make the little ghosts really stand out. You can use any color you like or none at all. If you don’t use liners, you’ll need to grease and flour the muffin tin cups.

Mix the Cupcake Batter

Shortening and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Eggs and vanilla extract added to mixing bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. 

Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.

Dry ingredients with a whisk in a bowl.

In another mixing bowl, measure the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to mix together.

Adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients in mixing bowl.
Adding more wet ingredients to mixing bowl.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the shortening and sugar mixture beginning and ending with the milk.

COOK’S TIP 
To alternate wet and dry ingredients, start by adding about 1/3 of the wet followed by half the dry, then another 1/3 of the wet and the remaining dry, and end with the remaining 1/3 wet.

Mini chocolate chips added to the batter.

Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in the chocolate chips.

Fill the Muffin Tins

Muffin cups filled with batter.

Fill the prepared cupcake liners approximately 3/4 full.

Bake the Cupcakes

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

COOK’S TIP 
Don’t forget when checking the cupcakes for doneness, you may touch a melted chocolate chip with the toothpick. It will look wet even when the cupcake is done.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

Make the Halloween Ghosts

Roll out the fondant to about 1/8-inch thick using cornstarch to make sure it doesn’t stick to your rolling surface.

Cut out 3-4 inch circles using a large cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or a bowl as a guide.

Press the fondant out with your fingers and drape it over a dome-shaped object (I used a small salt shaker) arranging the “skirts” of the ghosts into pleats.

Use the black decorator icing to dot little eyes onto the ghosts. Allow the fondant ghosts to dry completely and place one on top of each cupcake.

Finished Halloween ghost cupcakes on a scary background.

FAQs

I’m not sure about working with fondant. Is there an alternative?

If you don’t want to try working with fondant, you can make a simple white buttercream icing and pipe a ghost on top of the cupcakes. Easy!

My salt shaker just isn’t the right size for this. What else could I use?

For shaping the ghosts, you can use literally anything. I have even seen similar ghosts laid over a lollipop, and the lollipop left in there for support and an added surprise, which is very cute. You could even just mold them using your hands too. If you can find something that’s about the size of a lollipop that’s your best bet.

I’ve tried the black icing before and it was runny. Any ideas?

If you’ve had problems with the black icing running, you probably picked up the gel type of icing. Be sure to get the “decorator icing” and, if you want to be extra sure, only add the eyes just before serving.

What’s the best way to store these cupcakes?

These cupcakes are easiest to store in a cake storage container with a high dome lid. The types with a cupcake insert work really well!

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Recipe

Finished ghost cupcakes on a serving tray.

Halloween Ghost Cupcakes

Use this simple chocolate cupcake recipe and purchased fondant to make these adorable Halloween Ghost Cupcakes to serve to all your trick-or-treaters!
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Desserts, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

For Decorating

  • 24 ounces white fondant icing (recommend: Wilton Decorator Preferred White Fondant)
  • cornstarch for dusting
  • black food coloring

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line muffin pans (enough for 18 cupcakes) with liners and set aside.
  • Using a mixer, beat the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
  • In another medium sized mixing bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to mix well.
  • Add the milk and the dry ingredients alternately (one-half in each addition) to the shortening and sugar mixture. Mix well.
  • Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  • Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Roll out the fondant icing to about 1/8" inch thick using cornstarch to make sure it doesn't stick.
  • Cut out circular shapes about 3-4 inches across using a cookie cutter or bowl.
  • Press the fondant out with fingers and drape over a dome shape such as a salt shaker. Arrange the "skirts" of the ghosts into pleats.
  • Use the black food coloring to dot on little eyes. Allow to dry.
  • Place on top of the cupcakes.

Notes

Ingredients —
  • Vegetable shortening is also known as Crisco.
  • I used the Wilton brand white fondant for this recipe. It’s available in craft stores or online. You might also like to purchase the fondant tools that Wilton has available.
  • Black decorator icing is available in tubes in the cake decorating section at the grocery story, or from craft stores.
  • Black cupcake liners are recommended, but not absolutely necessary.
Tips —
To alternate wet and dry ingredients, start by adding about ⅓ of the wet followed by half the dry, then another ⅓ of the wet and the remaining dry, and end with the remaining ⅓ wet.
Don’t forget when checking the cupcakes for doneness, you may touch a melted chocolate chip with the toothpick. It will look wet even when the cupcake is done.
These cupcakes are easiest to store in a cake storage container with a high dome lid. The types with a cupcake insert work really well!
If you don’t want to try working with fondant, you can make a simple white buttercream icing and pipe a ghost on top of the cupcakes. Easy!
If you’ve had problems with the black icing running, you probably picked up the gel type of icing. Be sure to get the “decorator icing” and, if you want to be extra sure, only add the eyes just before serving.
For shaping the ghosts, you can use literally anything. I have even seen similar ghosts laid over a lollipop, and the lollipop left in there for support and an added surprise, which is very cute. You could even just mold them using your hands too. If you can find something that’s about the size of a lollipop that’s your best bet.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Lana, I really enjoy your weekly recipes they are a ray of sunshine. This week’s spider webs and ghost cupcakes are so fun. My family will be busy next weekend and we thank you. Happy Halloween. Margie