Halloween recipe round-up: appetizers, snacks, and desserts

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Photo by bvalium, used under Creative Commons license.

Let’s talk about Halloween FOOD! We found a few cool recipes around the internet — you’ve got your caramel toffee fruit dip, meringue ghosts, and candy corn cupcakes right here, but this list is HARDLY exhaustive. There’s a whole world of Halloween eating goodness out there!

After you’ve read these and been inspired, leave your favorite recipes in the comments and share the spooktacular knowledge.

Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip

Recipe used with permission from Jenna at Mom, the Intern.
Recipe used with permission from Jenna at Mom, the Intern.


  • 1-8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.8 tsp (pinch) nutmeg
  • ½ bag of toffee chips
  • pie pumpkin (the cute little ones)


  1. With an electric hand mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar and spices until fluffy. Resist urge to spoon the entire mixture into your mouth.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Then, gently mix in the toffee chips, spoon into a hollowed out pie pumpkin, and top with a handful of extra toffee chips.

Meringue Ghost Surprises

Recipe used with permission from Jenny at A Heart Full of Love.
Recipe used with permission from Jenny at A Heart Full of Love.


  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped white chocolate (grated works too!)
  • 1 tbs chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by separating out the egg whites. (You can put the yolks in the fridge to use in scrambled eggs in the morning.)
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. I use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid Stand Mixer — works great!
  4. When the egg whites are frothy, slowly stream in the sugar.
  5. Meanwhile chop your white chocolate. I use a hand grater but you can also chop it by hand.
  6. Continue beating on medium speed until egg whites form stiff peaks. It took about 15 minutes for mine to form stiff peaks but depends on your mixer. Basically when you remove the beaters, peaks should remain without flopping over.
  7. Remove the beaters and fold in the white chocolate.
  8. Pipe or spoon the meringue onto a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. The Wilton Dessert Decorator works great for piping the ghosts.
  9. Place the baking sheet in the oven, shut the door, and then turn it off. Your ghosts will be done when the oven is completely cool (about five hours). It is best to do this overnight.
  10. After the meringues are done, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Use a toothpick dipped in the melted chocolate to draw the eyes on the ghosts.

Monster Mash Popcorn Mix

Recipe used with permission from Katrina at In Katrina's Kitchen.
Recipe used with permission from Katrina at In Katrina’s Kitchen.



We popped a bunch of popcorn using the homemade microwave method, drizzled it with chocolate, and threw in bunches of candy corn, Reese’s Puffs cereal, and these funky eyeball candies. Finished!

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Recipe used with permission from Shannon at The Curvy Carrot.
Recipe used with permission from Shannon at The Curvy Carrot.


For the cake:

  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

For the frosting:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar



  1. Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  3. Whisk the milk, egg whites, and extracts together in a small bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
  5. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat the butter, one piece at a time, into the flour mixture, about 30 seconds. Continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, 1 to 3 minutes.
  6. Beat in all but half a cup of the milk mixture, then increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the batter until smooth, light, and fluffy, 1 to 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly beat in the remaining half cup of the milk mixture until the batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds.
  7. Use a greased ¼ cup measuring cup to pour the batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
  8. Bake the cupcakes, switching and rotating the pans halfway through baking, for a total of 15-20 minutes. (Mine took about 20 minutes total).
  9. Let the cupcakes cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. Beat the butter, cream, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat until incorporated and smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Divide the frosting into three bowls and tint each with desired food coloring tint.
  4. Using your pastry bag and desired tip, pipe the frosting in a cone-shape on the cupcakes…and voila!

BONUS HALLOWEEN ROUND: anyone who has the Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook and makes Halloween-themed Wookiee Cookies gets a high five!

(This post originally published on Offbeat Families.)

Comments on Halloween recipe round-up: appetizers, snacks, and desserts

  1. Pumpkin Spice Bars


    1/4 C ketchup
    2 eggs
    1/2 C oil
    1 C granulated sugar
    1 C minus 2 tbsp canned pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 oz can), or use fresh pie pumpkin
    1 C flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1/4 tsp allspice
    1 C semisweet chocolate chips


    Preheat oven to 350F, grease and flour 9×13″ pan.

    Using an electric mixer, combine the ketchup, eggs, oil, granulated sugar, and pumpkin. Sift together the dry ingredients and add gradually at low speed. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into pan. (It will not be a deep layer.)

    Bake 20 min but check early until toothpick clean in center. Cool completely before frosting.

    Frosting: Mix together 4 oz softened cream cheese, 1/4 C softened butter, 1 C plus 2 tbsp powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla.

  2. These look delicious! I’ve been invited to a potluck Halloween party, and I think these cupcakes would be perfect. I’d also like to bring something savory though. Any suggestions for ghoulish appetizers?

    • I really recommend Alton Brown’s Company Punch. It’s mostly lime juice, sugar, Batavia Arrack (or spiced rum), black tea and nutmeg. It’s always a hit at my parties, and something a little unexpected. I think the warm spice of nutmeg and spiced rum are great for fall, too.

    • Apple cider and rum of any kind (spiced rum is best, black rum is yummy, gold rum is decent, white rum is okay). Heated up, this is extra delicious.

      You can also do apple juice and ginger ale, or apple soda instead of the juice, if you can find it. Then again add rum or whiskey or even just vodka because that stuff is delicious even without alcohol. Adding in a bit of cranberry juice can be nice, too, although I prefer it without.

      And don’t forget the ice in the shape of a hand! 🙂 Or spiders in ice cubes!

  3. Last year I made “Deviled Eyes” for a Halloween party. I made regular deviled eggs, and added a drop of blue food dye to the yolks to make them greenish. Then, I took green olive slices and set them on top with a small piece of black olive in the middle. Pimento would work well, too! It took a while for people to warm up to eating them, but they were certainly tasty!

  4. Easy Peasy Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats
    1/4 cup butter
    4 cups miniature marshmallows
    5 cups crisp rice cereal
    1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice or add a little more if you want it extra spicy.

    Melt margarine in large sauce pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended. Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
    Add cereal. Stir until well coated.
    Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13 x 9 inch pan. Cut into 2 x 2 inch squares when cool.

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