11 of the Best Scary Halloween Dessert Recipes
Make your Halloween event fun, festive and memorable with these scary desserts! I've found terrific recipes for cute monster cookies, spooky white chocolate ghost pops, spine-chilling zombie cupcakes, ghoulish cake ball brains oozing cherry "blood" and more. They're sure to make the costumed witches, werewolves, vampires, monsters, ghosts and goblins at your party scream with laughter!
Seriously Scary Sweets
Cake Ball Brains With Oozing Cherry Blood
If you believe the saying "you are what you eat," gobbling a few of these delightfully disgusting-looking, scrumptious cake ball brains from Beth at Hungry Happenings just might improve your gray matter!
Imagine your guests' surprise when they bite into the white (or gray-tinted) confectionery coating shell of these brain-shaped sweets and discover the bright red, cherry-flavored (faux) blood oozing from the truffle-like chocolate center made from cake moistened with frosting!
You'll need at least one to make these. The Fred & Friends "Brain Freeze" ice cube mold I recommend has four cavities and the recipe makes between 20 and 36 treats, depending on how thinly you coat the molds with white candy coating. You may want to get two or more of these molds so you can make at least eight cake balls at a time. brain-shaped, flexible silicone ice cube mold
Tip: Consider using a prepared boxed chocolate cake mix and canned vanilla frosting and inviting a few friends over to help you make these. It's a fun project that goes much faster when "many hands make light work!"
Eek - a Chocolate Rat!
This cleverly designed chocolate brown long-tail rat, with its pale pink toes, nose, inner ears and tail, is sure to either scare the willies out of your party guests or totally gross them out...which, of course, is what makes it such a fun Halloween dessert. It's actually kind of cute, once you get over the shock of seeing it for the first time!
The body, legs and ears are formed from a delicious chocolate modeling dough made from Oreo cookie crumbs and cream cheese, rolled in more cookie crumbs to resemble fur. Two chocolate chip eyes and pale pink toes, nose, inner ears and tail give this tasty vermin a fairly realistic look at first glance.
Tip: You can make this Longtail Rat recipe from Beth's Hungry Happenings blog up to a week in advance and just bring it back to room temperature before serving. One less thing to worry about on the big day!
These ghastly, ghoulish zombie-themed sweets from Jamieanne at Sweetest Kitchen are moist chocolate pumpkin cupcakes filled with silky pumpkin buttercream, frosted with chocolate buttercream and dipped in crushed Oreo cookie "dirt." A bloody, green, zombie hand cupcake pick (available at party supply stores and on Amazon) and an Oreo Fudgees cookie "tombstone" are embedded into the top of each one.
Fresh takes on old favorites
Pumpkin Spider Cupcakes With Dulce de Leche Buttercream and Chocolate Spider Webs
There are lots of recipes for October festivities that feature edible spider web decorations, but this one is elevated version with gourmet flavors. Super-moist pumpkin cupcakes are filled with rich, caramel-flavored dulce de leche and frosted with dulce de leche buttercream, so they taste even better than they look! The spider webs are made by piping melted semisweet chocolate in concentric circles and then using the tip of a toothpick to draw radial lines from the center to the edges. Few recipes look as enticing as these decadent spider cupcakes from Sweetest Kitchen.
I think using plastic spider toppers clashes with the sophistication of these gourmet sweets, so I recommend substituting yummy, homemade, edible chocolate spiders. I've made these by placing a mini spider-shaped candy mold on a baking sheet (to stabilize the flexible mold) and filling it with dark chocolate melted in a double boiler over barely simmering water and then tinted with black gel paste food coloring.
I'll share a couple of my tips for making these successfully:
- Be sure to use only gel paste or powdered coloring and not liquid, which could make the candy seize up. The only brand I've tried that creates a true, deep black is . (I haven't tried powdered food coloring.) AmeriColor Super Black gel paste food coloring
- To make sure the candies come out easily and intact, freeze the filled mold (still on the baking sheet) for about 15 minutes. Place a sheet of baking parchment or freezer paper on your table or kitchen counter. Remove the mold from the freezer and hold it about two inches above the paper, then invert and flex the mold gently to pop out the candies.
Green Witches' Fingers Cookies
Halloween always brings out lots of different recipes for the always-popular witches' fingers cookies. Sometimes they're called severed finger cookies or ladies' fingers cookies. Whatever you call them, this version is definitely the most delightfully gruesome I've seen!
Green-tinted sugar cookie dough is shaped into gnarled, severed finger shapes complete with wrinkled knuckles. Traditionally, the almond fingernails are painted with red food coloring and attached with a lightly beaten egg white wash. But as you can see in the photo, Sweetest Kitchen's Jamieanne makes them look unnervingly realistic with untinted, blanched almond nails and red gel icing around the edges to create the look of bloody cuticles.
Jamieanne at Sweetest Kitchen used Annie Marshall's Witches' Fingers cookie recipe from her Everyday Annie blog, tinting the dough with green food coloring before giving the cookies her horror-movie-worthy decorating treatment. She served the cookies on a plate atop crushed-Oreo "chocolate dirt."
I prefer to embed them in a shallow baking dish of "dirt pudding" (chocolate pudding topped with crushed Oreo crumbs) so the green fingers protrude at random angles. Definitely eerie!
Jello-Filled White Chocolate Eyeballs
Eyeball-themed recipes abound for All Hallows' Eve, but these sweets add the twist of a red gelatin filling!
These fun and slightly gruesome treats from blogger Elise's MyCupcakeAddiction YouTube channel feature white chocolate shells made in a . The half-spheres are chilled, filled with prepared and cooled (but not refrigerated) strawberry or raspberry Jello and chilled again to let the gelatin set. Pairs of these are joined with more melted white chocolate. Each candy sphere is decorated with melted green, black and red candy melts for the iris, pupil and squiggly "veins" of the eyeball. Imagine your guests' surprise when they bite into the white chocolate shell and discover the jiggly red filling! Check out the video for the recipe and lots of helpful tips from Elise. round silicone cake pop mold
"Bones of the Dead" Meringue Cookies
This easy recipe for bone-shaped meringue cookies from BakeLikeAPro is made from just three ingredients: Egg whites, lemon juice and granulated sugar. It's similar to a traditional Italian treat for the "Day of the Dead" (AKA All Souls' Day or All Saints' Day) known as Ossi dei Morti, which means Bones of the Dead. These crisp meringues are extremely easy to make. And since you need to make them at least a day in advance, you can get them done ahead of time instead of on the day of your Halloween party.
Tip: In most traditional Italian versions, the dough includes finely ground almond or hazelnut flour, sometimes lemon zest and often one or more of the following: ground cinnamon, cloves, anise, black pepper. For a more authentic flavor, consider adding a little almond or hazelnut extract and a pinch of warm spices to this meringue.
Treats for Young Partygoers
Scary (but Cute) Monster Face Cookies
Today's Cookie Creature Double Feature: "Dracula vs. Frankenstein's Monster" and "Zombies vs. The Mummy!"
These fabulous Monster Face Cookies look like they might have come from fancy bakery (with an equally fancy price tag) rather than from someone's home kitchen. Yet despite their professional appearance, these kid-friendly, semi-scary cookies are surprisingly easy and fun to make.
They start out as simple sugar cookies, but the brightly colored royal icing and candy decorations turn them into something very special, indeed.
The Decorated Cookie blog's sugar cookie and royal icing recipes are from Meaghan Mountford, who also provides wonderful, easy-to-follow, illustrated step-by-step directions for decorating all four monster face cookies:
- a vampire cookie with bloody fangs
- a green fellow who resembles a friendlier version of Frankenstein's monster
- a mummy whose candy eyes peek out through the bandages
- a purple zombie with blood dripping from its mouth
Monster Whoopie Pies
These chocolate monsters from Lizzy at Your Cup of Cake are both silly and scary, so they're perfect for younger guests. The tongue, made by marbleizing red and yellow fruit chew candies, is seriously cool! The white chocolate chip teeth are held in place by luscious chocolate frosting. The googly eyes (marshmallows topped with miniature chocolate-covered mints) make these treats look like something out of the movie Monsters, Inc.
Note: Lizzy uses a devil's food cake mix in this recipe, but I like to make the from scratch using my favorite recipe for chocolate whoopie pies, whose taste I prefer. Your choice!
Oreo Cakester-Style Spiders
Meaghan Mountford of The Decorated Cookie blog is the former Edible Crafts editor for the fabulous CraftGossip blog. She popped back for a guest post and shared her surprisingly quick and easy 8-eyed, 8-legged, edible black spiders, You can whip up these creepy, crawly, cream-filled spiders in practically no time, and they're easy enough for even young children to make with you!
Since the recipe calls for Oreo Cakesters, which have since been discontinued by Nabisco, I substituted some homemade miniature chocolate whoopie pies, which turned out great. You could also use a round, chocolate-covered, cream-filled snack cake (Hostess Ding Dongs, Drake's Ring Dings or Little Debbie Cocoa Cremes) and use a toothpick to poke holes in the chocolate coating where you want to insert the licorice string "legs."
Follow Meaghan's directions for making Oreo Cakester Spiders on CraftGossip and substitute the individual-sized cream-filled chocolate cake sandwich of your choice!
Easy White Chocolate Ghost Pops
You Can Almost Hear Them Shout "Boo!"
These white chocolate ghost pops are another spooky sweet treat from The Decorated Cookie. These are extremely easy to make and you can whip up a batch very quickly. All you need are candy melts or white chocolate chips, lollipop sticks and candy eyes. If you have kids or grandchildren, they'll love making these pops with you.