Ghastly Cupcakes to wish you a Spooktastic Halloween!

Ghosties on Cupcakes

It was poor planning on my part that I was able to make only one Halloween-themed treat this year. Because we don’t celebrate Halloween in much the same fun way that the West does, I often forget when it’s about to approach. I get a kick out of making Halloween-themed pastires though, mostly because it requires a lot of creativity.

As long as the treats turn out how they’re supposed to or the way I envisioned them in my mind, I don’t mind doing more work than usual. Halloween desserts usually have a number of components, and this cupcake is no different in that it requires you to make cupcakes and meringue, but it was a ton of fun and the result always speaks for itself.

The most fun part in creating these cupcakes was the making of the itty-bitty ghosties. I can officially say that I now have much confidence in making meringues and can’t remember for the life of me why it had scared me in the first place. I intentionally didn’t make the ghosts too big or too high, nor did I make them too perfectly shaped because I thought this could add to the spookiness factor I was going for. I got lucky with the “angry” eyes because my chocolate chips for some reason were shaped that way. Who am I kidding though, these ended up looking cute!


I’ve been making a variation of chocolate cupcakes lately though I have to admit, my favourite remains to be the chocolate cupcakes I used for these Nutella Surprise Cupcakes. However, these chocolate cupcakes are also quite moist, especially when eaten with the chocolate ganache. This recipe originally makes a cake, with chocolate buttercream and all that jazz.

You can click through on the source link I provided in the recipe below if that’s what you’re looking for. If you prefer putting buttercream on your cupcake rather than the ganache, you can use the buttercream recipe there. As for me, I’m happy with my cute little ghoulish cuppycakes.

Screen Shot 2013 09 07 at 1.45.48 AM 300x221 - Ghastly Cupcakes to wish you a Spooktastic Halloween!
Ghastly Cupcakes
Screen Shot 2013 09 07 at 1.45.48 AM 300x221 - Ghastly Cupcakes to wish you a Spooktastic Halloween!
These chocolate cupcakes are quite moist, especially when eaten with the chocolate ganache. But the most fun part in creating these cupcakes was the making of the itty-bitty meringue ghosties.

Makes 22 to 24 cupcakes
For the Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  3. ¾ cup cocoa powder
  4. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. ½ teaspoon salt
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 1 cup strong black coffee (or 1 heaping tablespoon espresso powder dissolved in 1 cup water)
  9. 1 cup buttermilk
  10. ½ cup vegetable oil
  11. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
  1. 6 ounces (170 grams or about 1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
  2. 1 cup heavy cream
  3. crushed chocolate cookies, for sprinkling if desired
For the Ghost Meringues
  1. 3 large egg whites
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. ½ cup mini chocolate chips
Make the cupcakes
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C), setting the racks into the upper third and lower third of the oven. Line two cupcake tins with decorative paper liner of choice.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. 1
  4. 3. Add the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Batter will be runny.
  5. 2
  6. 4. Divide batter evenly between cupcake tins and bake- rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back halfway through- for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs. Cool cakes to room temperature before frosting or glazing.
  7. 3
Make the ganache
  1. 5. In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream, stirring until smooth. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, before pouring a large spoonful of ganache on top of the cupcakes. Put the glazed cupcakes into the fridge to help them set.
  2. 4
Make the Ghost Meringues
  1. 6. Preheat oven to 175°F (80°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. 7. In a double boiler, stir together egg whites and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and place in large mixing bowl. Add vanilla extract.
  3. 5
  4. 8. Beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.
  5. 6
  6. 9. Place meringue in pastry bag and cut off the corner. Pipe ghost shaped meringues directly onto prepared baking sheet, spacing them about half an inch apart as the meringues expand a little as they bake. Place chocolate chips for eyes and mouth.
  7. 7
  8. 10. Bake for 90 minutes to dry out the meringues. Let cool for about 20 minutes.*
  9. 8
To assemble
  1. 11. Sprinkle some crushed cookies over the ganache to give cupcakes a dirty graveyard look. Place ghosts on cupcakes, (or just eat them all by themselves).
  2. 9
  1. * Don't leave the meringues out in the open for too long as they will get soft and melt. Pop them into the fridge in an airtight container, avoiding placing each meringue too close together so they won't stick to each other. if not using immediately to preserve their shape.
Adapted from Pastry Affair blog
The Tummy Train
I certainly hope these cupcakes make it into your Halloween festivities somehow. I have a feeling the kids will love them! As for me, I’ll be curling up with this spooky little book this year. Have fun!



  1. petit4chocolatier
    28 October, 2012

    These are such a wonderful treat! So delicious! I love the cupcake recipe with strong coffee : )

    1. Clarisse Shaina
      29 October, 2012

      Strong coffee’s ability to bring out that chocolate flavour is amazing, isn’t it? 🙂

  2. applepiezucchini
    29 October, 2012

    These are brilliant!

    1. Clarisse Shaina
      29 October, 2012

      Thanks! I hope you give these a go! 🙂

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