Project Food Blog Challenge 4: Halloween Cupcakes


Wistful, creative, playful, fun and even (yes, I’ll admit it) cute – these are the words that come to my mind when I think of cupcakes. There is just something so joyous about a cupcake standing tall in cheerful solidarity with its brethren waiting for you to pick one. Chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, lemon, blueberry, rocky road, mint – so many decisions, so little time. Having finally made your choice, you slowly unwrap your treat, taste a dab of the icing and then take a carefully proportioned bite so as to get equal amounts of frosting and cake. Mmm! The small joys of life!

Cupcakes 1

I obviously don’t have to tell you that I adore cupcakes. And I was in cupcake heaven when I bought my copy of Hello, Cupcake!, one of the most inventive and inspired cake-decorating books out there. The best part about its recipes are that they don’t require any fancy tools, suit all skill levels and everything you put on your cupcake is edible. (I detest cakes with miles of fondant covering, so all you are actually eating is sugar. I’m not even a big fan of buttercream.) One thing I did miss in the book sometimes was pictures to illustrate each step. Though the descriptions are quite detailed, sometimes it’s just easier to have a visual representation. So when I discovered that the next Project Food Blog* challenge was to create a step-by-step, instructional photo tutorial, it was easy enough to pick cupcakes as my project. And with Halloween just around the corner, creating these playful cupcakes was both apt and fun.

Cupcakes 2

Shopping for the ingredients was well, like being a kid let loose in the candy store. (I ended up buying several kinds I didn’t even need – all for the purpose of research and experimentation, of course.) Below you’ll find step-by-step photo-recipes of cupcakes made from scratch – my favorite dark, moist chocolate cupcakes (that you may remember from my Audrey Hepburn Cupcakes post) and pumpkin-spice cupcakes – both adapted from Martha Stewart. There are also recipes for homemade chocolate frosting and an almond cream cheese frosting. But the beauty of this project is that you can make any of the Halloween cupcakes using store-bought frosting, cupcakes made from a mix or even ready-made cupcakes. You’re the boss – feel free to substitute as per your convenience.

Cupcakes 3

Once you’ve got the basics, it’s time to really have some fun: below the cupcake and frosting recipes are photo-directions to make Hooting Owl Cupcakes, Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes, Creepy Crawly Cupcakes, and Bat Cupcakes all adapted from Hello Cupcake!. There are also Graveyard Cupcakes, which is an idea I got while browsing through cupcake images. All the ingredients are readily available at bakery or candy stores and in terms of special equipment, you may need a zip-lock bag and spoons! If you have kids, get them to join the party – they’ll love making these. Just remember to buy extra ingredients because half the candy is going to end up somewhere other than those cupcakes. (I’m not speaking from my experience, of course.) And don’t think these little treats entice only kids – though the mental age of some of my friends may be questionable, all of them have been getting a real kick out of their edible gifts. (You didn’t think I was eating 30 cupcakes on my own, did you?) Make some, make them all, start making them but stop because you’ve eaten up all the candy – whatever you do, have fun. Happy Halloween!

P.S. *PFB voting is now open. A big Thank You to all of you who have appreciated my work and voted for me. Also, thanks to my roommate, who kindly obliged to be my (hand-)model for some of these shots.


Chocolate Cupcakes||Pumpkin Cupcakes||Chocolate Ganache Frosting||Almond Cream Cheese Frosting||Hooting Owl Cupcakes||Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes||Creepy Crawly Cupcakes||Bat Cupcakes||Graveyard Cupcakes
Click here for printable recipes.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Devil Food Cupcakes

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Pumpkin-Spice Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Cupcakes

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Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Choc Frosting

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Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Cream Cheese Frosting

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Hooting Owl Cupcakes
Adapted from Hello, Cupcake!

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Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
Adapted from Hello, Cupcake!

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Back to Recipes

Creepy Crawly Cupcakes
Adapted from Hello, Cupcake!

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Bat Cupcakes
Adapted from Hello, Cupcake!

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Graveyard Cupcakes

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This entry was posted in Cakes, Celebration, Dessert, Food, Project Food Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

125 Responses to Project Food Blog Challenge 4: Halloween Cupcakes

  1. sippitysup says:

    Cute is exactly what comes to mind. Great entry. GREG

  2. Liz says:

    You make it look so easy! I am sharing this with a friend who has a beautiful daughter who would love these! Good luck!

  3. Liz the Chef says:

    Wow – am I impressed! I would never have the patience and would also be mad if someone actually ate these beauties ;)

  4. Cute cute cute! I am not going at decorating and I’m always happy to see a step by step of cupcakes decorations. It makes it seem easier!

  5. Beautiful! The cupcakes are adorable, your lay-out is beautiful, and the tutorial is wonderful. Great post!

  6. Wow I thought I was reading a Martha Stewart magazine. These are really great photos and cupcakes!

  7. Ashley says:

    WOW!! This is reallllly impressive. Nice work!!

  8. Anne P says:

    These are amazing! Beautiful photos and fun cupcake ideas, too. :)

  9. Beverley says:

    Amazing! So creative and cute. Makes me want to try my hand at them. Vote is in ;-)

  10. Sunchowder says:

    These are adorable! Loved your photos and step by step too :)

  11. Valerie says:

    Oh goodness your cupcakes are adorable! And can I just say I LOVE almond cream cheese frosting, I just made some almond coconut cupcakes with almond cream cheese frosting… to DIE for. Congrats on advancing!

  12. tiffintales says:

    Thank you so much everyone for your lovely comments! This was a great project – compiling all those photographs was definitely hard work but it was fun work, and these treats are definitely worth it.

  13. Sara says:

    Delicious treats for Halloween! Love your blog! :)

  14. harsha says:

    Oh my GOODNESS!!! oreos & owls? seriously??

    u creative GENIUS!!

    • tiffintales says:

      Thanks but unfortunately, I can’t take credit for that. As written in the post, it’s from the creative geniuses at Hello Cupcake!

  15. varsha says:

    cannot believe u r a techie!!
    good to know non-zombies exist
    I might start trying icing again!! tumhara jawab nahin

    • tiffintales says:

      Hey, I don’t what’s more insulting – being called a techie or an-almost zombie :D Do try the icing again – it’s fun!

      • varsha says:

        that was definitely a compliment, mon amie – believe me.
        I’m called ZOMBIE TECHIE (& sometimes Mother Google)

  16. You hit this one out of the park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    There’s something wrong if you don’t advance. I will be voting for you!!!!

    • tiffintales says:

      Thank you so much for your vote of confidence!!
      I’ve been meaning to visit the west coast for quite some time now but it never works out.

  17. love it all!! a keeper

  18. Sneh Roy says:

    These are adorable! OMG that owl is just such a munchkin. I HAVE to make that! Great job and lovely pictures :-)

  19. Kathy Gori says:

    Charming cupcakes. Very sweet.

  20. Kori says:

    Wow, these are amazing! They are so visually appealing, and the recipes sound delicious too! You are quite the talented cupcake baker!

  21. RavieNomNoms says:

    What a fantastic post!! WOW, I love the RIP cupcakes, those are so cute. You did a great job!

  22. Duchess says:

    Adorable and beautifully done, congrats!

    • tiffintales says:

      Thank you all for your lovely comments. This (and the cupcakes in my fridge) make all the work so worth it!

  23. OH MY WORD is your entry amazing or what?! I’m a major Halloween fanatic so you know I’m all over this post. I’m just in awe, this is absolutely incredible. I love you, is that a bit too much?! Your entry is my FAVORITE and I’m not just saying that. In fact it’s my favorite entry of all of the 4 challenges from anyone!

    • tiffintales says:

      Oh my!! Wow, thanks!That just made my day. And no, it’s not too much, I’m a sucker for flattery – keep the love coming : )

  24. great step-by-step tutorial!!! the kids will love making these :) Well done!!! Voted.

  25. You get my vote for 3 reasons: 1.) I love your blog, 2.) I love cupcakes and 3.) I LOVE Halloween!! Best of luck- this post is fantastic!!

  26. Lisa says:

    This is one of the best cupcake tutorials I’ve ever seen. I’ve always wanted to learn how to decorate cupcakes like this, but the books are never that clear. Thank you for making this look so easy. I’ve definitely bookmarked this site so that I can try these ideas out one day.

    • tiffintales says:

      I’m so glad that you found this instructional – I love making cupcakes and when I was starting, I always wanted a book or article that showed the steps clearly. I hope you do try it out.

  27. Heather says:

    Very, very cute. :)

  28. DJ Karma says:

    WOW! You deserve an award for effort alone! My favorite is that owl- so cute. I like the composition in a lot of your pics- creative! I’m voting!!

    • tiffintales says:

      I don’t want to be partial, but the owl is my favorite too! It was definitely worth all the effort. Thanks for your vote!

  29. What a beautiful tutorial. Your pictures are gorgeous, and the steps are really clear and easy. And the finished cupcakes are almost offensively adorable. lol Nicely done. I voted for you!

    Good luck! hope to see us both in round 5!!!

  30. Jeanne says:

    These cupcakes sure are spooky! Well, the pumpkins aren’t too spooky but they’re just perfect for Halloween. Your tutorials are very clear and so creative! I’m voting for you right now.

    • tiffintales says:

      Ya, the cupcakes are more cutesy than spooky but I’m not complaining : )
      Thanks for the vote!

  31. stephchows says:

    seriously amazing girl! voted for you!!

  32. This post was darling! Great job and now I want a cupcake! You’ve got my vote.

  33. Love this ! All the while reading through I kept thinking that my 4yr old is going to LOVE this. Have bookmarked this. Good Luck

  34. Isabelle says:

    These cupcakes are just too adorable for words… especially the little owl ones! I think I’d feel guilty for even biting into something that cute. :)
    Awesome job on the step-by-steps, too. The layout is slick, and your photos find the perfect balance between being pretty and being instructional. Seriously, I can’t say enough how much I love this tutorial (and these cupcakes)!

    • tiffintales says:

      I like to keep my photos natural (hence don’t remove all those chocolate splatters and broken egg shells), but still pretty and appealing. I’m a food photography newbie – my first food photo was in April 2010, I don’t own any ‘equipment’ except for a good lens – so your comment means a lot to me. Thanks!!
      (P.S. The owl is my favorite too!)

  35. Jan/Thella says:

    great job on the step-by-step guide :) congratulations for making it this far! :)

  36. Jun Belen says:

    AMAZING! Just bookmarked your post for my Halloween cupcakes. Well done! Best of luck in PFB!!

    • tiffintales says:

      It’s so amazing when people bookmark something you’ve created – Thanks! And good luck to you too.

  37. zenchef says:

    Oh my God, you went all the way on the tutorial. I’ve never seen anything so detailed!
    Congrats. I’m voting for you! I seee.. i seee a fifth round in your near future. :)

    • tiffintales says:

      I figured no point doing things halfway. But it was great fun – even better coz everything that wasn’t right – wrong candy color, spilled frosting – I ate : )
      And I like what you’re seeing ; )

  38. You had me at “almond cream cheese frosting”…yum! Super cute cupcakes, perfect for Halloween. Well done and good luck! Hope to join you in the next round :)

    • tiffintales says:

      It is my favorite kind of frosting after chocolate – not a big fan of buttercream. Good luck to you too!

  39. Asha@FSK says:

    LOL.. they really are befittingly gross! :D My favorite were the the owl cupcakes!!! they are super adorable!!! Voting for you!!!

  40. Sues says:

    This is absolutely amazing!!! I LOVE making cupcakes, but I HATE decorating them because I’m so bad at it. You make it look so easy and fun. Now I want to try all kinds of festive cupcakes :) Good luck!! I’m pretty positive you’ll be in round 5 :) Whoo hoo!

    • tiffintales says:

      Sues, I like your positive attitude ; )
      These don’t require lofty decorating skills – especially the roll in sugar/Oreo dirt ones coz no need for perfect even frosting – try them.

  41. Very, very cute! Loved them all, but my favorite were the graveyard cupcakes. Well done!!

  42. Wow. I seriously feel like these pictures and tutorials came straight out of a cookbook. They look fantastic! And huge props for doing a ton of little tutorials! Great job and good luck in round 4!

  43. Wow! These are so adorable! I can just see my son’s little eyes lighting up as he tries to decide which one to demolish first:) Great job!

    • tiffintales says:

      Thanks!! i’m guessing the same way my eyes have been lighting up every time I open the fridge : )

  44. Jean says:

    Very well done! So many design ideas from one post!

  45. Chris says:

    How cool! My girls will love these. Great post. -chris

  46. Fantastic entry – so thorough and detailed. Plus your pictures are GREAT! Love the cute cupcakes, especially the pumpkin. So cute!

  47. Liren says:

    Heena, every time I sit down to write a comment on your blog, I get interrupted by my kids! Ah, finally, a moment of peace.

    This is ready to be published in a magazine my dear. Or better yet, as a follow up to Hello Cupcake, which I do love (have used it for inspiration many a time for my children’s birthday parties!). I absolutely love each adorable, edible, creation, and you’ve photographed it so professionally. I can’t believe you’ve only been photographing food since April!

    My vote is in, as you know, and I’m rooting for you all the way.

    • tiffintales says:

      Thank you so much Liren. I still have hits and misses when it comes to photography but the learning process is so much fun. I’m basically self-taught but I’m dying to take a photography class one day – as soon as I get the time : )

  48. Suzanne says:

    these are so great I love it, I am so excited to make these with my kiddos!

  49. Allison says:

    These are so adorable, great post!

  50. notyet100 says:

    awesome,..drooling looking at each of them,..:-) good luck for the next challenge,..

  51. again, your post is out of this world! the photography, design, layout – unbelievable! pulling for you for “reader’s choice”!

  52. Adelina says:

    I need to make these with my kids… how adorable. What a cool post just in time for Halloween!!! Thanks!

  53. zmm says:

    Beautiful.. I voted for you!

  54. Anna says:

    well done! these are super cute- you have my vote. good luck!!

  55. tiffintales says:

    Thank you all you lovely people for your comments and votes. I hope you have as much fun making these as I did.

  56. that owl is the cutest freakin cupcake ive ever seen. i wouldnt be able to eat it, its so darn cute!

    • tiffintales says:

      I didn’t eat even a single owl cupcake – they just kept looking up at me with those big owl eyes : ) Others didn’t seem to have the same problem though – they were the first ones to get over.

  57. bigFATcook says:

    WOW!!!!! You have great ideas!! So cute and easy to make and.. everything. Just love it.

    Greets from BFC !!!!!

  58. Leah says:


  59. I’m speechless (thank goodness I don’t have to talk to write). You’ve offered up so many beautiful, wonderful and cute ideas. I can’t wait to give them a try. Thank you, thank you thank you. (Yeah, I’ll be voting for you again.)

  60. you’ve done SUCH a great job here! your photos are gorgeously lit and explain your steps so well. hope to see you in Round 5 – you’ve got my vote for sure!

  61. Debbie says:

    Those graveyard cookies are looking to be my favorite! I love all the tutorial you did, its almost a book! Just voted for you and good luck!

  62. Caitlin says:

    These are adorable! But it must take a lot of patience to decorate all of them… My favorites are the pumpkin and the owl.

  63. GarEli says:

    Se ve delicioso……

  64. Very original and informative, love it and voted

  65. Daily Spud says:

    Yes they are cute and yes it is *really* hard to avoid using that word in this context. I tried and, quite honestly, I couldn’t! Vote is another word that comes to mind… :)

  66. What gorgeous photos. Very inspiring. Sending a heart your way.

  67. Anna says:

    Oh boy! Those are the cutest cupcakes I have ever seen. So funny, I loved it. You sure gets my vote. Good luck in round 4.

  68. Waow, all I can say is : waow! your cupcakes are AMAZING! The decorations are fantastic, the pictures and layout of pictures are great and the recipes sound delicious , especially the toppings (I don’t like buttercream , so you bet that I can only adore these ones). I know that my comment sounds over-enthusiastic, but that is how I feel! Bravo !

  69. Kelsi says:

    These Halloween cupcake ideas are a hoot. ;) I love the design layout of the recipes.

  70. Two pairs of beady eyes reading this post over my shoulder. I give it about oh…say….20 seconds before the first request comes in “when can we make those really cool halloween cupcakes?” Brilliant. Love ’em. Voted.

    • tiffintales says:

      Thanks Fiona! I asked myself the same question again.. 20 seconds after the first batch got over : )

  71. tiffintales says:

    Thank you SO much everyone for all your amazing comments! It’s really making my day here : )

  72. These Halloween cupcakes are fabulous! I love them all, they are so awesome, Great job!

  73. Drashti says:

    Wowww …!! These are so adorably cute and awesomest cup cake I have ever seen for Halloween. When I first saw this entry in Project Food blog I was like how can anyone on earth can have idea like this and more above how difficult it would be to make this but now after going through your recipe I am going to try this(needless to say you made it look soo easy to make!) :)

    This is first time ever I am visiting your blog and m loving loving loving it :) Thanks a tons for sharing it with us :)

    • Drashti says:

      And of course I have voted for you and you got a daily visitor :)

    • tiffintales says:

      Thanks Drashti – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. However, as stated, I can’t take credit for the ides – except for the Graveyard Cupcakes, they all belong to the creative geniuses over at ‘Hello Cupcake!’ Have fun making these : )

  74. Saurabh says:


    Simply Perfect !!!
    How do you balance a full time IT job with following your passion.
    Gotta take a leaf out of your book ! :-) .


  75. Butter says:

    Wow Wow Wow. You really to this to the next level with different designs, frostings and batters.
    This was fun and perfect with Halloween coming up! A feast for the eyes too. Voted!
    – Butter
    (from Running On Butter)

  76. sophia says:

    That looks like so much fun! My favorite is the pumpkin patch one…that one was so adorable! Everyone has a kid in them…Halloween is one way to unleash it! :D

    p.s. voted for you! <3

  77. OH MY. I have never ever seen such amazingly beautiful and creative halloween cupcakes ever. I want to tell you which one I like best except I’m so torn because they are all so incredible. And such a marvellous comprehensive post. Must’ve been so much work to put together!

  78. Marly says:

    These cupcakes are just too adorable! My daughter has a halloween party coming up so I know I’ll be back for some decorating inspiration. Thanks!

  79. Kathryn says:

    What a fun treat! That would be the perfect entry for our Halloween Recipe Contest! You can read all about it here. I hope you decide to enter it!

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  81. Jules says:

    They look so cute. What great creative ideas!

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  83. kat says:

    hello, im working on the recipe now , but why does my butter and sugar does not turn sticky ?i did follow the steps^^

    • tiffintales says:

      I’m sorry, but I don’t exactly follow your question. First, which of the recipes are you working on? Second, are all your ingredients at room temperature?

  84. joel says:

    Really cool and creative cupcake ideas.
    Definitely going to try out some of these for next year.

  85. Ana says:

    I loved them all!! Can I show your amazing work in my blog? I would love to show it so people in Spain can try out some of your recipes…

  86. Pingback: Spooky Foods | The Design Tree by Greentea Design

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