Kirbie's Cravings

Halloween Cupcakes

These Halloween cupcakes are a fun and festive treat. Each pumpkin cupcake is topped with chocolate ganache frosting and a cute meringue ghost that tastes like marshmallow. There’s another sweet treat, too. Each cupcake has a rich chocolate ganache filling baked inside.

photo of cupcakes topped with meringue ghosts

I don’t usually bake a lot of cupcakes, although you’ll find a few on this site that I’ve made. I like to use Halloween candy in desserts, but frosting and decorations take time and since no one in my family really likes all the glazes, frostings, etc., it really makes me lazy about putting in the extra effort. But for the holidays I try to do at least one decorated dessert and these Halloween cupcakes are my choice for this year. Aren’t they cute?


photo of three ghost cupcakes on a plate

Because I don’t often frost and decorate desserts, I went all out for these Halloween cupcakes. The pumpkin cupcakes have a chocolate ganache filling and they’re topped with chocolate ganache frosting and meringue ghosts. I think they’re so festive and perfect for a Halloween party.

Meringue Ghosts

These little meringue ghosts caused much amusement in my house. I got the idea from Skinnytaste and it was an interesting sight to see them all lined up on a baking sheet.

I like that they taste like marshmallows. I actually debated and tried a few versions before settling on the meringues.

  • First, I tried a whipped cream frosting, but they just didn’t look right to me.
  • I thought about a swiss meringue buttercream frosting which I think has the consistency I was aiming for, but that would require creating two frostings.
  • In the end, I chose the meringues because I thought ghost meringues would be sturdier and fun to eat.

Tips for Making Halloween Cupcakes

  • Make the ganache first so it has time to chill in the refrigerator. This will firm it up so it’s easy to add to the cupcakes for the filling and easy to pipe when you frost the cupcakes.
  • For meringue ghosts, it’s important to whip the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. You should be able to turn the mixing bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.
  • Pipe the ghosts onto parchment paper. I used mini chocolate chips to make the eyes.

photo of a cupcake sliced in half to show the inside

  • Once you make the pumpkin cupcake batter, I like to fill each cupcake mold about ½ full. I add a small scoop of chocolate ganache in the center of the batter and then top each off with a little more batter. After adding the filling, your cupcake molds should about 2/3 full.
  • To decorate, just pipe some ganache on each cupcake and top each with a meringue ghost.

photo of three cupcakes

The pumpkin cupcakes are very light and moist which is what I was going for. I’ve baked a lot of pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread, which I adore, but they have a much firmer and denser texture compared to these cupcakes. The chocolate ganache in the middle is a nice surprise.

close-up photo of a ghost cupcake with two in the background

Halloween Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts

Servings: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
These cute pumpkin cupcakes with meringue ghosts are perfect for Halloween!


For the Filling and Frosting

  • 8 oz dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream

For the Meringue

  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • mini chocolate chips for eyes

For the Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt


Make the Ganache

  • In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil and then pour over a bowl with the chopped chocolates. Mix and stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Place in fridge to chill until ganache is firm enough for piping, about 1 hour.

Make the Meringues

  • Preheat oven to 200°F. 
  • In a clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites at high speed until foamy. Add in the cream of tartar and sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. You should be able to turn the mixing bowl upside down without your egg whites falling out. 
  • Using a piping bag, pipe ghosts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use mini chocolate chips, insert two to form eyes for each ghost. Bake for about 1 hour until meringues dry out and are firm.

Make the Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Combine the sugar, oil, pumpkin and eggs in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix on high speed for about 5 minutes until batter is smooth and no clumps of flour remain.
  • Spoon batter in each cupcake liner until about 1/2 full. Using the 1/2 tbsp measuring spoon, scoop out about 1/2 tbsp of firm chocolate ganache and drop in the middle of each cupcake. Spoon more batter into each cupcake liner so that the ganache is covered and cupcake liners are about 2/3 full.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until tops are firm and a toothpick inserted on the side comes out clean. If you insert it where the ganache is, only melted ganache should cling to the toothpick and not uncooked batter crumbs.

How to Decorate the Cupcakes

  • After cupcakes have completely cooled, pipe a layer of chocolate ganache frosting with the remaining ganache. Place a meringue ghost in the center of each cupcake.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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15 comments on “Halloween Cupcakes”

  1. Very nice! The colors look so nice! I like the meringue ghosts! Cute!

  2. those look so very cute and tasty!

  3. Ahw they look adorable! I will definitely make these 😀

  4. Fantastic! The ghosts look great, very spooky. I love how the cupcakes themselves are pumpkins too – very Halloween-y!

  5. These little treats are so lovable! They look cute and I can’t wait to take a bite…
    I admit they can be a little big on the prep side, but if they taste as incredible as they look, definitely worth the work! Happy Halloween!

    • Yes it does require slightly more work. I think it’s pretty easy, but it is more time consuming because the ganache needs to cool and set and the meringues while easy to make need to bake for a while to dry out.

  6. Heehee, these are so cute! I like the idea of the merringue since it gives the cupcake an extra texture.

    • Thanks! I agree. My original thought for two different frostings didn’t seem as good because then it’s just more frosting, but the meringues give the cupcakes something different.

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