Halloween Cupcakes

photo of cupcakes topped with meringue ghosts
I don’t usually bake a lot of cupcakes. 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.
photo of three ghost cupcakes on a plate
So here they are, my Halloween cupcakes. Pumpkin cupcakes with a chocolate ganache filling and topped with chocolate ganache frosting and ghost meringues.
photo of a cupcake sliced in half to show the inside
These little ghost toppers caused much amusement in my house. I got the idea here. 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 these meringues would be more sturdy and fun to eat.
photo of three cupcakes
The cupcakes are very light and moist which is what I was going for. I’ve baked a lot of pumpkin muffin/bread recipes which I adore, but they have a much firmer and denser texture. The chocolate ganache in the middle is a nice surprise.
close-up photo of a ghost cupcake with two in the background

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Filling and Topped with Meringue Ghosts

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cupcakes

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

  1. 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

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. 

  2. 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. 
  3. 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

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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

  1. 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.

All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

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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