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.
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?
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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
All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.
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
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.