Throw the best Halloween party ever by serving up these fun and delicious Halloween Skeleton Cupcakes for guests to enjoy! Made with rich, chocolaty homemade cupcakes, chocolate-covered pretzels, and fluffy marshmallows!
Skeleton Cupcakes Are Perfect For Halloween Parties!
It’s time to start planning all of the fun Halloween treats, and these Halloween Skeleton Cupcakes deserve first place on that list! They’re spooky, delicious, and fun to make, which means you can even get the kids involved in assembling them!
Serve them up at Halloween parties or harvest gatherings, or just enjoy them with the family at home leading up to October 31st!
When making this recipe, I didn’t just want a Halloween cupcake that looked festive. I also wanted it to taste delicious, so I envisioned it to be those fun cupcakes you find at a bakery that are both festive AND decadent.
That way, kids and adults would both enjoy them! And this Halloween Cupcake Recipe exceeded my expectations!
Halloween Skeleton Cupcakes Ingredients
- All-Purpose Flour
- Granulated Sugar
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Large Eggs
- Prepared Hot Coffee
- Vegetable Oil
- Vanilla Extract
- Chocolate Frosting
- Chocolate Cookie Crumbs
- Classic Style Pretzels
- White Chocolate Melting Wafers
- Large Marshmallows
- Small Marshmallows
- Black Food-Grade Edible Marker
Though these cupcakes come out at bakery-level goodness, they’re actually made with easy pantry staples. That way, you can spend the time making them without needing to grab any fancy ingredients aside from the skeleton parts.
To create a rich chocolate cupcake, I chose to add in prepared hot coffee to encourage a more intense chocolaty flavor! Don’t worry, though, you won’t taste any coffee, only decadent chocolate!
Once you’ve made the homemade chocolate cupcakes, I decided to leave the decision for chocolate frosting in your hands. You can choose between the Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting, or you can even keep it simple with a can of store-bought frosting!
Substitutions And Variations For Skeleton Cupcakes
- Buttermilk – A homemade buttermilk substitute can be easily made if you don’t have any store-bought on hand. All you need is two simple ingredients and ten minutes.
- Chocolate Cookies – I like using crushed-up Oreos but feel free to use your favorite chocolate cookies or crushed chocolate graham crackers.
- White Chocolate Melting Wafers – White candy melts or almond bark can be used instead of white chocolate melting wafers.
- Edible Marker – If you can’t find an edible marker, you can use a toothpick dipped in black food coloring or use edible black gel.
- Skewers – Just about any length of skewers will work; they may need to be cut to size. You can also use lollipop sticks instead of skewers. However, the sharp end of skewers does make assembling the skeletons easy.
How To Make Halloween Skeleton Cupcakes
Step 1: Mix the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in the large bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until fully combined.
Step 2: Beat in the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until the batter becomes smooth.
Step 3: Pour the batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners.
Step 4: Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean and slightly bounces back when pressed.
Step 5: Cool the cupcakes in the pan and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 6: Prepare the skeletons as the cupcakes cool. Begin by melting the white chocolate wafers in the microwave until smooth.
Step 7: Dip the pretzels into the melted white chocolate using a fork or a candy dipper. Allow the excess melted chocolate to drip off the pretzels before transferring them to dry on a sheet of parchment paper.
Step 8: Draw a face on the side or top of the large marshmallows using an edible marker.
Step 9: Thread the small marshmallows onto a skewer, leaving enough room to place the large marshmallow on top. Be careful not to poke the skewer completely through the larger marshmallow; it only needs to go about three-quarters of the way through.
Step 10: Assemble the cupcakes once they’re completely cooled. To do this, frost or pipe the chocolate onto the cupcakes.
Step 11: Sprinkle the chocolate cookie crumbs over the icing. This will give the illusion of the dirt or the ground!
Step 12: Stack three of the white chocolate dipped pretzels on top of each other and thread the skewer through an opening of the pretzels. This will give the bone look to the ribcage on the skeletons.
Step 13: Top each chocolate cupcake with the skeleton skewers and enjoy!
How To Store Halloween Skeleton Cupcakes
Cover the Halloween Skeleton Cupcakes by storing them in a tall airtight container. Then, keep them at room temperature to enjoy for up to 3 days.
You can also make the homemade cupcakes ahead of time to freeze and assemble them later. To do so, bake and frost the cupcakes and then transfer them to an airtight container. Store the cupcakes in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy the cupcakes, first thaw them at room temperature. Then, assemble the skeletons using chocolate-covered pretzels and marshmallows.
Halloween Skeleton Cupcakes FAQs
The easiest way to ice cupcakes is to use a piping bag, a butter knife, a small offset spatula, or a sandwich spreader.
Yes! Feel free to make it easier by using store-bought white chocolate-covered pretzels or even yogurt pretzels.
If you don’t have a piping bag, you can transfer the frosting into a Ziploc bag and then snip a small corner of the bag off. You can then gently push a piping tip through the hole.
Yes, to make this a Halloween cake covered in skeletons, instead of cupcakes, simply pour the cake mix into a 9X13-inch cake pan that’s been greased with cake goop. Then bake it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few soft crumbs on it.
More Halloween Cupcake Recipes
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Halloween Skeleton Cupcakes
- Cupcake pan
- 24 Cupcake liners
- large mixing bowl or stand mixer
- 24 wooden skewers
- small microwave safe bowl
- fork or candy dipper
- Parchment paper
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour 200g
- 1½ cups granulated sugar 295g
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 80g
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup buttermilk room temperature
- ¾ cup prepared hot coffee
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces white chocolate melting wafers 340g
- 72 tiny twist pretzels
- black food-grade edible marker
- 24 large marshmallows 147g
- 24 small marshmallows 14g
- 1 batch Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting about 4 cups
- ⅓ cup chocolate cookie crumbs 47g
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and line the cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk together the 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1½ cups granulated sugar, ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1½ teaspoons baking soda, ¾ teaspoon baking powder, and ¾ teaspoon salt on low speed until fully combined, about 1 minute.
- Add in 2 large eggs, ¾ cup buttermilk, ¾ cup prepared hot coffee, ¼ cup vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
- Fill each cupcake liner about ¾ of the way full. You should be able to get 24 cupcakes.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back slightly when pressed. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before moving the cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes cool, prepare the skeletons by adding 12 ounces white chocolate melting wafers to a small microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 30-second intervals, stirring between each one, until the chocolate is smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Using a fork or a candy dipper, dip the 72 tiny twist pretzels into the white chocolate, completely covering them. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off the pretzel before transferring it to a sheet of parchment paper to set completely.
- Using the black food-grade edible marker, draw a skeleton face on the side or top of each of the 24 large marshmallows. Take one of the 24 small marshmallows and thread it onto the skewer, leaving enough room to place the large marshmallow on top. You don’t want to poke the skewer through the larger marshmallow; you'll want to go about three-quarters of the way through.
- Prepare the chocolate frosting according to recipe directions. I recommend my 1 batch Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, but any chocolate frosting will work.
- Once the cupcakes are cooled and the white chocolate has set, it’s time to assemble your cupcakes. Pipe the chocolate frosting on the tops of the cupcakes. Sprinkle the ⅓ cup chocolate cookie crumbs over top. This gives the illusion of dirt or the ground. Stack three of the chocolate pretzels on top of each other and thread the skewer through an opening of the pretzels. This will give the “ribs” to our skeleton. Top each cupcake with the skeleton skewers.
- Nutritional information is an estimate that does not include frosting.
- Two tubs of store-bought frosting may be used in place of homemade.
- White Chocolate Flips pretzels may be used instead of making them at home.
- Store leftovers, covered, on the counter for up to 3 days.
- You can freeze the cupcakes and the icing, but I wouldn’t suggest freezing the marshmallows. You can freeze marshmallows, but the edible marker will run when it is thawing out. Freeze the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
- The pretzels must be intact for this to work.
- I used a Wilton Food Safe Writer in Black.