5 from 7 votes
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Easy 5 Ingredient Ghost Halloween Cupcakes: A Spooky Treat

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Everyone loves a good cupcake, especially when it is for Halloween! I know I do! That’s part of the reason why I decided to share two easy Halloween cupcake recipes this year as a part of my mini-series. If you are looking to make something quick and easy for a Halloween party, then these ghost cupcakes are perfect.

Ghost cupcakes sitting on a wooden table.

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They require 5 ingredients and can be decorated in less than 30 minutes. If you have young children, they will definitely enjoy helping you out. All you need is a box of chocolate cake mix for the base and then vanilla frosting, marshmallows, white chocolate or white candy melts, and candy eyeballs to make the ghosts to be on the top of the cupcake.

Ghost cupcake sitting on a white table with scattered candy eyes.

If you want to get creative, you can also get some green candy melts to make sickly green ghosts. Pair these spooky spirits with jack-o-lanterns, pretzel bats, mummies, and pumpkins, marshmallow dipped cake pops, easy mummy Halloween pies recipe, and batty snack cakes for the ultimate Halloween dessert table!

What Are Ghost Cupcakes?

Ghost cupcakes are a delightful and spooky dessert perfect for the Halloween season. At their heart, these are traditional cupcakes, often using a dark chocolate base for a touch of seasonal color. 

The ghost element comes into play with the topping – a swirl of vanilla frosting forms the ghostly body, while marshmallows and white chocolate or candy melts create a spectral shape. To finish off these spooky treats, candy eyeballs give each ghost a playful, eerie look. 

These cupcakes are not only delicious, but they also add a dash of fun and creativity to any Halloween gathering.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make: With just 5 simple ingredients and less than 30 minutes needed for decoration, these ghost cupcakes are a breeze to prepare, making them perfect for last-minute Halloween preparations.
  • Kid-friendly: The process of decorating the cupcakes to resemble ghosts provides a fun and engaging activity for children. They’ll love adding the candy eyeballs to their ghostly creations.
  • Versatile: While the recipe suggests a chocolate base and vanilla frosting, it’s easy to customize these cupcakes. Whether you prefer a different flavor base or want to experiment with green candy melts for a unique touch, the possibilities are endless.
  • Perfect for parties: These cupcakes are not just tasty, but they’re also eye-catching. The ghostly design adds a lighthearted, spooky element to your Halloween dessert table, sure to impress guests of all ages.

Ingredients For Ghost Cupcakes

Ingredients for ghost theme cupcakes sitting on a marbled countertop.
  • White or Chocolate Cake Mix: This is the foundation of your ghost cupcake. You can pick either flavor, but a chocolate base will offer a darker hue that contrasts nicely with the white ghost topping.
  • White Frosting: This acts as the adhesive layer that helps the white candy coating stick onto the cupcake. Plus, it tastes delicious and gives the ghost a smooth, white body.
  • White Candy Melts or White Chocolate: This forms the outer shell of the ghost. It’s a crucial ingredient that brings your ghost to life, making it look hauntingly delicious.
  • Shortening or Vegetable Oil: This is used to melt the white candy or chocolate. It ensures the candy melts smoothly and evenly, perfect for coating the marshmallow to create your ghost.
  • Large Marshmallows: This gives the ghost its shape and fluffiness. It acts as the body of the ghost, which you’ll later coat with the melted candy or chocolate.
  • Candy Eyeballs: These add character to your ghost cupcakes. They’re the final touch in creating that playful, spooky look.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Cake Mix: If you have dietary restrictions or simply prefer a homemade version, you can substitute the box cake mix with a homemade cake recipe. Gluten-free and vegan options are also available to accommodate various dietary needs.
  • White Candy Melts or White Mini Chocolate Chips: If you have difficulty sourcing these or wish to try something different, consider using colored candy melts for a fun twist. Or you could use some regular chocolate chips. Alternatively, coconut shavings can create a textured ghost appearance and add a unique flavor. Vanilla buttercream also works well for easy ghost cupcakes if you can pipe creatively.
  • Marshmallows: If you’re not a fan of marshmallows, you can still give your ghost a 3D look by piling up extra frosting. You can also experiment with different sizes or shapes of marshmallows for a variety of ghostly figures.
  • Candy Eyeballs: Feel free to replace candy eyeballs with other edible decorations such as chocolate chips, raisins, or sprinkles to make your ghost cupcakes even more unique.

How To Make Halloween Cupcakes With Marshmallows Ghost Toppers

Three chocolate cupcakes sitting on a wooden table with marshmallows and candy eyes scattered.
  • Mix the cake box mix in a large bowl with a hand mixer on low speed. Use cupcake liners if you are worried the mixture might stick in your baking sheet. 
  • Bake cupcakes per recipe or box directions and cool completely. 
Collage of assembling ghost cupcakes.
  • Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with no tip or a large round tip.
  • Swirl the frosting onto the cooled, unfrosted cupcakes.
  • Melt the candy melts with the shortening for 25 seconds, stir, and reheat if necessary.
  • Place a large marshmallow in the center top of each cupcake and spoon 1-2 Tablespoons of the candy melts overtop. Use the back of a spoon to help the candy melts move if needed. (Photos 1 & 2)
  • Repeat with the other ghost cupcakes. After each one has dried for about 5 minutes, attempt to attach the ghost’s eyes – if the candy melts are still too soft, give it another couple minutes before re-attempting.
White frosted ghost cupcakes with scattered candy eyes sitting on a white table.

Expert Tips

  • When melting the candy melts to use as a ghost cupcake topper, make sure to do this in intervals, stirring between each, to avoid burning the candy. 
  • Allow the homemade cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. If the cupcakes are too warm, the frosting may melt and not hold its shape.
  • If you are using a boxed cake mix, consider replacing the water with milk for a richer flavor and denser texture. You can also add an extra egg than the recipe calls for to make the cupcakes more moist and tender. 
  • If you find your little ghosts are sliding off the frosting, you can let the frosted cupcakes chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to harden a bit before adding the candy melt coated marshmallow.
  • When placing the candy eyeballs on the marshmallow, it’s best to apply them when the candy melt coating is still slightly warm but not hot. This allows the eyeballs to stick without melting.
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative with the ghost faces. Using different sized candy eyeballs can result in some fun and unique expressions.
  • Lastly, remember to have fun! The beauty of these cupcakes is in their homemade charm. Each ghost will have its own personality – and that’s part of the fun. You can even look at things like black frosting can change it up.

Storing Tips

You can store these vanilla cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you need to store them for a longer period, they can be refrigerated for up to a week. Make sure to keep them in a container that prevents moisture accumulation to maintain the firmness of the ghost decoration. If you’ve already added the candy eyes, be aware that refrigeration might cause slight discoloration. 

What To Serve With Ghost Cupcakes

Our spooky Ghost Cupcakes can be the star of any spooky festivity. Pair them with other Halloween-themed treats for a full party spread. A few suggestions include Witch’s Brew Punch, a colorful, fizzy drink that adds a festive touch. Halloween Popcorn Mix, a sweet-and-salty treat with a sprinkle of creepiness, is also a great choice. 

For something healthier, you could serve a Halloween Fruit Salad, filled with seasonally-shaped fruits. Lastly, don’t forget the candy! A selection of traditional Halloween candies can complement the cupcakes and satisfy all sweet tooth cravings.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use a chocolate cake mix instead of white for this recipe?

You can use any flavor of cake mix you would like. I just used white here as that is the most common visual color representation for ghosts. You can do the Funfetti cake mix for a sprinkle surprise or even a dark red velvet for a more ghastly shock!

Which is better, candy melts or white chocolate?

That’s a hard one and really depends on your own personal taste. The difference is that candy melts tend to be a lot sweeter and contain oils. White chocolate, on the other hand, has cocoa butter and does not melt as easily. I prefer white chocolate, but they both have pros and cons.

Would it be okay if I used a different kind of marshmallow?

The best ghost toppers will come from using large white marshmallows that you can find in any local grocery store. This is because they tend to hold up better when you dip them in candy melts (or chocolate), and they are a little more firm so that the eyes will stick better. If you really wanted to, you could probably get away with using mini marshmallows, but I would not recommend it for this particular marshmallow ghost cupcakes.

Can I use something other than candy eyes?

You absolutely can! Candy eyes are my favorite because they are cheap and easy to find. They also come in various sizes, so you can get them as small or big as you want! Other options include using white chocolate chips, gumdrops, an edible marker pen for the eyes, or even mini M&Ms with one flat side facing up. Add whatever you want in the center of a cupcake!

Need More Halloween Recipes? Try These:

If you are having a party for Halloween, then you can make these Halloween ghost cupcakes with other desserts. A great example are the Halloween Oreo Cookies if you want a simple cookie recipe. Or make some Red Velvet Halloween Spider Cookies because their blood red color is perfect for the spooky season!

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Candy ghost atop green frosting on a chocolate cupcake.
5 from 7 votes

5 Ingredient Ghost Themed Halloween Cupcakes

Author: Kim Schob
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes
Yields 24 Cupcakes
These super cute marshmallow topped ghost cupcakes are easy and take no time at all to make. 



  • Bake cupcakes per box directions and cool completely.
    1 Box White cake mix or Chocolate cake mix
  • Melt the candy melts with the shortening for 25 seconds, stir, and reheat if necessary.
    1 cup white candy melts
  • Place a large marshmallow in the center of each cupcake and spoon 1-2 Tablespoons of the candy melts over top.
    24 large marshmallows
  • Use the back of a spoon to help the candy melts move if needed.
  • Repeat with the other ghost cupcakes.
  • After each ghost has dried for about 5 minutes, attempt to attach the eyes – if the candy melts are still too soft, give it another couple minutes before re-attempting.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 Cupcake Calories: 196kcal (10%) Carbohydrates: 38g (13%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 5g (8%) Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 175mg (8%) Potassium: 61mg (2%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 26g (29%) Vitamin A: 5IU Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) Calcium: 30mg (3%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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5 from 7 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    I had to try these right away and they taste amazing! The ghost on top is so creative and my kids are going to go crazy over them. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    Well, those are the cutest little Halloween cupcakes ever! I love that they have a big of movement to them so they look like they’re floating.

  3. 5 stars
    Love this Ghost Themed Halloween Cupcakes, they look so fun and delicious, will definitely make them for the fam. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Been looking for a cute spooky cupcake to make for my kids Halloween party. Can’t wait to make these with them.

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