These Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes are perfect for all your Halloween parties. They are easy to make and sure to be a crowd favorite.

Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes close up on a cake stand
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I host a Halloween party every year and these easy and delicious Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes steal the show. Everyone goes crazy over how cute they are.

We love making Halloween Desserts. This recipe is one that my kids love to help with and can easily create. Invite friends and family over and make these fun and festive cupcakes.

Make these Halloween Cake Pops and Halloween Marshmallows for more festive treats.

Why you will love these cupcakes

  • It uses a cake mix. This recipe starts with a cake mix which saves time.
  • Homemade frosting. The made from scratch frosting adds flavor and is easy to make.
  • Fun to decorate. Top with a fun Jack-O-Lantern face to make it the perfect Halloween treat.

Ingredients

Ingredients needed for recipe: cake mix, powdered sugar, eggs, oil, food gel, candy, butter.

Cupcakes

  • Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Large Eggs

Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Clear Vanilla Extract
  • Orange Gel Food Coloring

Decorations

  • Black Decorator Gel 
  • Small Green Gumdrops 

The complete ingredient list is in the recipe card at the very bottom.

Variation and Substitutions

  • Cake Mix – Feel free to use different types of cake mix.
  • Making Face – We used a decorating gel to create the face. But you can also use a piping bag with a pastry tip. You can also omit the jack-o-lanterns and just have pumpkins.
  • Green Frosting – Instead of using candy, you can use green frosting.

How to Make Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes

  • Step 1 – First, heat oven to 350 degrees. Then line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
Batter in bowl.

Step 2. Mix together the cake ingredients. Pour into the muffin pans.

Cupcakes in pan cooling.

Step 3. Bake for 18-21 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting mixed together.

Step 4. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl until combined and smooth. Add in the milk and vanilla extract. Combine until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Orange food coloring added to mixture.

Step 5. Add in the orange food coloring until the frosting is a vibrant orange color. 

Frosting spread on each cupcake.

Step 6. Top each of the cooled cupcakes with the orange frosting. 

Faces added to each cupcake.

Step 7. Make a Jack-O-Lantern face on each of the cupcakes with the black decorator gel. Place a green gumdrop candy on top of each cupcake for the stem. 

Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes close up

Recipe Tips

  • Orange Food Coloring – We recommend using Wilton gel food coloring for a vibrant orange color. Continue to add a small amount of food coloring until it is the desired shade of orange. Gel food coloring is preferred over liquid food coloring.
  • Filling Cupcake Liners – Only fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full to prevent overfilling. If filled to full the cupcake batter could cause the cupcake to fall to the sides.
  • Room Temperature Cupcakes – Make sure the cupcakes have completely cooled before decorating. The icing will start to run and get messy if decorated too soon.
  • Mixing Frosting Ingredients – You want there to be air pockets in the frosting. Overmixing will get rid of these and the frosting will not be as light and fluffy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long do they Last?

We recommend storing at room temperature. These cupcakes will last about a week. They are perfect to make ahead of time.

How to store leftovers?

Store the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 

More Halloween Cupcake Recipes

Go ahead and make these cupcake jack o lanterns today and leave a comment and star recipe rating once you do!

Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes

5 from 4 votes
These Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes are perfect for all your Halloween parties. They are easy to make and sure to be a crowd favorite.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 211

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 pkg Chocolate Cake Mix 16 ounces
  • 1 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs

For the Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter softened
  • 2 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract
  • Orange Gel Food Coloring

For the Decorations:

  • Black Decorator Gel
  • 24 Small Green Gumdrops
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Instructions

For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 cupcake pans with liners.
  • In a large mix bowl, stir together the cake mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs.
  • Pour the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them approximately ¾ full.
  • Bake for 18-21 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Cool completely on wire racks.

For the Frosting:

  • Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until combined and smooth.
  • Add in the milk and vanilla extract and mix for 1-2 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Add in the orange food coloring until the frosting is a vibrant orange color.
  • Top each of the cupcakes with the orange frosting.

To Decorate:

  • Make a Jack-O-Lantern face on each of the cupcakes with the black decorator gel.
  • Place a green gumdrop candy on top of each cupcake for the stem.
  • Then the cupcakes are ready to serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Store the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 
We recommend using Wilton gel food coloring for a vibrant orange color.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 211kcal, Carbohydrates 25g, Protein 2g, Fat 12g, Saturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3g, Monounsaturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0.3g, Cholesterol 36mg, Sodium 166mg, Potassium 74mg, Fiber 0.5g, Sugar 18g, Vitamin A 210IU, Calcium 35mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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