30 Delicious Halloween Desserts and Treats That Will Have Everyone Howling for More

pumpkin cheesecake
Photo: CHRIS COURT

Halloween season is upon us, and while it may be the only time for your kids to collect copious amounts of candy, it's also the perfect time to cozy up in the kitchen and craft some delicious desserts and sweet treats. The autumn months are typically filled with richly warm flavors of apple cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and silky caramel, which paves the way for dozens of fun Halloween baking ideas.

No matter what your palate craves this time of year, there's certainly something to satisfy your tastebuds. From tangy pumpkin cheesecake bars and zesty, chewy spice cookies, to adorable spider cookies and no-bake treats, you'll be baking up a storm all season long. You'll even find ways to put extra Halloween candy to good use with our gallery of easy Halloween desserts!

01 of 30

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Halloween desserts and Halloween treats - Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Grace Elkus

If you're harboring a secret obsession for pumpkin-spiced foods, it's time to come out of the closet. This dessert recipe teaches you how to make a homemade pumpkin spice mix (it's really just a combination of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice) so you have nothing to be ashamed of. Mix it into a quick homemade batch of sugar cookie dough along with some pumpkin purée and you've got the makings of an intensely seasonal fall cookie.

02 of 30

Chewy Spice Cookies

Chewy Spice Cookies
Victor Schrager

You can think of these cookies as a sister to a Snickerdoodle. They have the same chewy texture, but have a bit of a kick from ginger, clove, black pepper, and nutmeg. Make the most of a fall afternoon by enjoying them with some warm apple cider.

03 of 30

Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches

Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches
Beatriz da Costa

A velvety cream cheese frosting is sandwiched between two soft and chewy pumpkin cookies in this version of the classic chocolate and vanilla whoopie pie. Plan ahead and make the cookies up to three days in advance. Then, whip the filling and assemble sandwiches no more than two hours before serving.

04 of 30

Vanilla Mango Ice Cream Cake

Vanilla Mango Ice Cream Cake
Philip Friedman; Styling: Colleen Riley

Mango sorbet, vanilla ice cream, and crushed chocolate wafer cookies come together to create a striped ice cream cake with three layers of distinctly seasonal colors. To save time, you can cover and freeze the cake up to three days in advance. When this Halloween cake is ready to serve, dip a thin knife into hot water to easily cut it into servable slices.

05 of 30

M&M Popcorn Balls

Halloween desserts and Halloween treats - M&M Popcorn Balls
Samantha Seneviratne

We gave classic popcorn balls a burst of color by adding M&Ms to the equation. The entire recipe only requires five pantry ingredients: butter, marshmallows, salt, popcorn, and M&Ms. That makes it great for a last-minute Halloween treat for school, since you can whip it up the night before and still have a festive dessert all the kids are sure to love. The technique is similar to making Rice Krispies treats, except instead of cereal, you'll be tossing popcorn into the buttery marshmallow mixture. Buttering your hands will keep the marshmallows from sticking, so don't skip this step, even if you're skeptical.

06 of 30

Simple Spiderweb Cake

Simple Spiderweb Cake
Philip Friedman; Styling: Colleen Riley

Start with any flavor of cake as your base, and top with vanilla frosting to create a canvas for this Halloween cake. Then, make black frosting by combining black food coloring and vanilla frosting in a piping bag. With a steady hand, follow the step-by-step directions to draw a large spider web. Finish your spooky design with three spiders.

07 of 30

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Halloween desserts and Halloween treats - Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
JOHN KERNICK

Amp up boxed cake mix with pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin purée for an easy shortcut Halloween dessert that's tastier than most store-bought pumpkin spiced treats. The results are moist and sweet but not cloyingly so. In other words, if there are any leftovers, you can get away with enjoying them for breakfast the next morning. Making them ahead of time? Garnish them with candy corn right before serving, because the longer they sit the more likely they are to bleed a tiny bit of orange and yellow into the white icing.

08 of 30

White Chocolate Ganache Eyeballs

Halloween desserts and Halloween treats - White Chocolate Ganache Eyeballs
Philip Friedman; Styling: Colleen Riley

These spooky, edible eyeballs are ideal for kids who are more into the trick than the treat. Though they look like they've been decorated by a professional, they're actually quite easy to make at home. All you need is white chocolate, heavy cream, salt, chocolate chips, and red food coloring. Our favorite part about them is the chocolate chip trick: the pupil of the eye is simply an upside down chocolate chip that's been pressed, pointed-side down, into the top of each ball of ganache. To create creepy looking red veins, dip the tip of a toothpick in food coloring and draw them on.

09 of 30

Apple Cider Donuts

Halloween desserts and Halloween treats - Apple Cider Donuts
Grace Elkus

Apple cider donuts covered in cinnamon-sugar are the quintessential fall treat, and they're even better when made from scratch. Using a deep-fry or candy thermometer takes all the stress out of frying: You'll know exactly when to add the donuts to the oil. If you don't want to give away all these Halloween treats to the school, save the donuts for yourself and send the kids with the donut holes. If you don't have a donut cutter, use a drinking glass to cut out the donuts and a bottle cap to cut out the hole. No one will ever know!

10 of 30

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Chris Court

This cake's graham cracker crust provides a crunchy contrast to the velvety cream cheese filling, which is spiked with pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice for a double dose of autumnal flavor. In a pinch, you can prepare the pie and refrigerate it, loosely covered with plastic wrap, up to two days in advance.

11 of 30

Spider Cookies With Chocolate Chips

Halloween desserts and Halloween treats - Spider Cookies With Chocolate Chips
PHILIP FRIEDMAN; STYLING: COLLEEN RILEY

Chocolate creepy crawlers give everyone's favorite cookie an eerie upgrade. To recreate the look, dip a toothpick in melted chocolate and draw legs around an exposed chip—or two. To make the spiders even spookier, press red Nonpareils into the chocolate chip (you may need to use tweezers) when the cookies first come out of the oven.

12 of 30

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin Spice Bread Recipe
Victor Protasio

Banana bread season is officially over. Say "hello" to this autumn-inspired pumpkin bread that has the perfect combination of sugar and spice, and will be sure to get you in the seasonal spirit.

13 of 30

Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin Muffin

Pumpkin Muffins
Grace Elkus

These flavorful muffins are simple to make and are ideal for an easy breakfast, snack, or dessert. You might want to consider making a double batch since your family will likely devour them when they're fresh out of the oven.

14 of 30

Pumpkin Cream Puffs

Pumpkin Cream Puffs
Max Kelly

If you're looking to take your baking skills up a notch, these Pumpkin Cream Puffs are a great option. They're irresistibly delicate, yet packed with flavors like brown sugar and pumpkin. You will feel like the ultimate French pastry chef after whipping up these little fancy treats.

15 of 30

Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Healthy Desserts Recipes: Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats
Jennifer Causey

Who says all fall desserts must be pumpkin-flavored? If you're more of a chocolate lover, you're not going to want to pass on these easy-to-make rice crispy treats. The best part about these delightful sweets? All you'll need is four ingredients and 30 minutes!

16 of 30

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
John Kernick

Looking for ways to repurpose those pumpkin seeds from your jack-o-lanterns? Toss them in a mixture of butter, cinnamon, sugar, and salt for the most delicious sweet and salty snack. Fair warning: These pumpkin seeds are slightly addicting, so don't be surprised if you eat an entire bowl on your own.

17 of 30

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Greg DuPree

Why make a whole cheesecake when you can make an easier and more convenient alternative? These Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars are creamy, tangy, and certainly don't lack flavor. Bring them to your next family gathering or holiday potluck – they'll be sure to outshine everything else on the dessert table.

18 of 30

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Greg DuPree

Is there anything better than a no-bake recipe? Making pies from scratch is no easy feat, but this no-muss, no-fuss pumpkin pie might just be the easiest recipe you'll ever come across. There's no need to mess around with pie dough or take up room in the oven (this is especially helpful while prepping other dishes).

19 of 30

Orange and Clove Basque Cheesecake

Slices of Orange and Cloves Basque Cheesecake served on plates.
Jennifer Causey

This ain't your average cheesecake, and it's guaranteed to impress your guests at any elevated Halloween soiree. The combination of cloves and orange gives a warm, earthy flavor, and it's the perfect note to end the meal on.

20 of 30

Honey-Apple Galette With Pistachio Sugar

honey-apple-galette-recipe-1119foo
Anna Williams

If you've never made a galette, what are you waiting for? It's the perfect ratio of crispy, homemade pie dough with a warm, ooey-gooey filling. You're going to want to cut yourself a slice shortly after taking it out of the oven and top it with vanilla bean ice cream for the full experience.

21 of 30

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Halloween desserts and Halloween treats - Pumpkin Doughnuts
Levi Brown

Baked pumpkin doughnuts are just the thing for a Halloween fête—especially when they're covered with a rich sour cream frosting and a smattering of orange sprinkles.

22 of 30

Apple Coffee Cake Twist With Giant Crumbs

Apple Coffee Cake Twist With Giant Crumbs
Brie Passano

Coffee cake is almost always a fan favorite, and a great after-school treat for the kids. And since you may have an abundance of apples this time of year, this twist on a traditional coffee cake is a great way to use them up.

23 of 30

Sheet-Pan Apple Crisp

October 2020 Recipes: Sheet Pan Apple Crisp
Caitlin Bensel

Sheet-pan dinners are all the rage, but what about sheet-pan desserts? If you're having a Halloween party or entertaining a big group of kids, skip the pie and cupcakes and make this easy apple treat. It will save you time and energy in the kitchen, and what's more priceless than that?

24 of 30

Apple Cider Doughnut Tower

Apple Cider Doughnut Tower
Jennifer Causey

If you're not an avid baker but still want to make a show-stopping dessert, look no further than this creation. There are few things more exciting than a giant tower of sinful apple cider doughnuts drizzled in caramel and topped with homemade whipped cream.

25 of 30

Candy Skillet Cookie

Cookie Cake Recipe Using Leftover Candy
Greg DuPree

Trying to find a way to use up that leftover Halloween candy? Make this giant skillet cookie using whatever you have on hand. M&Ms, Peanut Butter Cups, and other fun-sized chocolates are ideal, but you could really use anything your kids haven't already devoured.

26 of 30

Pumpkin Pecan Crisps

Pumpkin Pecan Crisps
Max Kelly

There are few combinations more delicious than pumpkin and pecans, and these sweet and crunchy crisps are great for both kids and adults. While they're incredibly easy to make, they look fancy and delicate since they're served in individual ramekins.

27 of 30

Rustic Apple Tart

Rustic Apple Tart
David Prince

Some homemade pies can take up to hours to bake—from making and chilling the dough to mixing the filling—it's usually a bit of a process. Now you can achieve the same homemade taste but in under 30 minutes thanks to store-bought pie dough and frozen cinnamon apples.

28 of 30

Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Pumpkin Rice Pudding
Dana Gallagher

Rice pudding is an incredibly underrated dessert, and this mouth-watering fall-inspired rendition is absolutely worth trying. The flavor combinations of fresh orange, vanilla, brown sugar, pumpkin, and cinnamon might just be what dreams are made of.

29 of 30

Chocolate Bar Fondue

Chocolate Bar Fondue
Anna Williams

Not sure what to do with all your extra Halloween candy? Transform your bounty of chocolate bars into luscious, creamy fondue. Not only is it a fun activity to enjoy with your kids, but there are so many ways to get creative with snacks to dip, like fresh or dried fruit, cake, pretzels, and crackers.

30 of 30

Kit Kat-Filled Angel Food Cake

Kit Kat–Filled Angel Food Cake
Kana Okada

Put your Kit Kat stash to good use and serve this cake stuffed with the popular candy bars at a Halloween gathering. You'll start with a store-bought (or pre-made, if you go that route) 9-ounce angel food cake. Simply slice the finished, cooled cake in half horizontally and create a small hollowed-out area in the middle, which you'll spread with a filling of chopped Kit Kat bars and homemade whipped cream. Replace the top layer of cake, dust it with cocoa powder, and you're ready to slice and serve. Easy enough, right?

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