46 Delicious Halloween Desserts and Treats That Will Have Everyone Howling for More
Halloween may have an unbreakable relationship with candy, but there are plenty of other sweets you can indulge in during the days and weeks leading up to October 31—namely, Halloween desserts. Sure, you can try leftover Halloween candy recipes to use up extra candy, but there are plenty of opportunities to get baking and enjoy homemade treats—think cookies, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, and more—all October long.
There's nothing a good Halloween dessert can't do. A tasty Halloween treat pairs perfectly with a round of Halloween cocktails; the right plate of brownies is a great snack for a marathon of the best Halloween movies on Netflix. And if you're looking for things to do on Halloween, few activities will engage the whole family like decorating Halloween cookies.
While you're memorizing Halloween quotes and figuring out easy Halloween costumes this season, don't forget to set aside time to bake some treats, too: You'll be happy to have delicious, indulgent snacks all month long, and with a little Instagram magic, you'll have gorgeous pictures of your Halloween desserts to share, too.
Pumpkin, Chocolate, and Toffee Skillet Cookie
Imagine a giant warm chocolate chip cookie that's crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. Now add pumpkin flavor, toffee bits, and chopped chocolate. Have we described the cookie of your dreams? Luckily, if you make this recipe, it can become a (very photogenic) reality. Baked in a cast iron skillet (or cake pan if you don't have one), this Halloween dessert turns caramelized and crispy around the edge while it's baking. We suggest serving it straight from the skillet in big slices, or scooping it out and topping it with vanilla ice cream. Just make sure everyone has their own spoon.
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
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 puree and you've got the makings of an intensely seasonal fall cookie. Roll the dough out flat, punch them out with a pumpkin cutter, and bake them for just about 10 minutes for tender and chewy results. One of our favorite parts: decorating them with royal icing is almost as fun as carving a real-life jack-o'-lantern.
Oatmeal and Pie-Spice Cookies
Some Halloween desserts are so tricked out that they basically scream autumn. But these thin and crispy cookies are much more subtle—even sophisticated, if you will. In each sweet wafer you'll detect hints of vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Brilliantly, the recipe calls for you to mix 2 cups of cooked old-fashioned oatmeal into the batter instead of raw oats for a new take on the traditional oatmeal cookie. Once you've cooled the cookies completely, you can keep them for up to two weeks.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Your outing to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, or fall festival deserves this special take on the classic new England cookie. There are recipes for Whoopie Pies, and then there's this recipe for a delectably airy, pumpkin-infused dessert. Is it a pie? A cookie? A cake? We say that you should be the judge. When you're whipping them up, just be careful to reach for pumpkin puree, not pumpkin-pie filling for pure pumpkin flavor that's just sweet enough. The best news is that you can make a big batch of this Halloween dessert and keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a day, or in the freezer for up to one month.
Jack-O'-Lantern Rice Kreepies
Make the tastiest (and spookiest) Halloween rice krispie treats ever with this simple recipe: We add small candies, candy corns, chocolate chips, and mini peanut butter cups to make these treats both tastier and more decorative. You can create any creature you like with these add-ons and others and a little creative treat-sculpting.
Jack-O'-Lantern, Tombstone, Spiderweb and Ghost Cookies
When cut into versatile rectangles, sugar cookies are easy to decorate in a variety of clever ways. To mark the occasion, whip up a batch of cookies along with a shiny confectioner's sugar glaze. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions to create impressive Jack-O'-Lantern, tombstone, spider web, and ghost designs for the perfect Halloween cookies.
Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches
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.
Vanilla Mango Ice Cream Cake
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.
Bride of Frankenstein's Monster Cupcakes
These decadent chocolate cupcakes are topped with fluffy green marshmallow frosting and two distinct faces—Frankenstein's monster and his bride—that are almost too cute to eat. Enlist the kids to help craft the faces, which are made from artfully arranged shoestring licorice, pretzel sticks, black sanding sugar, black sprinkles, and yellow candy dots.
Sugar Stencils Brownies
Start with your favorite brownie recipe for this Halloween dessert. Lay a stencil on the surface of the brownie. (If you're crafty, you can make your own stencils using thin cardboard and an X-Acto knife.) Add 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar to a small mesh sifter. Holding the sifter about three inches above the brownie, gently and evenly sift out the sugar so that it covers the brownie and the stencil. Carefully remove the stencil.
M&M Popcorn Balls
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.
Simple Spiderweb Cake
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.
Pumpkin Oranges With Granita
To make this party-worthy dessert, combine fresh orange juice and sugar in a baking dish and freeze until solid, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Scrape the frozen juice with a fork to create small flakes, and place in the shell of a navel orange that has been carefully carved to look like a jack-o'-lantern.
Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes With Chocolate Buttercream
These pumpkin cupcakes are tender and moist, finished with a rich and creamy chocolate frosting. The marbling of the batters is so pretty, though, that we suggest leaving some bare to show off the swirl. A heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice in the batter will make your kitchen smell incredible as they bake and gives them that quintessential pumpkin spice taste. But if you don't have any pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can make it yourself: combine cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and ground cloves, then add to the batter and proceed as usual.
White Chocolate Ganache Eyeballs
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.
Pumpkin Cookies With Chocolate
These tasty drop cookies feature a fairly unconventional (but delicious) pairing—chocolate and pumpkin. Before baking, sprinkle with coarse turbinado sugar to give the cookies added crunch and a hint of sweetness.
Candy Corn Popsicle
This tiered popsicle, which features layers of coconut, pineapple, and mango juices, looks just like its super-sweet inspiration—candy corn. If you can't find mango juice, you can substitute blood orange juice instead and leave out the red food coloring. Keep frozen for up to three days.
Apple Cider Donuts
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 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!
Spooky Spiders Brownies
Use a round cookie cutter to slice a brownie into a circle. Break small pretzel twists into six to eight curved pieces and gently press them into the edges of the brownie to form legs. (Be gentle: If you press too hard, the brownie will crumble.) To make eyes, pipe two small dots of white frosting near the top of the circle and top with red hot candies.
This cake's graham cracker crust provides a crunchy contrast to the velvety cream cheese filling, which is spiked with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice for a double dose of autumnal flavor. In a pinch, you can prepare the pie and refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap, up to two days in advance.
Peanut Butter-Cup Cookies
Use your stash of Halloween candy—specifically those coveted peanut butter cups—to craft these decadent and chewy chocolate peanut butter cookies. If you're hoping to get a head start, a batch can be baked and stored at room temperature in an airtight container up to three days in advance.
Salted Caramel and Pumpkin Seed Parfait
Layer a rich dulce de leche with homemade whipped cream, crumbled graham crackers, roasted pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt for a decadent dessert that can be assembled in mere minutes. If serving at a dinner party, showcase the ingredients in pretty glass jars to really wow.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Marshmallow Treats
For a fun upgrade to this old-time classic, prepare marshmallow treats the traditional way and add a hefty spoonful of peanut butter. Then spread the surface with a mixture of melted semisweet chocolate and more creamy peanut butter, before sprinkling the decadent treat with chopped miniature peanut butter cups. They only take 15 minutes to whip up, so you might as well make more than one batch. We guarantee they're going to be the most popular treat at any Halloween party. If you want to switch it up, try topping the bars with mini Twix, Snickers, or other chocolate candies.
Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
Amp up boxed cake mix with pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree 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.
Candy Corn Mosaic Brownies
Slice cooled brownies (we recommend using your favorite recipe) into wedges. (If you plan to make multiples in this style, it's easiest to bake the whole batch of brownies in a round cake pan.) Frost a brownie with a thin layer of chocolate frosting. Starting at the widest end of the wedge, lay a tightly packed row of brown Reese's Pieces atop the frosting. Then, using orange Reese's Pieces, continue making rows across the wedge, working from the widest part of the wedge to the narrowest, until you have covered two-thirds of the brownie. Overlap each candy just slightly with the one before so that the entire surface is covered. Finish covering the brownie with two small rows of yellow Reese's Pieces.
Molasses-Ginger Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
Celebrate the season with a no-fuss frozen Halloween dessert. If you're in a rush, you can save on prep time by purchasing a rich chocolate ice cream and sugar-coated ginger or molasses cookies. Then, craft the slightly spicy treat by sandwiching a serving of ice cream between two cookies. If you're excited about making a from-scratch cookie, we've got a great recipe for that, too. The turbinado sugar is what gives the cookies their signature crunchy sugar coating. To achieve the look, roll the dough balls in the sugar before baking. Then, pull the cookies before they look done. They'll firm up as they cool.
Cookie Tombstones Brownies
Ice a brownie with a thin layer of chocolate frosting or Nutella. Break a Milano cookie in half and, using frosting or a food safe pen, decorate it with the letters RIP. Stand the cookie tombstone up on on the brownie, pressing down gently to adhere it to the frosting. Break a chocolate cookie, such as an Oreo, into small crumbs and scatter them around the tombstone to create the appearance of dirt.
Pumpkin Cupcakes With Maple Buttercream Frosting
Top moist pumpkin-spice cupcakes with a smooth and creamy frosting spiked with maple syrup for an extra boost of seasonal flavor. If you prefer an even bolder taste, use Grade B maple syrup, which has a stronger and more intense flavor than Grade A. The cupcakes themselves get their quintessential pumpkin spice flavor from a homemade blend of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. A full can of pumpkin puree is also added to the mix, which keeps the cupcakes moist and bursting with pumpkin flavor. Because you can make the frosting while the cupcakes are in the oven, the entire project takes less than one hour.
Yummy Mummies Brownies
Take your go-to brownie recipe (we have a great one) and get a little creative with your decorations for this Halloween dessert. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a flat tip with white frosting. Pipe the frosting across the surface of a brownie in lines, forming overlapping "bandages." Leave a bit of space between two of the lines and add candy googly eyes.
Upgrade standard Mallomars with a little royal icing and dark chocolate morsels to make these adorable Halloween treats. You'll also need a piping bag and a steady hand, but the results are stupendous. Share them with other trick-or-treaters or bring them to school as a Halloween dessert to share and show off.
Spider Cookies With Chocolate Chips
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.
Conjure up this clever Halloween kitty with chocolate sprinkles, York Peppermint Patties, M&Ms, and shoestring licorice. One of the best parts about this recipe is that you can put the little ones to work: ask them to sort a bag of M&Ms into reds and yellows. Use a sharp chef's knife or a pair of scissors to neatly trim the Peppermint Patties into wedges and the licorice into even pieces. While this is a pretty simple design (and you can even let the kids help decorate some), you'll want to try to keep most of the designs as neat and precise as possible for polished Halloween cupcake results.
Make no bones about it—this Halloween spin on the classic gingerbread cookie will be a welcome addition to the dessert table at any Halloween party. For best results, put the rolled dough in the refrigerator to firm before cutting into shapes, and then return the cut shapes to the fridge to firm once again before baking.
Pumpkin Bread With Chocolate Swirl
Thanks to pumpkin puree and seasonal spices like cinnamon, this easy, no-knead bread is a great choice if you're looking for a quintessentially fall dessert. It also makes a great hostess gift—simply wrap it up and tie with a bow. For a decadent surprise, fill the baking pan with half of the pumpkin batter, top with the melted chocolate mixture, and then pour in the remaining batter. The result? Chocolate swirled into each and every bite. Save leftovers and eat them for breakfast. We like popping them in the toaster to quickly re-warm, then spreading with softened butter.
This dark creature—with Peppermint Patty wings and red Jujube eyes—is ready to fly right off your party table. It nails slightly scary and creepy but not so scary and creepy that we don't want to gobble at least two of them up immediately. Although the recipe calls for black or brown sanding sugar, if you don't have it on hand you can also dip the cupcakes in crushed chocolate cookies; we think the flavor would pair quite well with the Peppermint Patty wings. But be warned, you might not want to unveil these treats until dinner's over, otherwise you'll be batting away wandering hands.
Glittery Pumpkin Cupcakes
You don't need be a pro to create this easy look—simply dip the cupcake into a bowl of colored sanding sugar and top with a piece of green licorice twist. The recipe makes one jewel-like cupcake (perfect for a Halloween treat for one), but you can easily multiply it based on the size of the crowd you're feeding. Quick tip: display the cupcakes on tabletop with a light; the light will catch the sanding sugar and make it shimmer and glow almost as if the pumpkin were lit up like a real jack-o'-lantern. Serve them next to a stack of napkins so guests can discretely keep their mouths sugar-free.
Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tart
This breakfast favorite is easier (and healthier!) than you might imagine. To make this Halloween treat at home, simply spread a mixture of pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, and salt between two layers of store-bought puff pastry. Then, crimp the edges with a fork to seal (this ensures none of the delicious mixture seeps out in the oven), and bake the pastries until golden brown and flaky. Top with a liberal drizzling of maple syrup glaze, which is a tasty combination of cream cheese, whole milk, and pure maple syrup. Trust us when we say the kids will go crazy.
Frozen Banana Ghosts
Oftentimes, the best Halloween treats are the simplest ones. To make this spooky frozen ghost, insert a popsicle stick into the end of a banana and freeze for approximately 1 hour, or until firm. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate and oil to create a velvety mixture to coat the bananas with. White chocolate can burn easily, so be sure to give it a stir every 30 seconds or so. Then, dunk the bananas in the white chocolate and add two mini chocolate chips to create "eyes." They'll be the talk of the party, and no one has to know how easy they are to make.
Wide-eyed owls will keep careful watch over your Halloween table. Use halved Oreos for the oversized eyes and pointy ears. We love the cookies on their own and never dreamed they could taste even more delicious, but stuck on a vanilla cupcake they manage to take on a new addictive quality. The cupcake's vanilla icing surrounds the chocolate wafers, tasting a bit like filling and bumping up the filling to cookie ratio.
Roll balls of cookie dough in turbinado sugar (a large grained, brown-colored sugar) before baking to add a little extra sweetness to the subtly spicy dough for these Halloween cookies. Turbinado sugar is often labeled as "raw sugar," but you can substitute an equal amount of granulated sugar if you can't find it in the store.
Toothy Skull Cupcake
Use chocolate nonpareils, white jelly beans, and black shoestring licorice (all supplies you can pick up in the candy aisle in any supermarket) to form this spooky-cute creature in just five minutes. This is a great Halloween dessert recipe if you need to make a big batch because the cupcakes look neat and fun with very little effort. To take them over the top, arrange them on a big platter and tuck big colorful flower blossoms around them.
A fun pop of turquoise keeps these wrapped-up treats cute, not creepy. Strips of sour candy tape and gummy candies create the look. If lots of little hands are eager to help, this is the ideal recipe for them. It's okay—encouraged, even—if the tape is criss-crossed imperfectly. Just make sure to tell kid crafters to aim for full coverage with a little bit of white frosting peaking through. We love using yellow Jujubes candies for the eyes, but if you can't find them, any sort of gummy candy (like gumdrops) in any color would be perfectly fine.
Crawly Spider Cupcakes
If you're looking for a dessert that does verge on creepy, this cupcake is your best bet. Observe those crazy legs made from shoestring licorice, angling every which way and looking a little too crawly for comfort. Kids will love picking them off one by one and eating them. Crushed chocolate wafer cookies or Oreos turn the body of the spider dark brown and fuzzy, a bit like the fur on that extremely scary large spider you saw once and never forgot. A pair of fierce red eyes made of red gummy candy complete the spook-tacular look.
Sink your teeth into one of these menacing treats made from shoestring licorice, red candies, and sour candy tape. Although this recipe is straightforward, it's slightly more advanced than some other Halloween desserts. So maybe save this project for a day when little meddling hands won't be trying to get involved and you have enough time to cut the sour candy tape into even little triangles and carefully sprinkle on the crushed cookie crumbs. The finished cupcakes look stunning and enough like the mythical creature to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
Meringue Ghost Cookies
Talk about friendly ghosts. These crisp-and-chewy concoctions with mini chocolate chip eyes are just begging to be devoured.
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.