Halloween Recipes

Trick or treating may take the spotlight on Halloween, but this spooky holiday is also the perfect time to try out some festive Halloween recipes, whether the occasion is a children’s after-school celebration or a cocktail party for the grownups. Simple baked goods—like spider-shaped cookies and brightly-iced cupcakes—come together in no time, and are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Or, for some extra fun, why not try some Halloween recipes that use the candy you’re not handing out, like these creative candy-studded treats? If you’re worried about going overboard on the sugar, we’ve got some healthier options, like apricot oat bars and frozen banana “ghosts”—that are lighter on the sweet stuff but still delicious. And don’t forget: mom and dad deserve to share in the fun, too. For the adults, whip up a batch of some scary-good Halloween cocktails and an array of playful and sophisticated Halloween appetizers.

Halloween Pumpkin Cookies

Twice as nice as serving a bowl of candy from the drugstore.

The Best Pumpkin Muffins

The original pumpkin-spiced treat. 

9 Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

Sometimes, the world of Halloween desserts is a scary place. That “bloody brains bowl” looks a little too much like, well, bloody brains to be appetizing. But have no fear: these nine cupcakes strike the perfect balance between cute and spooky. Like the surface of a round sugar cookie, cupcakes are the perfect canvas for your artistic creations. Take your pick between options like gorgeous glittery pumpkin cupcakes, adorable “Fraidycat” cupcakes, or appropriately creepy vampire cupcakes. Each recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients, no more than 6 total. If you have some extra time, whip up a batch of your favorite cupcakes and frosting because fresh is always better. However, if you’re in a pinch the great news is you can always buy premade cupcakes from the bakery section of your grocery store and decorate those. Or make your own cupcakes and frost with store-bought icing. We recommend picking up an inexpensive small offset spatula to help with a super neat and speedy frosting job. You’ll be assembling each cupcake with a variety of toppings, so small glass bowls that keep your decorating station organized will be your best friends. If you’re making ahead, store them on a large plate or tray or cake stand and loosely tent or wrap them in plastic to keep them fresh. When you’re displaying your cupcakes, try dispersing several votive candles between them for an extra festive, extra shadowy touch.

Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches

What could be cuter than these three-bite seasonal fall sandwich cookies? While they look impressive, they take just 30 minutes total to pull off. If you’d like the cookie halves to look a little smoother on top, try scooping the batter into mounds using a small lightly greased cookie scoop. Or, simply smooth your spooned cookie mounds gently with a butter knife. Store cookies and the filling in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to two days and assemble them right before serving. Delicious but optional: air with chilled glasses of apple cider or white wine.

Oatmeal and Pie-Spice Cookies

Oatmeal raising cookie lovers, meet your fall fling. Crisp but tender, these wafers are made seasonal with the addition of apple pie or pumpkin pie spice, or your own mix of ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg. Make sure you read the ingredient list carefully, the recipe calls for 2 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal, that’s cooked oatmeal not the raw oats. It’s a smart little shortcut that ensures the cookies spread out extra-thin and turn golden brown in the oven. Stash the cookies in an airtight container for whenever you’re craving something sweet, or wrap up a dozen in pretty tissue paper and a ribbon for a fantastic fall hostess gift.

Pumpkin Cookies With Chocolate

There’s a lot to chew on here: molasses and pumpkin puree make these cookies super moist and soft, while chopped walnuts and dates add textural interest. A couple quick notes to make your job a little easier. Ever chopped dates and noticed that they tend to stick together in a big clump to your chef’s knife? Try wiping your knife with a bit of oil before you start and your job will become magically easier. A small cookie scoop, though not necessary, will make your job faster when it comes to dropping mounds of dough on baking sheets.

12 Halloween Treats So Delicious It’s Scary

These tricked out Halloween treats are sure to satisfy every craving.

6 Pumpkin Desserts When You’re Tired of Pie

Why should the pie always be the star of the show? We whipped up 6 pumpkin-laced desserts that might just give Grandma’s pumpkin pie a run for its money.

What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

Make trick-or-treat leftovers vanish with these deliciously sweet ideas.

13 Spooky Halloween Cocktails

Hosting a frightful holiday bash? Try these ghoulishly good drinks.