75 Halloween Dessert Ideas
No tricks to these treats! The best part about Halloween desserts is that they're basically your favorite treats disguised as Halloween goodies. You don't need super special icing skills to make these recipes shine. Simple instructions, a few Test Kitchen tips, and a love of fun holiday foods are all you need to get started. Keep these Halloween dessert ideas in mind all season long.
Hungry for more spooky ideas? Check out our Ultimate Halloween Guide (with 200+ recipes) next.
Black Sesame Cupcakes
There's nothing artificial about these dramatically hued treats. Supermoist (and whole-grain) chocolate cupcakes get their blackout color from black sesame seeds and antioxidant-rich dark cocoa powder. These desserts are delicious and better for you, with every bit of fun, festive flair you crave.
Halloween Spider Cookies
Landing somewhere between adorable and slightly spooky, these Halloween spider cookies are sure to fulfill all your creepy-crawly sweet needs for your upcoming Halloween festivities. Using a classic cut-out butter cookie dough keeps the edges of your spider cookies shape neat and clean—no worries about the cookies expanding when they bake. Decorate these Halloween cut-out cookies with black gel icing, royal icing, candy eyes, orangle and black sprinkles, or whatever fun decorations you have on hand. These cookies make for a playful, spooky food craft that grown-ups and kids alike can enjoy.
Mini Ghost Cupcakes
Decorate mini chocolate cupcakes for the perfect Halloween treats by topping them with whipped topping in the shape of spooky ghosts and chocolate chips for their ghastly expressions. These cupcakes are perfectly portable and great to bring along to a your next Halloween bash!
Deserted Graveyard Cake
Prepare this decadent, chocolate-frosted cake for a festive Halloween dessert.
Mummified Candy-Corn Cake
This festive candy corn-colored cake is sure to impress your Halloween guests.
White Chocolate 'Butterfinger' Bars
Jessica Segarra, 25, Tampa, Fla., thenovicechefblog.com
Trick or Treat Cupcakes
Lookie-Lookie Cookie Pops
These fun, kid-friendly, and super yummy cookie pops are the perfect treat for Halloween! Your friends and family will not be able to resist one–or two, or three.
Chocolate Spider Cupcakes
These spooky spiderweb cupcakes for Halloween are easier to decorate than you think. Simply frost in white icing, then pipe black icing in concentric circles and drag a toothpick through them to create the webbed effect. For kid-friendly cupcakes, use water instead of bourbon in the frosting.
Spun-sugar recipes typically involve flinging hot liquid sugar across a setup of dowels and newspaper. It's messy and, frankly, a little bit frightening. Here's a much easier method that requires nothing more than a few forks and a small upturned bowl, and you can do it on your kitchen counter. The results--golden, airy sugar webs--make excellent Halloween cupcake toppers. (This recipe makes extra, so you can choose the prettiest ones.) For a bigger cobweb to top a cake, just use a large bowl. Make sure you do this on a dry day, though; humidity will make the webs collapse.
Prepare for a sweet scare when these adorable Halloween ghost cookies are all iced, decorated, and ready to party. Super easy and kid-friendly to make, these butter cut-out cookies coated with royal icing are the perfect dessert for your Halloween spread. Candy eyeballs add a playful, whimsical touch to these spooky treats, but you could also use black icing to draw eyes on your ghost cookies. Using a classic cut-out butter cookie dough keeps the edges of your ghost cookies shape neat and clean—no worries about the cookies expanding when they bake. Whip up a batch with the kids and let them go to town with the decorating for a fun Halloween kitchen activity.
Starting with refrigerated, store-bought cookie dough, these cooky Frankenstein cookies are an easy Halloween baking project to whip up this year. That said, packaged cookie dough is made to spread, so if you’d rather your Frankenstein cookies have rectangular or otherwise shaped faces (as opposed to these round-faced cuties), you can use a classic cut-out cookie dough that will better hold its shape. Follow the same method for coloring the dough, and then simply cut it into the shapes you want (freehand or using rectangular cookie cutters). In the recipe below, we provided a suggested path for decorating your Frankenstein cookies, but definitely feel free to go about designing and decorating these tasty little monsters however you please. If you’d rather, you can bake the green cookies plain and decorate as you please using only icing pens once they have cooled. Keep in mind—it’s OK if they’re a little messy, they are monsters after all.
TIP: Let fresh-baked brownies chill, uncovered, overnight. For a perfect slice, cut while they're cold. Serve at room temperature.
Halloween desserts definitely call for having a little extra fun in the kitchen. This kinda-cute, kinda-creepy Graveyard Cake is easy to make, fun to decorate (so recruit the kids’ help), and is sure to be a perfectly spooky centerpiece for any Halloween dessert table. Black icing transforms store-bought cookies into perfectly-sized miniature headstones for the chocolate-frosted graveyard cake. And once you’ve placed your headstones, crumble chocolate wafer cookies around each to create “dirt.” Just be sure to make each "gravesite" the serving size you want to ensure easy slicing. Disperse a few candle “lanterns” throughout the chocolaty graveyard and you have the perfect cake for a Halloween birthday party. The classic chocolate cake recipe here is decadent and moist standby, but if you’re in a pinch for time, feel free to use your favorite boxed cake mix instead. Obviously, it’s all about the decorating on for this Halloween-inspired treat.
Candy Corn Cobs
Make this too-cute Halloween food craft with just two ingredients and a bit of assembly. Using prepared cookie dough as a “cob,” simply press kernels of candy corn into place to create a sugary look-alike of corn on the cob. Making these candy corn cobs is an easy and fun Halloween project for kids, and the completed corny confections could be used as playful name card holders for a Halloween dinner party. You may need to gently reform each into a cob shape if the dough begins to soften as you place the corn—but once you’re finished, simply pop all of the corn-filled cobs back into the freezer for a few hours if you want them to remain super firm for a while. Although we wouldn’t recommend eating an entire candy corn on the cob in a sitting (unless you’re looking for a serious sugar overload), if anyone wants to take a nibble, just be sure to let any guests know that the core is made using raw cookie dough, in case allergies are a concern. Packaged raw cookie dough is typically pasteurized, thus considered safe to consume raw. However, if you’re not completely comfortable using packaged dough, try using a homemade edible cookie dough recipe instead. Another alternative to cookie dough is using bananas cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces for the cob. Pro-tip: Work in rows of candy corn down the entire length of the cob rather than forming cylindrical rows around the diameter of the log—it’s a lot easier.
Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Tahini Glaze
What better fall-inspired dessert to make than this tahini-glazed pumpkin bundt cake. A medley of fragrant, ground spices enhance the rich sweetness of this incredibly moist bundt cake. Topped with a toasty, perfectly bittersweet tahini glaze, this easy to make and comforting fall dessert is the perfect centerpiece for your next dinner party, Halloween gathering, or special occasion.
Severed Hand Pies
This freaky-delicious treat serves up classic flavors with a Halloween twist. Impress your guests with sweet cherry filling in flakey puff pastry... in the shape of a human hand.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter
Brown butter takes these rich, seasonal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to the next level, adding a nutty, fragrant flavor that is absolutely perfect for fall. Canned pumpkin puree lends moisture to these fluffy, cake-like treats while warm chocolate chips fill every bite. Make these for a Halloween party or a fall dinner party, and be sure to store any leftovers in an airtight container.
Our two-bite treats are scary-simple to make and a ghoulishly good addition to your spread of haunted sweets. When it comes time to wrap the mummies in chocolate, let the kids help out for a fun holiday craft.
Lemon-Black Sesame Baked Doughnuts
If you need a break from rainbow-smattered sweets and unicorn-coated everything, these deliciously dark doughnuts are exactly what you’re looking for. A bright lemony glaze balances the warm toasty flavors delivered by black sesame seeds for a balanced, not-too-sweet doughnut. Being an oven-baked doughnut, this recipe is perfect for the first-time doughnut maker or anyone who’s not trying to spend their Saturday morning cleaning up a deep-fry station in their kitchen. We used black food dye to intensify the darkness of these doughnuts, but feel free to leave it out if you’d prefer. Beyond being an incredibly tasty way to boycott rainbow foods, these black sesame doughnuts are the perfect treat to whip out for Halloween.
Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze
With a rich, gooey pumpkin spice filling, buttery pecan streusel topping, and maple glaze, this fluffy and moist pumpkin coffee cake is sure to impress. Perfect for any occasion, from your next fall brunch to a Halloween party, this coffee cake is easy to make and full of toasty fall flavors. You can prepare the brown sugar-pecan streusel, the filling, and even the maple glaze in advance to make pulling this cake together even more of a breeze once you’re ready to bake. Simply prepare each element in a bowl, tightly wrap each with plastic wrap, and stash them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Just be sure to take the glaze out of the refrigerator as soon as you’re ready to start making the pumpkin coffee cake so that it has enough time to return to room temperature, and give it a few stirs to loosen it back up if need be.
Frosted Brown Butter Blondies
Red Velvet Cobweb Cupcakes
These festive Red Velvet Cobweb Cupcakes are as delicoious as they are detailed.
Cinnamon-Cider Candied Apples
Wash apples well to remove any waxy coating, and dry thoroughly before dipping them. Work quickly, but if the syrup begins to set, you can reheat it over low heat to liquefy.
Your little human monsters will love decorating brownies with chocolate, marshmallows, and M&M's to make these sweet treats. For the base, we doubled the recipe for Dark Chocolate Brownies, baking it in a 9- by 13-in. pan and omitting the glaze. Thin, flat chocolate bars work best for the faces.
For the Halloween crafter inside all of this, this simple Halloween sheet cake is a fun, easy dessert to make. Devil’s food cake is very dark chocolaty color, but a red velvet cake would look just as fitting and festive for the bat, too. Piping bags and tips are found in craft stores or specialty baking shops. Be sure to cut the cake rounds in the prescribed order so that the bat’s head with ears comes out as 1 of the cuts.
Frankenstein Cookie Bars
These bars make a fun Halloween treat, and they're very flavorful: the green tea frosting cloaks a chewy-soft coconut-lime cookie. They're easy enough that the kids can help you make them.
No Halloween party is complete without these cute cookies that, thanks to licorice strips, white chocolate chips and brown M & Ms, look just like monster eyeballs.
Scissor Fingers Cake
Just a few little almond slices make these ladyfingers have quite the fingernails!
Red-Velvet Cake Balls with White Chocolate
Dipped in white chocolate, these red-velvet cake balls are perfect for turning into eyeballs on Halloween. With a steady hand and food coloring, David Burtka paints detailed irises and pupils on each one; for the less artistically inclined, an M and M pressed into the white chocolate before it sets makes for a quick-and-easy creepy alternative.
Pumpkin-Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches
These whoopie pies give a whole knew meaning to cake and ice cream! Vanilla ice cream is sandwiched between the festive orange cakes that are pack with pumpkin flavor.