When it comes to holidays, few compete with Halloween as far as fun cooking ideas go. Halloween recipes give you a sense of freedom; when else can you make edible White Meringue Ghosts to hang on trees, cakes covered with spiders, and witch-shaped cookies?

This year, I decided that I'd tackle cupcakes. Even if you start with store-bought cupcakes, you can still create adorable, unique Halloween cupcake recipes that are the perfect single-serving dessert at a fall gathering. Some even give us costume ideas; does anyone else get a Thriller music video vibe from these cute Halloween cupcakes? It's all in the hat!


If you like to theme your baking around more than just a holiday, plan a budget-friendly Halloween Costume-Swap Party. Instead of tossing store-bought (or homemade) costumes when kids grow out of them, gather your favorite people with kids of all sizes and host a costume swap. Bring things you intend to give away, then enjoy watching your kids' favorites of the past few years find new life. Our advice? Break out the sweets after everyone is finished digging through the costume pile; otherwise, you may find a few sticky surprises! Caramel popcorn, snack mix, and bark are all easy pick-up snack ideas.

For the store-bought candy lovers out there, I hear you-- why improve on the perfection that Snickers and Twix have already mastered? We suggest capitalizing on the deliciousness of your favorite candies by adding them to cake, puddings, and more. Decadent Desserts with Leftover Candy shows you how to make a (wait for it) Snickers Cheesecake.


This Halloween, make the holiday your own, then tell us how you did it. Do you make costumes at home? Host a pre-trick-or-treat chili night? We want to hear your ideas!

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel