MomsGetReal Contributor Jennifer Williams

Ah, Halloween… the only night of the year when kids aren’t just allowed but actually encouraged to beg and whine for sugary food!

As if getting free candy isn’t awesome enough, combine that with glowing jack-o-lanterns creating a pleasantly spooky ambiance on every porch, the chance to dress up like a super hero, and the fun parties – it’s no wonder that Halloween pretty much tops every kid’s list of the coolest holidays. Want to make this Halloween even more awesome? Just add Halloween cupcakes to the mix.

Speaking of parties, whether it’s a school function, a neighborhood block party, or a haunted get-together in your own back yard, the Halloween season is full of celebrations. Be prepared: You’re probably gonna get asked to provide snacks at least once or twice. But never fear — this scariest of all nights is the perfect time to whip up the most fun-loving snack in the known universe: Cupcakes!

After all, what other snack is so versatile? These playful treats come in almost any color imaginable, they’re so easy to decorate that the whole family can do it, they’re completely portable, and everyone loves to eat them!

This year, make a batch or two of spooky Halloween cupcakes and make October 31st even more deliciously fun!

Gooey Zombie Brain Cupcakes

I want to eat your brains…. on a luscious cupcake, that is! Sit back and watch your party guests go all zombie on these brainy treats.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
  • 14 chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups thawed whipped topping
  • 1 to 2 drops red food coloring

Make It:

Heat oven to 350°F.

Prepare cake batter as directed on package; stir in cookies. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pans 10 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Beat pudding mix, milk and sugar in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in whipped topping and food coloring; spoon into pastry bag fitted with round tip.

Pipe pudding mixture in zigzag pattern on tops of cupcakes to resemble brains, starting in center of each cupcake before filling in sides. Keep refrigerated.

Spooky Green Monster Cupcakes

Halloween  is all about the monsters, and these cupcakes bring them to life in a cute – and very tasty – way! Best of all, even the smallest members of the family can help by decorating the not-so-terrifying ghouls on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 24 large marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup green decorating sugar
  • 1 tube (1.5 oz.) black decorating gel
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 pkg.(4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding
  • 2 or 3 drops green food coloring

Make It:

Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool. Place 1/3 cup of the whipped topping in large resealable plastic bag. Add marshmallows; seal bag. Shake until evenly coated. Place decorating sugar in shallow pan. Add marshmallows; toss lightly until marshmallows are evenly coated. Place in single layer on tray; decorate as desired using decorating gel.

Pour milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat 2 min. Gently stir in remaining whipped topping until well blended. Spoon 1-1/2 cups of the pudding mixture into small bowl. Add food coloring; stir until blended. Spoon into small resealable plastic bag. Snip off 1 corner from bottom of bag; set aside.

Cut 1-inch chunk from top of each cupcake with small knife; remove and reserve for snacking or other use. Pipe pudding mixture from bag into holes in cupcakes. Spread tops with remaining pudding mixture. Top with the marshmallows. Store in refrigerator.

Slimy Eyeball Cupcakes

Freak out your party guests with these sinister Halloween cupcakes, each topped with a spooky, glaring candy eyeball. Personalize by experimenting with different colors of candy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
  • 1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) chocolate instant pudding
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 24 ring-shaped chewy fruit snacks
  • 24 miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces
  • 1 tube (19.28 g) red decorating gel

Make It:

Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Add dry pudding mix; mix well. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes; cool completely.

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in medium bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar. Spread onto cupcakes.

Decorate with remaining ingredients to resemble photo.

Make your Halloween recipes even more fun by baking them in orange and black cupcake papers, and mix it up a bit by using your favorite cake mix flavors. Complement these sweet treats with a few skeleton decorations and spider webs and bring this spookiest of seasons to life.

While not working part-time as a bank teller, Jennifer fills her time with hiking, tennis, pottery, and – of course – cooking. Jennifer has been on a quest to prepare the perfect croissant for years…she is happy to say that she is getting very close.