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Dessert Recipes

Jack O’-Lantern Cupcakes

Serving Size:


Active Time:

45 min.

Total Time:

1½ hrs.


  • ¼ cup black fondant
  • Light corn syrup and black edible glitter, optional
  • 1 (4.25 oz.) tube yellow decorating icing, fitted with writing tip
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) pkg. spice cake mix
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups butter (1 lb.), at room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar, from 2 (16 oz.) pkgs.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. leaf green concentrated food coloring
  • ¾ cup thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 (1 oz.) jar orange concentrated food coloring
  • Orange edible glitter, nonpareils and sprinkles
  • Assorted Halloween sprinkles


  1. Line baking sheet with wax paper. Between two sheets of wax paper, roll out fondant to ¼” thickness. Using 2″ and 1″ bat-shaped cookie cutters, cut out bats as desired. Re-roll scraps; using ½” aspic cutters or knife, cut out shapes for eyes and mouths. Place on baking sheet; bend bat wings as desired and place on racks. Let shapes dry overnight. If desired, brush one side of each bat with corn syrup; coat with glitter, shaking off excess. When dry, using yellow icing, pipe eyes on bats and pupils on eye cutouts.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 12 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Line 12 regular muffin cups with cupcake liners. If making double jack-o’-lantern cupcakes, follow instructions, below, to prep muffin cups. On low speed, beat cake mix with pumpkin, eggs, oil and pie spice until combined, 2 minutes. On medium, beat 2 minutes. Spoon 1 Tbs. batter into each mini cup. Divide remaining batter among regular liners. Bake mini cupcakes 10-12 minutes and regular cupcakes 18-21 minutes until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Transfer from pans to racks; cool.
  3. On medium-high speed, beat butter until fluffy, 2 minutes. On low, gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, then vanilla. On medium-high, beat until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Transfer 1½ cups frosting to separate bowl; stir in green food coloring. Reserve. On medium-high, beat juice concentrate into remaining frosting until light and fluffy. Stir in orange food coloring until blended. Transfer ½ cup orange frosting to pastry bag fitted with writing tip (such as Wilton #2). Transfer ½ cup green frosting to pastry bag fitted with writing tip. Transfer remaining 1 cup green frosting to pastry bag fitted with grass tip (such as Wilton #233).
  4. Pipe green frosting grass over regular cupcakes baked in liners. Spread orange frosting over mini cupcakes, completely covering all surfaces. Roll in orange glitter, nonpareils or sprinkles as desired. Place on top of regular cupcakes, securing with toothpick if necessary. Pipe on orange lines, green stems and vines. Attach eyes and mouths with dots of orange frosting. Decorate with bats and sprinkles.
  5. For double jack-o’-lantern cupcakes, bake all of cupcakes in cooking-spray-coated muffin cups without liners. Omit green food coloring and tint all of frosting orange and flavor with orange juice concentrate. Spread frosting over regular and mini cupcakes, completely covering all surfaces. Immediately place each regular cupcake on 3″ sugar cookie; pipe on frosting lines. Insert 3″ toothpick or skewer into cupcake top; slide frosted mini cupcake over toothpick. Using 1 tube (4.25 oz.) green decorating icing fitted with writing tip, pipe grass onto edge of cookies and stems and tendrils onto cupcakes. Decorate with bats, eyes and mouths.

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