I love an easy tribute to the holidays, and these adorable Monster Cupcakes fit right in for Halloween, showers, birthdays, or any time of year!
Some green icing for fur, candy eyeballs, candy corn for spikes, and cupcakes—that’s all you need to make it a fun dessert or snack for your upcoming spooky Halloween party!
Reminiscent of Spike Jones, one of the funny monsters on the Scream Floor starring in Pixar’s Monsters Inc., these cupcakes are going to be an easy, hands-on craft opportunity to share with your kids.
You frost them, they decorate, and because they are MONSTER cupcakes, there’s literally no way to mess them up!
Overall, we made these as simple and quick as possible to pull together for a “oops I forgot I’m in charge of classroom snacks” or just to save you time on your feet in the kitchen.
If you don’t like store-bought icing, pull together your own homemade buttercream with icing sugar, but this recipe is using the basics.
Even the canned icing is already green, so that you don’t have to color it yourself.
I love the foolproof ease of boxed cake mixes, so I whipped up the cupcake base the night before so they’d be ready to create the next morning.
Cupcakes tend to dry out quickly so keep them in an airtight container.
If you are even more pressed for time, or you aren’t up to bake cupcakes, you can pick up a flat of cupcakes at the grocery store bakery, scrape off their icing, and add your own ½ inch of green icing!
You don’t need a whole lot, just enough to hold the candy corns upright.
All of your own little monsters will have so much fun adding the eyes and candy corns!
If you are making adorable cupcakes and want to customize the color of the icing, use a can of white icing and color it exactly the way you want it, any bright color galore for the top of each cupcake!
• Make any flavor cupcake you want. We used vanilla, but you can make these as simple or as sophisticated as you’d like. Make chocolate cupcakes from scratch with cocoa powder, or cinnamon cupcakes with our recipe here (without the icing).
• To make sure the cupcakes didn’t stick to the pan, we baked ours in cupcake liners, but they look better without the papers when serving. Remove the paper muffin cups before you start icing them.
• You can make the cupcake base in advance, up to three days. Bake according to package directions, then cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, store in an airtight container or completely covered in foil/cellophane up to two days before frosting and decorating.
• If you want a “smooth” icing surface, heat up a half-cup of the green icing in a microwave-safe large bowl on high in increments of 20 seconds and stir until melted. Turn the cooled cupcake upside down and dip the top of the cupcake into the melted icing. Let extra drip off and place them on a wire rack to set and cool.
• Monster Eye Cupcakes: Using edible eyes, just use one big eye and press in the center, leave out the candy corn, and press two pretzel sticks on the edge of the top, like arms. VY-OH-LAY, it’s a Mike Wazowski copycat cupcake!
• Mermaid Cupcakes: Use bright blue frosting for the ocean, these exquisite edible mermaid decorations, and some paper cupcake toppers, and you’re out the door even faster!
• Want to turn these monster cakes into Cookie Monster Cupcakes for a birthday party or baby shower? Use dark blue icing, leave off the candy corn, gently press a spatula on top of each iced cupcake and pull straight up to create his rough hairy look, and use large candy eyes! Add a sprinkle topping of some crushed chocolate chip cookie, and you have one authentic cupcake recipe!
• If you don’t want to use (or don’t have handy) candy eyes, you can use black icing like a tube of writing gel to set two blobs on each cupcake as eyes instead of the googly eyes.
• Instead of candy corn, you can turn the spikes into “buttons” and use colorful M&Ms, or break pretzel sticks in half and press them into the entire surface of the cupcake.
Supplies to gather
Box Cake Mix, Any Flavor
• Prepare according to cupcake directions, with: Eggs, Oil, Water, Large Mixing Bowl, Whisk, Cupcake Liners or Nonstick Cooking Spray, Cupcake Pan, Oven
Green Vanilla Frosting
• Or Vanilla Buttercream, Green Food Coloring
Small Candy Eyeballs
Steps to make Monster Cupcakes
1. We encourage wearing an apron or smock when working with food coloring or colored icing. It makes cleanup easier, with less hassle.
2. Make the cupcakes according to the cupcake directions on the cake mix box. (See Ingredients note above for what else you might need to make cupcakes with a box mix.)
3. Once the cupcakes are done baking, set them aside to cool completely, about 45 minutes or overnight. If making in advance, cool completely on a wire rack then store covered in an airtight container until ready to decorate up to two days in advance.
4. Ice only the tops (not the sides) of all the cupcakes with the green frosting about ½-inch thick.
5. Use a clean kitchen towel to set spatula down on. (Helps with cleanup.)
6. Press the broad side of candy corns into the icing (white tips pointing upwards) as the hair and gently add candy eyeballs for eyes. See photos.
7. Keep extras covered in an airtight container for up to three days.
This recipe makes a perfect treat for a busy weeknight.
Start with these pics as inspiration and let your child’s imagination run wild with a variety of colors!
These Halloween Monster Cupcakes are definitely in the “barely scary” category, suitable for young children.
That said, if the word “monster” is anxiety-inducing, Spike the Cupcake might be the right name for these fun cupcakes.
These fun monster cupcakes are sure to be the hit of a class party, or add a bit of nostalgia for the grownup festivities, too.
Looking for another green monster?
This Frankenstein Rice Krispies recipe makes fun treats that are hiding right around the corner! 🎃
- 1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix, plus eggs, oil, and water
- 1 Can of Green Vanilla Frosting
- 1 Bag of Candy Corn
- 1 Package of Small Candy Eyeballs
- Make the cupcakes according to the directions on the cake mix box. (See note above for what else you might need to make cupcakes with a box mix.)
- Once the cupcakes are done baking, set them aside to cool completely, about 45 minutes or overnight. If making in advance, cool completely on a wire rack then store covered in an airtight container until ready to decorate up to two days in advance.
- Ice only the tops (not the sides) of all the cupcakes with the green frosting about ½-inch thick.
- Press the broad side of the candy corns into the icing over half the tops (white part pointing up) as the hair.
- Gently add candy eyeballs for eyes. See photos.
- Keep extras covered in an airtight container for up to three days.
If your store doesn’t have green vanilla frosting, you can use food coloring and white icing to create the color yourself.
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