40 Halloween Desserts That Are Better Than Candy
Halloween is a wonderfully spooky time of year, and these dessert recipes make creating Halloween treats for kids a pleasure. You can get your inspiration for Halloween desserts and treats for kids from the fantastic flavors of the season: think Pumpkin Fudge, or Southern-Style Caramel Apples. Chocolate Ghost Cakes, Monster Cupcakes, and Witches’ Hats that are so delicious you may even say they are scary-good. You can also conjure the spirits of the season with our Crème-Filled Chocolate Cookies and our Pumpkin Pie Cutout Cookies, both of which are bewitchingly tasty. So trade in the candy and enjoy your favorite Halloween desserts and tasty treats. And even if you're making these Halloween treats for kids, you just might end up making some extra for yourself, too. Whether you're throwing a Halloween party or simply making an after-school treat, these frighteningly delicious recipes are sure to please.
Candy Corn Cookies
Recipe: Ghost Cookies
Boo! All it takes is a simple shortbread and a coating of shiny royal icing to create these ghoulish ghost cookies.
Recipe: Graveyard Cake
RIP our will power. You won’t be able to have just one slice of this devil’s food cake, coated in chocolate frosting and crumbled Oreos. It's also got Milano cookies as headstones to complete the spooky effect.
Recipe: Mummy Cookies
A splash of almond extract adds a grown-up element to these classic sugar cookies. Decorate with melted vanilla-almond bark for even more nutty flavor.
Candy Corn Cupcakes
Recipe: Candy Corn Cupcakes
With layers of yellow, orange, and white frosting, these candy corn cupcakes look like the real deal. Yet unlike the Halloween candies, these cupcakes aren’t overloaded with a cloyingly sugary flavor, making them the perfect option for adults to enjoy.
Eyeball Cake Balls
Recipe: Eyeball Cake Balls
I see you! These creepy cartoonized Eyeball Cake Balls are sure to scare.
Witch Finger Cookies
Recipe: Witch Finger Cookies
These bright green Witch Finger Cookies are creepily life-like. Red decorating gel poses as bloody nailbeds and almond slices replicate long, clawed fingernails.
Halloween Spider Cookies
Recipe: Halloween Spider Cookies
Normally, we’d jump at the sight of a spider, but these chocolate-truffle Spider Cookies are just too adorable.
Witch Hat Cookie Cones
Recipe: Witch Hat Cookie Cones
Filled with a special surprise, these Witch Hat Cookie cones will add festive flair to your holiday spread.
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Pumpkin spice and everything nice! These cookies let all those warm seasonal spices shine.
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Fall is the season for everything pumpkin spice, and we’d be remiss not to include a dash of festive flavor in our Halloween spread.
Recipe: Frankenstein's Cupcakes
We're doing the "Monster Mash" all night long with these simple Frankenstein Cupcakes.
Pumpkin Crunch Cake
Recipe: Pumpkin Crunch Cake
Flavor-wise, this cake has everything going for it. And as an extra bonus, guests will love the all-orange color palate.
Easy Witch's Hat Cookies
Recipe: Easy Witch's Hat Cookies
This recipe proves that Ritz Crackers can do just about anything. Not only are these Witch Hat Cookies confoundingly easy to make, they’re a sweet-and-salty treat no guest will be able to resist.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Muffins
If you’re looking for a dessert with a more balanced, subtle sweetness, these Pumpkin Spice Muffins will do the trick.
Southern Pumpkin Pie
With extra pieces of crust cut into festive shaped and circling the perimeter of the pie, this Pumpkin Pie will be the star of the Halloween dessert lineup.
Mini Pumpkin Pies
Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Pies
When we’re hosting, we love to make bite-sized, grab-and-go foods that’ll keep the buffet line moving and leave virtually no mess behind. These Mini Pumpkin Pies are ideal for larger parties and pre-set portion control.
Recipe: Mummy Cupcakes
We can almost guarantee that you haven’t ever seen such tasty mummy wrap. These cupcakes are all about the piping technique, which creates the effect of mummy bandaging.
Pumpkin Spice-Chocolate Marble Bread
The marbled effect of swirled chocolate and pumpkin batters dresses this Spice Bread up oh-so-well for your Halloween party.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Their cake-like texture and melty pockets of chocolate make these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies a new favorite on our seasonal dessert spread.
Candy Apple Recipe
Recipe: Candy Apples
No Halloween celebration is complete without shiny red Candy Apples. All of the children will be delighted by this surprisingly simple, wonderfully sweet treat.
Recipe: Pumpkin Roll
A roulade may look difficult, but once you’ve mastered the technique you’ll never look back. This festive Pumpkin Roll is as pretty as it is delicious!
Recipe: Pumpkin-Chocolate Brownies
Halloween is all about orange and black, and these brownies will fit in perfectly on your party spread.
Crème-Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
This filled-cookie recipe is fantastic any time of year, but you can make it ghostly good by taking a few special steps for the scary season. If you really want these cookies to be frightful and delightful, let them help you celebrate Halloween by tinting one-third of the filling with orange food coloring and one-third with yellow food coloring; keep one-third white. For an unexpected taste surprise you can also flavor the colored fillings with 1 tsp. of your favorite extract, such as orange or almond. For adults-only cookies, you can stir 1 Tbsp. bourbon or rum into filling before dividing to tint.
Chocolate Ghost Cakes
Harvest Moon Lollipops
Recipe: Harvest Moon Lollipops
These lollipops make a perfect party project for kids. (Help younger children insert the lollipop sticks.) Arrange lollipops in a container filled with florist foam for an impressive centerpiece, or wrap individually in cellophane and give as party favors.
Pumpkin Cake With Little Ghosts
No recipe needed! To make these festive cakes, order six unfrosted bakery cupcakes, or bake your own. Stir 8 drops purple liquid food coloring into 1 (16-oz.) can creamy supreme vanilla frosting. Pipe onto cupcakes; add edible toppers (available at party stores). Place each cupcake in a glass “specimen” jar (widemouthed canning jar) for a creative favor.
Candy Corn Chocolate Cakes
Recipe: Candy Apples
Starting with packaged caramel apple wraps make these tasty apples eerily easy to make and a fun project to do with the kids.
Recipe: Cinderella Cheesecake
A chewy ring of brownie-batter crust folds over creamy and luscious peanut butter cheesecake. Yes, please! Recipe from Savor the Moment by the Junior League of Boca Raton.
Recipe: Pumpkin Fudge
This sweet treat combines pumpkin with white chocolate chips, marshmallow crème and chopped pecans to make a delicious new staple for the Halloween season.
Pumpkin Pie Cutout Cookies
Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Cutout Cookies
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, and behold, we think these cookies are beautiful. They catch the gorgeous colors of the season, and when you and your family decorate these cookies you may capture these beautiful colors too. These simple-to-make cookies are also delicious. You can bake these cookies up to five days in advance, and store them in an airtight container. To make our wind cookies and leaf cookies, we used round cookie cutters and swirly piping to represent the wind, and various sizes of leaf-shaped cutters for fluttering foliage. Stack up cookies on your plate and pretend that you are outside raking leaves.
Master the Technique: How To Flood Cookies
Deep-Fried Candy Corn
Watch: Deep-Fried Candy Corn
You'll be the most popular house on the block if you pass out these treats!
Southern-Style Caramel Apples
Recipe: Southern-Style Caramel Apples
Branch out and get creative with some of our favorite caramel apple toppings. We used Southern magnolia twigs; other branches may render the apples inedible. When in doubt, use craft sticks or large pretzel sticks.
Caramel-Peanut-Popcorn Snack Mix
Recipe: Caramel-Peanut-Popcorn Snack Mix
Your guests will be grabbing one paper cone to devour on the spot and another one to go if you make this delicious take on traditional popcorn. Sure, you’re going to start with those fifteen cups of freshly-popped kernels that you’ve just made, but it will be the homemade brown sugar, butter, and dark corn syrup topping that you’ve drizzled on, plus the delicious candies that you’ve mixed in, that can truly take this popcorn to the next level. With peanuts, caramel, and colorful candy-coated peanut butter candies, it’s no wonder Caramel Peanut Popcorn Snack Mix is such a Halloween surprise.
Easy Owl-Ween Treats
No recipe needed! Open-faced Oreos, M & M’s, candy corn, and sprinkles bring a convenience store treat―a MoonPie―to life. Secure cookies and candy to your MoonPie with melted chocolate candy coating. Then insert a 12- x ¼-inch dowel, available at craft stores, into marshmallow center and secure with more chocolate for an eye-popping, kid-friendly sweet.
White Meringue Ghosts
Recipe: White Meringue Ghosts
Meringue cookies make delicious and festive Halloween ornaments on a central tablescape. Use licorice string as a loop if you plan to hang the spooky treats.
Halloween Cake Pops
Recipe: Halloween Cake Pops
Have your pick of a mummy, a spiderweb, or a pumpkin– or try all three! Display these cake pops on a decorated Styrofoam block for even more fun.