The most eye-catching seasonal desserts are sometimes the simplest to make, and our Candy Corn Cupcakes fit the bill. We know just how sneakily October 31 creeps up on you and we are also well acquainted with the seemingly never ending to-do lists before a Halloween party, so this recipe makes the most of store-bought cake mix and store-bought frosting to throw together some delightfully cute cupcakes that can decorate the table for a festive soiree. At its most basic, candy corn simply tastes like sugar and vanilla—with a hint of marshmallow in there (which is still just sugar). So the flavor of candy corn is not difficult to nail in a cupcake. By using a white cake mix, coloring vanilla frosting to resemble the candy corn, and by topping each cupcake with a single piece of the candy, you can ensure that the flavor and presentation will live up to the name. Oh-so-easy and whimsical to behold, our Candy Corn Cupcakes are the sweet treat you need this Halloween.

Southern Living


Credit: Micah A. Leal

Recipe Summary test

40 mins
1 hr 30 mins
24 cupcakes


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.

  • Prepare cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil, and eggs. Evenly divide batter among 24 cupcake liners. Bake until cupcakes have puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 14 to 19 minutes. Allow to cool completely before topping, about 30 minutes.

  • Measure 1 1/2 cups frosting into a bowl, and measure another 1 1/2 cups frosting into a second bowl.  In the first bowl, stir in yellow food coloring until the color resembles the bright yellow of the base of a candy corn piece. In the second bowl, stir in a mixture of yellow and red food colorings until the frosting resembles the bright orange of the middle of a candy corn piece. Transfer yellow frosting to one piping bag, orange frosting to another piping bag, and the remaining 1/2 cup white frosting to the third piping bag.

  • Cut the tips of each piping bag 1/2 inch from the tip of the bag. On each cupcake, pipe and fill in a circle of yellow frosting to form the base of the frosting mound, leaving a 3/4-inch border of cake exposed around the perimeter of the cupcake. On top of the yellow circle, pipe and fill in a slightly smaller circle of orange frosting. Top each orange circle with a smaller circle of white frosting, pulling up as you finish piping to create a point of frosting. Place 1 candy corn on the white frosting so it stands at an angle on one side of the cupcake.