These Halloween candy cupcakes, not surprisingly, attract and delight many a child of any age who comes into our bakery. Our own children also request them over and over again for special occasions—and they can participate in the decorating process.–Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas

Recipe FAQs

What else can I do with leftover Halloween candy?

We’ve got a couple of great suggestions. Melt it down into this Halloween hot chocolate, or turn it into candy bar s’mores. Still have some left? Try this leftover Halloween candy bark.

How should I store these cupcakes?

Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate frosting and pieces of candy on a children's chalkboard with pieces of chalk on the side.
Several chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and candies on top on a wooden chair.

Halloween Candy Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
These candy cupcakes are a perfectly over-the-top way to celebrate anything, really. It doesn't even need to be Halloween, you just need a few handfuls of your favorite candy.
David Leite
Servings12 cupcakes
Calories154 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


  • 12 cupcakes, any flavor, whether white or coconut or chocolate or whatever you crave
  • 1 batch buttercream or other frosting, preferably chocolate, whether bittersweet or Nutella
  • Assorted candies in an array of colors, such as M&M's, candy necklaces, gummy candies, malted milk balls, candy bars, marshmallows, sprinkles


  • Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream. (You can use vanilla buttercream, although we prefer chocolate because it takes longer for the frosting to firm up, giving you and your wee ones more time to decide on which sweets to use as decorations before the frosting sets.)
  • Immediately go footloose and fancy-free, plopping sweets of varying shapes, sizes, and colors onto each cupcake quickly before the frosting sets. We find it better to use too many candies rather than too few, so heap them on without hesitation.
Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery

Adapted From

Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 154 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 2 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 1 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gCholesterol: 1 mgSodium: 141 mgPotassium: 41 mgFiber: 0.3 gSugar: 15 gVitamin A: 22 IUVitamin C: 0.1 mgCalcium: 56 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Martha Swift | Lisa Thomas. Photos © 2010 Yuki Sugiura. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The thing about this candy cupcakes recipe that I most love? The fact that it’s not a recipe. It’s a suggestion, an inspiration. As such, it allows you to do what you will. So there’s no wondering or worrying or hand-wringing over whether the cupcakes will turn out moist or if the frosting will be as silken smooth and luscious as your mom’s buttercream.

Go ahead and use your most trusted recipes here—or, if you’re in a pinch, go with bakery-made cupcakes—as well as whatever leftover candy is driving you insane just sitting there and tempting you. In truth, this is simply a decorating suggestion that’s too clever for us not to post seeing as it gets the temptation out of the house.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Coconut Cupcakes

Kids can’t resist these sweet little somethings. That includes the kid in all of us.

1 hr 15 mins

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    1. Dawn, were kinder words ever typed?! Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts, which are still racing from the surge of Halloween sugar….