Graveyard Halloween Cupcakes

These spooky graveyard Halloween cupcakes are made with your favorite sugar cookies, cupcakes (you can even take a shortcut and use store-bought), royal icing, and chocolate cookie crumbs. They’re the perfect dessert for your Halloween party.

Three graveyard Halloween cupcakes with mini pumpkin candies and crosses on a piece of slate.

These adorable—and not crazily intensive—graveyard Halloween cupcakes are deceptively easy to make. The cupcakes and frosting can be homemade or store-bought. Same goes for the cookie dough you use for the gravestones. And you can enlist the kids’ help in decorating the cookies and in crushing store-bought chocolate sandwich cookies to make the graveyard dirt.

To give the graves an extra-spooky look, add any creepy candy you can find. You got this, mom.–David Leite

Halloween Cupcake FAQs

How do I get the right consistency for my royal icing?

For these spooky sweet cupcakes, you want your icing to be of writing consistency. That is, you don’t want it flowing out of your piping bag, but you shouldn’t have to struggle to get it to pipe, either. For more information on how to thin it to the right consistency for your project, see this article on How to Decorate with Royal Icing.

Can I make these ahead of time?

Yes. You can assemble the cupcakes up to 1 day before serving. Store them in a covered container at room temperature.

☞ Want more Halloween cupcake recipes? Try these:

Graveyard Halloween Cupcakes

Three graveyard Halloween cupcakes with mini pumpkin candies and crosses on a piece of slate.
These graveyard Halloween cupcakes are easy to make, can be made the day before, and are perfect for your Halloween party. Store-bought cupcakes and roll-out cookies mean that all you're really doing is decorating (the fun part!)

Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
Chilling time 1 hr
Total 1 hr 55 mins
12 servings
193 kcal
5 / 2 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Halloween Treats cookbook

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  • piping bag; cross cookie cutter or card templates for cross-shaped headstones


  • 1 batch your favorite store-bought or homemade roll-out cookie dough any flavor, whether sugar or butter or gingerbread or chocolate or Swedish spice
  • 12 store-bought or homemade cupcakes with chocolate frosting
  • All-purpose flour for the work surface
  • Royal Icing
  • Black food coloring paste
  • 6 Oreo cookies
  • Mini fondant or marzipan pumpkins or other creepy candy of any sort (optional)


Make the cookie gravestones

  • Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 2 hours.
  • When the cookie dough is ready, arrange a rack in the center position and crank the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Lightly dust a clean, dry surface with flour and roll the cookie dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a cross cookie cutter or place a cross template on the dough and carefully cut around it with a small, sharp knife. You’ll need 12 crosses total.

    TESTER TIP: It’s a good idea to bake a couple more than a dozen cookies in case of accidental breakage.

  • To decorate, thin the royal icing if necessary to create a consistency for writing and tint it black with a smidgen of the food coloring paste. Spoon the icing into a piping bag or into a resealable plastic bag and use scissors to snip off one of the very bottom corners. Pipe an outline of frosting around each cross-shaped cookie headstone. Pipe dates or names on the headstones, too, if you like. Let the icing set.

Frost and assemble the graveyard Halloween cupcakes

  • Crush the Oreo cookies finely in a food processor or put them in a resealable plastic bag, seal, and crush with a rolling pin. They should be fine enough to resemble dirt.
  • Scatter the crushed cookies over each cupcake and firmly but gently insert the bottom of a cross-shaped cookie into each cupcake. If desired, decorate the cupcakes with candy.
Print RecipeBuy the Halloween Treats cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 193kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 31g (10%)Protein: 0.3g (1%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 0.01mgSodium: 96mg (4%)Potassium: 29mg (1%)Fiber: 0.2g (1%)Sugar: 27g (30%)Vitamin A: 0.2IUCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg (6%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Originally published October 6, 2013


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