Graveyard Halloween Cupcakes

These graveyard halloween cupcakes are made with your favorite sugar cookie, cupcakes (you can even take a shortcut and use store-bought), royal icing, and chocolate cookie crumbs. Finally, a kitchen project the kids won’t help making!

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

Graveyard Halloween Cupcakes

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H, 25 M
  • Makes 12

Special Equipment: piping bag; cross cookie cutter or card templates for cross-shaped headstones

Print RecipeBuy the Halloween Treats cookbook

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  • 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
  • 1. Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 2 hours.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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. Originally published Oct 6, 2013.

#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.

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