Our family is big into the holidays, and Halloween is one of our absolute favorites.  We love decorating the house, carving pumpkins and picking out costumes, usually while listening to “Thriller” and “This is Halloween” on a constant loop.  Of course, I especially love making spooky treats that the kids will get excited about.  We love the classic gruesome finger cookies,  witches’ brew cheesy spinach soup, etc. but it’s always fun to try to come up with a new, festive treat for Halloween.

The moment I made these spooky eyeball cupcakes, we were all completely smitten. The effect of the brightly colored eyes peering out of the otherwise black background is striking.  These are a fun and easy cupcake to make and would be a great project to make with older children.  I’m sure we’ll be making these for many years to come.

  • Yield 12 cupcakes


  • Chocolate frosting (a half batch of this recipe should be just right)
  • Black icing gel color
  • 12 standard size cupcakes (any flavor, I prefer chocolate), baked in black liners*
  • Black sanding sugar
  • Black edible marker
  • Round candies such as Sixlets or M&Ms in various bright colors


  • 01

    Tint the chocolate frosting as dark as possible using black icing gel color (I prefer Americolor brand).  Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (such as Ateco #809).  Pipe a generous swirl on top of each cupcake, and use a small offset spatula to smooth into a mound, being sure to fully cover the edges of the cakes in black.  Place the black sanding sugar in a bowl and very gently dip the frosted portion of each cupcake into the bowl to adhere a thin layer over the entire surface without distorting the shape.  Once fully coated, you can gently cup the frosting with your hand to help mold it into an even mound.

  • 02

    Use the black edible marker to draw pupils onto the colored candies. (If the candy you are using has any markings, be sure to draw on the blank side.) Pair up the eyeballs by color and gently press two to three pairs into the frosting of each cupcake.

  • 03

    *Use the best quality, greaseproof black liners you can find.  If they are thin or flimsy, the cake will show through and lessen the effect of the blackness contrasted with the colored eyes.  See the FAQ page for suggested resources for good cupcake liners.