spider cupcakes

I actually succeeded in my attempt to make something Halloween-y before Halloween… twice!  Exciting, right?

These spider cupcakes adorably creepy (if that’s a thing?) but one thing that’s NOT scary?  Their nutrition stats!  That’s right, cupcakes that aren’t terrible for you!  Believe me, I know that right about now we are all looking for a reduced-guilt way to enjoy our sweets (before we go overboard on Wednesday).

So now you can make these adorably terrifying not terrible for you spiders for your Halloween party, whether it’s at home, work, or school!

I used a lightened-up recipe from skinnytaste that replaces all the oil and eggs with pumpkin, which means, according to me, these cupcakes are actually GOOD for you (since pumpkin is good for you).  According to skinntaste these cuddly little guys come in at about 140 calories a piece (I think that is excluding the extra candy).  You can use any cupcake recipe or boxed mix you like.

You could use a whole can of pumpkin (instead of a mix of pumpkin and water), which I hear makes the cupcakes super rich and ooey-gooey.  I’m no scientist but I was pretty sure a whole can of pumpkin had more calories than half of it, so I opted for this “healthy” recipe and plan to save the other version for a time when I have extra canned pumpkin to spare.

The verdict?  These were pretty darn good, but I could definitely tell they weren’t “regular” cupcakes.  The tops ended up a bit crackly, and I could slightly taste the pumpkin, but I think if I had used a richer, more chocolatey mix it would’ve masked the flavor better.  With all the binging I’m going to be doing on Halloween candy and potluck food (not to mention the holidays coming up), I’m in desperate need of something a little… lighter.

Side note: since everyone in the world hates black licorice, I was able to find this Wilton licorice made just for decorating.  It looks like black licorice but tastes like red! Win!

I like him.  And how he his shaking his tiny spider fist in a menacing fashion.  BF would definitely scream for me to come squash this little guy.

Adorably Terrifying Spider Cupcakes


    For cupcakes:
  • 16.5 oz Duncan Hines Cake mix (I used Devil’s Food)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp water
  • For glaze
  • 3 oz chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tablespoon light corn syrup
  • For decorating
  • Eyeballs, chocolate sprinkles, and licorice legs


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line 18 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, blend pumpkin and water together with an electric mixer. Add cake mix and beat until well-mixed. The batter will be very thick.
  3. Cool completely before decorating.
  4. Make the glaze:
  5. Heat chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir until all the chocolate has melted. Add corn syrup and stir until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
  6. To decorate:
  7. Dip the cupcakes in the glaze and use a spreader if necessary to smooth the top. Sprinkle chocolate sprinkles over the cupcakes before the glaze sets and add the eyeballs.
  8. Using a toothpick or skewer, poke four holes on each side of the cupcake for the legs. Insert the licorice and voila – spiders!

[ Cupcake recipe adapted from skinnytaste ]