Candy Corn Cupcakes

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Celebrate fall with Halloween candy corn cupcakes. These tender vanilla cupcakes are light and fluffy. They feature delicious frosting in white, orange and yellow swirls. Like this candy corn fudge, they’re bakery-quality treats ideal for Halloween parties and booing the neighbors.

📌 Pin Candy Corn Cupcakes

Candy corn cupcakes with swirls of multi-color frosting on a Halloween dessert table.

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An important thing to know about these special desserts: they do not taste like candy corn. They’re delicious vanilla cupcakes with scrumptious tricolor swirls of icing. The white/orange/yellow frosting is layered like candy corn.

Because Halloween candy corn cupcakes are small and easy to transport, they’re ideal for taking to church socials, potlucks, and parties. These hand-held desserts are convenient to serve. All you need are some napkins.

Halloween Dessert table with freshly-frosted candy corn cupcakes.

🛒 Ingredients

These cute Halloween cupcakes come together easily with just a few basic pantry staples. You might have everything you need in the cupboard right now. Quick. Go check!

For Cupcake Batter

  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides a network of strength for holding the cupcake batter together.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds the ideal amount of sweetness to the batter.
  • Baking Powder: A rising agent that provides lift so the batter can rise and the cupcakes will be light and fluffy.
  • Kosher Sea Salt: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
  • Vegetable Oil: You can use any type of neutral, flavorless oil like canola, corn, etc.
  • Whole Milk: Provides richness and moisture.
  • Large Eggs: Help bind the ingredients together.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Enhances the flavor while providing a bakery aroma. For light-colored cupcakes, use “clear” vanilla extract rather than “amber” vanilla.
Ingredients for candy corn cupcakes.

Candy Corn Frosting

👩🏻‍🍳 EXPERT TIP: For buttercream icing, I use Wilton gel food coloring. It’s a concentrated gel-based formula that delivers beautiful bright colors without thinning out the frosting.

  • Butter: This is the delicious base of our buttercream frosting.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Contributes a delicious vanilla taste and aroma. I recommend using “clear” vanilla extract, rather than “amber” colored vanilla.
  • Powdered Sugar: Together with butter, it’s how we create buttercream frosting.
  • Kosher Sea Salt: Balances the flavor and tamps down the sweetness.
  • Yellow & Orange Food Coloring: For creating candy corn colors.
  • Candy Corn Candies: An optional garnish. We place a piece of candy on top of each frosted candy corn cupcake. It gives them the look of professional bakery-style treats.

⏲ TIME-SAVING TIP: If you’re in a rush, feel free to use 2 containers of store-bought vanilla frosting plus the food coloring. So quick and easy.

Ingredients for candy corn frosting recipe.

🥣 Easy Ingredient Swaps

Missing an ingredient for these candy corn cupcakes or the buttercream frosting? Head to your pantry. Check for these easy ingredient swaps. It’s convenient and money-saving to use ingredients you already have on hand.

  • All-Purpose Flour: Either pastry flour or cake flour can be used as a 1:1 substitute in this cupcake recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar: Use light-brown sugar instead.
  • Vegetable Oil: This ingredient adds moisture, richness and makes cupcakes super lofty. The best 1:1 subs are safflower oil and canola oil as they’re neutral-tasting oils that won’t affect the flavor of these desserts.
  • Whole Milk: This ingredient adds moisture and a bit of richness. If needed, use 2% milk instead of whole. If you have heavy cream on hand, use 60% cream to 40% water. Or try dairy-free vanilla milk.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: This tasty ingredient gives these white cupcakes their delicious vanilla flavor. The best subs are bourbon, brandy or amber rum.
  • Butter: This ingredient gives the buttercream frosting structure. The best substitutes are vegetable shortening or margarine.
  • Powdered Sugar: Make your own powdered sugar from granulated sugar. Process sugar in a blender or food processor until fine and fluffy. One cup granulated sugar yields about 2 cups powdered sugar.
A frosted candy corn cupcake with a bite taken out.

📖 Recipe Steps

If desired, this recipe can be doubled to make 24 candy corn cupcakes. But do not triple the recipe. Instead, assemble the batter in 2 separate batches to prevent the batter from being over-mixed.

Make Cupcake Batter

RECIPE PREP: Adjust oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-well cupcake pan with parchment-paper cupcake liners.

  1. STEP 1: In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: vegetable oil, milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk just until no large lumps remain. Don’t over mix or the cupcakes will be dense and flat instead of light and airy.
  4. With a metal scoop, divide the batter between the wells of the prepared pan. Fill each well about 3/4 full. Bake 16 minutes or until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in the middle comes out clean.
How to make the batter for candy corn cupcakes in 4 easy steps.

Make Candy Corn Frosting

RECIPE PREP: Remove butter from the fridge. Let it sit on the countertop for 20 minutes to soften.

  1. Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, or until butter is smooth and creamy. Add vanilla to the bowl. Briefly mix to combine.
  2. Lightly cover the stand mixer with a lint-free cloth to protect your countertops. With mixer on low, add powdered sugar to the bowl. Mix until incorporated. If needed, use a rubber spatula to scrape down sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat 2 minutes, or until buttercream is light and fluffy.
  3. Put 1/3 of the white frosting into a piping bag fitted with a metal tip (here I used a Wilton 1M). Divide remaining frosting between two small bowls. Add bright yellow food coloring to one bowl. Mix to combine. Add orange food coloring to second bowl. Mix to combine. Transfer each color to its own piping bag fitted with a star tip.
  4. Pipe a small swirled ring of yellow frosting on the surface of each cupcake. Pipe a smaller swirled ring of orange frosting on top. Crown each cupcake with a tiny peak of white frosting. Together, the 3 layers of tricolor icing create a triangle shape similar to a piece of candy corn. If desired, garnish each candy corn cupcake with a piece of candy corn.
How to make candy corn buttercream frosting (and pipe it too!) in 4 easy steps.

👩🏻‍🍳 Recipe FAQ

These are the most commonly-asked questions when making candy corn cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Included are the most helpful answers for recipe success with these bakery-quality desserts.

How to measure flour correctly?

When using measuring cups instead of a scale, use this easy method:
FLUFF up flour inside the bag with a spoon.
SPRINKLE flour by the spoonful into the measuring cup.
SWIPE surface of the measuring cup with a knife to level off the flour.

What happens if cupcake batter is overmixed?

The gluten in the flour will over-develop. The cupcakes will have a heavy, dense, gummy texture. What we want are light, airy, fluffy cupcakes that maintain their beautiful lightly-domed tops.

How to remove air bubbles from buttercream frosting?

Pesky air bubbles form in buttercream frosting that’s over-whipped. To remove them, stir the frosting with a wooden spoon. Pop the bubbles against the sides of the bowl. This is very effective but does take time.

How to make candy corn cupcakes more festive?

Transform these Halloween treats into candy corn ghosts. Instead of garnishing with candy corn, add a set of edible candy eyes to the white swirl of frosting on the top of each cupcake. So spooky and fun!

Nine frosted candy corn cupcakes on a metal rack.

👻 More Halloween Eats & Treats

If you love candy corn cupcakes, you’ll enjoy these delicious Halloween snacks and desserts. These crowd pleasers are perfect for parties and get togethers during the festive fall season. View our entire seasonal collection in our Halloween Category.

Vanilla Halloween cupcakes with swirled white/orange/yellow frosting garnished with candy corn.

Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Flavor testers said these are the BEST candy corn cupcakes. They loved the festive look of these Halloween treats. They enjoyed the tender vanilla cupcakes with tasty swirled frosting and candy corn garnishes. They said these cupcakes deserve to be on this year’s dessert table.

If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments.Then be a recipe hero. Share it with a friend. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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Vanilla Halloween cupcakes with swirled white/orange/yellow frosting garnished with candy corn.

CANDY CORN CUPCAKES


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Description

Festive candy corn cupcakes are must-make fall treats. These vanilla cupcakes feature irresistible swirls of tricolor frosting. Serve them at autumn church socials, family gatherings, and Halloween parties. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

CANDY CORN FROSTING

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 to 3 drops yellow gel food coloring
  • 2 to 3 drops orange gel food coloring

OPTIONAL GARNISH

  • Candy corn

Instructions

CUPCAKE BATTER

RECIPE PREP: Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-well cupcake pan with parchment-paper cupcake liners.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: vegetable oil, milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. 
  3. Whisk just until no large lumps remain. Don’t over mix or the cupcakes will be dense and flat instead of light and fluffy.
  4. With a metal scoop, divide batter between wells of the prepared pan. Fill each well about 3/4 full. Bake 16 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

CANDY CORN FROSTING

  1. Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, or until butter is smooth and creamy. Add vanilla. Mix briefly to combine.
  2. Lightly cover the stand mixer with a lint-free cloth to protect your countertops. With the mixer on low, add powdered sugar to the bowl. Mix until incorporated. If needed, use a rubber spatula to scrape down sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat 2 minutes, or until buttercream is light and fluffy.
  3. Put 1/3 of the white frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M metal tip. Divide remaining frosting between two small bowls. Add yellow food coloring to one bowl. Mix to combine. Add orange food coloring to second bowl. Mix to combine. Transfer each color to its own piping bag fitted with a star tip.
  4. Pipe a small swirled ring of yellow frosting on the surface of each cupcake. Pipe a smaller swirled ring of orange frosting on top. Crown each cupcake with a tiny peak of white frosting. Together, the 3 layers of icing create a triangle shape similar to a piece of candy corn. If desired, garnish cupcakes with candy corn.

Notes

Recommended food coloring: For buttercream icing, I use AmeriColor or Wilton gel food coloring. It’s a concentrated gel-based formula that delivers beautiful bright colors without thinning out the frosting.

How to make these halloween cupcakes more festive: Transform these Halloween treats into candy corn ghosts. Instead of garnishing with candy corn, add a set of edible candy eyes to the white swirl of frosting on the top of each cupcake. So spooky and fun!

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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