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CANDY CORN CUPCAKES

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Celebrate fall with festive candy corn cupcakes. These super cute Halloween cupcakes are light, fluffy and tender with beautiful swirls of tasty candy corn frosting. Like candy corn fudge, they’re indulgent bakery-quality desserts!

PIN CANDY CORN CUPCAKES

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

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!

CUPCAKE BATTER

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Sea salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Whole milk
  • Large eggs
  • Pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for candy corn cupcakes.

CANDY CORN FROSTING

RECOMMENDED FOOD COLORING: 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
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Orange food coloring
  • OPTIONAL GARNISH: Pieces of candy corn

TIME-SAVING TIP: If you don’t have what you need to assemble the buttercream frosting, or you just want to save time: 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? Don’t put on your shoes and head to the market. Instead, 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.
  • POWDER 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.

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.

  • STEP 1: In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • STEP 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: vegetable oil, milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  • STEP 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.
  • STEP 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.

CANDY CORN FROSTING

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

  • STEP 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.
  • STEP2: 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.
  • STEP 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.
  • STEP 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 OVER-MIXED?

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 THE 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.

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

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When putting together a Halloween party menu, these gorgeous candy corn cupcakes always make the list. Most everyone loves a good vanilla cupcake with elegant swirled frosting and candy garnishes.

If you too enjoyed these bakery-style treats, give them a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero! Share it with a friend.

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


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

Scale

CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 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 food coloring
  • 2 to 3 drops orange 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 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 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

Keywords: Candy Corn Cupcakes

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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Have you ever experienced the joy of biting into a freshly-frosted candy corn cupcake? Was it from a dessert diner or a neighborhood bakery? Would you like to make a batch of these treats at home? Share your thoughts below!

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