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


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5 from 5 reviews


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. 


Units Scale


  • 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


  • 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


  • Candy corn



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. 


  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.


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