Halloween cupcake with a spider on top
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5 from 1 vote

Halloween Cupcakes

Creepy Halloween cupcakes! Use this black licorice cupcake recipe or your favorite cupcake flavor and just follow the decorating instructions.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: black licorice cupcakes, halloween cupcake recipe, halloween cupcakes, spider cupcakes
Servings: 16 cupcakes
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Stef


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour not self-rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground anise
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses use dark molasses if you can't find blackstrap
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk one can
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Decoration Ingredients

  • 32 gumdrops
  • 16 pieces rope licorice
  • black decorator gel


Cupcake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and anise.
  • Add sugar, molasses, and butter and mix until fully combined.
  • Mix in eggs, oil, and sweetened condensed milk.
  • Add milk and mix until just combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don't own a cooling rack) to cool.

Frosting Instructions

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for three minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • Mix in anise and salt.
  • Pipe on cooled cupcakes.

Decorating Instructions

  • Cut half of the gumdrops in half with a knife or scissors.
  • Cut each piece of rope licorice into 8 pieces. Trim the pieces so they hang halfway off the edge of a cupcake when placed in the center of the cupcake.
  • Place one gumdrop and the top half of one the gumdrop that were cut in half on each cupcake as the spider's head and body.
  • Arrange 8 of the cut licorice pieces around the body of each spider.
  • Dot each spider's head twice with decorating gel to make the eyes.


Anise is typically sold in the grocery store as seeds. Use a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle to grind it.
Anise is not the same as star anise, so don't buy that for this recipe.
If you don't like the look of the anise in the frosting, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons of anise extract instead.
Experiment with different color gumdrops and lace licorice.


Serving: 48g | Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 380IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 1mg