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Scardey-Cat Cupcakes: Festive Treat for Halloween

These cupcakes may look complicated, but really they are rather simple to decorate, and they're perfect for Halloween!

Black Cat Cupcakes

Photo: Natalie DeWitt

These treats are perfect for Halloween!

Scaredy-Cat Cupcakes

These cupcakes may look complicated, but really they are rather simple to decorate and are perfect for Halloween! The technique can be replicated with any shapes — bats, witches, hats — the sky’s the limit!

Scaredy-Cat Cupcake Recipe

Adapted from “What’s New Cupcake” by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson


  • Ingredients for your favorite cupcake recipe
  • 12 ounces dark chocolate chips (preferably Ghirardelli)
  • Black decorating sugar
  • Cupcake liners
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • Piping bag or Ziploc freezer bag
  • White paper and dark pen


  1. Choose your favorite cupcake recipe and prepare according to recipe.
  2. Fill cupcake liners 2/3rds full (black Halloween liners are especially fun); bake and cool.
  3. For fast and easy frosting of the cupcakes, tint a can of commercial vanilla frosting yellow. Transfer icing to a microwave safe bowl and heat in 10 second increments until the frosting has the consistency of lightly whipped cream. For a tastier icing, consult Nigella Lawson’s Royal Icing recipe (below) and tint it yellow.
  4. While waiting for the frosting or icing harden on the cupcakes, begin making the chocolate cats. Draw a few scaredy cats on the paper (if you’re artistic) or find a cute traceable cat on the internet.
  5. Heat dark chocolate in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments until melted. Let cool for 2 minutes and place chocolate into piping bag or into one corner of the Ziploc bag.
  6. Snip the corner of the Ziploc bag or the end of the piping bag — start as small as possible and make a bigger cut if necessary. Test the flow of the chocolate on the wax paper. Place the wax paper on a cookie sheet. Slide the paper with the cats under the wax paper and trace the cat pattern with the chocolate bag. Fill in the outline of the cats with chocolate making sure to fill in all the gaps.
  7. Before chocolate begins to harden, sprinkle heavily with the black decorating sugar. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or freezer for 10 minutes to harden. Use a little yellow icing to make eyes, if desired.
  8. Carefully remove the cats from the wax paper, returning to the freezer if they begin to soften. Place a dollop of icing on the cupcake to hold the cat in place. Place cat carefully on the cupcake and return the cupcakes to the freezer for 10 minutes to keep the cat in place.
  9. It’s a lot of steps, but it really is simple!

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Leave a Comment: What other festive treats do you make for Halloween?

Natalie DeWitt

Natalie DeWitt has degrees from Indiana University in Secondary Health Education, School and College Health Programs, and is now a PhD student minoring in food studies. Her primary research areas focus on virtual food, food identities, and school food environments. She is a self-taught baker and cook.

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