Hairy Eye Halloween Cupcakes

Eye scream, you scream, we all scream for homemade Halloween cupcakes.

Excerpted from Ghoulish Goodies © Sharon Bowers. Photo © Kevin Kennefick.

With chocolate eyelashes, a gleaming gumdrop eyeball, and a web of red frosting veins, Hairy Eye Halloween Cupcakes are an eye-catching addition to Halloween parties for kids and grownups alike.


  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (1-pound) package confectioners’ sugar (about 4 cups)
  • 3–4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract red liquid or paste coloring
For Assembling the Cupcakes
  • 18 gumdrops or jelly beans
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 18 cups in two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, incorporating each egg well, and then add the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture and then all of the milk, beating just until combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix until combined. Spoon the batter into the liners, filling them halfway.
  4. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn the cupcakes out onto racks to cool completely.
  5. To prepare the frosting, beat the butter in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the frosting reaches a smooth, spreadable consistency. Stir in the vanilla.
  6. Spoon ¾ cup of the frosting into a small bowl and color it dark red. Spoon the red frosting into a ziplock bag and set aside. Frost the cupcakes with the remaining white frosting, leaving a ¼-inch unfrosted ring around the outer edges of the cupcakes. Put a gumdrop or jelly bean in the center of each.
  7. Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and melt the chocolate in the microwave: Heat on high for 60 seconds, and then stir well. If it’s not quite smooth, continue to heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate, stirring frequently, in a double boiler, over just-simmering water. Avoid overheating, which can cause chocolate to seize up into a stiff mass.) Pour the chocolate into a ziplock bag. Poke a hole in one corner of the bag with a toothpick and pipe eyelashes all around the frosted white centers.
  8. Poke a hole in one corner of the red frosting bag with a toothpick and pipe red squiggles away from the pupil in each eye to make veins. Store, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.

Excerpted from Ghoulish Goodies © Sharon Bowers. Photo © Kevin Kennefick.

Sharon Bowers

Sharon Bowers

About the Author

Sharon Bowers is the author of Ghoulish Goodies, Candy Construction, and The Lazy Way to Cook Your Meals. She lives in New York City and Dublin, Ireland

David Bowers is the author of Dad's Own Guide to Housekeeping and Bake Like a Man: A Real Man’s Cookbook. He lives in New York City and Dublin, Ireland.

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