Sugar Ghost Cupcakes Recipe
Sugar Ghost Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Sugar Ghost Cupcakes Recipe

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4.5 21 27
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I had 10 neighborhood kids stop by to help me make these cupcakes for a bake sale, though I have no doubt that most of the treats never made it that far! —Mysie Sabin, Franklin, Wisconsin
Featured In: Ghost Halloween Party
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 3 hours Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 3 hours Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (16 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
  • Blue, orange and green paste food coloring
  • Miniature peanut butter cups
  • Malted milk balls
  • Clear vanilla extract


  1. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for cupcakes; cool completely on wire racks.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows and 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in three-fourths of the sugar; turn onto a work surface coated with 3 tablespoons shortening.
  3. Knead until smooth and pliable, gradually adding remaining sugar and shortening. If necessary, moisten with remaining water. Wrap fondant in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
  4. To decorate, set aside 1/4 cup frosting. Tint remaining frosting blue; frost cupcakes.
  5. For ghosts: Invert two peanut butter cups and stack, securing together with a small amount of reserved frosting. Top with a malted milk ball, attaching with frosting. (See photo.) Repeat, forming 24 stacks.
  6. On a work surface lightly sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, roll a 1-1/4-in. ball of fondant into a 4-in. circle (see photo); drape over a stack. For eyes and mouth, gently cut out shapes using pastry tips. Repeat for remaining ghosts.
  7. For pumpkins, stems and tendrils: Tint desired amount of fondant orange. Wrap fondant around malted milk balls; shape into pumpkins. Add imprint lines with a veining tool or toothpick.
  8. For stems and tendrils, tint a small amount of fondant green. Shape into stems; attach to pumpkins using vanilla. For tendrils, roll out remaining green fondant; using a pizza cutter, cut into thin strips. Gently wrap strips around toothpicks; set aside to dry. (Tightly wrap any remaining fondant in plastic wrap and store in a resealable plastic bag for another use.)
  9. To finish cupcakes: Place a small amount of reserved frosting on top of each cupcake; top with a prepared ghost. Carefully remove tendrils from toothpicks and attach to pumpkins, using vanilla. Attach pumpkins to cupcakes as desired. Yield: 2 dozen.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave. This recipe was tested with Kraft brand marshmallows.
Originally published as Sugar Ghost Cupcakes in Taste of Home October/November 2009, p76

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cindiak User ID: 221828 255346
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2016

"I did a trial run on these and they turned out so cute. They are going to be a big hit at our company potluck."

mary fagan User ID: 4369907 125252
Reviewed Oct. 26, 2014

"wonderful recipe . the kids loved them and it was so easy"

baba101 User ID: 7806631 100593
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2014

"these cupcakes look super cute and delicous!!!!"

mawmaw42 User ID: 6427352 185816
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2012

"My daughter and I made these for my grandsons kindergarten party and they were a huge hit! This recipe was easier than I thought it would be and they are so cute. We will definitly make these again next year."

ritamc53 User ID: 1955833 169540
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2011

"Everyone loved these adorable treats. Fun to make, too."

Mommy_2_2_angels User ID: 6263414 105715
Reviewed Oct. 9, 2011

"I absolutely LOVE these cupcakes. I did go the shorter route and I bought Fondant, and these things couldn't have been any cuter! My neighbors and my kids LOVED them, although they decided to play with them before actually eating them. I will definitely be making this again next year!!"

Stephen Dziekan User ID: 5502906 181234
Reviewed Oct. 3, 2011

"I love these cupcakes; had never made fondant before, this was easy. I had a lot of fun with this recipe, they taste great and I'm about to make them again for this Halloween!"

kelc84 User ID: 3818704 99830
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2010

"I made these for a childs halloween party at school & they were a huge hit! They turned out great, even though I never used fondant before! I tried the lollipop idea and couldnt get it to work, I think I rolled my fondant too thin you could see the color of the lollipop through but the original recipe worked great for me. Very time consuming but cute results!"

mstpoe User ID: 1996424 99813
Reviewed Nov. 5, 2010

"Fun to make and the kids loved them. Will definitely make them again."

ritamc53 User ID: 1955833 169539
Reviewed Nov. 2, 2010

"It takes a while to make this recipe, but it's so darn good! My family & friends loved them!"

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