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Sugar Ghost Cupcakes Recipe

Sugar Ghost Cupcakes Recipe

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
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 3 hours Bake: 20 min. + cooling YIELD: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.

Reviews for Sugar Ghost Cupcakes

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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!"

mrsteter User ID: 5464223 167152
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2010

"My daughter and I made these for a Halloween party turned out great got lots of comments all good. Will do again next year. We are going to try to make snowmen with this recipe."

donaldlunsford User ID: 5530718 125113
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2010

"Made them for a couple of partlies and they loved them."

jayzangel User ID: 2178924 165085
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2010

"I made these for my kids Halloween themed birthday party and everyone loved them. Instead of putting a pumpkin with the ghost, I wrote "BOO" in cursive on wax paper with Wiltons melting chocolate....It was adorable!"

HeyCook User ID: 4118069 182720
Reviewed Feb. 10, 2010

"This was such a cute idea I HAD to make them for my sons class. Instead of fondant, I used fruit roll ups and stuck them on tootsie pops. The eyes didn't show up that well with the dark colors of the fruit roll ups, so I stuck mini choc chips through the eyes. They turned out absolutely adorable! Everyone loved them!!!"

Bergie_the_Swede User ID: 4069863 165023
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2009

"Great Halloween recipe and craft for the kids!!!"

mattswife1123 User ID: 4546321 115596
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2009

"Fun and easy fondant recipe, using the lollipops is a great idea, too! I'm trying to come up with ideas to use this for other holidays!"

sajasm601 User ID: 1245093 167150
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2009

"When I saw this recipe I knew this was going to be the treat I brought in for my son's Pre-K class. The fondant is great, much more edible than regular fondant. Yes it was time consuming, but that didn't matter, my mom and I had so much fun making these for the kids."

vfdavis User ID: 4435479 185810
Reviewed Oct. 25, 2009

"On yahoo, a commenter said to use lollipops instead of the candy stack as a base for the ghosts - much easier. Also, why not use pre-made fondant? Again, it would be much less time consuming."

me_sayer User ID: 3744774 185809
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2009

"I saw this when my new issue came in the mail and knew that I had to try these. I had a difficult time fitting the ghost and the pumpkin on the cupcake without them sliding off, so instead, I made a 9x13 cake and created a "haunted pumpkin patch" scene with the remaining ghosts and pumpkins. It was a huge hit. i found the fondant very easy to work with, it was my first time, and can't wait to experiment with other fun ideas."

plyter User ID: 2518880 105712
Reviewed Oct. 18, 2009

"The fondant was great. Very big hit. It was very time consuming to make, but I would make it again."

jokestersn User ID: 4401797 114475
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2009

"I saw the recipe in the magazine and had to make them right away. I have been looking for a fondant recipe and this one is GREAT!

I loved this and everyone who has seen them has gone crazy over them!"

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