Boo-tiful Broomstick Ghost Cupcakes

We gave our cupcakes a trick-or-treat twist by setting them on their side before coating with striped frosting. Then we added chocolate-covered pretzels and white-chocolate ghosts to create a "flying broomstick" effect.

1 box (16 oz.) pound cake mix

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted

16 large pretzel rods

½ cup orange and black sprinkles

10 oz. white chocolate, melted

Mini chocolate chips and/or Halloween candies

1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting

Orange food coloring

½ cup dark-chocolate frosting

1 piece (3”) black shoestring licorice
Step 1: Coat broomsticks Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, adding carrots and pumpkin pie spice. Divide batter evenly among 16 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake 20 min. Let cool. Place melted bittersweet chocolate in microwave-safe measuring cup. Coat pretzel rods with melted chocolate, spooning chocolate over pretzels and reheating chocolate in microwave as needed, leaving 1” uncoated. Arrange pretzels on rack set on foil-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with orange and black sprinkles. Chill 15 min. Step 2: Create ghosts On foil-lined baking sheet, sketch ghost shapes with knife. Arrange chocolate-covered pretzels over shapes. Spoon melted white chocolate into resealable plastic bag; snip corner. Using outlines as guides, pipe ghost shapes over pretzels and fill in. Add mini chocolate chips and/or Halloween candies for eyes, using white chocolate to adhere. Chill 15 min. Remove paper liners from cupcakes; trim 1 side so cakes stand on side. Step 3: Pipe bristles Insert uncoated end of pretzels into cakes so ghosts rest on platter. In bowl, combine vanilla frosting and enough orange food coloring to reach desired shade. Spread ½ cup dark-chocolate frosting in stripe down inside of pastry bag fitted with small star tip; fill pastry bag with orange frosting. Pipe on broom bristles. Wrap black shoestring licorice around base of each broomstick. Chill until ready to serve.


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