These Skeleton Graveyard Cupcakes are decadent apple spice cupcakes with a quick vanilla frosting that’s been dipped in crumbled Oreo cookies and decorate with white chocolate bones.
If you’re looking for a spooky and delicious Halloween cupcake to make, these Skeleton Graveyard Cupcakes are one of our favorites. These cupcakes are a fun and festive way to celebrate Halloween and they are a hit at parties.
This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but you can scale it to fit however many you need. Double it or even cut it in half for a smaller batch.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the cake
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature before starting the batter.
- Cream cheese – The cream cheese also needs to be at room temperature. Always use full-fat cream cheese for this recipe. It adds the wonderful rich creaminess that you won’t get with low-fat versions.
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar or you can substitute with Erythritol or Allulose for a sugar-free version.
- Eggs – Large eggs.
- Vanilla extract – Use a high-quality extract with a nice vanilla flavor.
- Flour – All-purpose flour or cake flour can be used.
- Baking soda and baking powder – These are your leavening agents. Make sure they are fresh!
- Salt – A pinch of salt.
- Sour cream – Use full fat sour cream.
- Spices – Ground cinnamon and all spice. If you don’t want to make these cupcakes spiced, just leave out these ingredients.
For the frosting
- Unsalted butter– This will be used to give the frosting it’s fluffy texture
- Powdered sugar– This will be used to sweeten the frosting.
- Vanilla extract– This will give the frosting more depth of flavor.
For the decorations
- White chocolate melting wafers– You will need this to make the chocolate bones.
- Oreo cookies – You’ll only want to use the cookie part, not the filling so it’s also possible to use any similar chocolate cookies.
You’ll need a skeleton chocolate mold. We got this one on Amazon and have used it for all kinds of things, including to make our blackberry skull cupcakes.
What White Chocolate to Use
When it comes to making chocolate molds, quality matters, especially for white chocolate. Opt for a brand with a high cocoa butter content, around 25% or more; this ensures a smoother melt and a richer flavor. Callebaut and Valrhona are premium choices used by professionals.
If you’re not looking to break the bank, Ghirardelli or Lindt make solid alternatives that are easier on the wallet. Avoid white chocolate chips or candy melts, as they contain additives that can affect the melting process and overall texture.
How to Make Skeleton Graveyard Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
First, preheat the oven to 350° F. Then line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers. I used orange cupcake lines, but I think solid black or white or even brown would work well with this design.
With a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until it’s nice and smooth. Add in the sugar and egg slowly and continue to beat until just mixed in. Add in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl mix together the all dry ingredients, except for the flour. Alternately add flour and sour cream to the mixture and mix until incorporated.
Resist the urge to over mix. Beat just until the flour is incorporated.
Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 full and put the tin in the oven to bake for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Take them out of the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.
For the Frosting:
Add the butter for the frosting into the bowl. Add the powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating after each addition.
Once all the sugar is added, turn the speed on the beater up to high and whip for five minutes or until fluffy.
Decorating the Cupcakes
Now that you have your cupcakes ready, it’s time to decorate them! Decorating the cupcakes is where you can get creative and have some fun. Here are some tips for decorating your cupcakes to look like mini graveyards.
Melt the white chocolate wafers in a medium heat-proof bowl at 100% power in the microwave at 30 second increments (or, in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat). When the mixture is smooth, fill the bone molds about 3/4 full.
Place the trays in the freezer until the chocolate is set. Remove the pieces from the molds while they are still frozen (they will pop out easier!).
Use your buttercream frosting in a piping bag with a flat tip to frost the top of the cupcakes in a flat layer. You don’t want to mount it up too much or it won’t look like the ground.
Place the Oreo sandwich cookies (center frosting removed) in the bowl of a food processor and grind until fine. Transfer the cookie dust to a plate.
Dip each cupcake into the Oreo dust, frosting first and roll it around gently to make sure Oreo crumbles adhere to all parts of the frosting.
Add a few pieces of bones to the top of each cupcake.
Serving and Storing
Once your Skeleton Graveyard Cupcakes are baked and ready to serve, it’s important to know how to store them properly to keep them fresh. Here are some tips to help you serve and store your cupcakes:
Skeleton Graveyard Cupcakes are perfect for any Halloween party or spooky gathering. These cupcakes are delicious and visually striking, with white chocolate bones on top of a moist and flavorful cake. Serve them on a platter or cake stand to show off their unique design.
If you want to add a little extra flair, you can sprinkle some edible glitter or black sanding sugar on top of the cupcakes to give them a glittery, spooky look. You can also add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla frosting on top of the cupcakes for added sweetness.
To keep your Skeleton Graveyard Cupcakes fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. If you don’t have an airtight container, you can cover them in multiple layers of plastic wrap.
Before storing them, make sure to let the cupcakes cool down completely on a metal rack after taking them out of the oven. This will help prevent condensation from forming inside the container, which can make the cupcakes soggy.
If you need to store the cupcakes for longer than two days, you can also store them in the refrigerator. However, be aware that refrigeration can dry out the cupcakes, so it’s best to wrap them in plastic wrap or store them in an airtight container with a moist paper towel to help keep them moist.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you decorate a Halloween cupcake?
Halloween cupcakes are the best when decorated in a spooky and creative way. To make these Halloween cupcakes, you just need Oreos and white chocolate wafers with which to make chocolate bones.
What is the secret to super moist cupcakes?
The secret to making super moist cupcakes is to use oil instead of butter, add buttermilk or sour cream to the batter, avoid overmixing, add extra eggs, and use the right amount of sugar. These tips will help keep the cupcakes moist and tender, resulting in a delicious treat that everyone will enjoy.
Can I use store-bought cupcakes & frosting?
Yes, if you want to make these Halloween cupcakes even easier to make, you can buy pre-made cupcakes and frosting. Then all you have to do is decorate the cupcakes with frosting, dip them in the Oreo cookies, and put on a few bones.
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Skeleton Graveyard Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1/4 cup (57 g) softened butter
- 2 ounces (57 g) softened cream cheese
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) all spice
- 1 1/4 cups (156 g) flour
- 1/4 cup (58 g) sour cream
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup (114 g) softened butter
- 3/4 cups (90 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) vanilla
For the decorations:
- 14 (14) Oreo sandwich cookies white center removed
- 1/2 pound (227 g) white chocolate melting wafers
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Fill a cupcake tin with liners.
For the cake:
- In a separate bowl mix together the all dry ingredients, except for the flour. Alternately add flour and sour cream to the mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
For the frosting:
- Add the butter into the bowl. Beat until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments, beating until combined between each addition. Then turn the speed on the beater up to high and whip for five minutes or until fluffy.
- Melt the white chocolate wafers in a medium heat-proof bowl at 100% power in the microwave at 30 second increments (or, in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat). When the mixture is smooth, fill the bone molds about 3/4 full.
- Place the trays in the freezer until the chocolate is set. Remove the pieces from the molds while they are still frozen (they will pop out easier!)
- Use the frosting in a piping bag with a flat tip to frost the top of the cupcakes in a flat layer. You don’t want to mount it up too much or it won’t look like the ground.
- Place the Oreo sandwich cookies (center frosting removed) in the bowl of a food processor and grind until fine. Transfer the cookie dust to a plate.
- Dip each cupcake into the oreo dust, frosting first and roll it around gently to make sure Oreo crumbles adhere to all parts of the frosting.
- Add a few pieces of bones to the top of each cupcake.
Laura is a home cook, with 25 years experience behind the stove, who spends an extraordinary amount of time in the kitchen cooking. She loves making new recipes and finding wonderful new things to eat, both at home or abroad. She spends a lot of time researching, crafting, and perfecting her recipes and currently has a cookbook in development.