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Pumpkin Ghost Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spooky (and adorable) treats for your Halloween fête.

Pumpkin Ghost Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Photos © The Jewels of New York / Lonny

Right about now we can't get enough of pumpkin-flavored treats. Whether it's PSLspasta dishes, or baked goods—if it involves a gourd, we're on board. The only thing better than an autumnal-inspired nosh? One with a spooky, Halloween-party-ready spin. Diana Yen's ghostly cupcakes "get their looks from a high pile of cream cheese frosting with chocolate chip faces," explains the chef. We die! (Get it? Cause ghosts.) Okay, we'll stick to baking.

Pumpkin Ghost Cupcakes

Makes 2 dozen

- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup water
- 4 eggs


- 2 8-ounce packages full fat cream cheese
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup chocolate chips

Pumpkin Ghost Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves,
ginger, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, sugar, water and eggs. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, and stir together with a rubber spatula, until just combined.

Using a measuring cup, scoop the batter into the cupcake pan, until each cup is
¾ of the way full. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpi
ck comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a cupcake. Cool
cupcakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Pumpkin Ghost Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cream cheese frosting

Cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of cream, and beat in the confectioners sugar in three batches, on low, until it is all absorbed. Add 1 more tablespoon of cream if needed.

Place frosting in a piping bag with a large round tip or sealable
plastic bag with one corner cut out for piping. Pipe cupcakes high with frosting and place chocolate chips in each to make eyes and a mouth.