These easy candy corn cupcakes are such a fun treat to serve at a Halloween party or take to your kids' school! The super moist chocolate cupcakes are topped with festive buttercream frosting.
If you read my Halloween sugar cookie post or saw my Halloween cookie cake and Halloween bark, you know how much I love this holiday. I always have to stop myself from putting up our decorations too early.
I always find that cupcakes are the perfect easy treat for every holiday or occasion. If you find a good base cupcake recipe that you like, all you have to do is switch up the frosting and you're set!
In this case, I took my gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe, which I first shared here, simply because I LOVE those. Truly. They're deliciously moist and a chocolate lover's dream.
I thought about all of the different fun ways I could have decorated these chocolate cupcakes (and trust me, there are a LOT), and finally settled on a candy corn inspired swirl. There's not actually any candy corn in this buttercream frosting. But I promise it's delicious.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- I said it before and I'll say it again. All that chocolate. These candy corn cupcakes are SO moist and chocolatey.
- They're just so festive! The buttercream frosting couldn't be easier, and really do add a little Halloween magic to these cupcakes.
- This is a fun one to make with kids. They'll love mixing up the frosting to make the different colors!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Gluten free flour: My favorite gluten free flour blend is Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 flour. If you are using a different blend, you need to ensure that it contains xanthan gum. And because this is a cup for cup flour, you should be able to use AP flour if you are not following a gluten free diet.
- Cocoa powder: Be sure to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder. Do not use Dutch-process cocoa powder here.
- Oil: I like to use canola oil when baking cupcakes. The combination of butter and canola oil just makes for super moist and fluffy cupcakes. Vegetable oil should work, too.
- Egg replacer: Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer is my favorite egg substitute for cupcakes. You can also just use 2 eggs if you are not looking to make eggless cupcakes.
- Milk: You should be able to use any milk you like here, including non-dairy milk.
- Heavy cream: Using cream will make for a richer frosting, but you can use milk, too.
- Food coloring: I highly recommend using gel food coloring. This is my favorite set. Liquid food coloring is not concentrated enough and you'll just end up watering down your frosting.
STEP ONE: To make my easy candy corn cupcakes, we'll start by whisking the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
STEP TWO: Set that aside and move on to your wet ingredients: beat the sugar, butter, and oil.
STEP THREE: Add in the egg replacer (or eggs) and vanilla and continue to mix.
STEP FOUR: Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk. Start and end with the dry mix and keep beating to incorporate after each addition.
STEP FIVE: Spoon the batter into your cupcake liners (fill them up almost all the way), and bake on 350ºF for about 18 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool COMPLETELY before attempting to frost.
STEP SIX: For the frosting, we're actually using cold butter rather than room temperature. Cut your butter into cubes, then beat using a mixer for about 5 minutes, until it's nice and creamy and lighter in color.
STEP SEVEN: Add in the powdered sugar and beat for another 3-4 minutes, then add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time.
STEP EIGHT: Finally, separate your frosting into thirds. Use food coloring to color one third yellow, another third orange, and leave the last third white. Pipe onto each individual cupcake, starting with a swirl of yellow, then orange, then white frosting.
That's all there is to it! Happy Halloween!
- As always, my top baking tip is to use a scale to weigh your flour. This is the best way to ensure accuracy! Too much or too little flour will affect the end result. We're using 148 grams of flour in this recipe.
- I like to use a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to fill my cupcake liners. You want to fill them up a little more than halfway.
- When it comes to making the frosting, it really is important to take some time to beat the butter. This will help make your frosting fluffy and creamy.
- Speaking of frosting, you may have to eyeball the cream and, depending on your consistency, might need more or less than what I've specified. Just use your best judgment and make sure to add it in gradually. If you accidentally thin it out too much, add a bit more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You should be able to use non-dairy butter and milk to make these cupcakes dairy free.
No, you can store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for the first 2 days. After that, I recommend moving into the refrigerator.
Easy Candy Corn Cupcakes
- 1 cup (148g) gluten free flour blend
- ½ cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅔ cup (134g) sugar
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer mixed with 4 tbsp water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120ml) milk of choice room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (340g) unsalted butter cold, cubed
- 4 ½ cups (540g) powdered sugar sifted
- 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- orange and yellow gel food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.1 cup (148g) gluten free flour blend, ½ cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, and oil until smooth. Add the prepared egg replacer and vanilla extract and beat to combine.⅔ cup (134g) sugar, 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable or canola oil, 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk and making sure to start and end with dry ingredients. Beat between each addition to incorporate.½ cup (120ml) milk of choice
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, a little over halfway full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the butter until smooth and creamy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined, another 3-4 minutes. Add the heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time, until you have the desired consistency.1 ½ cups (340g) unsalted butter, 4 ½ cups (540g) powdered sugar, 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Separate the frosting into thirds. Leave one third white and use gel food coloring to tint the second portion yellow and the third portion orange. Transfer to three separate piping bags and pipe a swirl of yellow, followed by a slightly smaller swirl of orange on top, and an even smaller swirl of white on top of that. Repeat with all cupcakes.orange and yellow gel food coloring
- Be sure to follow the instructions on the package of Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer. Once mixed with water, the egg replacer must sit for just a few minutes to thicken.
- If you are not looking to replace eggs, you should be able to use 2 eggs instead of the egg replacer.
Related Recipes To Try
Note: this recipe was updated in September 2022. The original recipe contained sour cream and instant coffee, and was made with oil only (no butter).