Halloween is definitely going to be different this year. Most cities are advising against trick-or-treating, parties are a no-go, and spooky attractions just aren’t the same in a car. Despite these changes, Halloween can still be festive and fun! This year, there are so many creative ways to enjoy the holiday while being safe inside your home.
For me, my idea of Halloween fun is watching scary movies, decorating, dressing up, and of course, baking tasty treats fit for the occasion. One year in high school, I really didn’t feel like going anywhere. Instead of dressing up and going out with friends, I had a Dark Knight marathon and spent the day in the kitchen making silly desserts, like apple slice vampire fangs.
That was still a fun year for me — I remember it fondly as a relaxing way to start the holiday season. And even though I wished I’d be able to throw a party or spend time with friends and family this year, I can still dress up and make all the food I want. In case anyone else is like me and would rather bake than do almost anything else, I decided to put together a few fun dessert ideas for this Halloween.
Whether you live alone, with family, or with roommates, dessert is never a bad idea. Trying out any one of these Halloween desserts will make it feel like nothing has changed — just pick out your favorite spooky songs, get your costume on, and go crazy! All of these desserts are vegan (as per usual), but they’re also super easy and very affordable. You can also customize pretty much any of these to your liking.
I love love love trying new things, so naturally all of these recipes are very different. I wanted to have multiple cooking options (oven-baked, stovetop, and no-bake), just to be as accommodating as possible. For the oven-required dessert, I made pumpkin cupcakes frosted with a bright orange pumpkin and green stem. And trust me, I never pipe frosting, and these still turned out super cute — so don’t be intimidated by that! They’re very tasty, a bit dense, but super moist and flavorful.
For the stovetop dessert, I went back to basics and thought of Rice Krispie treats with a twist! Instead of using the regular amount of cereal, cut it down by maybe 1/2 to 1 cup. This way, there will be more marshmallow present in the dessert. This one needs quick hands though, because you’ll need to get your favorite Halloween cookie cutter and cut out some fun shapes. Reform the Rice Krispie treat mixture as needed, and feel free to add food coloring or a chocolate face!
Lastly, for an easy and delicious no-bake option: cookie dough bugs. Yes, they look pretty gross. BUT it’s fun to have a bit of fear factor in your desserts, right? For these, make edible cookie dough (I chose peanut butter, but you can use any simple cookie dough recipe) and melt some dark chocolate. Shape the cookie dough into an oblong body and freeze them. Dip them in the dark chocolate, freeze some more, and voila! If you’re a chocolate expert, this is a good opportunity to make some tempered chocolate legs and turn these into spiders. If not, just score some lines into each body, and you have roaches! How delightful.
I hope everyone has a fun, and safe, Halloween. And if you really have no plans, at least you can have some dessert — which, quite honestly, sounds like an ideal Saturday night. Scroll down to find all three recipes. Enjoy, and please leave a comment if you try out any of these festive, vegan Halloween treats!
Pumpkin Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Pumpkin Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting
- ¾ cup butter softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 flax eggs
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 ⅓ cup flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups vegan butter softened
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Cream together the butter and sugars
- Add in the flax eggs and pumpkin. Mix until well-incorporated
- In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Gradually add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the vegan buttermilk
- Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting
- While cupcakes cool, make the buttercream frosting. Start by whipping the butter on its own until smooth. Then, add the vanilla and salt
- Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time
- Keep mixing until you have a smooth, thick frosting. Make sure it's not runny or too stiff. Separate ¼ of the mixture into a separate bowl and add green food coloring (for pumpkin stem)
- To the remaining ¾ of frosting, add orange food coloring. Use two piping bags or plastic bags to pipe a pumpkin design onto the cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!
- I’m very much a novice at frosting, but these are so cute no matter the skill level! Use any piping tip you want, come up with a creative-looking pumpkin, and you pretty much nail this recipe. Don’t be discouraged if yours doesn’t come out looking like a Pinterest ad 🙂
- To the cupcake batter, add more spices if you like a stronger fall flavor
- Make sure the cupcakes are fully cooled before adding frosting — otherwise, they will melt!
Rice Krispie Treat Ghosts Recipe
Rice Krispie Treat Ghosts
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 3 cups rice cereal
- 10 oz vegan marshmallows
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large pot on medium heat, melt the vegan butter
- Add the marshmallows and stir continuously until sticky and melting
- Pour in the rice cereal, and mix well until cereal is fully incorporated
- On a lined baking tray, carefully flatten the mixture. While the mixture is still hot, grab a ghost-shaped cookie cutter and cut out pieces
- Reshape and re-flatten the mixture on the tray, and continue cutting out shapes carefully
- Set aside the ghost-shaped treats and let cool for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
- If you want, add food coloring to the marshmallow/butter mixture and mix well
- This recipe uses less cereal to make the marshmallows stand out more, and the coloring works well to make a ghost. But you can use any Halloween cookie cutter and decorate however you like
Cookie Dough Creepy Crawlers Recipe
Cookie Dough Creepy Crawlers
- 4 oz dark chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp vegan shortening or butter
- ⅓ cup flour
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the dark chocolate and shortening or butter. Set aside
- On the stove, cook the flour into lightly toasted and fragrant
- Mix the peanut butter, sugar, maple syrup, melted butter, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour and mix until a dough forms
- Separate the dough into 8 balls. Lightly pinch two sides of the ball and flatten out the middle until you have an oval shape
- Place in the freezer for 10 minutes
- Remove the pieces from the freezer and coat in the melted chocolate. Put in the freezer for another 20 minutes or until ready to serve. Score lines into the chocolate to resemble a bug, and enjoy!
- You can use any cookie dough flavor you like, just make sure to pre-cook the flour!
- If you’re handy with tempered chocolate, pipe some leg-shapes (like 7s) onto parchment paper and freeze until solid, and stick to the cookie dough with some melted chocolate.