Spider cupcakes are the perfect sweet treat for Halloween. The chocolate pumpkin cupcakes are deliciously moist and topped with vanilla buttercream frosting with a spider web design.

For more homemade Halloween treat, try our Halloween chocolate mousse and our chocolate pumpkin pie popsicles.

A hand holding a Halloween spider cupcake.

Spider cupcakes

If you're looking for spooky Halloween cupcake ideas, these spider cupcakes are what you need!

They're made with our incredibly moist chocolate pumpkin cupcakes. The cupcakes have a mild pumpkin flavor and are delicious all on their own.

But topped with orange buttercream icing, they really start to look like Halloween.

To finish them off, we draw a spider web design on the top (it's easy!) and put a little spider on top.

They are the perfect way to celebrate Halloween!

A picture showing the steps to make a spider web design on a cupcake.

How to make Halloween spider cupcakes

We start by making our favorite chocolate pumpkin cupcakes. To make them, you'll whisk the dry ingredients (flour, etc.), whisk the wet ingredients (pumpkin, oil, etc.), and then combine them. Easy!

Now to make the spider web design

  1. Using white icing, draw a small circle in the middle of the cupcake.
  2. Draw a slightly bigger circle around the first one.
  3. Finally, draw one more circle around the first two smaller ones.
  4. Right away (before the icing has time to harden) drag a toothpick from the center circle through to the outer circle. Do this 5 times around the circles to create the look of a spider web.

What to use as Halloween cupcake toppers

We like to top our spider cupcakes with plastic spider rings. These are the ones that you can find in any dollar store. You'll need to remove them before you eat the cupcakes, but they're inexpensive and spooky looking.

The other alternative is to buy edible spiders. These are made from sugar and can be found in specialty baking stores or online.

Tips for making the spider web design on cupcakes

  1. For the whitest icing, you'll want to use pale-colored butter. Grass-fed butter is generally quite yellow, so avoid that for this recipe. Look for conventional butter without any added food dye.
  2. The icing shouldn't be too thick, or it won't be easy to draw the lines through the circles with a toothpick.
Halloween spider cupcakes on a marble background table.

How long will these spider cupcakes last?

These Halloween cupcakes will keep fresh for 3-4 days in a covered container on your counter.

How to store spider cupcakes?

These cupcakes are best stored at room temperature. A high-sided container with a lid is best so that the icing doesn't get smudged.

Can you freeze spider cupcakes?

Yes! It is best to freeze the cupcakes without the icing as it can break and chip into pieces once it's frozen. If you're not concerned about looks, you can freeze the cupcakes with the icing.

Pumpkin chocolate cupcakes decorated with orange icing an a spider web and spider on top.

More Homemade Halloween Treat

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A hand holding a Halloween spider cupcake.

Halloween Spider Cupcakes

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: North American

Description

Spider cupcakes are the perfect sweet treat for Halloween. The chocolate pumpkin cupcakes are deliciously moist and topped with vanilla buttercream frosting with a spider web design.


Scale

Ingredients

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: ground cloves, nutmeg, and salt  
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix, which is spiced)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (can sub brown sugar)
  • ½ cup neutral-flavored oil (avocado, canola, or grapeseed)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • Optional: 1 cup chocolate chips

Buttercream Icing

  • ½ cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 drops orange food dye (see notes)

Decorating

  • Edible spider cupcake toppers OR plastic spider rings 
  • A toothpick

 


Instructions

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with liners. 
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the pumpkin and whisk to combine. If using, stir in the chocolate chips. 
  5. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners. Note: the batter will be quite thick. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them. 

Buttercream Frosting

  1. In a large bowl, use electric beaters (or a stand mixer) to whip the butter for 1 minute. Add the icing sugar, milk, and vanilla and beat until combined. (See notes)
  2. Remove a scoop (about ¼ cup) of the frosting and set it aside. You'll need it for the white spider web design. 
  3. Mix the orange food dye into the remaining frosting. 

Decorate the sider cupcakes

  1. Frost the tops of the cupcakes with the orange frosting and smooth the top as much as possible. 
  2. Place the white frosting into a piping bag with a small, round decorating tip. You can also use a plastic bag and cut one of the bottom edges to make a piping bag. 
  3. Draw a small circle in the center of the cupcake. Then draw 2 more circles so that you have three circles inside each other. (See the pictures in the post.)
  4. Immediately after drawing the circles, take a toothpick and draw a line from the smallest circle out past the largest circle. Do this 5 times around the circles to create the effect of a spiderweb. 
  5. Top each web with a store-bought edible spider or a plastic spider ring.

Notes

Food dye varies widely in quality and strength. You may need more to achieve the color you want. 

If you would like your frosting thinner, add a little extra milk. If you would like it thicker, add a little extra icing sugar. 

We trust that if you use plastic spider rings to decorate the cupcakes, you'll let people know to remove them before they eat the cupcake. 

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Pumpkin chocolate cupcakes decorated with orange icing an a spider web and spider on top and the recipe title on the picture.