Spooky ghost brownies are just what you need this Halloween

It's Halloween time, and we're all just trying to soak up all this fall goodness while it lasts. Fully embrace your Halloween spirit by creating something fun and spooky for your next party or family dinner. 

These spooky ghost brownies are the perfect addition to your next Halloween party or casual get-together. They're insanely easy to create, but look impressive. They're also much more appetizing than eyeball grapes or any other gruesome Halloween treat you could come up with. You can also get the kids involved with assembling them, but in my experience, you're going to be short a few marshmallows if you do that. 

Gather your ingredients

Start by gathering your ingredients. We'll be preparing basic brownies — with a twist. To spookify them, we'll add some ghostly white chocolate chips, jumbo marshmallows, and buttercream frosting. We apologize ahead of time for your kid's sugar high. 

We're making our brownies from scratch, but if you want to take the easy way out (and who doesn't!?), you can just use a boxed brownie mix and add the ghosts on top — we won't tell!

A full list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions can be found at the end of this article.

Melt the butter

Start by melting one-half cup (or one stick) of butter. Place the stick in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and set aside. If the butter is not fully melted, microwave in additional ten-second intervals until melted. Make sure to avoid burning it — you'll definitely taste it if it does. 

Once the butter is melted, allow it to cool completely while you mix your brownie batter. 

Begin to mix the dry ingredients

Grab a large mixing bowl and begin to assemble all of the dry ingredients. Pour in one cup of white sugar, one-half cup of all-purpose flour, one-third cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, one-fourth teaspoon of baking powder, and one-fourth teaspoon of kosher salt.

Whisk the ingredients

Whisk the dry ingredients together with a whisk or fork. Make sure to whisk gently to avoid any of the powder being splashed out of the bowl — you need all of it! Once the dry ingredients have been combined, set aside and move on to the wet ingredients. 

Beat the eggs

Crack both eggs into a large mixing bowl and place in a stand mixer. Add the teaspoon of vanilla and beat together using the stand mixer's paddle attachment. Once the eggs have been beaten, stop the mixer and grab the dry ingredients. 

Incorporate the dry ingredients

Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Set the stand mixer to medium speed and gently pour in about one-half cup of dry ingredients at a time, making sure the batter is fully mixed before adding more.

Mix the batter

Once all of the dry ingredients have been mixed into the batter, slow the stand mixer speed down to low. The batter will feel rather thick, but that's okay.

Add the butter

With the stand mixer running, carefully pour the cooled butter into the bowl. Mix until the butter is just mixed in and stop the mixer. We don't want to over-mix the batter. 

Fold in the white chocolate chips

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and pour in the half-cup of white chocolate chips. Using a large spoon, gently fold the chocolate chips into the batter, making sure they're well distributed.

Bake the brownies

Pour the batter into a glass eight-by-eight inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. The batter will be thick, so feel free to use a rubber scraper to scoop all of it into the dish and spread it out. Bake the brownies for about 22 minutes. When they appear to be done, stick a toothpick or fork into the center of the pan. If it comes out clean, they're ready to cool. If there is still batter on the toothpick, allow them to bake for two to three additional minutes and check again.

Allow the brownies to cool

Once the brownies are baked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. They should be completely cooled before decorating them. If they're still too warm, they'll most likely fall apart when transferring them to the serving dish. Hot brownies will also cause the frosting and marshmallows to melt. We want our ghosts to look spooky, not deflated.

Begin preparing the frosting

While the brownies are cooling, we'll prepare our spooky frosting. Place a medium saucepan over low heat and add one-half cup or one stick of butter. Pour in one teaspoon pure vanilla extract and melt the butter. As soon as the butter is melted, start incorporating the powdered sugar. 

Beat in the powdered sugar

Pour about one-half cup powdered sugar into the saucepan and beat with a hand mixer until combined. Repeat this step with all two cups of powdered sugar. Once the powdered sugar has been mixed in, the frosting will be very thick. 

Add warm water

Add one tablespoon warm water to thin out the frosting and continue adding tablespoons of warm water until you've reached your desired frosting consistency. Usually two to four tablespoons of warm water is plenty. We want the frosting to be thin enough to easily spread over the brownie without running off.

Assemble the ghost brownies

Once the brownies have cooled, cut them into 12 squares and place them on individual serving dishes. Top each brownie with a jumbo marshmallow and pour about two tablespoons of frosting over each one. If the marshmallow falls off, place a little frosting directly on the brownie, then stick the marshmallow to it. Don't worry about the frosting looking uneven. We want it to look like a ghost flying.

Paint the ghost faces

Allow the frosting to dry slightly, then pain a spooky ghost face onto each marshmallow. Use black gel frosting to paint on two small eyes and one large circle for the mouth. Then top with a little more frosting and enjoy!

Directions

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup melted butter, cooled

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

For the frosting

  • ½ cup butter

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 2-4 tablespoons warm water

  • 12 jumbo marshmallows

  • Black gel frosting

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray an eight-by-eight inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.

  2. Place ½ cup butter in a microwave-safe dish and microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. Stir the melted butter, then set aside to cool completely.

  3. In a large bowl, add the sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.

  4. Crack the two eggs into a separate large mixing bowl. Pour in one teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and vanilla extract together. Slowly add the dry ingredients, making sure the batter is completely mixed together before adding more.

  5. Once all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated, pour in the cooled melted butter while mixing. Mix until just combined, then remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Using a large spoon, fold in the white chocolate chips.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared eight-by-eight inch baking dish. It will be thick, so be sure to smooth it over with the back of a large spoon. Bake for 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  7. While the brownies are cooling, prepare the frosting. The frosting will start to harden as it sits, so it's important to prepare it shortly before using it. Place a medium saucepan over low heat and melt ½ cup of butter. Add in the teaspoon of vanilla extract and slowly begin adding the two cups of powdered sugar. Using a hand mixer, add in about ¼ cup of powdered sugar at a time, making sure the frosting is completely mixed before adding more.

  8. Once all of the sugar has been added, start adding one tablespoon of warm water at a time, until you reach your desired frosting consistency. Cut the brownies into 12 squares and place on a platter.

  9. Place one jumbo marshmallow on each brownie and cover with frosting. Once the frosting has dried on the marshmallow, paint a spooky ghost face with the tube of black gel frosting. Enjoy!