Witch Cauldron Cupcakes Recipe

Holidays are the perfect excuse to try new baking recipes, and when it comes to Halloween, the options are even more experimental. Whether you are looking for a spooky dip that will make your party guests squirm or a fun idea for kids to get excited about, the options are endless. Recipe developer Melissa Olivieri of The Olive Blogger loves a salty snack, but sweet treats are definitely at the top of her priority list. Olivieri enjoys baking, eating, and testing new ideas like this creative witch cauldron cupcake recipe. 

These cupcakes look like something from a specialty bake shop, but she also remarks, "The entire cupcake is super easy to make and decorate." If you have some Halloween-obsessed kids at home, Olivieri adds, "It is a great treat to make with the kiddos for them to take to school!" All the same, these should not be limited to children, and adults will have an equally hard time resisting chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing. If you were waiting for some inspiration to get into the Halloween mood, here it is. 

Gather the ingredients for witch cauldron cupcakes

If you are rushing to add the finishing touches on your Halloween costume, you will be grateful that Olivieri uses a package of chocolate cake mix as a shortcut for the cupcake batter. She opts for Betty Crocker's chocolate fudge mix, which calls for the addition of three eggs, ½ cup of vegetable oil, and 1 ½ cups of water. Olivieri cautions, "The ingredients can vary based off the cake mix used," so be sure to double check the packaging and use the appropriate add-ins. 

Next, you will need unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and a few tablespoons of water to create a light and fluffy consistency for your buttercream icing. As per the name, butter is a key component — unsalted butter will work best for this purpose. Meanwhile, powdered sugar is preferred since it dissolves easily, avoiding a grainy texture. This isn't just any buttercream frosting, so once the texture is right, add five to eight drops of green food coloring until you are pleased with the color. 

To complete the eerie cauldron, look for Halloween sprinkles with eyeballs in the baking aisle of your supermarket. Olivieri indicates, "If you cannot find a sprinkle mix with the eyes, then simply buy a package of the candy eyes separately." Shoestring black licorice makes the perfect cauldron handle, just cut it into three inch pieces for the ideal length.

Prepare the cupcakes according to the package directions

Start by lining a muffin baking tin with paper liners to prepare for the first step, making the cupcakes. Thankfully, a simple packaged cake mix keeps the process quick and easy. Check your packaging for the temperature required, and set your oven to preheat. Combine the dry mix in a bowl with a few other ingredients that will add moisture and help your cupcakes become light and fluffy. For Olivieri's Betty Crocker cake mix, the ingredients are mixed on high speed for two minutes.

Once your batter is ready, evenly distribute it between the 12 muffin tins. Then, when the oven has preheated, transfer the tray to a rack, and bake the cupcakes according to the package directions. Olivieri notes, "For this particular brand, we cooked the cupcakes at 350 F for 14 minutes, until a toothpick came out clean."

Meanwhile, prepare the green buttercream icing

While the cupcakes are baking, set out a bowl to prepare the buttercream icing. Add ½ cup of unsalted butter to the bowl, and using a hand mixer, cream it until the color becomes pale yellow. Then, slowly incorporate the 4 cups of powdered sugar into the butter, adding 1 cup at a time and mixing on medium speed. Continue until all of the powdered sugar has been mixed into the butter. 

At this point, Olivieri notes, "The icing will be crumbly and resemble pea size pieces." Add 3 tablespoons of water, and keep mixing until the icing is light and fluffy. Finally, for the Halloween touch, add five to eight drops of green food coloring until you are pleased with the color. Olivieri is enthusiastic about the transformation, and says, "The green buttercream icing is fun and delicious!"

Once the cupcakes have cooled down, decorate them with icing and extras

When the cupcakes have finished baking and have had the chance to cool down, you can start decorating them into witch cauldrons. First of all, top the cupcakes with a layer of green buttercream frosting. There's no need to be a perfectionist, because the goal is to create a bubbling cauldron. Olivieri adds, "[The] texture makes it look more realistic, so have fun with it."

Next, add some sprinkles on top, and place one or two eyeballs on top of each cupcake. Then, take the three inch piece of licorice, and press it into each side of the cupcake to make a cauldron handle. Olivieri explains, "I like to gently poke the licorice through the top of the cupcake to ensure it doesn't go anywhere." If you are worried it will fall off she adds, "once the icing hardens a bit (if [you put the cupcakes] in the fridge) the licorice will stay if you just put it through the icing."

Serve these spooky witch cauldron cupcakes at your Halloween party

Finally, it is time to devour these ghoulish witch cauldron cupcakes. These are a perfect treat if you are hosting a Halloween party or to bring to an event. Olivieri says, "I love the look of the finished cupcake with the icing and the fun candy eyes," and we bet everyone who tries these will, too! 

If you are planning to eat them right away, then they can remain at room temperature. However, if there will be some delay, Olivieri remarks, "I like to put mine in the fridge until I am ready to pack them up for gifting or enjoying." They will stay fresh for a few days if you keep them in the fridge.

Witch Cauldron Cupcakes Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
Holidays are the perfect excuse to try new recipes, and when it comes to Halloween, the options are even more experimental — like these witch cauldron cupcakes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
box of witch cauldron cupcakes
Total time: 29 minutes
  • 1 package chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 5 to 8 drops green food coloring
  • ½ cup Halloween sprinkles with eyeballs
  • 2 feet shoestring black licorice (cut into 3-inch pieces)
  1. Prepare the cupcakes according to the cake package instructions. (Our brand required the addition of eggs, vegetable oil, and water mixed at high speed for 2 minutes, then baking the cupcakes at 350 F for 14 minutes, or until a toothpick came out clean.)
  2. Allow the cupcakes to cool.
  3. For the buttercream frosting, in a large bowl, cream the butter with a hand mixer until it's a pale yellow color.
  4. Slowly add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing at medium speed until it's incorporated. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, the icing will be crumbly and resemble pea-size pieces.
  5. Add the water to the icing, and continue to mix until it's light and fluffy.
  6. Add 5 to 8 drops of green food coloring to the icing, and mix until you reach your desired color. (You may require more or less coloring, depending on the brand and the color you want.)
  7. Once the cupcakes have cooled down, ice them.
  8. Add the sprinkles, and place 1 to 2 eyeballs per cupcake.
  9. Gently press the piece of licorice into the cupcake to create a handle.
  10. Enjoy!
Calories per Serving 272
Total Fat 12.4 g
Saturated Fat 3.6 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 30.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 40.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 32.3 g
Sodium 190.5 mg
Protein 2.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe