These Candy Corn Cupcakes are an easy homemade cupcake recipe colored to look like candy corn! It's a festive Halloween cupcake topped with a vanilla frosting that's made from scratch and a candy corn!
Candy corn seems to be a hot topic amongst people. You either love it or hate it, and we love it here on this site.
I have a vibrant Candy Corn Cheesecake Recipe made with melted candy corn. It's so sweet and delicious. There are also these sweet and salty Candy Corn Popcorn Balls that is made with microwave butter popcorn and candy corn that's melted into a gooey consistency.
Candy Corn Cupcake Ingredients
Yes, this candy corn cupcake recipe is made from scratch instead of using a doctored cake mix.
See the recipe card for quantities.
- flour - All-purpose flour is used in this recipe. Don't substitute with cake flour.
- granulated sugar - also known as white sugar.
- baking powder/baking soda - the leavening agents to help the cupcakes rise.
- salt - Use a table salt, not a coarse salt.
- butter - You'll need your butter at room temperature. To speed up the process of bringing the butter up to room temperature, slice the butter into tablespoon thick slices.
- eggs - Always use large eggs for my recipes unless otherwise specified.
- Greek yogurt - Plain or vanilla Greek yogurt will work. In a pinch, you can use sour cream for this recipe.
- buttermilk - This is for the cupcakes. Don't use regular milk as a substitute. The consistency is much thinner.
- vanilla extract - Use your favorite store-bought vanilla extract or homemade vanilla extract.
- gel food coloring - You'll need an orange and a yellow gel food coloring. Don't add the liquid food coloring since adding too much can result in possibly messing with the wet to dry ingredient ratio.
- powdered sugar - This helps keep the frosting smooth, sweetens it, and thickens it.
- heavy whipping cream - This is used for the frosting and milk can be used as a substitute.
How to make Candy Corn Cupcakes
For this Halloween cupcake recipe, we're going to start with the dry ingredients.
Step 1: Add the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the creamed butter. Mix until the dry ingredients turn a yellow hue and the butter is completely incorporated.
Step 2: Beat the eggs in one at a time using an electric mixer. Scrape down the bowl after each egg is mixed in.
Step 3: Beat in the Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Step 4: Divide the batter equally into two bowls. Using gel food coloring, add a hefty amount of orange to one bowl and a hefty amount of yellow to the other. Stir until each bowl of batter is a solid color with no streaks.
Step 5: Spoon 1 ½ tablespoons of yellow batter in the cupcake liners.
Step 6: Spoon 1 ½ tablespoons of orange batter on top of the yellow batter. Make sure to cover the yellow completely with the orange batter. Bake and cool.
Step 7: While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream until light and fluffy.
PRO TIP: If you don't have piping tips, you can easily spread the frosting on top using a butter knife or add it into a large storage bag and cut a large hole in one of the corners of the bottom of the bag. You can make puffs of frosting by holding the storage bag in the center of the cupcake and applying even pressure until the frosting begins to come up and around the bag. Release any pressure and swirl the storage bag to make a clean break from the round pile of frosting.
I know how it feels when you think you have everything for a recipe and it turns out you're missing one of your ingredients. I'm going to share with you some substitutions that I know will work for this recipe.
- Vanilla extract- You can use any extract that you wish. Vanilla bean paste would work as well.
- Greek Yogurt - This can be substituted with sour cream though the sour cream could add additional tanginess to the cupcakes.
- Buttermilk - In a pinch, sour milk will work. Add 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar to 1 cup of whole milk and let it sit for a few minutes before adding it to the recipe.
Once the cupcakes are cooled and frosted, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 to 5 days.
They can last up to 7 days if refrigerated, but the cake will become pretty firm until it comes back up to room temperature.
Can I freeze these Halloween cupcakes?
Yes! I would recommend leaving the frosting off the cupcakes because it will be easier to store the cake. Wrap the cupcakes tightly in 2 pieces plastic wrap, (to be extra safe you can add a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil) and pop in a freezer bag or a freezer container for up to 3 months.
To defrost the cupcakes, place them in the fridge overnight or let them come up to room temperature on the counter. Once the cupcakes are thawed, frost them and serve!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! The cupcakes won't be as sweet as they are with the greek yogurt, but it will make a nice substitute.
You can use sour milk instead of buttermilk. You can do this by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of whole milk and letting it sit for a few minutes to become thick and chunky.
Yes! You can prepare a yellow cake mix as directed on the box. Divide the batter into two equal amounts and add the yellow gel food coloring to one bowl and the orange gel food coloring to the other.
Looking for more cupcake recipes like this? Try these:
Candy Corn Cupcakes
- 1 ¼ cups butter room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Orange sanding sugar
- Yellow sanding sugar
- Mini white sugar pearls
- Candy corn
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the butter. Beat using a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition until it forms a dough-like consistency. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding each egg.
- Add the Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and vanilla extract to the mixture. Beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Divide the cupcake batter into two equal portions (about 2 cups each) in separate bowls.
- Add 3 to 5 drops of yellow gel food coloring to one bowl and mix until the batter turns yellow and has no streaks in it
- Add 3 to 5 drops of orange gel food coloring to the other bowl and mix until the batter turns orange and has no streaks in it.
- Using a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop or a spoon, spoon 1 ½ tablespoons of the yellow batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Then add 1 ½ tablespoons of orange batter, spreading it evenly to cover the yellow batter. Each liner should be about ⅔ full.
- Place the cupcakes in the preheated oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes in the center of the pan comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar is combined. Turn hand mixer on medium/high speed and beat for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Add the frosting to a disposable piping bag fitted with a large tip.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe swirls of frosting on top of each cupcake.
- Immediately add the yellow and orange sanding sugar, white sugar pearls, and a candy corn.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)