What’s your favorite movie monster? Is it a vampire? How about the wolfman? For me, zombies are always my go-to horror movie monster. There’s just something creepy about them that I love. I’ve always been a huge fan of traditional zombie movies like Night of the Living Dead. With fall just around the corner, I just had to come up with a fun Halloween zombie cupcake recipe to pay homage to my favorite ghouls.
This Halloween zombie cupcake is a ton of fun to do with kids. They can each make their own tombstone and fashion their own zombie arm to burst out of the cupcakes. There is a lot of room for personalization here, which is always a bonus when you’re baking with kids.Jump to Recipe
How to make Halloween Zombie Cupcakes
I chose to use a chocolate cupcake for my base here because it’s close to “dirt” color. You can totally do a vanilla cupcake, an orange one, or even a peanut butter one if you wanted! You could even do a fun marbled cupcake of Halloween colors if you’re feeling fancy.
For me the decoration is the star of the show here, so really any cupcake flavor will do. You could even use a boxed cake mix if you’re short on time or just really don’t feel like doing cupcakes from scratch. ( We’ve all been there, no shame! )
Now, if you aren’t a fan of fondant you can use modeling chocolate to make your zombie’s arm. Whatever works with your abilities, tastes, and budget is just fine.
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1 C milk ( I prefer almond milk but you can use whatever you have on hand )
2 medium eggs
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla extract ( I like to use this one for baking )
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium until everything is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla.
Sift the dry ingredients for the cupcakes ( except for the chocolate ) together in a separate mixing bowl. Use a whisk to stir lightly until everything is combined.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer. You want to do about 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time, alternating with the milk, until everything is combined.
Melt the baking chocolate in the microwave on 30-second intervals and then pour the melted chocolate into the bowl of the stand mixer.
Fill a lined cupcake pan until each cupcake is about 3/4 full. ( You can use a reusable silicone liner for your cupcakes if you are trying to reduce your waste! )
You want to bake the cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. ( I like to check larger cupcakes that are closer to the middle of the pan to ensure that everything around it is also done!)
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely before decorating.
You can begin making your tombstones and zombie arms while you are waiting for the cupcakes to cool. ( You can also do them the night beforehand if you prefer. )
Melt the white chocolate for the tombstones in the microwave on 30-second intervals until it is smooth and pourable. If you find that your chocolate is still too thick even after melting you can add 1-2 Tbsp of vegetable oil to it to help thin it out. ( Just be sure to do a small amount at a time so you don’t accidentally overdo it. ) Pour the chocolate carefully into the tombstone molds and put them into the fridge to set up completely ( about 30 minutes to an hour )
Roll the fondant or modeling chocolate for your zombie arms out into kind of a snake or log-shaped piece. You can cut the individual arms from this. Add a small ball of the material to the end of each piece that you cut and use fondant tools to cut and shape the ball into a hand. ( It’s ok if they aren’t perfect, they’re zombies! )
Once your cupcakes have finished cooled completely you can combine the ingredients for the icing ( You can find my favorite green icing mix here ) in the bowl of the stand mixer or prepare your favorite canned icing. I used this awesome grass tip to add icing to these cupcakes. I love how it helps add to the “creepy graveyard” feel of these cupcakes!
How to store Halloween Zombie Cupcakes
These cupcakes can be a little top-heavy so you want to be sure that you store them in a place where they won’t fall apart or get knocked over. Cupcakes tend to get a little tough and chewy in the fridge so it’s best to store them in an airtight container on the counter. They should do fine there for about 2 to 3 days, but who has cupcakes that last that long?
If you want to freeze them you can do so for about a month or so. You want to be sure to give yourself about 15 to 20 minutes before serving to let them thaw properly though.
Creepy Zombie Cupcakes
- 1½ C granulated sugar
- 1½ C all-purpose flour
- ½ C cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ C unsalted butter softened
- 1 C milk
- 2 med eggs
- ½ to 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Combine sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla to the bowl and blend until combined.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder together in a separate bowl and stir with a whisk until just combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer, alternating with the milk until all ingredients are combined.
- Fill lined cupcake tins to about 3/4 full for each cupcake.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. ( Keep an eye on them as oven times can vary)
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely before icing.
- Use the tombstone molds ( listed above) to create the white chocolate tombstones and place in the fridge to set while the cupcakes are cooling.
- Work the green fondant to soften slightly. Shape into a zombie arm and place into the fridge to harden slightly.
- Use the grass tip and a piping bag to add grass to the top of each cupcake once they have cooled completely.
- Press a tombstone and a zombie arm into the top of each cupcake.