Food

Halloween dessert recipes that beat a bag of candy

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Pumpkin cupcake on blue background with mini pumpkin

Image: Shutterstock/Lonny Garris

Halloween is an amazing excuse to act silly, dress zany and stuff yourself with sweets. But, before you start planning your raid of the kids’ candy bags, consider these amazing, simple and (possibly) better-than-candy Halloween dessert recipes that you will have to taste to believe.

Sweet and Salty Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Butter popcorn from a bag
  • 1 cup chopped strawberry flavored candy twists/ropes
  • 2 cups broken pretzels
  • 2 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup light corn syrup

Directions:

  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Measure baking soda and vanilla extract into 2 separate bowls. Set aside.
  3. Mix the licorice and broken pretzels evenly throughout popcorn.
  4. Bring the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and cream of tartar to a boil, stirring continuously. Place a candy thermometer into the caramel. Continue boiling, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 265 degrees F (129 degrees C). This will take about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove caramel from heat.
  6. Stir vanilla and baking soda into the caramel. It will rise and become a bit foamy…this is fine.
  7. Pour hot caramel (with the baking soda and cream of tartar) over popcorn mixture.
  8. Stir gently to coat uniformly.
  9. Spread the popcorn mixture loosely onto the baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Season to taste with sea salt (or completely withhold this ingredient, if you so choose).
  11. Set aside to cool.
  12. Break popcorn mixture up into large pieces and store it in airtight and sealed containers.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese (softened)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated orange peel

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Blend the eggs, oil, sugar, and pumpkin in a big mixing dish & set aside.
  3. Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and beat. The batter should be well-blended.
  5. Pour into lined muffin tins. (Fill about 2/3 full)
  6. Bake in preheated 350 degrees oven for 30 minutes (or until center springs back when touched).
  7.  Cool.

Frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.
  3. Spread over cooled cupcakes.

Pumpkin Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan with butter, cooking spray, etc.
  3. Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
  4. In another bowl, mix the (melted) butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  5. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time, with a spoon.
  6. Then mix in the flour combination, and stir until well combined.
  7. Next, split the batter in half into two bowls.
  8. In one, blend the cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
  9. In the other, mix the pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
  10. Spread 1/2 of the chocolate batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, and follow with 1/2 of the pumpkin batter, creating layers. Repeat the layers, ending with a pumpkin layer, until all of the batter is used up.
  11. Drag a kitchen knife or small spoon gently through the layers in a swirling motion. This will create an appealing marbled appearance.
  12. Bake until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This will take about 40 to 45 minutes.
  13. Pull them out, cool them and serve them.

Is your mouth watering yet? I know mine is. These delicious Halloween dessert recipes will beat any candy bar or sour candies Halloween can offer up. I can’t lie, the sweet and salty popcorn is my fav! Give these Halloween dessert recipes a try and see which one you like best.