Apples Cutting BoardSource: iMore

Like everything else this year, Halloween 2020 is going to look pretty different. Whether you're a parent trying to make things fun for your kids or young at heart yourself, you may be struggling to make the best of this usually social holiday. While it won't replace the Halloween parties or the fun of trick-or-treating, my kids and I have spent many hours in the kitchen, baking lots of treats that we're going to deliver to the doorsteps of all our family and friends. From fun and easy to complex and spectacular, you're sure to find a recipe you'll love among our Halloween baking ideas!

Mulled Instant Pot Cider

Instant Pot Apple Cider MugSource: iMore

My absolute favorite, and one of the easiest to make, thanks to our Instant Pot is mulled apple cider. Much like my colleague, Luke, my Instant Pot has made quarantine go much smoother. I use it several times a week to put together an easy and healthy dinner that can cook in the background while I work and keep all three kids on track in school. So, of course, when I found out the Instant Pot could be used to make my absolute favorite beverage, you know I jumped on that. For a bonus, you can add a little rum to give your cider an extra kick!

Cooking fast and easy

Instant Pot DUO60

Instant Pot makes kitchen life a breeze

Although there is a line of Instant Pot brand pressure cookers, the DUO60 remains the most popular model, and for a good reason. This pressure cooker is the easiest to use I've ever owned. Dishes that have to sit in a slow cooker for hours can be cooked in the Instant Pot DUO60 in under an hour. It's easy to clean and has lots of options to make cooking a breeze.

Ingredients

  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 4 Gala apples
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoon cinnamon or 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon clove or 10 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 tablespoon fresh ginger or 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup cranberries optional
  • 1 orange optional
  • Enough water to cover ingredients
  • 1 cup dark rum optional

Instructions

  1. Core and quarter your apples. Personally, I prefer a 50-50 split of Granny Smith and Gala, but if you prefer your cider sweeter, consider substituting Honeycrisp.
  2. Peel and segment your orange.
  3. Add apples, orange, and cranberries to the Instant Pot.
  4. Using cheesecloth, make a spice bundle with your ground spices.
  5. Add the spice bundle and any whole spices to the Instant Pot.
  6. If you're spiking your cider, add dark rum.
  7. Add remaining ingredients to Instant Pot.
  8. Seal the Instant Pot.
  9. Pressure cook for 15 minutes.
  10. Once pressure has been released, remove the spice packet.
  11. Strain the pulp using a potato masher to break up the fruit. Note: don't discard the pulp! It makes for great homemade applesauce!
  12. Enjoy your fresh apple cider!

Spooky Pumpkin Mini Pies

Pumpkin Pie IngredientsSource: iMore

While people often associate pumpkin pie with Thanksgiving, these mini pies scream Halloween with Jack O'Lantern designs on top. And they're super tasty too! While you can certainly use a premade pie crust, making a tasty pie crust from scratch isn't nearly as difficult as you might think.

Webake Mini Quiche Pans

These mini quiche pans from Webake make baking handpies super easy. They're the perfect size for a personal pie, easy to clean, and non-stick.

Halloween Cookie Cutters

These Halloween cookie cutters from UONONA are cute and fun. Whether you're helping your little one make a cute design, or you're just not artistically inclined yourself, you can use these cute cookie cutters to make a design for the top of your mini pies.

Ingredients

While I made my pie crust from scratch, you can definitely buy a premade crust. You'll just have to roll it out to cut smaller crusts.

Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 teaspoons Water, cold
  • 1 egg white

Filling

  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin Note: not pumpkin pie filling. 100% pumpkin!
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

If you do decide to make your crust from scratch, cold butter is absolutely necessary, and it is super important not to overwork it. You will have a very tough crust otherwise.

Pie Crust

  1. Cut butter into small cubes.
  2. Using a food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Note: you can split the butter in half to make this step easier.
  3. Add cold water slowly, one teaspoon at a time, until the dough begins to stick together. Note: this shouldn't use more than 1/4 cup of water.
  4. Removing the dough from the food processor, gently knead into small mounds. Note: if you overwork your dough, it will be tough. A gentle hand is the key to a flaky pie crust!
  5. Wrap each mound in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  7. Allow dough to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  8. Roll dough out into discs.
  9. Place one disc in each mini quiche pan.
  10. Refrigerate for half an hour.
  11. Line with foil and top with rice, beans, or sugar.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes.

For the top crust:

  1. With the remaining discs, hand-cut or use cookie cutters to cut Jack O'Lanterns and other spooky fun designs.
  2. Refrigerate your pie toppers for half an hour.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  4. Brush pie toppers with egg white.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Filling

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, and sweetened condensed milk.
  3. Add spices and mix well.
  4. Fill mini pie crusts.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes.

Once your pies have cooled, top each with a Jack O'Lantern and serve!

Monstrous Popcorn

Monstrous PopcornSource: iMore

Who doesn't love the smell of popcorn popping? With this fun recipe, you can turn your normal movie time snack into spooky fun. We've got a collection of the Best Popcorn Poppers to make this recipe super easy, but don't worry. We won't judge you if you stick to microwave popcorn!

Monster Medley Halloween Sprinkles

What better way to scream spooky fun than with a mix of purple, orange, and green sprinkles and candies? This mix by Manvscakes has candy eyes, bones, sprinkles, and more to add a delightfully eerie pop to your Halloween baking fun!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup popcorn kernels or 2 bags of microwave popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon of oil if popping kernels
  • 1 12 oz. bag of Candy Melts Note: you can buy these pre-colored or pick up the white ones and add gel food coloring to color whatever color your spooky little heart desires!
  • Halloween sprinkles or candies Note: get creative with this! We added mini chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds to ours.

Instructions

  1. Pop your popcorn according to the directions for your popcorn maker or in the microwave.
  2. Melt your candy melts in the microwave.
  3. If you're coloring the candy melts yourself, add a few drops of gel food coloring after it's melted.
  4. Mix your popcorn into the melted candy.
  5. Move your popcorn to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Add your Halloween sprinkles or candy generously.

Broken Glass Cupcakes

Broken Glass Red Velvet CupcakesSource: iMore

Like something out of a horror movie, these cupcakes might look a little gory, but I promise, they are super tasty! The candy glass toppers are super easy to make and fun to shatter, giving each cupcake a unique look. With a red velvet cake for the base, your cupcake will have a bloody look inside and out!

Ingredients

While I make my red velvet cake from scratch using a family recipe, there's no shame in grabbing a box mix. I do, however, stick with premade cream cheese frosting.

Candy Glass

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • Red gel food coloring or edible blood to decorate

Cupcakes

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Beet powder or red gel food coloring

Instructions

Candy Glass

  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches 300°.
  4. Pour mixture onto a baking pan.
  5. Allow it to cool completely until hard.
  6. Using a mallet, break into shards.

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Prepare your cupcake tin with grease and flour or cupcake liners.
  3. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
  4. In a separate bowl mix oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, and food coloring or beet powder.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
  6. Fill cupcake tins.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow it to cool thoroughly before icing.
  9. Decorate each cupcake with a shard or two of your candy glass and red gel coloring or edible blood.

Crescent Roll Mummy Hot Dogs

Mummy Hot Dogs BakingSource: iMore

Not all Halloween treats need to be sweet! These crescent roll mummy hot dogs are savory and filling, not to mention a whole lot of fun to make.

Ingredients

  • Hot dogs
  • Sliced cheese
  • Refrigerated crescent dough
  • Mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°.
  2. Unroll your crescent dough.
  3. Slice the dough into long, thin strips.
  4. Slice each piece of cheese into four strips.
  5. Place one hot dog on top of each strip of cheese.
  6. Wrap the hot dogs and cheese with several strips of dough.
  7. Place the hot dogs, cheese side down, on a greased cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Using mustard, give each mummy eyes.

Brownie Truffle Bats

Bat TruffleSource: iMore

Who doesn't love truffles? While these brownie truffles aren't quite as dense as those made with ganache, they're lots of fun for kids to roll out and decorate - as you can see, my youngest had a great time making them. The addition of pumpkin to the brownie batter makes for an extra special festive twist.

Ingredients

While I use a spiced pumpkin brownie recipe for my fall brownie dishes, there's no shame in using a box mix. I do, however, use a premade frosting.

Brownies

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin Note: not pumpkin pie filling. 100% pure pumpkin!
  • 3 eggs

Truffles

  • 1 cup chocolate frosting
  • 1 pack Oreo cookies
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Black sanding sugar
  • Candy eyes

Instructions

Brownies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. Combine flour, pie spice, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, and eggs.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter, chocolate chips, and cocoa.
  5. Add butter mixture to wet ingredients.
  6. Slowly combine dry ingredients.
  7. Pour batter into a greased baking pan.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Truffles

  1. After the brownies have cooled, crumble them by hand into a large bowl.
  2. Add frosting to the brownies and continue to mix by hand until even.
  3. Roll out small, even balls, about 1 tablespoon each.
  4. Split apart several Oreos, removing the frosting.
  5. Carefully halve the cookies to make the bat wings.
  6. Place one wing on each side of your bats.
  7. Place the bats in the freezer for two hours.
  8. Melt chocolate chips.
  9. Dip each bat into the melted chocolate.
  10. Roll each bat in the sanding sugar.
  11. Using melted chocolate, stick a pair of eyes on each bat.

Marshmallow Ghosts

Marshmallow Ghost BrowniesSource: iMore

While I think the pumpkin in my brownies is plenty festive enough, maybe you want them to look spooky too. Fortunately, these marshmallow ghosts are super easy to mix up and give brownies, cookies, or cake that extra pop! However, make sure to finish these brownies quick. These little ghosts have a limited shelf life of just two days.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 cup water
  • Black writing frosting

Instructions

  1. Add unflavoured gelatin to 1/2 cup water.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup water with sugar.
  4. Over medium heat, bring the sugar mixture to a boil.
  5. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches 250°, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Add sugar mixture to gelatin.
  7. Mix on medium for three minutes.
  8. Increase mixing speed to high for 10 minutes or until soft peaks form.
  9. Pipe onto brownies, cookies, or cake immediately.
  10. Let dry for at least one hour before adding eyes and mouths with black frosting.

Poison Candy Apples

Candy ApplesSource: iMore

Candy apples are already pretty festive, but a little bit of food coloring in your candy shell can make them extra spooky this Halloween. We did ours in green, but you can make them in black or purple as well. I also recommend using Granny Smith apples. They're very firm and the tartness complements the candy shell very well. However, any firm apple will work.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • Black, green, or purple gel food coloring
  • 6 firm apples

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly wash your apples. Note: I recommend using hot water right from the kettle to make sure you've removed the wax.
  2. Remove the stem from your apples.
  3. Pierce each apple with a skewer.
  4. Combine sugar, water, corn syrup, and food coloring in a saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Continue to simmer until the mixture reaches 310°.
  7. Carefully dip each apple in the candy.
  8. Let your apples dry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spooky Devil's Food Layer Cake

Devils Food Halloween CakeSource: iMore

With the right colors and a few candy eyes for good measure, you can take a normal cake and make it extra spooky! While I use a Devil's Food cake recipe to make this cake from scratch, we won't judge you for using a box mix. I do, however, use premade frosting.

Wilton Assorted Halloween Candy Eyeball Set

Make any baked dish spooky by adding a few candy eyeballs! Great to give your dish that extra pop, Wilton makes a variety of candy eyeballs that are perfect for Halloween baked goods!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Neon gel food coloring
  • White frosting

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter until smooth.
  4. Continuing to beat, slowly add sugar and cocoa powder.
  5. Mix in the eggs one at a time.
  6. Gradually add in the flour.
  7. In a saucepan, bring water and milk to a boil.
  8. Add the hot liquid to the batter.
  9. Pour batter into two or three prepared round pans.
  10. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Allow cakes to cool before decorating.
  12. Separate frosting into three small bowls.
  13. Use a few drops of food coloring to color each bowl of frosting.
  14. Spread different color frosting between each layer.
  15. Top the cake with generous dollops of your different color frostings.
  16. Add Halloween sprinkles, candy eyes, or candies.

Jack O'Lantern Crispy Rice Cereal Treats

Jack O Lantern PumpkinsSource: iMore

Rice cereal treats are a go-to snack. Cheap and easy to make, this tasty treat can be put together in as little as 20 minutes. With the addition of a little orange food coloring and some candies, you can give these simple treats a festive flair.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 10 oz mini marshmallows
  • Orange gel food coloring
  • Mini peanut butter cups
  • Chocolate chips
  • Candy corn or similar small candies

Instructions

  1. Combine butter and marshmallows in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave for three minutes.
  3. Add orange gel food coloring to the marshmallow mixture.
  4. Fold in crispy rice cereal to the marshmallow mixture.
  5. On prepared cookie sheets, mold your cereal treat mixture into pumpkins around a couple pieces of candy each.
  6. Use a mini peanut butter cup for the stem and chocolate chips to make a face on each pumpkin.

Halloween Baking Kits

While many of these recipes are easy to bake, there's no shame in admitting that you struggle with baking, with coming up with Halloween baking ideas. If you want something a little easier, less messy, and harder to mess up, consider one of these awesome spooky kits!

Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats Ghost Pop Kit

Crafty Cooking puts together awesome, fun kits with all the ingredients you need, premeasured and ready to go. This kit includes everything you need to make six spooky ghost pops.

Crafty Cookie Kits Disney Mickey Mouse Halloween Cookie Kit

This Crafty Cookies kit from Brand Castle has the mix for up to ten cookies in three different spooky colors, as well as a Mickey Mouse-shaped cookie cutter. You'll still need some of the basics, like milk, eggs, and butter, but these are super easy to make and decorate.

Oreo Monster Decorating Cookie Kit

For a no-bake option, this Oreo monster decorating kit comes with everything you need to make eight Halloween cookies with Oreos, frosting, and candies. Feel free to add some of your own candy to make extra unique cookie monsters!

M&Ms Haunted Shack Chocolate Cookie Kit

Another all-in-one kit from Brand Castle, this kit proves that cookie houses aren't just for Christmas! This kit comes with cookies, frosting, and plenty of M&M candies to decorate with.

Trader Joe's Haunted House Chocolate Cookie Kit

Another all-in-one kit, this one from Trader Joe's comes with everything you need to build and decorate your very own haunted house. It has orange and black frosting, a variety of spooky candies, and of course, the chocolate cookies to build your house.

Hyde & EEK Haunted Mansion Chocolate Cookie House Kit

Another fun haunted house cookie kit, this kit from Hyde & EEK promises an easy to assemble and decorate chocolate cookie house with cookies, candies, and frosting.

Hyde & EEK Halloween Graveyard Chocolate Cookie Kit

If the architecture of a haunted house is a little daunting, consider this spooky graveyard kit from Hyde & EEK. It comes with three colors of frosting, candies, and sprinkles to assemble and decorate a super tasty graveyard scene!

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