Candy Corn Cupcakes

October 15, 2008 at 5:33 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 93 Comments

After my cheesecake cupcake failure yesterday, I decided I needed something fail proof to boost my bruised ego.

Thank goodness for Duncan Hines. Yes. I said it. I used a cake mix. I said fail proof right?

Unlike some of my fellow bakers, I am not anti-cake mix. I like cake mix. The sweet smell when you bust open the bag reminds me of my childhood when I would help (translation: lick the mixer beaters) my mom make cupcakes for various occasions. It’s one of my earliest memories baking with my mom. Does scratch cupcakes taste better? Oh definitely. But cake mix as a nostalgic memory? Priceless.

While I was getting dizzy from the cake mix scent (Can you get high off cake mix powder?), I started thinking about what I wanted to make. Usually I am a planner. I have a little notepad filled with ideas of what I wanna bake complete with little sketches. Go ahead. You can call me crazy. I am ok with that.

But this time I didn’t really have a clue what I wanted to do beyond reading the box and adding the egg whites, oil and water. I was listening to my Kitchen Aid whirling away when I remembered a comment from a previous post. She suggested a candy corn cupcake and I absolutely loved that idea! Thanks for the comment, Jingle! You are my cupcake muse. ♥♥♥

Don’t worry! I have plans to make a future candy corn cupcake from scratch that also tastes like a candy corn! Just gotta put my thinking cap on. Until then…

Which picture do you like better?
(Original recipe and photos from me!)

Makes about 20 cupcakes


For cupcake
1 white cake mix
red coloring gel (I used Wilton “no taste” red)
yellow coloring gel (I used Wilton lemon yellow)

For buttercream
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
7-8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven 350F

To make cupcake—
Make cake batter as directed on box.

Divide the cake batter into 2 bowls. Color one orange (red+yellow=orange) and one yellow.

Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2 full (1/2 yellow and 1/2 orange batter, yellow first). Bake for 17-20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting—
Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl. Add 5 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, beat until combined. Add more powdered sugar until you get to the consistency you want. Make sure its not too stiff to pipe.

[NOTES: I cut off my cupcake tops to have a level surface but you don’t have to.]

To assemble cupcakes—
Using a 1M star, pipe buttercream on top of cupcake, to form the point of the “candy corn”.

Playing around: Using a 2A round tip, pipe buttercream on top of cupcake to form “ghost”. Chill in the frig to let frosting set before brushing on black coloring gel for eyes and mouth.


Husband rating: N/A

Wifey rating: A
The cupcake is light and fluffy like you’d except from a cake mix. The buttercream is really good. A little too rich for me but still very very good. It’s amazing the difference between homemade and store bought frosting. Maybe next time I’ll use a marshmallow frosting. YUM!



  1. Aww! That rocks!

  2. So cool! I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for the inspiration. Keep up the good work!

  3. extremely cute.

    (thats all i am going to say. good day.)

  4. ROO, Thanks!

    TIFFANY, Definitely let me know what you think after you make them, k?

    LW, You anti-cake mixer! hisss… You can suck it. HAHA (Thanks for the “cute” comment”.)

  5. Totally cute!! And I’ve always got a box of mix in the closet. How else did people start baking?!?

  6. Um they may be adorable but I know you have good vanilla cuppy recipes you could have used. ENOUGH WITH THE CAKE MIXES

  7. Way cute cupcakes! I love the photos with the spider and the ghost buttercream. Looking forward to the candy corn cupcakes from scratch (although I am not opposed to cake mixes). :)

  8. Cute! I’m definitely going to make some this year for Halloween.

  9. FOODLIBRARIAN, TY! I always have cake mix in my pantry. Whenever they are on sale I have to buy them esp when its 10/$10! I can’t pass up that deal ;)

    NIKKI, Geebus! I didn’t know what I was making until I was already using cake mix. Cut me a break here. I am cupcake fragile right now :(

    KAMAILE, My ghost is kinda silly but it was fun to make. Don’t you worry! I already started writing down notes for the scratch version ;)

    ERICA, I hope you do! Come back and let me know what you think! :)

  10. Very cute…and when it a moment of just trying to have fun in the kitchen, I see nothing wrong with a cake mix.

  11. ZEBE, TYVM. I am glad someone understands my kitchen fun cake mix moment. ;)

  12. So.Freaking.Cute! Not mention tasty looking :) I love me some candy corn!

  13. I made candy corn cupcakes for my work last week and instead of putting in water i added 3 of the mini cans of candy corn jones pop from target…they werent super candy corn flavored but they had that light touch of it…it was cool :)

  14. BB, You and me girl. I’ll send you some candy corn for xmas. nom nom nom

    NICHOLE, What a cute idea!! Do you have a blog? I’d love to see pictures/recipe. Thanks for sharing with me.

  15. omg! those look so so so cool. wow, you have such great ideas. i must make these soon.
    btw, where did u get the coloring gel? and i like the second picture better!

  16. SUSAN, Thank you! I get my coloring gel from Michaels Craft Store. I agree I think I like the 2nd picture better b/c that darn spider leg in the center of the first picture is distracting!

  17. Very, very cute! Candy corn is my favorite Halloween candy. Love the cupcakes.

  18. the little faces are priceless :) adorable!

  19. So cute! I saw your comment about htem being onsale for 10/$10… how much are they normally? Here they are only $1.09 normally.

  20. TANYA, Mine too! I think candy corn is one of those things you either love or hate. I love them. My hubs hates them. Oh well… more for meeeeeee!

    STEPH, yeah those ghosts were kinda silly but I figured it might be fun to do with kids so I posted them. :)

    NINA, Oh dang. You Okies get it cheap! Normally my grocery store is like $1.99-$2.79/box! It goes on sale alot though. The best sale is the 10/$10. That’s when I go nuts!

  21. Those are so cute. I agree that from scratch is so much better, but cake mixes do have a time and a place.

  22. I love the candy corn! So cute and fun for the holidays!

  23. oh poop. Here you go again making a super cute cupcake and I’m going to have to try it and it won’t turn out as good as yours and I’m going to be frustrated. It’s a vicious cycle. :)

    I like the second photo better. You can see the yellow.

  24. Okay, those are too cute!


  25. these are darling, no shame in cute!

  26. these are so frickin’ cute! i am curious to see how you’ll make them taste like candy corn in your scratch version :)
    oh and i vote for the horizontal pic, since you can see the color stripes better.

  27. JEN, Why can’t we all just get along? I like scratch *AND* cake mix. Maybe I am just a minority huh? hehe

    MARIA, Exactly! I think it would be a fun recipe for a Halloween party or something.

    MARY, You crack me up! Its a darn vicious cycle. My apologies but I love that you try my recipes. Make me all happy inside :)

    MARSHA and JAIN, Thanks for compliments!

    KIM, Hmmm… I was thinking maybe extracts. Coconut, lemon, orange but I am really not sure how to get that waxy sweet consistency in a cupcake. Might not be until next Halloween but its something to shoot for.

  28. Damn woman. I thought my lychee martini cupcakes were bad ass and here you go again with your creative mind! You definitely have more patience than me. Yeah, let’s have a lychee martini together . . it will change your mind! ;) I love the candy corn cupcake idea. The colors are wicked. You are the bomb but you already know that.

  29. Love those! How cute… wonder if someone so NOT talented at decorating could make these work? Gonna have to think on that one for a bit, because my boys would LOVE these!

  30. SUGARBETTY, Oh your cupcakes were totally badass. I am happy to encourage more crunkcakes! HAHA.

    PATSY, You could totally do it! Just takes a little patience and you don’t have to pipe on the frosting. You could spread it on with a spatula or butter knife too. If you make them with your boys definitely let me know!

  31. How cute are these?!? And although I prefer from scratch, I’m definitely not opposed to a cake mix. They work every time, unlike some from scratch recipes!

  32. Those are totally adorable, simple, genius!

  33. I love them! You could also reverse the coloring and flip the cupcakes upside down and ice them like that… so they make more of a conical shape. Just sayin.

  34. So cute! I have a recipe for actual candy corn if you want to somehow use it for your next batch! :)

  35. DEBORAH, Exactly! I needed fail proof! haha

    JP, Genius? aaawww shucks. Making me blush.

    EH, Oh that is a very cool idea! I’ll have to remember that for next time.

    MISSMARIE, NICE! Is it on your blog? I’ll have to read the recipe and see if it gives me some ideas.

  36. You’ve done it again! These are so super awesome!

  37. JOY, haha. Glad you aren’t a cake mix hater!

  38. I am a cake mix lover too! Like you said, it brings back childhood memories. I love these cupcakes! I want to make them for work!

  39. I love the ghost frosting. So cute!

  40. Those are adorable! what a cute Idea.. a definite recipe for halloween!

  41. have you done the marshmallow frosting yet once before? Do share (as always) Can’t wait.

  42. HEATHER, Finally! Someone who understands. HAHA. I hope you make them for work. Let me know what you think!

    PINKSTRIPES, I had fun making the little ghosts. Those faces make me laugh. Glad you like them too :)

    SUGARSUGAR, Thank you! Even though they don’t really taste like candy corn I think they would be great for Halloween party.

    BARBARA, Oh yes! Its so yummy. Here’s the recipe I use. If you make it, let me know what you think!

  43. These are ADORABLE. I think I could even make these. Thanks for the inspiration. Yum!!!

  44. STACY, You totally can! Don’t sell yourself short. Just a little patience and you got yourself some Halloween inspired cupcakes. Easy peasy! ;)

  45. I do not like candy corn [I know, gasp gasp] but these I could definitely enjoy!
    & there’s something on my blog for you

  46. NIKKIJEAN, oooohhhh what you got for me?? ::off to read Nikki’s blog::

  47. I love dressing up cake mix! This is a great idea. On my blog you’ll find my orange & blue cupcakes in honor of the great University of Florida Gators. :) I’m adding you as a favorite link to my blog also! Great site!!

  48. DANA, I do too. See…? Its not “just” cake mix if you do stuff with it right? Its not totally scratch but semi-homemade aint bad either! That’s my story and I am sticking to it. ::off to check out your blog::

  49. I love these! I’m going to make them for our Halloween party at the office.

  50. cute, but shouldn’t they be upside down? to shape like candy corn.. hee hee hee.. just kidding.. these look great

  51. THEBLONDDUCK, Awesome! You have to take pics for me!

    TRICIA, haha. Another commenter mentioned the same thing. I’ll have to try it in reverse next time ;)

  52. The one cake that I make from a mix is the one cake for which people consistently request the recipe. Go figure!

  53. MADAMCHOW, How’s that for irony! HAHA. Is the cake recipe on your blog?

  54. Those are so cute! My memories of cake mix are exactly the same as yours, it’s like I wrote that! Lol :D I still drool over the smell of it! We use it at the bakery where I work, and I’m licking the beaters on their way to the sink every day!

  55. HTEAC, We’re totally cupcake-cake mix sisters ;)

  56. Aww, I love the faces!! Cute.

    Hah…and I think the people who are anti-cake mix are just posers. Are they really THAT much of a cupcake connoisseur that they would be able to tell the difference between a cake mix cupcake and a from-scratch cupcake if they were decorated the exact same? DOUBT! lol. I love cake mixes. I used to eat just the powder when I was younger. Still do sometimes. But I’m weird.

  57. LEY, You use to eat the powder? HAHA. Me too! My mom use to yell at me but I couldn’t help myself. I was only a kid. Its my duty to taste test it to make sure its not poisonous right? ;)

  58. These are very cute! Great idea!

  59. GRETCHEN, Thanks! They turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself ;)

  60. Excellent idea! I’ll have to try this!

  61. JUSTJENN, If you try it, I’d love to see pics!

  62. Thanks CB, I’m going to make these closer to halloween for the office and my neighbors kids. They are going to love them. Will certainly share pictures with the marshmallow frosting.

  63. Okay, so I am dumb and totally missed this shout out, but I wanted to say THANKS! I plan on trying these out this weekend if I get a chance! I want to do the cake mix with a can of diet sprite and then add the color…it will add an interesting flavor, and the color will be fun, so I figure it’s worth a shot. I’m all about the doctored cake mix, so I’m going with it!

  64. JINGLE, No… thank you! I am shocked at the candy corn cupcake response so far. I can’t wait to see what you do with diet sprite!

  65. these are TOO CUTE!!! I’m not a baker, but I might just try to make these sometime!!!

  66. PNOGAL32, Thank you! If you make them I’d love to see pics!

  67. Tried these yesterday and although the colors kind of mixed together they looked cute! I also tried your marshmallow frosting, gotta say it’s my favorite of all the frostings I’ve tried, not too sweet and perfect consistency! LOVE IT! thank you for sharing.
    Now to find a chocolate frosting that my husband will like-he only likes the pre made frostings-go figure! I’ll post pictures later on the blog. They flew at work!

  68. BARBARA, Thats awesome! Thanks for letting me know about the marshmallow frosting. Its one of my favs too. I can’t wait to see pics!

  69. Pictures are up on the blog! Thanks for sharing your recipe’s with us.

  70. yum! i’m going to try these this weekend.

  71. AMY, Please do! Let me know what you think if you give them a try :)

  72. I literally squealed when I saw these! I made them for my Halloween party on Friday. Just so you know I will be linking back to your blog. Thanks for all of your beautiful ideas!

  73. CARISSA, So glad you liked my cupcakes! Definitely let me know when you have pics on your blog. I’d love to see!

  74. I’ve never baked cupcakes in condiment cups before… do you have to spray the cups with Pam? Does they pop out or do you cut them out of the little cups? Very cute!

  75. CIN, I don’t spray mine. They don’t really pop out but you loosen up the sides by pulling the paper as you go around the cupcake. You can see what I mean on this post. HTH!

  76. […] I Heart Cuppycakes, these yellow and orange cupcakes are of course inspired by the famous candy […]

  77. I love the graduated color in these! Delightful.

  78. STEPHANIE, Thanks!

  79. I definitely have to try these. I agree with you, from scratch is best, but I don’t mind from a box once in a while.

  80. […] return to the US from a summer in Ireland.  But I Heart Cuppy Cakes put me to shame by coming up Candy Corn Cupcakes last October.  The recipe if extra easy if you decide to make your cupcakes semi-homemade by using […]

  81. Wow, these are adorable! And I love the name of your site!
    Where did you get the white cups you baked them in? I have been looking everywhere!?

  82. Exactly.

  83. They are called party nut cups or souffle cups depending on where you buy them. I buy mine at Smart&Final, 250 for $5. Hope that helps!

  84. I thought I could make these without using paper liners, directly in the pan. Bad idea. The outside of the cupcakes turn all light brown, and you can’t tell the colors. I just wanted to save others the mess up that I did!

  85. These are so fun, cute and best of all delicious … i want to eat them all !

  86. I have to say I bake both from scratch and using doctored cake mixes and frankly…its not always that big a difference if one at all. I made the same recipe 2 ways; one box mix version and one from scratch. No one I gave them to could tell the difference. I think the only time you can really tell is on plain vanilla cake because cake mixes have more scent but otherwise…nah. Frankly, for me from scratch isnt worth the hassle especially when you’re trying new recipes or are preparing for a large group of people and need consistency.

    I LOVE the book “The Cake Doctor” by Anne Byrnes…will change the way you look at cake mix. GURANTEED. I have friend who are “cake mix snobs” and they couldnt tell the difference on most of them.

    I am def going to try these for Halloween this year-super cute!!!!

  87. I love both your ideas. I didn’t know about the candy corn soda pop. I am going to go out and get some to make these cupcakes with. Some dumb questions, where do you get the cupcake papers you used (they look different than the ones I’ve seen) and do you take the cupcakes out of them before decorating and serving?

  88. I just found this site. Do you bake a lot and post results? I love that idea and am willing to share some recipes of my own. I will just have to think of some good ones that are unique.

  89. Thanks for sharing because I was going to do the same thing! I would not have put it together that it was because I didn’t use cups. I would have thought it was just me.

  90. […] Candy Corn Cupcakes – fun, whimsical play on the iconic candy […]

  91. “Candy Corn Cupcakes I♥cuppycakes!” was indeed a remarkable article and I was extremely pleased
    to read the article. Regards,Jeffery

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