Bloody Halloween cupcakes are the ultimate scary and fun Halloween party dessert that are moist, fluffy, and also taste just amazing! Besides their fun design with the edible broken glass and fake blood, they have a super delicious strawberry cheesecake flavor due to the cream cheese frosting and strawberry sauce added as decoration.
🌟 Why this is the best recipe
- It is extremely easy – This recipe does not require any fancy ingredients and is easy to make even if you are a beginner. The glass decoration requires dealing with hot sugar syrup though so I would avoid baking that with the kids, but the rest could be super fun for the whole family
- It is super quick – The steps are clear and uncomplicated. By using my signature 3 ingredient cream cheese frosting without butter the cupcakes come together fairly quickly.
- It is super delicious – I never compromise on taste! Unlike most Halloween treats that are mainly about look, these bloody cupcakes are super delicious with a lovely strawberry cheesecake flavor profile
- No special equipment is needed – All you need is a cupcake tin for baking and your favorite piping nozzle for the frosting
- It is an honest, detailed tutorial – While this recipe might look long, all the information I have written here, every tip and trick will help you achieve the perfect results without any issues on the way
📝 Ingredient notes
For the Vanilla Cupcakes
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. In this broken glass cupcakes recipe, the butter needs to be at room temperature which technically means soft enough to be able to cream but not too soft or runny so avoid last-minute microwaving
- Granulated Sugar: Standard, all-purpose granulated or white sugar is perfectly fine in this recipe, nothing fancy. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article here
- Egg: Room temperature as always
- Flour: All-purpose flour or pastry flour makes the bloody glass cupcakes. They are so-called “soft flour” which is low on protein resulting in a delicate, tender texture. It is always a good idea to sift your flour as it tends to form lumps.
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most dessert recipes. Balances flavor and enhances other ingredients
- Baking powder: Has two functions: increase the volume and lighten the texture
- Milk: Room temperature whole milk is the best
- White vinegar+baking soda: The SECRET ingredients to make cupcakes that stay super moist and tender even after days, the exact opposite of those sad-looking dry ones from the supermarkets
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
For the cream cheese frosting
- Mascarpone: Very rich Italian cream cheese, exceptionally smooth, and easy to spread or whip. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet. Use at room temperature.
- Cream cheese: I always use full-fat Philadelphia when I state cream cheese in my recipes. I find it easy to cream (need to bring it to room temperature first) and very pleasant in taste.
- Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar or icing sugar is the first choice when it comes to whipping up the frosting. The question I often get is whether the quantity is a typo. NO, it´s not! You do not actually need a lot of sugar when making cupcake frosting! It stays beautifully fluffy without tons of sugar, the secret is the technique of whipping, not the amount of sugar. Keep on reading
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
For the edible blood
- Strawberry puree: Use fresh or frozen strawberries to make the puree
- Sugar: Use granulated sugar, easy. The exact amount of sugar will need your judgment depending on the sweetness of the strawberry you use
- Lemon juice: Use a small amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice to balance the sweetness
For the edible glass
- Sugar: The fake glass is made of granulated sugar and glucose syrup (and water) so easy and looks super impressive. Corn syrup works as well instead of glucose syrup and you can even use food coloring, if desired
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. How to make moist Vanilla Cupcakes
The base for the Blood cupcakes is in fact a simple vanilla cupcake recipe. If you prefer red velvet cupcakes, check out my red velvet cake that can be turned into cupcakes easily.
- Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Then add the egg slowly while the mixer is on
- Sift together the dry ingredients (flour+baking powder+salt).
- Add the wet (room temp milk) and dry ingredients into the whipped mixture (butter+sugar+egg) in 4 steps: first, add half of the wet, then half the dry, then the remaining wet, and then the remaining dry. Make sure you finish with the dry ingredients.
- Mix the vinegar and the baking soda together in a small bowl. It will be super bubbly. Then immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter within a few seconds.
- Fill each cup of your muffin tin ¾
- Bake the cupcakes at 175C / 347F (no fan) for 25 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted comes out clean
- Cool the Halloween vanilla cupcakes completely on a Cooling rack before frosting.
💡 Top Tip: Room temperature ingredients encourage proper emulsification in the cupcake batter. So make sure that the butter, egg, and milk are all at room temperature for the best results.
2. How to make edible fake blood
Blood frosting is so easy! Many other recipes recommend red food coloring and sugar syrup but why would you do that when you can use flavourful ingredients like strawberry sauce? This is hands down, the best blood filling for cupcakes and you can use this edible blood for cakes as well!
Some tips to prepare the edible fake blood for the Bloody cupcakes:
1. Cook strawberry sauce until thickens: Whether you use frozen or fresh strawberries, first blend strawberries then cook with sugar and lemon juice over medium heat until slightly thickens. You don´t want to cook it for too long (that would be jam texture) just long enough until it reaches a "blood" consistency
2. Strain the cooked sauce through a sieve: We want a clean sauce that does not look like the strawberry sauce at all so you will want to use a sieve
💡 Top Tip: Let the edible fake blood sauce completely cool before using as we want to avoid the sauce melting the frosting!
3. How to make edible glass using sugar
Making fake glass is actually easier than you might think and you can absolutely use this recipe to decorate other types of cakes too! It is actually an edible sugar glass that goes onto these adorable Blood cupcakes.
- Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper
- Mix sugar, glucose syrup, and water in a saucepan and start boiling the mixture over high heat until it reaches 150C / 302F, stirring constantly
- As soon as the mixture reaches the desired temperature pour sugar syrup over the prepared baking pan with parchment very carefully, do not burn yourself!
- Make sure to pour it thin and spread it out if necessary to achieve a thin "glass". Make sure the pan is level as well
- Let the syrup cool in the fridge then break it into pieces!
💡 Top Tip: Be super careful throughout the whole process of making fake sugar glass, I do not recommend experimenting with this with small children around!
4. How to make cream cheese frosting
This frosting on these Bloody cupcakes is super simple, however, if you want to learn more about it check my ultimate cream cheese frosting without butter guide.
Using the right ingredients at the right temperature is extremely important while making cream cheese frosting.
- The mascarpone should be cold and the full-fat version (41%+) should be used.
- The cream cheese should be also cold and the full-fat version.
- Powdered sugar must be sifted to avoid lumps.
Whip the mixture with an electric hand mixer for a minute or two until it reaches a creamy, fluffy consistency, and then stop. It won't get any stiffer after this point. In fact, if you overbeat it, it will get only runnier and then it will break. I never use my stand mixer to whip this frosting because it really is so easy to overwhip it.
💡 Top Tip: If you do not have mascarpone, the recipe also works with very cold high-fat content (36%) heavy cream as well. But it must be very cold!
5. How to assemble the Halloween Bloody cupcakes
I recommend making the edible glass first since it will need to be set in the fridge for a few hours. Continue with the cupcakes and let them completely cool. Then, prepare the fake blood and let it cool to room temperature as well.
- Make a small hole on each of the cupcakes and fill them with the fake blood (approx. one tablespoon per cupcake)
- Move cream cheese frosting into a piping bag fitted with your favorite nozzle tip, I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip. Apply frosting on top of the cupcakes
- Break the edible glass into pieces and use 2-3 on each cupcake
- Decorate the Bloody Halloween cupcakes with some further "blood"
💡 Top Tip: It is key that you let each element come to room temperature otherwise they might just melt together.
🎓 Expert tips
- Always use room temperature ingredients when making the muffins so that they will properly emulsify
- Do not over-mix the cupcake batter. Once the butter, sugar, and egg are whipped together, the rest of the wet and dry ingredients should be gently mixed in without over-mixing the batter
- Do not overfill your cupcake tin. For this cupcake recipe, I recommend filling each cup of your cupcake tin ¾ full. The recipe is designed to make 6 tall cupcakes. Cupcake liners come in different sizes in terms of their height, so try to buy the taller ones. My cupcake case is 35mm / 1.3 inch in height and 65mm / 2.5inch in diameter. If you overfill your cupcake tin it will result in “mushroom-style” cupcakes!
- Cream cheese frosting is very easy to overwhip. When whipping the frosting stop as soon as the mixture has reached a fluffy consistency (this will take 1-2 minutes). It won't get any stiffer after this point. In fact, if you overbeat it, it will get only runnier and then break.
- Be extra careful when making edible fake glass. Hot sugar syrup must be handled carefully
- Never frost-warm cupcakes. Wait until they are fully cooled and come to room temperature.
- Thees Bloody Halloween cupcakes best eaten fresh but stays moist for 2-3 days refrigerated
I highly encourage you to make the vanilla cupcakes from scratch as the taste is so much better and the recipe is very easy for even the most inexperienced baker. But of course, the recipe works with box cake mix too.
The recipe makes 6 tall bakery-style cupcakes. My muffin case is 35mm / 1.3 inch in height and 65mm / 2.5inch in diameter. You can easily double or half it; however, you will need to adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly
Probably yes, you can. However, you can't just leave out or change an ingredient without reformulating the entire recipe. When one ingredient changes, some other ingredients need to be changed too in order to keep the balance in the texture and flavor. Sadly, I am not able to provide substitutes for different types of allergies and diets
The cupcakes probably needed more baking time. They were either taken out of the oven too soon or perhaps your oven is under heating. Another issue that can cause a raw texture is measuring the ingredients improperly like not adding enough flour to the recipe
Reduced Strawberry sauce (cooked for 10 minutes with sugar and lemon juice) has the perfect color and texture and also brings a wonderful flavor to these Blood cupcakes.
You will want to follow my tips above regarding the ingredients and how to properly whip cream cheese frosting. Both the cream cheese and mascarpone must be high-fat versions. Also, you must make sure that you stop whipping the frosting as soon as the mixture is fluffy and pipeable. A minute too long will cause it to break and become runny
The Bloody cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. I also suggest that you cover them so they do not absorb any smell from the fridge or kitchen
You can freeze the vanilla cupcakes after baking. However, I do not recommend freezing the entire cupcake after frosting.
👻 Other Halloween recipes
Bloody Halloween Cupcakes
- 100 (½ cups) Unsalted butter room temperature
- 100 g (½ cups) Granulated sugar
- 1 Egg room temperature
- 135 g (1 cups) All purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 135 ml (½ cups) Whole milk room temperature
- ½ teaspoon White vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 200 g (¾ cups) Strawberry puree fresh or frozen
- 50 g (¼ cups) Granulated sugar might need more or less depends on the sweetness of strawberry
- 10 g (1 tablespoon) Lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 60 g (⅓ cups) Mascarpone full fat
- 40 g (⅓ cups) Powdered sugar sifted
- 200 g (¾ cups) Cream cheese full fat
- 125 g (½ cups) Water
- 170 g (¾ cups) Granulated sugar
- 75 g (⅕ cups) Glucose syrup
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Boil sugar, glucose syrup and water until it reaches 150C / 302F then carefully pour it over the prepared baking pan. Let it cool in the fridge for a few hours then break it into smaller pieces
- Heat oven to 175 C / 347 F (no fan)
- With an Electric hand mixer, whip room temperature butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then beat the egg in
- Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together, this is the “dry ingredients”, while the room temp milk is your wet ingredient
- Start adding the dry and wet ingredients into the batter in the following 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry. With a Rubber spatula fold each time
- Mix vinegar and baking soda together in a small bowl, it will be super bubbly. Immediately fold the mixture into the cupcake batter. This is the secret ingredient to keep the cupcakes soft for days without the taste of vinegar of course!
- Bake for 25 min or until a skewer inserted comes out clean then let them cool on Cooling rack
- Cook the ingredients for about 10 minutes until thickens to a "blood" consistency. After cooking, use a sieve to get a smooth texture. Let it cool before using it
- Once cupcakes cooled to room temperature, make a small hole on each of them and fill them with fake blood (approx. one table spoon per cupcake)
- Pipe frosting on each cupcakes, I am using Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip
- Break edible glass and place 2-3 pieces on each cupcakes
- Use more fake blood on top of the cupcakes
- Store refrigerated for 2-3 days
I’m getting ready to make this for a Halloween party and I’m super excited! Can I make the “blood” a couple days before and store in the fridge?
Absolutely, the strawberry filling can be easily stored refrigerated. Let me know how it goes:)
These cupcakes turned out fantastic! very moist and so yummy! The "glass" shards and "blood" added the perfect Halloween touch. I will definitely make them year round without the shards. Thank you so much for the recipe!
happy to hear! pls try some of my other cupcakes recipes:)
How far in advance can these be made? I'm planning a party for my daughter and I wanted to know if I could make the glass and edible blood the day before?
1 day before is totally fine but the edible glass might become sticky in humid environment.
Hi! I want to make approx 24. Should I take the ingredients and x3 or are there some ingredients that won’t change?
of course you have to adjust every single ingredient if double or triple the recipe
Wonderful recipe! I just tried it will making it again for Halloween weekend! It works like charm and will certainly impress my guests 🙂 Thank you
Fantastic recipe and soooo easy to follow !!! Loved it !!’
Hey, thanks for baking my Bloody Halloween cupcake:)
Ricetta fantastica 🎉🎉🎉🎃🎃🎃 ho avuto un gran successo!!! Grazie mille delle tue ricette... sono perfette!!!
I have a quick question, for the oven temperature, I have a fan oven - is this a conventional oven temperature? If so, should I reduce the temperature to approx. 155 for my fan oven?
All my temperatures are without fan. Otherwise, feel free to use the temperature you normally bake your cupcakes and monitor the texture (toothpick should come out clean:) ). Good luck!
I updated the quality to 24 large and am trying to make the edible glass, it’s boiling but the temp will not go above 220 F. Am I doing something wrong?
Hey, as you heat sugar goes, it goes through different stages from soft ball to hard ball etc. 302F is the exact temp you need for the "hard crack stage". I would say either your thermometer is wrong or you are not boiling the syrup enough / for enough time.