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Gluten Free Halloween Cupcakes :: Ghost Cupcake Treat PLUS Other Halloween Cupcake Decorating Ideas!

October 6, 2018

These gluten free Halloween cupcakes will be the hit of Halloween night! Make them ghost cupcake treats or other Halloween characters with these fun ideas!

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Age 9 has not been as “scary” as I thought it was going to be…

You know…when your sweet baby goes from all things little girl to occasionally throwing in some “tween” mannerisms, it can really throw you for a loop! As with all things “first born child,” I was not prepared for age 9, but honestly I’m finding this mom gig getting sweeter by the day. Nine year old’s are so fun to chat with – like real conversations. Not just discussions about their 4th favorite color, or why they have to wear socks today like you do with toddlers and little guys. Like real life stuff – friendships, passions, and real books. Oh sure, she is still completely and utterly obsessed with unicorns, fairy tales, and pretend play {we’ll hang onto that as long as we possibly can!}, but I’m really loving this age. And this age LOVES to bake – and still shows her little girl side when she gets to bite into a fun treat for Halloween 😉

Let’s chat about being a “real food mom” on Halloween…

Because we all come from different stages of our real food journey. Some of us have true food allergies or health crisis situations where Halloween treats are going to have to take a back seat for a year or more. Others are literally on day 1 of trying to get processed food out of the house and just want to celebrate the way they always have. And yet others are pretty in between. Last year, I went out on the line and admitted that I’ve been the “lame” Halloween mom before that kept all the fun away simply to avoid the junk food. I’ve learned that honestly, kids just want to have a fun day to dress up and run around – in other words, be kids. And I would highly recommend hopping over to this post to learn about how I’ve made fun Halloween traditions for our kids that include some treats without compromising my standards on GMO’s, processed food, food dyes, etc.

Halloween treats for toddlers versus tweens…

There is a really big difference here. When your little guys are tiny, they are not going to know any differently if they get a fun fruit parfait made of Halloween colors and a sticker, or they get a real cupcake. Keep them in that fruit parfait space as long as you can, but as your little guys turn into big kids, let’s turn it up a notch. Toddlers don’t understand that you can’t have cupcakes everyday of the year – and they will let you know that with their meltdown the next day when they can’t have another one. Big kids can comprehend this concept, and so letting them indulge in a fun treat like this on Halloween is so work the look on their face!

Gluten AND Dairy Free!

Woot! This cupcake recipe is one that I’ve been using for the girls’ birthdays for the last 2 years, and I’ve never blogged it! I did change up the flavors a bit to make them “fall flavored” with maple, but the texture and taste of these cupcakes is so out of this world, you’ll never go back. You can see how they turned out for my daughter’s Tinkerbell Party and Unicorn Party linked here. We also did Hatchimals Party for my youngest this August using it! You won’t believe the texture even though they are gluten free. It also just so happens that palm shortening makes THE best frosting. While I still love me some buttercream, you really won’t miss the dairy when you try this palm shortening based frosting. Filled with friendly fats, and a gorgeous “ghostly white” color, they make the perfect goulish look for your Halloween night!

Other ideas for dressing up your cupcakes for Halloween!

  • We LOVE these Halloween plant based natural food dyes – we made fun pumpkin shaped sugar cookies with the orange and black last year! You could color the frosting with the orange food dye, and then make the face with the black.
  • If you use that same Halloween plant based natural food dye, you can split your frosting into orange, purple, and black and make swirl frosting on the top. Just put the 3 colors into the piping bag as separately as you can, and then as they come out of the tip, they will swirl together! You can see how my daughter’s Unicorn cupcakes for her birthday turned out using this technique here.
  • You could make a “Candy Corn” frosting top using those same Halloween plant based natural food dyes. Just make divide the frosting into 3 bowls leaving one white, and coloring the other 2 with the orange and yellow. You can stack the frosting with 3 different piping bags to make a candy corn look.

Tips for the classroom {and for littles!}

  • I thought the full-sized cupcakes with the frosting done like it is makes a huge cupcake for littles, or for a classroom party. For little guys, or classroom treats, I would highly recommend doing these cupcakes into mini cupcakes using a mini muffin pan! You can get the same cool parchment paper wrappers in the mini size too. I think you will have to pull the baking time down – maybe check them around the 10-15 minute mark.
  • If you have really little guys at home, not only can you make them into mini cupcake form, you could also just spread the frosting and put the chocolate chips on top so the frosting isn’t piled so high. The big kids think that is pretty amazing, but little ones won’t know any differently!

Ingredient notes

  • I’m pretty sure most gluten free flour blends will work to swap for the Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend – I hear the Trader Joe’s brand is very similar to it.
  • Be careful on the maple extracts – a lot of them have junky ingredients. The one linked here is fine, or just use vanilla extract if you can’t find a good one. The maple syrup in the cupcake will make it taste like maple too.
  • Butter can be swapped for the palm shortening in the frosting, but the frosting will not be as white to look like a ghost since butter is yellow. It does work though!

Print Recipe
5 from 14 votes

Gluten-Free Halloween Cupcakes

These gluten-free Halloween cupcakes will be the hit of Halloween night! Make them ghost cupcake treats or other Halloween characters with these fun ideas!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free cupcake recipe, gluten-free Halloween cupcakes, Halloween cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Renee -





  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan with parchment paper cupcake liners. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, but it does work doubled too, so you can double for 24.
  • In a 4 cup Pyrex liquid measuring bowl OR in a medium mixing bowl combine oil, maple syrup, sugar, and eggs, and beat for 1 minute.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the cupcakes and mix with beaters until combined.
  • Spoon the batter into cupcake liners, and bake for 20-22 minutes – the cupcake should “spring” back when you touch it, and a toothpick will come out clean. Check the cupcakes at the 18 minute mark just in case our ovens run differently.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. When you are ready to frost, blend the frosting ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and fill your piping bag, and frost your cupcakes. Use the mini chocolate chips for the ghost eyes and mouth!

More real food HALLOWEEN recipes you might like! ::


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  • Reply Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri October 14, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    5 stars
    These are so adorable and perfect!!! I had to show them to the girls, Tiny Love’s eyes got so big when she saw them. That frosting is everything! So special for Halloween!

  • Reply Amy Knight October 14, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    These are adorable! My husbands birthday is on Halloween and these would be perfect for him!

  • Reply Lindsey Dietz October 15, 2018 at 9:47 am

    5 stars
    It’s been so sweet to watch your girls grow up through your photography. 🙂 And these cupcakes are ADORABLE! I get that you wrote this recipe for kids, but uh, I want one!

  • Reply linda spiker October 15, 2018 at 10:53 am

    5 stars
    These are adorable. I love that you give tips for various ages. Great idea.

  • Reply Megan Stevens October 15, 2018 at 11:04 am

    5 stars
    Aw, so sweet to see your blog growing up to tween treats as your littles get older. These cupcakes are perfect. And I love the Halloween theme for how “scary” being a mom can be sometimes. Such a lovely post and recipe Renee!!

  • Reply Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! October 15, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    5 stars
    These are so fun, just love the cuteness factor, plus they look like they taste amazing!

  • Reply Jean October 15, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    5 stars
    What an adorable idea! I love that frosting and I may need to make this for a Halloween party!

  • Reply Joni Gomes October 16, 2018 at 8:27 am

    5 stars
    Omg these are so cute! With the fancy cupcake liners these are sophisticated looking and perfect for an adult halloween party too! Also, your daughter is beautiful!!

  • Reply Raia Todd October 16, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    5 stars
    How cute. Haha! I bet my kids would get a kick out of them. 🙂

  • Reply Tessa Simpson October 16, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    5 stars
    The maple flavor…love! these are so darn cute! And made with real ingredients, love it!

  • Reply Annemarie October 16, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    5 stars
    These are so fun! I love that they’re gluten-free and dairy-free. Perfect for a school Halloween party!

  • Reply Kathryn October 19, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    5 stars
    These look so yummy and I love how you decorated them! My son’s birthday is right after Halloween and I’ve been looking for a great cupcake recipe. This looks like the one! I might have to make myself a few batches just to be sure. 🙂

  • Reply Tina October 20, 2018 at 3:38 am

    5 stars
    This is such a sweet post. My little one is almost 3, but I’m looking forward to when he turns 9 😉 I love reading posts like these that make me appreciate the little bits in parenting.

  • Reply ChihYu Smith October 21, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    5 stars
    OMG! These are adorable!! SO so so cute !

  • Reply Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama October 23, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    5 stars
    Now I know if I make these my ghosts won’t be as ghostly as yours but I have to try! You make this look so easy and I can tell that these will be gobbled up in seconds!

  • Reply Gluten Free and Dairy Free Halloween Treats • The Fit Cookie March 19, 2019 at 10:49 am

    […] Gluten Free Halloween Cupcakes (gluten free, dairy free) – Raising Generation Nourished […]

  • Reply Leah September 17, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    So great! If I made this recipe as a cake, same bake time and oven temp?

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 22, 2019 at 8:40 am

      Hi Leah! I’m not sure – in theory it would be same bake temp longer time – but I haven’t tried it with this particular recipe so I would just watch it!

  • Reply Salina March 13, 2020 at 12:35 am

    I doubled the recipe and made a 13×9 cake. It came out so perfectly! Fell right out of the pan and maintained a perfect shape for decorating. It took about 40 minutes to cook. I LOVE this recipe and will be using again for more birthdays to come!!

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 14, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      So good to know Salina! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Debra E March 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    How long will the frosting keep if I don’t use it all?

    • Reply Renee Kohley March 29, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Hi Debra! 1 week – you could freeze it too if you need longer.

  • Reply Gluten-free Halloween Treats {paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free} » Theresa Healey April 15, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    […] Gluten Free Halloween Cupcakes (gluten free, dairy free) – Raising Generation Nourished […]

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