WHY I LOVE THESE PILLSBURY SUGAR COOKIE CUPCAKES
- Perfect for a yummy Halloween treat and Halloween parties- these would be a huge hit!
- It really gets me in the Halloween spirit!
- These extra special festive cookies can be used for any other holiday too! Just swap the type of holiday cookie! For instance, during Christmas time, you can use a Christmas tree Pillsbury cookie!
- Super easy sweet treat to make, all you need is pre-made cookies and cake mix!
- You don't have to go the extra mile to make homemade cupcake mix or cookies!
- Cookie dough lovers like me enjoy this oven-fresh Pillsbury cookies recipe.
WHAT YOU NEED
Cookie dough: Buy the 2 pre-made Pillsbury sugar cookie dough. Get the ghost cookies or the pumpkin ones if you want to change it up! One of the few main simple ingredients.
Cake mix: All you need is 1 box of yellow cake mix (or whatever flavor of cake mix you like) you can use Betty Crocker or what I used, Duncan Hines. This is one of the main ingredients.
Butter: 2 sticks of room temperature butter for the frosting. For a dairy-free option use any vegan butter you like, for example, Earth Balance is a good option.
Powdered sugar: You will be needing 4 cups (16 ounces) of powdered sugar for the frosting. These are the only dry ingredients for the buttercream. You can buy any type of powdered sugar you like, I usually just by the off-brand Publix powdered sugar that is already in a 16-ounce bag so I don't even have to measure it out for this buttercream!
Heavy cream: ¼ cup heavy cream is needed for the buttercream. You can also use 3 tablespoons of milk, almond milk, or any other dairy-free milk you like. Make sure this is at room temperature.
Food coloring: Use purple food coloring for the buttercream or any color you like!
Vanilla extract: Any vanilla extract works! You can use any store-bought or homemade vanilla.
HOW TO MAKE CUPCAKES WITH PILLSBURY HALLOWEEN COOKIES
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pan with liners. Unpack the first pack of ghost shape sugar cookies, divide the dough apart, and put each raw cookie dough cookie on the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake the ghost sugar cookies for 5-7 minutes or until the cookies fill out the bottom of the liner completely. While the cookies bake prepare your cake mix batter in a separate bowl. Follow the cake mix instructions however, it says to on the box. Usually, you will have to add water, eggs, and vegetable oil.
- After taking the cookies out of the oven fill the liners ¾ full with the cupcake batter. Put the cookie cupcakes back in the oven and bake them for 12-15 minutes or until you stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting and decorating.
- Next, open the second package of thePillsbury dough and place the cookies on a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure you bake cookies for about 12-15 minutes this time. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream follow this recipe: Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or place the 2 sticks of softened butter into a medium bowl and mix the softened butter with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Slowly add the 4 cups/16 ounces of powdered sugar, ¼ cup heavy cream (or 3 tablespoons milk), and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. After combining the ingredients mix on medium to high for 3 minutes. Add the food coloring until you have your desired color. I had to add a lot of food coloring to get it to that nice rich purple color. I suggest using gel food coloring. Pour buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1M pastry tip.
- Once the cupcakes and cookies have cooled, pipe your buttercream onto the cupcakes then place one cookie on top. Add some sprinkles or mini chocolate chips if you like!
- Ensure all of your ingredients are at room temperature for the best results. Make sure the heavy cream, milk, or almond milk are all room temperature as well. If they aren't room temperature and straight out of the fridge cold, it will mess up the buttercream.
- When you place the ghost pre-cut cookie in the cupcake liner, make sure after it bakes for about 6-7 minutes that it has filled up the bottom of the liner. If it hasn't put it in for another minute and check if it spreads out more. Do this until it fills the bottom of the liner. All ovens are different.
- If you prefer pumpkins rather than ghosts, no problem! Use the Pillsbury Pumpkin sugar cookies alternatively! Instead of dying the frosting purple, dye it a pumpkin orange rather than the ghost purple! Or if you use this recipe for another holiday that matches the Pillsbury cookie like Valentine's Day, dye the frosting pink to match!
- Use gel food coloring to get a better color for the frosting. You will have to use a good amount to get that deep purple. However, if you dye it orange/ another lighter color you won't need as much, slowly add more until you get the perfect color you like! If you only have the liquid that is fine too, you will just have to add a lot.
- If you want to change it up even more you can use a different cake mix! Chocolate, white, red velvet, or a spice cake mix would be delicious! Or you can make a homemade batter. Use my Classic White Cake Made From Scratch or use your favorite homemade cupcake batter recipe!
- You don't have to use an electric mixer for the buttercream or cupcake batter. You can use a stand mixer to give your arms a break!
- Make sure you fill the cupcake liners ¾ full to give you a perfect sized cupcake. Remember, since the cookie fills up some space in the cupcake liner, it won't be as much batter as you think.
- Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a reusable cookie sheet mat.
- Add a teaspoon of almond extract to give your vanilla cake mix some more flavor.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where can I buy these store-bought pre-cut cookie dough? You can buy them at any local grocery store. Walmart, Publix, Kroger, Target, Ingles, etc. Look for them in the refridged section near the milk.
Can I make cupcake batter from scratch? Yes of course! Use your favorite recipe or you can use my Classic White Cake Made From Scratch. Make sure you still bake the cookies for 6-7 minutes in the oven then bake the cupcake batter according to your instructions.
How do I store these yummy cupcakes? Store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours at room temperature or in the fridge for about a week. You can store them on the counter in a container with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. However, make sure it is completely sealed. If you leave them out any longer than the limited time of 24 hours, the frosting will start to harden and the food dye will leak into the cupcake. This is fine, however, if you use vanilla or white cake mix this shows and it is not super pretty.
Can I use homemade sugar cookie dough? You could try and make these from scratch like I did with my Slice 'n' Bake Halloween Cookies however, it may be difficult so I do not recommend it.
Can I freeze these cupcakes? I do not recommend freezing these cupcakes because they will not hold together too well. Plus they won't look as good as they did first making them.
Do I have to make the frosting homemade? No of course not, you can use any storebought frosting you like!
Can I make these gluten-free? Not really. Pillsbury does not offer gluten-free store-bought cookies. However, you could use Sweet Loren's gluten-free cookie dough with a gluten-free cake mix. Unfortunately, there will be no ghosts on your cookies though.
Can I make these dairy-free or vegan? You can easily make these dairy-free. The Pillsbury ghost cookies are already dairy-free and just make sure you get a cake mix without dairy in it. To make the frosting dairy-free/vegan use vegan butter and almond milk instead! Sadly, you cannot make these vegan. The store-bought cookies contain eggs.
If you love any dessert with a Halloween theme, this cute ghost cookie cupcake recipe is for you! These tasty treats are colorful and delicious! They are super family-friendly and so fun to make! They are perfect to bring for Halloween parties and a delicious treat to share while watching your favorite Halloween movie. Enjoy!
You might also like these recipes:
- Pumpkin Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
- Halloween Spider Cupcakes
- Halloween Witch Hat Cupcakes
- Green Ghost Cupcakes with Slime
- Meringue Ghost Halloween Cake
- 25 Fun and Easy Halloween Treats Roundup
- Peanut Butter Spider Cookies
- Graveyard Dirt Cups
- Slice 'n' Bake Halloween Cookies
- Scary Eyeball Cheese Cookies
Pillsbury Halloween Ghost Sugar Cookie CupcakesPrint Pin Rate
For the cupcakes
- 2 packages Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough (pre-portioned into discs with Halloween pattern) Get the ghost cookies or the pumpkin ones if you want to change it up!
- 1 box Yellow Cake mix, prepared according to package instructions I used Duncan Hines.
For the buttercream
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened Or 2 sticks
- 4 cups Powdered sugar Or 16 oz. I usually just by the grocery store brand powdered sugar that is already in a 16-ounce bag so I don't even have to measure it out.
- ¼ cup Heavy cream You can also use 3 tablespoons of milk, almond milk, or any other dairy-free milk you like. Make sure this is at room temperature.
- 2 drops Purple Food coloring
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pan with liners. Unpack the first pack of sugar cookies, divide the dough apart, and put each raw cookie dough cookie on the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake the ghost sugar cookies for 5-7 minutes or until the cookies fill out the bottom of the liner completely.
- While the cookies bake prepare your cake mix batter in a separate bowl. Follow the cake mix instructions however, it says to on the box. Usually, you will have to add water, eggs, and vegetable oil. After taking the cookies out of the oven fill the liners ¾ full with the cupcakes batter. Put the cookie cupcakes back in the oven and bake them for 12-15 minutes or until you stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean.
For the buttercream
- Place the 2 sticks of softened butter into a medium bowl and mix the softened butter with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Slowly add the 4 cups (or 16 ounces) of powdered sugar, ¼ cup heavy cream (or 3 tablespoons milk), and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. After combining the ingredients mix on medium to high for 3 minutes. Add the food coloring until you have your desired color. I had to add a lot of food coloring to get it to that nice rich purple color. I suggest using gel food coloring. Pour buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1M pastry tip.