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This bloody Halloween cupcakes recipe is easy to make and deliciously creepy with raspberry jam edible fake blood (made without corn syrup!), vanilla buttercream, and soft, tender yellow cake.

close up front view of halloween cupcakes with bloody syringe sticking in it

These Halloween cupcakes are along the same vein as my Murder Cake (pun intended, lol).

If you’re looking for a fun Halloween party treat that’s both creepy and crowd-pleasing, this is it. And they aren’t any more difficult to make than any other cupcakes!

Here we have soft, tender vanilla yellow cake with a rich vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam filling that doubles as decorative edible fake blood. They taste like buttercream-topped raspberry jam-filled donuts.

For how grotesque these cupcakes look, they are absolutely delicious.

raspberry jam filled vanilla cupcakes with frosting

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • They’re perfectly spooky for Halloween. Ugh, blood! Our edible blood is made mostly of raspberry jam (without corn syrup). It does a surprisingly good job of simulating the look of blood!
  • The taste. Of course these are grotesque looking, which makes them great for Halloween, but they’re also delicious! The moist yellow cake pairs really well with the fruitiness of the raspberry jam (aka edible blood). And of course a quick and easy homemade vanilla buttercream is the icing on the cake, so to speak! All in all, it reminds me of a frosted jelly donut.
  • They’re so easy to make. Beginner-level, friends! They’re just as easy to make as any other cupcake, but they’re wonderfully gory and great for Halloween.
  • You can use this recipe to make as many as you want. This small batch recipe makes just 8 cupcakes, but it’s easy to double or triple if you need to feed a crowd. Make a big batch because this would be a ton of fun for a classroom Halloween party!

Ingredients

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

Edible Fake Blood Ingredients Without Corn Syrup

  • Seedless red raspberry jam: You can swap out raspberry jam for other types of dark red jam, such as cherry jelly or seedless strawberry jam. I like using seedless jam without fruit pulp because it does a good job of simulating blood.
  • Hot water: We use a little hot water to thin out the jam to the right consistency.
  • Red gel food coloring and blue gel food coloring: These are optional. They help create a color that’s closer to real blood than just using jam.

Halloween Cupcakes Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter: This lends rich flavor to our cake.
  • Sugar: Use granulated white sugar here.
  • Egg: Egg acts as the binder and help makes our cake fluffy and moist.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla adds flavor and aroma to our cupcakes.
  • Almond extract: We use just a hint of almond extract here.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream helps create a tender, soft crumb.
  • Flour: Use regular all-purpose flour.
  • Cornstarch: Instead of using cake flour, we use a blend of all-purpose flour + cornstarch to simulate cake flour for a lighter texture.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder is the main leavening agent here.
  • Baking soda: We use a little bit of baking soda because of the addition of acidic ingredients (here it’s the sour cream).
  • Salt: Salt is a natural flavor enhancer that makes sure our cupcakes aren’t bland.

Frosting Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter – For this recipe, we’re making an easy American buttercream, which has a base of butter and powdered sugar. You can use salted butter instead of unsalted butter and omit the added salt.
  • Vanilla extract – For flavor and aroma.
  • Salt – To pull out the flavors of everything else and create a balanced flavor profile.
  • Powdered sugar – Also called confectioners’ sugar and 10X sugar, this adds sweetness and stability to our frosting.
  • Milk – A splash of milk helps us achieve a perfectly creamy consistency.

What Type of Jam to Use

Instead of using raspberry jam, seedless strawberry jam or cherry jelly will also work well. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s seedless and doesn’t contain fruit pulp. Or you can strain out the fruit pulp and seeds after you thin it out with hot water to make the edible blood. Additionally, you may want to use a little bit more red and/or blue food coloring to achieve a bloody red hue.

How to Make Edible Fake Blood Without Corn Syrup

  1. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl until well-combined.
  2. Add more red and/or blue food coloring to achieve the right color.

How to Make Bloody Cupcakes for Halloween

  1. Cupcakes: Make the cupcake batter, scoop it into a cupcake tray lined with paper liners, and bake the cupcakes. If you’re pressed for time you can use a cake mix, but if you have a couple extra minutes, I highly recommend making this from-scratch cupcake recipe!
  2. Frosting: Whip up the frosting. Again, you can use frosting from a can, but making your own is quick, easy, and so much more delicious.
  3. Edible blood: Mix up the edible fake blood. It’s so easy to do without corn syrup! Our recipe is jam-based and thinned out with water. A little food coloring is optional, but helps give it a deeper blood-like color.
  4. Decorate: Now comes the fun part, putting it all together! You’ll need plastic syringes, which are available on Amazon and sometimes at craft supply stores. Simply draw some of the fake blood into the syringe, insert the syringe into the center of the cupcake, and partially press down on the syringe. And voilà, you have a filled cupcake with a bloody syringe! Additionally, you can drizzle a little bit of the fake blood on top.
hands injecting bloody syringe into halloween cupcake

Equipment

Storage

  • Unfrosted cupcakes: Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, move them to the fridge for up to an additional 3 days.
  • Frosted cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are frosted, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving to soften the frosting.
  • Decorated cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are decorated with the edible fake blood, serve them within 4 hours. After that, the fake blood can start to seep into the frosting.

Variations

  • Flavor the cupcakes any way you want: These are vanilla with a very subtle hint of almond aroma, but you can use any type of extract you like.
  • Play with the frosting: You can add your favorite extract to flavor it, or add food coloring to dye it.
  • Swap out the raspberry jam to make the edible fake blood: If raspberry isn’t your thing, you can use another flavor of red jam. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s seedless and doesn’t contain fruit pulp. Or you can strain out the fruit pulp and seeds after you thin it out with hot water to make the edible blood.
bloody cupcake with bite taken on plate with syringe next to it

Recipe Tips

  • Sour cream swap: If you don’t have sour cream, if you can use the same amount of unflavored Greek yogurt to make the cupcakes instead.
  • When you’re pressed for time: If time is short and you absolutely have to decide between making homemade cupcakes or homemade frosting, make the cupcakes and buy pre-made frosting! These vanilla cupcakes are so much better than any box mix. The homemade frosting is better too, but the cake is even more so.
  • The edible fake blood: Our fake blood is actually thinned-out seedless raspberry jam, so it’s a lot more delicious than corn syrup-based fake blood! I like to use a little bit of both red and blue food coloring to get it the right color, but you can omit the food coloring if you want.
  • Go grotesque: Make a batch of edible bloody eyeballs to decorate the tops of these cupcakes.

More Halloween Recipes to Make

vanilla bloody cupcakes with jam for halloween on rustic dark wooden table

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Bloody Halloween Cupcakes Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time50 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Yields: 8 cupcakes
This gory Halloween cupcakes recipe is easy to make and features creepy edible fake blood (made with raspberry jam), vanilla buttercream, and soft, tender yellow cake.

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Ingredients
 

Cupcakes:

Frosting:

Edible Fake Blood:

Instructions
 

For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with 8 paper liners.
  • Use a handheld electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg, vanilla, almond extract, and sour cream until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat to combine.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes.

For the Frosting:

  • Use a handheld electric mixer to cream the butter in a large bowl. Beat in the vanilla and salt, and then the powdered sugar. While beating, add the milk a little at a time so that it forms frosting.

For the Edible Fake Blood:

  • Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl until well-combined. Add more red and/or blue food coloring to achieve the right color.

To Assemble the Cupcakes:

  • Frost the cupcakes once they’re cool.
  • Fill each syringe with edible fake blood.
  • Drizzle a little bit of the edible fake blood on top of each cupcake, and then insert 1 bloody syringe into each cupcake.

Video

Notes

How to Store Halloween Cupcakes
  • Unfrosted Cupcakes: Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, move them to the fridge for up to an additional 3 days.
  • Frosted Cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are frosted, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let them sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving to soften the frosting.
  • Decorated Cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are decorated with the edible fake blood, serve them within 4 hours. After that, the fake blood can start to seep into the frosting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bloody Cupcakes, Easy Halloween Cupcakes, Halloween Cupcakes, Halloween Cupcakes Recipe

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halloween cupcakes recipe pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. I made these for our Halloween party and they were a big hit. Delicious and spooky!! I’m making them again next week for the grandkids!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow! What creative idea for a fun, spooky Halloween party treat! Awesome, Faith! 🎃👍🙀👻

  3. 5 stars
    How creative for a Halloween party dessert – and delicious!

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