Marshmallowy Ghost Cupcakes

A spooky-cute treat for Halloween

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We turned to two old-fashioned dessert recipes—burnt sugar cake and seven-minute frosting—to come up with caramel-flavored cupcakes topped with billowy marshmallow frosting.

18 cupcakes



  • 3/4 cup plus 6 Tbs. sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, separated, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Frosting & decoration

  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 3 6-cup muffin pans with liners.

2. To make Cupcakes: Melt 6 Tbs. sugar in small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until sugar turns a deep golden brown. Remove from heat, and stir in 3 Tbs. hot water to make caramel sauce. (Mixture will bubble up.) Set aside.

3. Whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt in bowl.

4. Cream butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with electric mixer on medium speed 4 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks 1 at a time on low speed. Beat in caramel sauce and vanilla. Alternate adding flour mixture and 2/3 cup water, starting and ending with flour mixture.

5. Beat egg whites in separate bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whites into batter. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of Cupcake comes out clean. Remove from pans, and cool.

6. To make Frosting: Combine sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and 6 Tbs. water in medium bowl set over pot of simmering water. Beat 7 minutes with hand mixer, or until soft peaks form. Remove bowl from heat, and add vanilla and salt. Continue beating with hand mixer 4 to 7 minutes, or until mixture is cooled, fluffy, and firm.

7. To decorate Cupcakes: Place Frosting in pastry bag fitted with small round tip or in resealable plastic bag with corner snipped off. Pipe mound of icing onto Cupcake
to make ghost. Decorate faces with black tube frosting.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 cupcake
  • Calories 258
  • Carbohydrate Content 49 g
  • Cholesterol Content 34 mg
  • Fat Content 6 g
  • Fiber Content 0.5 g
  • Protein Content 3 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 140 mg
  • Sugar Content 38 g