43 of the best Halloween food ideas for a party

For lots of easy Halloween party food ideas, from cheesy broomsticks to jelly worms, take a look at our sweet and savoury recipes…

Halloween party food ideas
Spooky food ideas for Halloween, from witchy finger biscuits to tray bakes topped with jelly worms
(Image credit: Future)

Our collection of Halloween food ideas is ideal for both amateur chefs and bakers and those who are more skilled with a rolling pin. Some recipes – like the chocolate Mini Roll bats and Zombie-bread men – are perfect for kids to get messy and involved with. 

“Imagination is the only limit to food creativity, and Halloween food is a great opportunity for children to get involved in the kitchen, whether you’re throwing a fancy dress party or stocking up for trick-or-treaters,” says Michaela Hanna (opens in new tab), a chef who offers private cooking lessons and has appeared on MasterChef: The Professionals. 

“You can be as retro as you like when it comes to Halloween recipes (opens in new tab) – cover a grapefruit in tin foil, use black olives on cocktail sticks for eyes, and thread different coloured gummy worms onto skewers to make a Medusa-style head as a centerpiece for a table. Cut discs out of puff pastry, spread with tomato puree, sprinkle on some cheese and use olives and strips of salami to make a spider snack perfect for handing out to hungry guests. Make a cauldron of green gooey dip by hollowing out a small pumpkin and filling it with guacamole – strips of pepper or breadsticks and nachos will make the ideal dipping accompaniment.”

Michaela is full of ideas for sweet treats, too. “Decorate squares of chocolate brownie with white coated biscuits, with red smarties in the center and black and red icing to make eyeballs,” she suggests. “Whatever your Halloween occasion, your guests will be thrilled with some tasty, themed food, delicious drinks, and spooky costumes.”

Don’t forget to stock up on Halloween-themed tableware and you could stack our Halloween cupcakes (opens in new tab) on a spooky cake stand or line a pumpkin-shaped plate with a selection of gruesome biscuits or spooky sandwiches (opens in new tab).

Halloween food ideas

Bat and pumpkin Halloween cookies

Tombstones, ghosts, bats, pumpkins and skeletons, with fondant toppings are an easy one to make with kids

(Image credit: Getty)

1. Halloween cookies

Makes/serves: 18 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 22 mins

These spooky cookies make ideal treats for trick or treaters or are great for kids at Halloween parties. Ideally, invest in some Halloween cookie cutters, then you can cut out bats, ghosts, pumpkins and tombstones though, if you’d rather not fork out, whatever cutters you have in the cupboard will suffice – a skeleton can be piped onto a gingerbread person cut-out, for example, or draw a spooky face on to a round cookie. The biscuits are super simple with only four ingredients, and decorated with thinly rolled out coloured fondant. 

Get the recipe: Halloween cookies (opens in new tab)

Halloween muffins

This carrot cake sponge is topped with orange buttercream and spooky jellies and sprinkles

2. Halloween muffins

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy |  Total time: 1 hr

A simple one for the less adept bakers amongst us, these muffins are flavoured like a carrot cake with, well, carrots obviously, as well as cinnamon and walnuts. Piped with an orange buttercream, you can then just mix and match with whatever toppings you fancy, from spooky jelly sweets to sprinkles in Halloween hues.

“These muffins offer a great orange alternative to pumpkin at Halloween – perfect if you want something a bit different than the usual on the dessert table. To get really vibrant colours for your icing, use a colouring paste or gel rather than colouring liquid and let the kids go wild with gummy sweets and chocolate eyeballs to decorate,” says professional baker Naomi Boles (opens in new tab).

Get the recipe: Halloween muffins (opens in new tab)

Spooky Halloween pizza

Use a cookie cutter for the cheese shapes for this cute pizza that the kids will devour

3. Spooky Halloween pizza

Makes/serves: 6 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 35 mins

This spooky Halloween pizza recipe is the perfect ghoulish treat and just too cute, if you ask us. Use a cookie cutter to cut out different shapes of Mozzarella cheese including ghosts, bats and pumpkins. You could also make shapes out of slices of pepperoni and, it might be a little fiddly, but you can also create spiders out of whole black olives. Making extra large pizzas for a party, so there’s plenty of space to show off your toppings is the best idea (and means there’s plenty for guests to scoff, of course). 

Get the recipe: Halloween pizza (opens in new tab)

Halloween traybake

Simple but effective, a great one for a pre Trick or Treat party for the kids

(Image credit: TI Media)

4. Halloween traybake

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 55 mins

This jammy sponge is super easy for the unconfident bakers amongst us, and you don’t even need to make icing as it’s topped with that American classic, marshmallow fluff. This sticky, messy sugary topping is the perfect surface for sticking all manner of crowning glories – jelly worms and other spooky sweets, as well as M&Ms, Smarties and jelly beans in Halloween hues. 

Get the recipe: Halloween tray bake (opens in new tab)

Halloween eggs

The spooky tie dye effect on these eggs is thanks to a soaking in blueberry juice

5. Halloween eggs

Makes/serves: 24 | Skill level: Easy |  Total time: 30 mins

Is your mind  boggling as to how the tie-dye effect in these brilliantly gruesome-looking eggs is achieved – well, it is created using blueberries. The eggs are boiled with them, and then the shells are slightly cracked and soaked overnight in the fruity water – so you need to work ahead on this one. They taste as wonderful as they look, too, filled with an avocado mousse.

“This is a fantastic recipe – it has the visual wow factor, can be made ahead of time and is easy to eat as a nibble with drinks. Serving on a black plate will make the colours pop even more. The lemon will help to keep the avocado green,” says chef Michaela Hanna. 

Get the recipe: Halloween eggs (opens in new tab)

Jelly worms

Party straws and jelly = these fab worms to decorate your Halloween table

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

6. Jelly worms

Makes/serves: 100 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 10 mins (plus time to chill)

Super as a cake topper, or just as a big bowl of slimy worms, these are super easy to make – all you need is some party straws and some good old-fashioned packets of jelly. Make them multi-coloured and decorate your cake plates with them. Simple but very effective. 

Get the recipe: Jelly worms (opens in new tab)

Witches fingers

Blanched almonds and jam create these spookily real-looking witch fingers

7. Witch’s fingers

Makes/serves: 45 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 20 mins

Giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘finger food’, these impressive and seriously gruesome witch’s fingers are made using a biscuit base with blanched almonds as nails and jam as blood. You could even add a little green food colouring to the biscuit mix for a witchy hue. And why not serve them with a sweet dip, like Nutella or dulce du leche? 

“Brace yourself because these biscuits look very realistic! Ideal for making with children and simple to decorate, plates of these spooky biscuits are sure to get a reaction. To keep the biscuits snappy, don’t over mix the flour, just bring it together gently and, if you’re making ahead of time, store the biscuits in an air-tight container,” says Michaela Hanna.

Get the recipe: Witch's fingers (opens in new tab)

Pumpkin shaped cake

A pumpkin sponge fashioned to look like an actual pumpkin – how very clever

(Image credit: TI Media)

8. Pumpkin shaped cake

Makes/serves: 24 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1 hr 35 mins

A perfect centrepiece for your Halloween table. Made in a Bundt tin, this cake both contains pumpkin and also resembles that most seasonal of fruits. Also featuring other Autumnal flavours like cinnamon and ginger, the cake is topped with orange icing, bronze glitter and finished off with a fondant stalk. It would be equally wonderful served on Bonfire night, or for an October/November birthday party. 

Get the recipe: Pumpkin shaped cake (opens in new tab)

Halloween fairy cakes

Simple, rustic, and perfect for kids to create

9. Halloween fairy cakes

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy |  Total time: 1 hr 10 mins

These simple fairy cakes are a godsend for those who are challenged on the cake decorating front. A brilliant one to do with kids, this recipe features ready-to-use icing and icing pens for you to draw spooky designs with - try spider’s webs and ghostly faces, and if they’re a little rough around the edges, that’s ok because the kids did them, right? (even if it was you, really, wink wink).

Get the recipe: Halloween fairy cakes (opens in new tab)

Pumpkin biscuits

(Image credit: TI Media)

10. Pumpkin biscuits

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 2 hrs 15 mins

These biscuits are next level tasty, featuring ground almonds, orange zest and runny honey, and the toppings are basically stamped on with a cut-out apple dipped in food colouring (think the potato stamps you did harking back to school days). An excellent Halloween party bag treat or to serve amongst your Halloween party food spread on a large tray so each biscuit can lie flat. They’re too good to give away in the trick or treating stampede, if you ask us.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin biscuits (opens in new tab)

Halloween lasagne

This squash, spinach and ricotta lasagne is rich with seasonal colours

11. Halloween lasagne

Makes/serves: 6 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 1 hr 35 mins

Give your classic lasagne a Halloween makeover with this vegetarian butternut squash, spinach and ricotta version, featuring all the requisite seasonal colours and flavours.  Make a pumpkin shaped topping out of pieces of the squash. 

“Easy to scale up for larger numbers of guests, or cook extra to have at a later date, this is a great recipe that caters for vegetarian guests,” says Michaela Hanna. “Some shredded chicken or cubes of chorizo can be added if you would like to make this a meat version. Line the tray for the butternut with baking parchment to prevent sticking and make the washing up easier!”

Get the recipe: Halloween lasagne

Halloween pumpkin cake

A traditional carrot cake is given a Halloween makeover with the fondant pumpkins

(Image credit: www.timeincukcontent.com)

12. Halloween pumpkin cake

Makes/serves: 8-10 | Skill level: Easy |  Total time: 1 hr 15 mins

A classic carrot cake is a very Autumnal affair, so perfect for Halloween, topped with these very cute fondant pumpkins (that are pretty easy to make, even if you’re an amateur at the old cake decorating). Cream cheese frosting, a moist sponge delicately-spiced sponge, and a cake that hits the spot all across the seasons, not just for Halloween. Though to make it extra spooky, add some green food colouring to the frosting, and decorate the plate with other creepy delights.  

Get the recipe: Halloween pumpkin cake (opens in new tab)

Halloween toffee apples

Classic toffee apples are wonderful for Halloween and Bonfire Night

13. Halloween toffee apples

Makes/serves: 6 | Skill level: Easy |  Total time: 20 mins

An iconic treat for this time of year, these toffee apples will also go down a storm for Bonfire Night. Dip your Granny Smiths into the toffee mix, made from golden syrup, sugar and butter (we concede it’s not the healthiest way to eat your daily apple, but hey ho). You could then dip half the mix into different toppings – flaked almonds work brilliantly or you could try some orange and green sprinkles or chocolate vermicelli. 

Get the recipe: Toffee apples (opens in new tab)

Cheesy broomsticks

Pretzel sticks, cheese slices and chives. Simple but brilliant

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

14. Cheesy broomsticks

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 10 mins

These savoury snacks are so adorable and will be a party talking point, despite being super easy and containing only three ingredients – pretzel sticks for the broom handle, sliced cheese for the broom, and chives to wrap around for colour. We’d serve these with some nice dips - think a nice ‘bloody’ salsa with a kick of chilli and onion. That’ll do nicely. 

Get the recipe: Cheesy broomsticks (opens in new tab)

Halloween cake pops

Pretty brilliant, aren't they? A Halloween food table centrepiece, for sure

15. Halloween cake pops

Makes/serves: 20 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hr 30 mins

This one takes a wee bit of time and skill, but, boy, is it worth it. These pumpkins and skeletons are achieved by using candy melts that you dip your cake balls into. Make them a day or two ahead of your party, and they’ll make a spooky smasher of a centrepiece on your Halloween food table. They’re almost too good to eat. Though we must emphasise the ‘almost’ there.

Get the recipe: Halloween cake pops (opens in new tab)

Witch's hat biscuits

The things you can do with an ice cream cone, a biscuit and some melted chocolate, eh?

16. Witch's hat cookies

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Medium |  Total time: 1 hr 30 mins

Ice cream cones and biscuits, stuck together and covered with melted chocolate, they’re so simple and brilliant, especially with the brightly coloured fondant belts and buckles. “These are a visually brilliant, sweet treat for any Halloween party. Children will love to see how they can transform a few simple ingredients into fun chocolate treats. If you do not have a microwave, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water – just make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water,” says Michaela Hanna.

Get the recipe: Witch hat cookies (opens in new tab)

An American pie – because no one does Halloween quite like the Americans do

(Image credit: Getty Images)

17. Halloween whoopie pies

Makes/serves: 20 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1 hr 10 mins

That most American of cakes, these whoopie pies (apparently the name comes from the Amish folks who would say ‘whoopie’ when one appeared in their lunch boxes) are given a seasonal twist. The filling is scattered with orange and black sprinkles, and topped with pics of spooky skeletons attached to cocktail sticks – get the kids crafting for this one.

Get the recipe: Halloween whoopie pies (opens in new tab)

Halloween pumpkin soup

Hearty and healthy – not often words you associate with Halloween food

18. Halloween pumpkin soup

Makes/serves: 4 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 45 mins

Because pumpkins aren't just for carving… This healthy, nutritious, comforting, lightly spiced pumpkin soup has an impressive spider web topping made from natural yoghurt (though you could always use creme fraiche, or sour cream). If you really want to go all-out, you can ladle it into mini cauldrons for your guests. 

“Delicious, seasonal and batch-cook friendly, make lots of this pumpkin soup so you can freeze some and have it later. If you can’t find turkey rashers, then shredded chicken or ham would make a good alternative,” says Michaela Hanna.

Get the recipe: Halloween soup (opens in new tab)

Creepy cheese faces

An excellently spooky pre trick or treating snack for the kiddies

19. Creepy cheese faces

Makes/serves: 4 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 5 mins

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. To make these sinister cheese faces, you will need a packet of English muffins, tomato puree and cheese slices. Cut the muffins in half, toast the outsides, then flip them over, very lightly toast, then spread with a layer of tomato puree. Take the cheese slices and carve out scary faces. Place onto the muffin and grill. Until bubbling and toasted. 

Eyeball cake pops

Bloodshot eyeballs in cake form – and why not?

20. Eyeball cake pops

Makes/serves: 10 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 2 hrs 20 mins (plus chilling time)

Vanilla sponge balls, dipped in buttercream and white chocolate melts, you’ll  need to use your artistic skills to draw on the blood red veins around a black fondant eyeball. Suitably sinister, these will have your trick or treaters or your party guests highly impressed. It’s a shame to actually eat them, really. 

Get the recipe: Eyeball cake pops (opens in new tab)

Zombie-bread men

Chop off their limbs, cover them in bandages, and, most of all, have fun

21. Zombie-bread men

Makes/serves: 18 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 32 mins

Make up a batch of these zombie-bread men with your small party guests. They can decorate them however they like – and eat them afterwards, of course. Do a batch of classic gingerbread (opens in new tab) and decorate with red, white and black icing, making eyes out of white and black fondant. A deliciously spooky twist on a classic. 

Terrifying trifles

Green food colouring is your friend in creating this seasonal twist on a classic trifle

22. Terrifying trifles

Makes/serves: 3 | Skill level: Medium |  Total time: 1 hr 20 mins

These five-layered individual trifles are given a Halloween twist, and can be as easy or as tricky as time and skill allows. Make your own sponge for the bottom level, or just buy one, then add custard with a splash of green food colouring – again homemade, ready-made, or with good ol’ fashioned custard powder – before a layer or crushed biscuits of your choice (we think Oreos work particularly well). After this, add orange jelly and top with whipped cream. Then decorate with spooky faces. Glassware for presentation is essential - buy the jars from Lakeland, or you could make one big, scary trifle in a traditional glass dish. 

Get the recipe: Terrifying trifles

Halloween marshmallow pops

23. Halloween marshmallow pops

Makes/serves: 16 | Skill level: Easy |  Total time: 30 mins

Taking your kid’s marshmallow love to the next level – toasting them round the campfire will have nothing on the excitement of these creepy creations. Kinda like cake pops without having to make or shape actual cake, marshmallows are turned into ghost, pumpkin and mummy and – our favourite – Frankenstein pops, thanks to the addition of ingredients like candy melts; pretzel sticks and white choc. The variation looks amazing, but if you’re short on time, just focus on one or two of the spooky options.

Get the recipe:  Halloween marshmallow pops (opens in new tab)

Blood bath cocktail

24. Bloodbath cocktail

Makes/serves: 1 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 5 mins

Vampires will love this bloodbath cocktail made with pomegranates and vodka, and a dash of lemon juice. Double or quadruple the recipe to make enough for punch, and, for a really impressive presentation, serve it in a fake cauldron. Add some lemon slices and enjoy, safe in the knowledge that you’re getting your superfoods in alongside a cheeky bit of booze.

Get the recipe: Bloodbath cocktail (opens in new tab)

Spooky chocolate-covered apples

You'll need candy melts and white choc to achieve this sinister look

25. Spooky chocolate-covered apples

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 15 mins

All you need to make these spooky treats is chocolate, apples and food colouring/writing icing. Simples. Melt 200g of white chocolate, either in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water and allow to cool slightly. Swirl through a few drops of orange food colouring for the pumpkin option. 

Pierce your apples with a wooden skewer and dip into the chocolate. Spoon over the white chocolate, over the bowl, to ensure the apple is fully covered. Leave to dry in the fridge, on a piece of greaseproof paper. Once set, draw sinister faces on your apples with black writing icing.

Ssssnake rolls

These sausage rolls will have your guests snaking their way to the buffet table

26. Ssssnake rolls

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 40 mins

Basically, very long, skinny, and slightly spooky sausage rolls, to make them you need ready-made shortcrust pastry, sausage meat, an egg and a few slices of red pepper. Roll out the pastry, dusted with flour, cut strips of around 25 cm in length and 10 cm wide and place a thin line of sausage meat down the middle. Glaze one edge of the pastry with beaten egg and roll the other one over the meat, pressing the edges of the pastry together. Curve into a snake-like shape and glaze with beaten egg. Bake in the oven (200C, gas 6) for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Make eyes and a snaky tongue with a slit in the end from chunks of the pepper, and stick them on with the remaining egg wash. 

Chocolate Mini Roll bats

So easy, so cute, and so tasty

27. Chocolate Mini Roll bats

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 20 mins

An ideal no-make treat to put together with the kids. You’ll need two packets of chocolate mini rolls, black and white fondant and some icing sugar. Draw a small bat wing stencil on a piece of paper, place it over black fondant and cut out two wings for each ‘bat’. Make a 'glue' from a little icing sugar and a few drops of water and stick the wings around the mini rolls. You can make each one look different, wrapping some around the ‘body’ and leaving each other’s flat. Make eyes by placing small black balls of fondant onto larger white balls and glue these onto the rolls with your icing sugar mix. Spookily cute.

Pumpkin carrot face

Could there be a better way to get your kids eating their veggies?

28. Pumpkin carrot face

Makes/serves: 10 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 10 mins

Merely piling your crudites up in bowls will never do for Halloween – get creative with your veggies by making this pumpkin carrot face with mini carrots, courgette or cucumber, and a selection of dips. All you have to do is arrange the carrots in a pumpkin shape and cut the courgette/cucumber into a jagged  shape for the mouth, cut out a big chunk for the top of the pumpkin and add bowls of dips for the eyes. Tzatziki and guacamole work well, or give it a twist by using salsa for a suitably seasonal bloodshot look.

Lily Vanilli's undead gingerbread cupcakes

29. Lily Vanilli's undead gingerbread cupcakes

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Medium |  Total time: 55 mins

Create your own graveyard with these spooky tombstone cupcakes with a tasty gingerbread twist. These are brilliantly effective and, while there are a lot of elements involved, the end result is pretty rustic so you don’t have to be a piping perfectionist to have a go. The choc cupcakes are made with a recipe featuring sour cream and espresso coffee, and you make your own gingerbread with treacle, lemon zest and a variety of spices (of course, you could cheat and buy some, but it may not be easy to cut to the shape of tombstones…).  “Not only do they look awesome, but the gingerbread gives an extra autumnal taste,” says pro baker Naomi Boles. “You don’t have to complete everything in one day with these cupcakes, you can back and store your gingerbread gravestones in an airtight container for up to 7 days.”

Get the recipe:  Lily Vanilli’s undead gingerbread cupcakes (opens in new tab)

Skele-mallow zombie

Could we love this adorable marshmallow skeleton any more?

30. Skele-mallow zombie

Makes/serves: 5 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 15 mins

To make these marvellous-looking marshmallow zombies, you need large and mini marshmallows, wooden skewers, food writing icing and fondant. Thread three large marshmallows onto a wooden skewer, add a couple of mini marshmallows at the top for the neck, then add the 'head'. Stick two smaller skewers out of the top 'body' marshmallow and thread mini marshmallows on for the 'arms' and large marshmallows for the 'hands'. Repeat this process for the legs. Add black and white fondant eyes and decorate with red writing icing for that bloody effect. The kids will go bonkers for this one.

Pumpkin and maple cupcakes

Sweet pumpkin cakes – in both name and nature

31. Pumpkin cupcakes

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy |  Total time: 38 mins

These cupcakes aren't just topped with a pumpkin face, there's pumpkin puree inside them too, as well as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. In fact, could they be any more autumnal? You’ll need to make a big batch of cream cheese frosting, split it into separate bowls and dye them orange, green and black, before piping on the pumpkin faces. It’s an ideal one to do with kids, as they don’t need to be all uniform and perfect – rustic is the word we would use here.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin cupcakes (opens in new tab)

Ice 'scream' sundaes

The kids will go batty for these sundaes

32. Ice 'scream' sundaes

Makes/serves: 6 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 10 mins

A wonderfully retro and super simple dessert that little kids will go batty over. Good ol’ fashioned jelly and ice cream, with chunks of chocolate brownie and some jelly snakes and bats (found in most supermarkets around this time of year). Buy the brownies, or make your own (opens in new tab), for that extra bit of worthwhile effort. 

Get the recipe: Halloween ice cream (opens in new tab)

Hollow heads

Perfect vessels for a cheeky, spooky cocktail or two

33. Hollow heads

Makes/serves: 4 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 15 mins

To make these hollow heads you will need to buy some fresh coconuts, red food colouring, black marker pen. Carefully cut a lid into the coconut and decorate  the top of it with the food colouring to look like blood and draw creepy faces, like ghosts or spooky cats with marker pen. Add black, red, green and orange straws (ideally reusable and non plastic) and drink the coconut milk or serve your spooky cocktails (opens in new tab)in them. To take it to the next level, draw vampire faces onto the coconuts and wrap them in a cloak made from black - and even purple – satin.

Puking pumpkin dip

Mmm, tasty vomit, that's a new one on us

34. Puking pumpkin dip

Makes/serves: 10 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 30 mins

We’ve never before come across delicious vomit, but there’s always a first time. Carve your pumpkin with a very wide, low mouth and closed eyes, scoop out all the seeds, pop it on a display plate and pile your dip high around the mouth area to give the effect of, well, puke (only at Halloween, eh?).  We highly recommend guacamole (opens in new tab) here, for its seasonal colours and, erm, realistic texture. 

Slimey tarts

A creepy twist on a classic jam tart

35. Slimey tarts

Makes/serves: 20 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 30 mins

A seasonal riff on a good ol’ jam tart, using lime curd (opens in new tab) (you might need to swap for a jar of lemon curd if you don’t want to make your own – it’s much easier to get hold of). Add a few drops of green food colouring to your curd, roll out shortcrust pastry (opens in new tab) (you can always buy that ready-made too) to a cm or so thick, grease a muffin tin with butter, and add circles of pastry cut with round cookie cutters. Spoon the curd into the pastry and bake in the oven (200°C/gas 6) for 15-20 mins until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool before decorating with spooky sweets and fondant eyes.

Sausage mummies

Sausages wrapped up as pastry mummies – and why not?

36. Sausage mummies

Makes/serves: 8 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 50 mins

Bringing a whole new meaning to a sausage roll, get a selection of full sized sausages (veggie sausages will work as well as pork) and mini cocktail sausages, roll out some shortcrust pastry and cut into strips. Wrap your sausages in them, leaving the tops clear to decorate, and cook them in the oven (200°C/gas 6) for around 20 mins until golden brown. Let them cool a little, then decorate with spooky faces from a few blobs of black food colouring (this can be pretty rustic). Then you’ve got some very creepy party guests ready to be eaten, drizzled with some bloody ketchup.

 “This recipe is great for children to help with. Perfect to make ahead of time, pastry always rises and cooks better when it’s chilled, so once you’ve prepared them, pop them in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before baking them in the oven. A little egg-wash will give a lovely shine to the pastry,” says Michaela Hanna. 

Iced ghouls

Easy, and brilliant. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective

37. Iced ghouls

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 10 mins

Simple, effective and no oven needed, so nice and cheap, too. To make these iced ghouls you will need biscuits (any biscuits, homemade or shop-bought – digestives, HobNobs or other round biscuits work best), buttercream icing, fondant and a piping bag. Fill a piping bag with buttercream (opens in new tab) and pipe mini ghosts onto each biscuit and decorate with fondant eyes. Give them an extra spooky (and tasty) twist by placing a dollop of jam on the biscuit before piping to make the ghosts 'bloody'.

Treacle toffee

A sticky classic for this time of year – and a good excuse to invest in a toffee hammer

(Image credit: TI Media Limited)

38. Treacle toffee

Makes/serves: 10 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 50 mins

An essential part of a traditional bonfire night celebration, treacle toffee works a treat for Halloween celebrations too (just double up your quantities and it will last for both events). Heavier and slightly less sweet than more common toffee, it’s made from sticky black treacle, muscovado sugar, butter and condensed milk. The joy is cracking pieces off the big slab, with a toffee hammer.  “This toffee is so versatile, and fantastic for party treats – I love the colour and the rich flavour. Use a rolling pin to help break it up if you don’t have a toffee hammer. This sugary concoction is great to nibble, or sprinkle over ice-cream for an autumn taste sensation,” says Michaela Hanna.

Get the recipe: Treacle toffee (opens in new tab)

Pumpkin pie

If you've never tried this iconic bake from the USA, now is your chance

39. Pumpkin pie

Makes/serves: 10 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 2 hrs 35 mins

An icon of American baking and a staple on Thanksgiving tables across the land, this comforting pumpkin pie works equally well for Halloween. Made with shortcrust pastry and a filling of mashed pumpkin (or you can use squash) with seasonal spices, raisins and sugar. Once baked, brush with maple syrup, dust with icing sugar and cinnamon and serve with whipped cream. Utterly mouthwatering.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin pie (opens in new tab)

Witch's brew punch

A spicy mocktail for a spooky evening

40. Witch's brew punch

Makes/serves: 6 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 15 mins

A lovely livener on a chilly night, this non-alcoholic mocktail, would work well for Bonfire night, too. The cinnamon stick (which acts like a cocktail stirrer) and the ginger ale make it as punchy by nature as it is by name, and the apples deliver the vitamins and keep the doctor away. Bottoms up.

Get the recipe: Witch's brew (opens in new tab) 

Toffee apple pops

Apple cake balls dipped in toffee and covered in sprinkles – divine

(Image credit: Fiona Cairns)

41. Toffee apple cake pops

Makes/serves: 30 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 1hr 10 mins

Homemade apple cake, mixed with buttercream and made into cake balls, dipped in a toffee coating, and dipped into hundreds and thousands. This really is elevating the trad toffee apple to a whole new level.  “These toffee apples are sure to bring smiles to faces! A quick, crunchy, tasty treat that makes good use of English dessert apples, which will be in season. You can make them ahead of time, but keep them out of the fridge because the sugar coating will start to dissolve and it will lose its crunch,” says Michaela Hanna. 

Get the recipe: Toffee apple cake pops (opens in new tab)

Lily Vanilli's blood-stained brains cupcakes

Buttercream brain, anyone?

(Image credit: A Zombie Ate My Cupcake! by Lily Vanilli)

42. Lily Vanilli's blood-stained brains cupcakes

Makes/serves: 12 | Skill level: Medium | Total time: 55 mins

These red velvet cupcakes topped with buttercream brains are a real scream. Whip up some 'brain' buttercream, with added red food colouring, and let the kids get creative. What makes these gory cupcakes even more special is the homemade cherry sauce, drizzled over the top for extra, bloody gore. Delightfully grotesque.

Get the recipe: Brain cupcakes (opens in new tab)

Frankenstein fingers

The lengths we go to to get our children to eat vegetables…

43. Frankenstein fingers and sheep's eyes

Makes/serves: 4 | Skill level: Easy | Total time: 15 mins

This is one way of getting the kids to counteract all that sugar with a few vitamins – by turning the carrots into severed fingers and sheep's eyes. Slice a half chunk off the end of the carrots, made an incision and slot in a flaked almond to resemble a fingernail, and top slices of carrot with sour cream followed by a chopped olive of grape, to look like eyeballs. Add nutritious dips like hummus and tzatziki and you can be safe in the knowledge that your small ones have had at least some nutrients this Halloween.  

Get the recipe: Frankenstein fingers and sheep's eyes (opens in new tab)

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Lara Kilner
Food Writer

Lara Kilner is a writer and editor with two decades of experience in national newspapers, magazines, and websites. She writes about food, lifestyle, travel, health and wellness, and entertainment, and regularly interviews celebrities and people with interesting life stories and experiences. Her foodie content has included interviews with Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein, Queer Eye’s food expert Antoni Porowski, the Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Raymond Blanc, Andi Oliver, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, and Nadiya Hussain.