Introduction: Pumpkin Top Cupcakes

Picture of Pumpkin Top Cupcakes

Pumpkin cupcakes are great for Halloween because they are really easy to make and they look great. Get your kids to help make and decorate them!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies


  • Cake recipe of choice - I used a yellow cake mix because I figure pumpkins are yellow on the inside.
  • Frosting recipe of choice - I bought cream cheese frosting.
  • Orange gel food coloring for frosting - you can use white frosting, but I thought orange looked better. Using yellow+red works too.
  • Chocolate chips - for the stems
  • Orange Sugar Sprinkles - I used 1 whole container, but since you are "dunking" the cupcakes in it, you might want to have 2 bottles on hand just in case.
  • Optional: white chocolate and green gel food coloring / or / green candy melts for vines


  • Cupcake liners - I like how orange looks since the whole cupcake is supposed to be a pumpkin, but I think white, brown, and tan could work too. And Halloween themed of course.
  • Supplies to make cupcakes including cupcake pan
  • Wax paper
  • Zip lock bags
  • Skewer - or chopstick or the back of a butter knife
  • Bowl for sprinkles

Step 2: Make Your Cupcakes

Picture of Make Your Cupcakes

Time to make cupcakes!

As I mentioned in the supplies, I used a yellow cake mix because I'm still nervous about making cakes from scratch. But to make the cake a bit better, I used butter instead of oil, milk instead of water, and added about 3 teaspoons of cinnamon (because cinnamon goes with autumn).

Try to get them to puff up. Since pumpkins are rounded a bit on top, having them dome is ideal. For some reason, the big pan of cupcakes I did were all flat, but then the few I did last to use up the rest of the mix domed. I do not know how I made it happen.

Step 3: Make Pumpkin Stems

Picture of Make Pumpkin Stems

If you are going to make your pumpkin stems from melted chocolate chips, do it while the cupcakes are baking. You want to give them time to harden.

Melt some chocolate chips and put the melted mixture in a zip lock bag with the corner snipped. Make sure it is a very small cut.

I made my stems by going up and down with the chocolate. I figured pumpkin stems look like lines going up and down, so that was how I tried to do the chocolate.

I would say to try to make them no bigger than 1.5 inches and try to not make them too fat. You are going to stick these into the cupcake tops, so you want them proportional and skinnier are easier to stick in. I made a couple notes on the second to last image above.

Make more than you need to make up for stems that break or just stems you don't want to use.


If you decide to pre-make your pumpkin vines, you can do that now as well with white chocolate and green gel food coloring.

Step 4: Frost Cupakes

Picture of Frost Cupakes

Pour your sprinkles into a little bowl for dunking.

Like I said before, you can use white frosting, but I prefer how it looks with frosting that has been dyed orange. You can see you don't need it dark, just give the frosting some color (the second to last picture has orange frosting, and the last picture had white frosting).

Frost your cupcake. You don't have to make it really thick, but don't frost too thinly. You are going to make indents in the frosting so you need some depth to do this.

Once it is frosted, carefully dunk it in the sprinkles until the frosting is completely covered.

Once the frosting is coated in sprinkles, carefully roll a skewer over the top of the cupcake 3 times (creating 6 sections around the top of the cupcake as shown).

Keep a paper towel handy and if the skewer gets sticky, wipe it off so you don't wreak your cupcakes.

Step 5: Add Stems

Picture of Add Stems

Time to add the stems! To make it easier, I used a chopstick to stab a hole in the middle of the cupcake where all the lines meet.

Use the stems you like best and carefully stick them in the holes you just made.

Step 6: Add Vines

Picture of Add Vines

Now you can add your pumpkin vines. Since I didn't want the flat, I decided to pipe them right on the cupcakes. You can, optionally, pipe these on wax paper ahead of time and just stick them on top.

You can also pipe them ahead of time on wax paper that is draped over a bowl (or spoon, rolling pin, anything curved). This will give the vines a curve to them and might make them sit on the cupcakes better.

Step 7: Done

Picture of Done

Enjoy your cupcakes.

I think the sprinkles can get to be a bit much, but they look nice :)


thevegetarianbaker (author)2016-10-18

so cute

Thank you :)

wannabemadsci (author)2016-10-17

Love them! Excellent instructions as usual!

Thanks! That is always my hardest part is figuring out instructions that people will understand. Actually, while I make things I kind of narrate in my head what I'm doing to give myself an idea of what I'm going to say when I write up the project :)

WUVIE (author)2016-10-17

These are absolutely adorable!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)WUVIE2016-10-18


Pane-Bistecca (author)2016-10-17

They look amazing, my winners for the contest!!!!

Thank you :)

pawtanwar (author)2016-10-14



chocksliquidise (author)2016-10-13


Thank you :)

Arty_love (author)2016-10-12

Well these look yummy, really wish i had them.

Thanks! They were very tasty :)

You ate them without me?!

I, unfortunately, ate way too many of those cupcakes :/

zapptastic (author)2016-10-13

Oooo these look so yummy, totally have to make these for a Halloween party.

That is great to hear!

wold630 (author)2016-10-13

These are SO cute! You really got the perfect domes on them! Nice job. :)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)wold6302016-10-13

Thanks! It only seemed to work from some of the cupcakes, but I'll take it!

GeekCrafterGirlz432 (author)2016-10-12

Sooo yummy looking! Great job:D

Thank you :)

offseid (author)2016-10-12

That is fun and creative, and of course they look delicious! The only thing I'm not clear on is how to pipe the vines on wax paper and then, what, you transfer it somehow to the cupcake? I've clearly never done cake decoration before. And in fact, this is the first time I think I've ever used the verb 'pipe'. :P

Penolopy Bulnick (author)offseid2016-10-13

When I say "piping" I mean you put whatever substance you want to pipe (here it is chocolate or white chocolate) into a zip lock or piping bag with the corner snipped. Then you squeeze the bag so the chocolate comes out that corner and you draw with it.

Unfortunately, I didn't actually pipe any vines onto wax paper because I decided to do it right onto the cupcakes and it is a hard thing to photograph yourself doing. You can sort of get an idea from some of the pictures I have in Step 3 of this Instructable. Hope that helps :)

But yes, you pipe it on the wax paper, wait for it to harden, then carefully remove it from the wax paper and put it where you want it.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am the Creative Campaign Specialist here at Instructables. And I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!
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