Ghostly Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes 12 large or 18 small cupcakes
Turn ordinary cupcakes into friendly ghosts!
serve with:
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  • 1¼ cups (180g) cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons (6.25ml) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml)baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120ml) canola oil (vegetable or extra light olive oil also work)
  • ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk or plain kefir


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C.

Begin by lining a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set flour mix aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs with the whisk attachment on medium speed (15-20 seconds).

Add the sugar and continue to beat on medium speed (30 seconds).  Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed (1 minute).  Reduce mixer speed to medium/low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture, mixing until incorporated. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. Beat until just combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. The batter will be thin.

Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Fill liners to about ½ full (do not overfill).

Bake for 12 -14 minutes at 350°F/176°C or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove. 

Note: if baking mini cupcakes, bake 10 minutes.


Whip the cream on high speed (1-2 minutes) until thick, fluffy and spreadable.

In a second mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar (start on low speed unless you want to be standing in a cloud of powdered sugar), then beat in ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.

Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use on these cupcakes.

For best results, freeze your mixing bowl and whisk attachment 10-15 minutes before using. Also keep the heavy whipping cream refrigerated until ready to use.


Use a large piping sleeve to create a spiral of icing for the “ghost”.  Add black food coloring to a small amount of white icing and use a small piping sleeve or toothpick to add the eyes and noses.


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