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Thanksgiving cupcakes

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Festive Candy Corn Cupcakes made with a homemade vanilla cupcake recipe and topped with colorful vanilla buttercream frosting. They'll be the perfect holiday dessert to serve at any kid or adult Halloween party!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword buttercream, candy corn, cupcakes, frosting, halloween, thanksgiving, vanilla
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream

  • ½ cup butter softened (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • yellow and orange food coloring



  • Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 12 muffin tins or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until no large lumps remain-- you don’t want to over-mix or you’ll end up with dense cupcakes.
  • Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake wells, filling each one about ¾ of the way full.
  • Bake for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool on a wire rack and completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream

  • Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy-- about 1 minute.
  • Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioner's sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary to make sure all of the sugar gets incorporated.
  • Turn the mixer to medium high speed and beat until the buttercream becomes light and fluffy-- about 2 minutes.
  • Divide the frosting in thirds and place one third of the icing in a piping bag fitted with a star tip (I used a Wilton 2A).
  • Place another third of the frosting in a small bowl and add 2-3 drops of bright yellow food coloring. Mix to combine and transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
  • Add 2-3 drops of bright orange food coloring to the last third of frosting and mix to combine. Again, transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
  • Pipe a small ring of yellow frosting around the top of each cupcake. Then top the yellow with a slightly smaller circle of orange. Finally, top each cupcake with a peak of white frosting to create a triangle shape.
  • Enjoy the cupcakes immediately or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.


  • Flour is the base of our cupcakes-- make sure to measure using the spoon and level method so you don’t add too much (which can cause your cupcakes to be too dry).
  • Granulated sugar sweetens our cupcakes!
  • Baking powder helps the cupcakes rise and become light and airy.
  • Vegetable oil adds richness to the cupcakes and helps them stay fresher longer.
  • Milk adds moisture and richness to the cupcakes.
  • Eggs bind the cupcakes together.
  • Vanilla enhances the sweetness of the cupcakes and makes them vanilla flavored!
  • Butter is the base of our icing-- make sure it’s fully softened so you don’t end up with lumps.
  • Confectioner's sugar sweetens the icing and helps give it structure so we can pipe it into the shape we want.