Should we state the obvious? OK, but let’s make it quick. It’s 2020. Things are weird. Halloween is most likely going to look like some half-assed version of itself. Let’s band together (virtually, of course) and try to make the most of whatever at-home celebrations we can whip up with a week to spare. Enter: 10 simple Halloween recipes that are cute, festive — and, yes, genuinely doable. Not to mention tasteful in theme — and in, uhhhh, taste.
No shriveled witch fingers or peeled grapes here, friends. Just ten recipes that are sure to be a hit with both kiddos and big people, alike. OK, OK, and more than half of them unabashedly employ my favorite hack of the season: these candy eyes. Since I mentioned them in this post on favorite Amazon finds, we’ve bought three more packs and have put them on everything from donuts and waffles to celery + pb. I even popped them on a fried egg the other day, and I’m pretty sure I’ve now hit Cool Mom Peak as far as our five-year-old is concerned. I’ll take it.
1. Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats
(via Dessert for Two)
Well these are clever as all heck. And these are scaled down to make a single cake pan’s worth, which is kinda perfect if you’re “baking” for a small group or just your immediate family.
2. Gluten-Free Matcha Cheesecake Frankensteins
(via Snixy Kitchen)
Am I the only one with a weakness for no-bake cheesecake? Sarah of Snixy Kitchen is one of the most experienced bakers and thorough recipe developers I know (and a fellow matcha lover — she turned me onto the brand I drink daily), so these are guaranteed to be fantastic. She also gives a no-bake alternative to the chocolate crust, so this can be a fully no-bake project. AND she makes her own freaking black icing with black sesame and sugar — which, in truth does sound delicious and simple enough, but if that’s taking it a bit too far, no one would fault you for swapping in some candy eyes.
3. No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Halloween Cake Truffles
(via The Pig & Quill)
Oh hey, look. It’s me. We’ve made these cake truffles a couple times now since developing the recipe — Chris thought these were almost too good — and they couldn’t be easier. The secret is store-bought madeleines (we used a pumpkin variety, but you can use plain madeleines and just amp up the pumpkin spice mix) and any buttercream frosting that you can get your hands on. Plus more of those candy eyes, of course.
4. Halloween Boo Bark
(via Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Super easy, fun to make with kiddos, and I love the colors. Getting sick of those candy eyes yet? Didn’t think so.
5. Apple Spider Web Pops
(via Food Network)
When I was little, my mom and I would take little day trips from my stepdad’s cabin into Tahoe, and we always stopped at the chocolate shop and picked up a deluxe chocolate-and-caramel dipped apple. These slices are like waaaay more manageable versions of that — and dragging the toothpick through the chocolate to make the spiderweb design is super satisfying.
6. Leftover Halloween Candy Cookie Dough
(via The BakerMama)
That clever BakerMama! Inspired by this recipe, we made these last year using our favorite Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (omitting the chocolate chips). The lovely thing about that recipe, in particular? Being vegan, there are no raw eggs, so you can eat as much of the dough as you like. I may or may not have made dozens of little candy-studded, cookie dough balls for the freezer — and then proceeded to eat most of them like truffles before they even had the chance to be baked. Oops!
7. Easy Halloween Snacks
(via Foxes Love Lemons)
Need a little something savory to offset all that sweet? All of the ideas on this snack platter are clever as heck — and still relatively easy. Make one or make them all. The jalapeno popper mummies are calling to me, in particular. (Also: more candy eyes!!!)
8. 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups
(via Eating Bird Food)
OK, there’s nothing overtly Halloween-y about these, aside from the fact that peanut butter cups are probably my favorite Halloween candy (in the chocolate genre, that is…I’m one of the freaks that likes Good ‘n’ Plenty in the non-chocolate sector). These have all the hallmarks of a classic pb cup without all the crap. And if you really wanted to spook them up? I mean…I guess you could always…add…some…*whisper*candyeyesss*whisper*….?
9. Monster Munch Marshmallow Popcorn Snack Mix
(via Yes to Yolks)
If I plopped a bowl of this down in front of Lana during movie night, she would be beside herself with excitement. I’d probably swap in some easier-to-find traditional candy corn for the specialty stuff. And you know what else I’d huck in there? Yeah. Those.
10. Easy Halloween Snack Board
(via Delicious Table)
As if you needed more proof that it all comes down to candy eyes, this festive snack platter is literally nothing more than store-bought snacks, artfully piled together and garnished with the dang things. We’ll probably do something like this on actual Halloween night, emphasizing the salty snacks to balance out all the sweet. Do yourself a favor and mix some dry-roasted peanuts into the candy corn, which was a thing I had never heard of until we lived in Ohio, and now it’s one of my favorite snacks ever. (If you haven’t tried it, the combo tastes just like a Pay Day. So good.)
Any can’t-miss, easy Halloween recipes that you’d add?
Have a tasty Halloween, friends. Stay safe out there!
Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!
Oh hey, Pinners! This one’s for you…
We are empty nesters but…I may buy the candy eyes to spice up some Halloween treats for my husband & I. It’s 2020, right?! And, I’m also thinking about making the snack mix for our Halloween movie night.
Candy eyes can do no wrong! I promise you won’t regret them. Great 2020 purchase.
I love these ideas, but once you start mixing in nuts, some of your friends won’t be able to eat any of it due to cross-contact. We’ve gotta take care of each other.
I totally hear that — this is by no means an allergy-friendly list. And it was written with the caveat that many of us won’t be celebrating the holiday with friends but rather with our immediate families, so I was assuming there would be fewer wild cards when it comes to who can eat what. But yes, of course — if you’re gathering with others, it’s always a great reminder to be cognizant of allergies and dietary preferences. 🙂
Eek— the rice krispie treats are calling to my kiddos— but I think the link goes to a face paint on Amazon? Or has 2020 officially gotten to me? Help please!
Alright. I’m sold on the candy eyes!! They are so appealing here! There are so many good ideas on this list! I want to make all of them! Thanks for the suggestions!