Here is how you can create your own Nightmare Before Christmas cupcakes

Many of you have asked for the recipe to make the Halloween Cupcakes we posted to the I LOVE HALLOWEEN Facebook Page.  Read on for the recipe for these stunning crowd pleasers - guaranteed to deliver taste to the most devilish of palates. 

The recipe comes from our own exquisite Spooktacular Gluten Free Halloween Dessert Cookbook. If you simply must have more,  please go to Amazon to purchase the 3 dimensional book or visit our website for a downloadable pdf version 

Read on for the recipe

This is a wonderful, fun and DELICIOUS recipe for the Halloween season.  We had so much fun on a recent Sunday afternoon as we unleashed our creativity and turned the characters from “Nightmare Before Christmas” into yummy cupcakes.

I have to say... is is much easier than you think!  I have never worked with sugar paste or marzipan, let alone any cake decorating and I think they still turned out really good!

We simply pulled out images from our favorite items on google and did our best to mold them into the actual figure that sits on top a really yummy cupcake. I have to say that the secret and real art is in the recipe for the cupcakes and icing... they may look good on photo but the taste is just to die for!

We used my moms carrot cup cake recipe and the are just perfect: Moist, light and really delicious.  And Icing is really yummy too!   We are very health conscious in our family so sugar and fat quantities are kept to the minimum without loosing the delicious taste!

So here is my mom's SPECIAL Cupcake recipe and a few tips that I learned while making the characters to help you along in your creation!


1 Cup Wholegrain Spelt Flour (You can use Quinoa Flour)

11/2 Cup of raw grated carrots

1/2 Cup of Raw Coconut oil or Ghee melted

1/2 Cup ofRaw Coconut Sugar                                                

1 Leveled tsp of Baking Soda

1 Tbof Cinnamon Powder

1/4 tsp of Ginger Powder 

1/4 tsp of Allspice

2 Large Eggs or 3 Medium

I Ts. of Vanilla Extract

1/4 Tsp of Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Ground Pecansor Walnuts(Optional)

1 tsp of Lemon Juice


Preheat oven 180 C- 350 F.

Line the muffin pan withpaper cup cake cases.

If you want to make a cake lightly oil a 8 inch cake pan

With electric mixer beat oil and sweetener until creamy, add lemon juice

Mix all dry ingredients and sieve the mixture. Add Dry ingredients alternating with eggs add vanilla, mix well.Add carrots and beat on low speed just enough to incorporate,  stir in nuts and mix well.

With a spoon fill up 3/4 of each cupcake

Bake aprox. 15- 17 min for cupcakes or 20- 25 if using a 8 inch pan; or until insert a toothpick and comes out clean. Let them cool before you frost them


300 Grams of Butter Room Temperature

500 Grams Icing sugar

11/2 TB of Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Ts Vanilla Extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric beater to beat for 2 minutes or until very light and fluffy.

Gradually add the icing sugar and beat until the mixture is very pale and fluffy add lemon and vanilla and mix well.

“Night Before Christmas Cast” Decorations

Materials Needed

-  400gr of White Ready to Roll Sugar Paste

  or 400gr of Natural Marzipan 

                                   I used both and I found the sugar paste easier for mixing the colors.                  Both are available at any supermarket.

- 200gr of Black Ready to Roll Sugar Paste

-  ICING (food) Colors in Paste:  Green, Red, Yellow, Blue and Black

      Note: The liquid ones don’t really agree with the marzipan... it gets sticky.

-  Thin Painting Brush for the details

-  Tools: Wooden Skewer

              Pairing Knife

              Spoon -use a fine one with a rounded end

-  Small bowl filled with water

-  Tooth Picks

-  Piping Bags & 3 Decorating Icing tips

  • Drop Flower Tip
  • Multi Opening Tip
  • Thin Rounded Tip

Tips on how to make them:

Jack Skellington Cupcake


Round the shape of the head with the white sugar paste.  I used the back of around spoon to get the shape of the eyes.  Use the Black Sugar Paste to shape and to fill in the eyes. With the tip of the skewer trace the shape of the mouth and nose, about 2 mm deep.  Roll a bit of the black paste into the shape of the mouth and nose and embed into the lines you traced.  With the skewer make the scars across the mouth and use the thin paint brush paint the scars in.

Sally Skellington Cupcake

Mix some green and blue icing color until you get the shade you want. Then mix it in and well to the sugar paste or marzipan.   Shape the head and use the toothpick or skewer again to trace the mouth and eyes and placing of the nose.  With a bit of the paste shape her nose and with a little water set it into place.  Deepen the eye sockets and stick some of the natural marzipan or white paste for the eyes, and a little black for the puplis.  Shape the mouth and trace it the same way you did Jacks.  I rolled out thin marzipan for the hair, but you could also pipe orange icing when you assemble the cakes.

Ooggie Boogie Cupcake

Basically same steps. Mix the green until you get the color.  Shape the head as best as you can, trace the eyes, mouth and nose, and fill it in with Black Sugar paste. Paint the mouth scars in.

Snow Dog Cupcake

I think he was the most challenging because of the length of the ears and mouth... the sugar paste is heavy and does not hold on.  Start by creating a small sugar paste pyramid for the inside of the body.  Remember he is supposed to be a ghost!  So roll out thin circle of the paste and drape and shape it on top to get the “ghost sheet” look.  With the knife cut the extra bits.  Once you have the body now shape the head and use a toothpick to dig into the body.  Split the mouth and embed the black paste in to make him look like he is smiling :-).  You might need to stick another toothpick for the mouth dont forget the pit of orange at the tip of the nose.  Same with the eyes: trace and fill them in.  Shape the ears around 2 toothpicks and stick them into the head. Done!

Lock, Stock & Barrel

Basically follow the same steps.  Mix paints to get the colors you want. For orange mix red and yellow with a little black. They are supposed to have masks, so I simulated them to make them look more realistic.  Similar to the dog, shape the general form of the head, then roll out a separate peace of paste and place on top.  Then shape noses on top.  Trace eyes and mouths and fill them in. Use the thin brush to paint in details. 

For the witches hat i used 2 separate peaces of paste. one rolled into a round shape and top of the there is a toothpick that stick the hat into the head.

Vampire Teddy

Follow the same steps.  This one has 3 layers. The head, then the vampire shaped cap: rolled out and cut into shape. and then the ears stock on top.  Remember to use water to stick all the layers together.  Shape mouth and eyes and fill them in.