It’s that time of year again. The leaves are turning, the air is getting chilly, midterms are crushing your soul and ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween lineup is taking precedence over your homework. You’re getting into that spooktacular mood, but nothing is truly complete without food. So, whether you’re planning a blowout Halloween party to let off some steam or brewing up some festive treats for yourself, here’s the best Halloween party food that you can make this year.
Get spooky and make some creepy Halloween party food to freak out your friends.
1. Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cup
Let’s start out with a festive twist on an old elementary school classic. It’s pretty much the same as the dirt cups you remember, but we’re ditching the gummy worms. Layer chocolate pudding and crushed up Oreos in a clear cup, then garnish with green Sour Punch Straws and candy pumpkins. Spooky, yet satisfying.
2. Strawberry Ghosts
This one may be better suited to a spooky night in with bae and the Horror category on Netflix, but these cute little candied ghosts would definitely be a hit at a party, too. Just melt down one package of Vanilla Candiquik coating, dip in your strawberries, and set them out on wax paper to dry. Before the coating hardens, place three mini chocolate chips on the strawberry to get that ghostly visage. 2Spooky4me.
3. Skeleton Sampler
Sure to be a party pleaser, this easy dish is best served cold. Simply obtain a skeleton (a toy one. From a party store. Please do not steal a cadaver from your local med school. This isn’t Hannibal.), place it on a bed of cheese slices, and fill its abdomen with meat. Stick a knife in it and call it good. Bonus: this can double as a reminder of what will happen to your roommates if they keep stealing your stuff. Just kidding.
4. Mini Caramel Apples
Ever try to eat a caramel apple and end up with caramel pretty much everywhere on your face except in your mouth? Well, fret no longer, because these little guys are pretty much the most genius thing ever. Just use a melon baller to carve out some mini apple bites, stick them on cake pop sticks and dip them in melted caramel. Before you set them out to dry, you can run these babies through nuts, sprinkles or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, chocolate.
5. Glowing Cupcakes
That’s right: cupcakes that glow. This nifty trick is the result of adding tonic water to the frosting. The quinine in the tonic water causes it to glow under black lights, so be sure to light your party accordingly. The frosting is simple too, just confectioner’s sugar, vegetable shortening, vanilla extract, and tonic water. Here’s to a boo-tiful glow at your Halloween party.
6. Pumpkin Cheese Ball
If you’re looking for one dish to please the drunken masses, this is it. Just throw together some cheese dip, form it into a pumpkin-like shape, and refrigerate until firm. Then, roll that baby through some crushed Doritos, pop a bell pepper stem on the top, and serve with chips. It’s nacho-average-Jack-o’-Lantern.
7. Caramel Apple Jell-O Shots
At last, the part of the article that you’re really here for: alcohol. These will take a little more time and effort to make. But they’re also caramel apple Jell-O shots so I think it’s safe to say they’re worth it. Although this recipe calls for vodka, you could easily switch that out for bourbon. Or maybe try both. Do it for science.
8. Caramel Apple Sangria
Want to class up your monster mash? Try this. All you’ll need is a bottle of Pinot Grigio, caramel flavored vodka, apple cider and a few cut up apples. Mix the lot together in your favorite cauldron, cackle occasionally, and serve over ice. Perfect for all of your stylish spooky needs.
9. Candy Corn Jell-O Shooters
Admittedly, these look involved enough that I would even consider charging my friends to partake of them, but the aesthetic payoff just can’t be beat. Since they’re tri-layered, there’s a lot of fridge and prep time at play. But since you’re not using all of the vanilla vodka in the bottle for this recipe, the time shouldn’t pass by too slowly, if you catch my drift. If you’re feeling cute, top these with actual candy corn.
10. Alien Brain Hemorrhage
Finally, the pièce de résistance. This creepy concoction got its name for fairly obvious reasons—it looks like an out of this world brain, of sorts. To make, fill a shot glass 3/4 full with peach schnapps. Then, add Bailey’s until you’re almost at the rim and top it off with a dash of Blue Curacao and Grenadine. Voilà! You have a shot worthy of a mad scientist’s laboratory.
Looking for more Halloween party food ideas to creep your friends out?
Written by Marin McCall.
11. Brain Chicken Salad
You don’t have to dress like a zombie to enjoy some brains for dinner. Whip up some grey matter with much more colorful ingredients to impress your guests. Plus, even though this salad doesn’t have any leafy greens, you’ll still step up your nutrition game way higher than the rest of your Halloween candy-only diet.
12. Mummy Pizza
Make a classic dish look scary and taste scary delicious. “Everyone loves a pizza party. A Halloween-themed pizza would give the people what they want and satisfy the theme aspect,” University of Iowa sophomore Emma Scintu said. This recipe doesn’t even require breaking into an ancient Egyptian tomb.
13. Halloween Rainbow Cake
For all those that rejoice in October’s all black everything aesthetic, try to embrace other hues in the Halloween color scheme with this colorful cake. The colors in this dessert keep things spooky with jack-o’-lantern orange and witch’s potion purple, but add swirls of surprise beneath a solid-colored icing of your choice. “You can’t host a party without cake,” UI sophomore Lauren Nielsen said.
14. Guts Sausages
“I’d want to make something for a Halloween party that looks really gross and scary, but that everyone would want to get seconds of,” UI sophomore Emily Toth said. If this image of squirming insides doesn’t make your insides squirm, then get a fork and knife ready. This recipe won’t entice the squeamish at your party but that just means more delicious sausage for you.
15. Meringue Bones
Stiffened eggs whites emulate the stiff, brittle bones of a skeleton in this recipe. Whip up some fibias, tibias, femurs and tarsals to kill two birds–celebrating with a treat and studying for your anatomy quiz–with one meringue. “Bone meringues don’t look super gross. They still look appetizing and it’s a nice change of pace, something you don’t see at every party,” UI junior Madeline Darland said.
16. Halloween Sushi
Raw fish can’t compare to the raw horror of your favorite Halloween movies, but for some it might. Satisfy sushi lovers and spook sushi haters in one roll. “Sushi is a unique option for a aprty, so if you want a high-class Halloween party this works,” UI sophomore Katie Schumacher said. Trick or tuna?
17. Blood and Guts Soup
A pool of blood sounds like a way more appropriate dip for your Halloween grilled cheese. Vampires might even trip up at the sight of this soup, but non-bloodsuckers can enjoy too. Plus, soup is the perfect dish to make in bulk so you can feed hordes of Halloweenies and still have leftovers when November rolls around at midnight.
18. Spiderweb Taco Dip
Your freaky flair in the design on this delicious dip probably won’t last long. Take comfort in knowing the pictures of your spread though will attract a ton of costumed culinaries looking to dunk a chip in your masterpiece. “Dips are always a hit at parties and us shy people love to hang out around them and have something to do with our hands,” UI junior Abbe Sindlinger said.
19. Brownie Mice
Hurry and scurry towards these treats before they disappear. You can make conventional brownies look like an ingredient in a witch’s potion without any actual rodents in attendance at your scary soiree. “Who doesn’t like brownies? Everyone will be sick of candy so it’s nice to have a different sweet option,” UI senior Ashlyn Goodpasture said.
20. Pumpkin Cake Pops
Want some sugar, pumpkin? Sugary, festive cake pops in the shape of smiling jack-o’-lanterns, I mean. “Cake pops are kind of trendy right now, so combining that with Halloween would mean a lot of people would Instagram your work,” UI junior Lexi Hicok said. Cake pops make cake portable, so you can float around the room like ghost without chains.
21. Witch Fingers
Halloween prank idea: Offer one of these to your friends when they’re not expecting it by running the almond fingernail down the back of their neck. Warning—they might punch you with their real fingers.
Updated on September 29. 2017 by Marin McCall to include Halloween party foods 11-21.