“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right”

- Mark Twain

Classic Halloween Treats


Halloween is just around the corner and it’s time to think about what Classic Halloween Treats you will be serving.

Traditional Halloween food includes everything from caramel apples to pumpkin pies and offers endless variations for creativity in the kitchen.

If you’re looking to craft some tasty recipes and start the fun and lasting traditions with your family and friends, look no further.

Below are few ultimate Halloween classics to get you started. 


Classic Halloween Treats – Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

For these bars, we wanted to get the flavor of a gingersnap crust (which can bake up unappealingly hard) using graham crackers.

The simple solution was to add ground ginger to the crackers to spice them up.

Cooking Directions for Making Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Combine pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in small saucepan.

Cook mixture, stirring constantly, over medium heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool for 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.

Make foil sling for 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

Grease aluminum foil.

Process graham crackers, 1/4 cup sugar, and ginger in food processor to fine crumbs, about 15 seconds.

Add butter and pulse until combined, about 5 pulses.

Sprinkle mixture into prepared pan and press into even layer.

Bake until just starting to brown, 15 to 18 minutes.

Let crust cool completely on wire rack.

Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese and remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Add lemon juice, vanilla, and pumpkin mixture and beat until combined. Increase speed to medium; add eggs, one at a time; and beat until incorporated.

Pour over cooled crust and spread into even layer.

Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, 45 to 50 minutes.

Let cheesecake cool in pan on wire rack for 2 hours.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate cheesecake for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Using foil overhang, lift cheesecake out of pan.

Cut into 24 pieces before serving.

Ingredients for Making Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
15 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup (1 3/4 ounces) plus 1 1/3 cups (9 1/3 ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature


Classic Halloween Treats – Caramel Popcorn Balls

Corn as a foodstuff dates back thousands of years, but the history of the popcorn ball is a little harder to verify.

One fanciful story traces the origin story of popcorn balls to a perfect storm involving a hot Nebraska cornfield, a rain-soaked sticky sorghum field, and a tornado.

What we do know for sure is that a recipe for Pop Corn Balls appeared in E.F. Haskell’s “Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia” in 1861.

Cooking Directions for Making Caramel Popcorn Balls

Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a 4 quart saucepan, and heat over high heat.

When oil is hot, add 1/2 cup of popping corn.

Keep pan moving constantly.

When corn stops popping, remove from heat.

Place popped corn in oven to keep warm. Repeat until all corn has been popped. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan with a candy thermometer inserted, combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup.

Stir well and bring to boiling over medium heat.

Stir in condensed milk; simmer, stirring constantly, until thermometer reads 238 degrees F (114 degrees C).

Stir in vanilla.

Pour caramel over popped corn and stir to coat.

Butter hands lightly; shape popcorn into balls about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

Ingredients for Making Caramel Popcorn Balls

5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ½ cups unpopped popcorn
¼ cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Classic Halloween Treats – Carmel Apples

The official origin story of caramel apples is that a Kraft Foods salesman named Dan Walker came up with apples dipped in melted caramel back in the 1950s when he was trying to use up some extra caramel stock after Halloween.

Dentists have blessed or cursed him ever since.

Cooking Directions for Making Carmel Apples

Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place caramels and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave for 2 minutes, stirring once.

Set aside to cool briefly.

Roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until well coated.

Place on prepared sheet to set.

Ingredients for Making Carmel Apples

6 apples
6 wooden craft sticks
cooking spray
1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons milk


Classic Halloween Treats – Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Cake-like cookies sandwiching a sweet filling were so beloved long ago that Amish farmers would shout “Whoopie!” when they found them packed in their lunches — or so goes one version of the lore.

In the first decades of the 20th century, whoopie pies became commercially produced (some say 1918; others say 1925), and they’ve retained their old-fashioned appeal to this day.

This version, made with pumpkin instead of the more traditional chocolate, is just right for Halloween, and just might get a few whoops of joy from your family and friends.

Cooking Directions for Making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.

Combine the oil and brown sugar.

Mix in the pumpkin and eggs, beating well.

Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

Mix well.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes.

Let cookies cool then make sandwiches from two cookies filled with Whoopie Pie Filling.

To Make Whoopie Pie Filling:

Beat egg white and mix with the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar.

Mix well then beat in the shortening and the remaining cup of confectioners’ sugar.

Beat until light and fluffy.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Ingredients

2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ cups solid pack pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground ginger
½ tablespoon ground cloves
1 egg white
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup shortening


Classic Halloween Treats – Marshmallow Treats

Officially dating back to 1939, this combination of marshmallows, crisp rice cereal, and butter was invented by Kellogg’s employees Mildred Day and Malitta Jensen.

Yes, you can cut them into crispy, sticky beige squares as originally intended.

But you can also add color and bend this highly malleable mixture to your creative will.

Directions for Making Marshmallow Treats

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat; add marshmallows and stir until melted and well combined.

Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat.

Stir in crispy rice cereal until well coated.

Press mixture evenly and firmly into a buttered 9×13-inch pan using a buttered spatula or waxed paper.

Cut into 2-inch squares when cool.

Ingredients for Making Marshmallow Treats

¼ cup butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
5 cups crispy rice cereal


Classic Halloween Treats – Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds

Ancient native cultures in the Americas consumed nutrient-dense pumpkin seeds both raw and roasted, as far back as 10,000 years ago.

There’s no evidence that they sprinkled them with sugar and cinnamon, though.

Directions for Making Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds

After scooping out the seeds, they’re going to be a bit messy.

To clean them, throw them into a bowl of cold water.

Swish the seeds around a bit then as they float to the top, take them out.

They’re mostly clean at this point, which is fine because they have one more chance to clean up.

Add the mostly clean seeds to a pot of boiling salted water. Then simmer for about 5 minutes.

This cleans the seeds and seasons them — like how adding salt to the boiling water seasons pasta.

Drain and rinse the seeds. 

Pull away any extra bits of pumpkin left, then dry them as well as you can. 

The more dry the seeds are, the better they will roast.

Toss the dry seeds with some oil — use olive oil, coconut oil or a nut oil like walnut.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 cups of water and season with 2 teaspoons salt.

Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, scoop the seeds from your pumpkin.

Add the pumpkin seeds to a bowl filled with cold water and swish them around until the seeds float and are mostly clean.

Add cleaned seeds to the boiling salted water.

Simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and pull away any remaining pumpkin attached to the seeds.

Scatter the seeds onto clean dishcloths and pat them very dry.

Mound the dried seeds onto the prepared baking sheet.

Add the oil and any spices on top then toss until well coated.

Spread the seeds into one layer.

Bake, stirring the seeds at least once, until fragrant and golden around the edges, 10 to 25 minutes, depending on how large the seeds are.

Ingredients for Making Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds

1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons olive oil, melted coconut oil or nut oil like walnut
2 teaspoons your favorite spice blend such as curry powder, harissa and chili powder


Classic Halloween Treats – Honeycomb Toffee

With its light and airy construction, this crispy confection resembles a sponge or a honeycomb, and is known by many names all over the world.

Some date the candy back to the 1940s, but that’s hard to verify given its global appeal.

This particular recipe comes from Chef John, who says, “This very fun and simple-to-make candy goes by many names; cinder toffee, sponge candy, and my personal favorite, ‘hokey pokey,’ but no matter what you call it, this eye-catching confection is a proven crowd pleaser. “

As long as you’re very careful and heat the syrup up to the correct temp, there’s not a lot that can go wrong.

Cooking Directions for Making Honeycomb Toffee

Line a baking dish with parchment paper, measure out baking soda in a small bowl, and have a heat-proof spatula ready before starting.

Whisk sugar, corn syrup, water, and honey together in a saucepan with a candy thermometer attached.

Heat over medium heat until the mixture is thinner but still cloudy.

Let bubble until the mixture is clear and the thermometer registers 300 degrees F (149 degrees C).

Remove from heat.

Whisk in baking soda until just incorporated.

Switch to a spatula and very carefully pour into the lined dish.

Do not spread it out with your spatula or compress the mixture at all, or the bubbles will deflate.

Let cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

Remove candy from the pan by lifting out the parchment paper.

Rap against the counter and use your fingers to break it into individual pieces.

Ingredients for Making Honeycomb Toffee

1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon honey


Classic Halloween Treats – Nutmeg Cake

The tradition of eating spiced “soul cakes” on All Hallow’s Eve dates back to the Middle Ages.

Children would go door to door singing a ritual song in honor of the dearly departed, and collecting small, spiced cakes to eat.

Directions for Making Nutmeg Cup Cakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

Beat butter and white sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color.

Add eggs, one at a time, until well-blended. Stir in vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.

Pour 1/3 of the flour mixture into the bowl; mix just until incorporated. Stir in 1/2 of the buttermilk, mixing gently.

Continue adding flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing until combined.

Spread batter into the prepared pans.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert them on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Make Caramel Icing

Combine brown sugar, cream, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.

Stir in confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth.

Add more cream or confectioner’s sugar to achieve desired spreading consistency.

Ingredients for Nutmeg Cup Cakes

3 eggs, room temperature
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Carmel Icing

½ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cream
¼ cup butter
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar


Classic Halloween Treats – Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin spice may have become an ultra-popular flavor in the 2010s, but the blend of spices dates to 1934 when McCormick began producing it with pumpkin pie in mind.

The flavor has since inspired tons of recipes. Bake our Pumpkin Cake I in a bundt pan for vintage charm.

Directions for Making Pumpkin Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Grease one 10-inch bundt or tube pan.

Blend oil, beaten eggs, pumpkin and vanilla together.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and salt together.

Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined.

If desired, stir in some chopped nuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a plate and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Ingredients for Making Pumpkin Cake

1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups white sugar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (Optional)

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