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Boozy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts

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  • Prep 45 min
  • Total 4 hr 0 min
  • Servings 24
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Ghostly pumpkin cupcakes with a boozy rum cream filling inside are perfect for your adult Halloween party!
by: Girl vs Dough
Updated Apr 10, 2017
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For The Cupcakes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ Cake Mix Yellow
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 eggs

For The Rum Buttercram

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For The Merringue Ghosts

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (or granulated sugar processed in a food processor for 30 seconds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or rum extract)
  • 48 mini chocolate chips (for eyes)


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F (325°F if using a dark or nonstick pan). Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper baking cups.
  • 2
    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cake mix, canned pumpkin, water, oil, pumpkin pie spice and eggs 30 seconds on low speed. Increase to medium and beat batter 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
  • 3
    Divide batter evenly among paper baking cups (about 2/3 full). Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • 4
    Cool cupcakes 10 minutes in pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, make the rum buttercream: In a large bowl, beat together butter and powdered sugar until smooth, creamy and fluffy. Beat in heavy cream, rum and vanilla.
  • 6
    When cupcakes are cool, cut out the centers using a cupcake corer or knife, then spoon a rounded tablespoonful of the rum buttercream into the center of each cupcake.
  • 7
    Make the meringue ghosts: Heat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 8
    In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low-medium speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat on low-medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • 9
    Slowly add sugar and beat on low-medium speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla.
  • 10
    Using a 1/2-inch round tip on a piping bag, pipe 24 meringue ghosts onto prepared baking sheet, each about 2 inches wide and 2 inches tall. Place two mini chocolate chips on each meringue for the eyes.
  • 11
    Bake on center rack of oven 1 hour to 1 1/2 hous until set and dry on the outside. Turn off oven; open door slightly. Leave meringues on baking sheet in oven for a couple hours to overnight until meringues are fully cooled and set.
  • 12
    Place meringue ghosts on top of cupcakes.

Expert Tips

  • tip 1
    Eliminate the rum in Step 5. Add cream 1 teaspoon at a time if additional liquid is needed (max 2 additional teaspoons).

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • These pumpkin cupcakes have a luscious rum buttercream center and meringue ghost topper – perfect for your adult Halloween party! OK for real you guys, I wasn’t going to have a Halloween party this year (heck, I wasn’t even going to dress up…unless my pajamas count), but I just made these Boozy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts – and methinks I need to have a monster mash just so I can share these. Because I MEAN…look at these guys. I can’t very well keep them all to myself (well, I could, but I’m already on a sugar high from all the pre-Halloween candy I ate). Anywho, I hope you’re having a party or, at the very least, you have a large gaggle of peeps in your life you can share these with – because once you see how easy they are to make and how delicious they sound, you’re going to want to make them. They’re a little bit spooky and a lot sweet and OMGEEE! Place a meringue ghost on the top of each cupcake, and abracadabra -- you’ve got a boo-zy pumpkin ghost cupcake! Kid-Friendly Version Make these cuties kid-friendly for the kiddos by eliminating the rum in the filling. If additional liquid is needed, add cream one teaspoon at a time (no more than two teaspoons).
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