Halloween Family Fun with McCormick…

October is here and I have some kid friendly recipes to help your family celebrate the upcoming Halloween season all thanks to McCormick. I’m highlighting two recipes that you can make with your kids. One that is a little “younger” kid friendly (the Pumpkin Sugar Cookies) and one for your older kids to have fun with (Ghostly Halloween Cupcakes).

I was excited to learn that McCormick® makes a black food coloring. In the past whenever I have tried black food coloring it always came out a weird purple color, but as you can clearly see from my cupcakes, their black food coloring is indeed black! That’s a rare and cool find.

And if you don’t need black food coloring, McCormick® also has Assorted Food Colors that can be combined to come up with just about any color combination to make your Halloween treats more colorful and festive! I combined their yellow and red food coloring to make orange a vivid orange for the pumpkin cookies.

I used cookie and cake mix to make it easier for kids, but feel free to use your favorite sugar cookie and cake recipes to make these more to your family’s liking. Feel free to play around with the flavors as well. The original cupcakes only called for McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract but I chose to use their Pure Mint Extract as well since the cookie I was using for the tombstone is mint flavored. I also chose to add McCormick® Pumpkin Pie Spice to my sugar cookies since they were made into pumpkins. I definitely think it adds a little something more to these fall-themed cookies to make them taste like fall themselves!

Now you know how McCormick® can help your Halloween treats be more colorful and flavorful. Grab your kiddos and start baking!

McCormick is also sponsoring a wonderful giveaway at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s SideCar Series, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter. All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win $50 (10 prizes total).  The deadline is October 31, 2011. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!


Ghostly Halloween Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 package (18 1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
½ teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon McCormick® Pure Mint Extract
McCormick® Black Food Color
McCormick® Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye
2 containers (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting
24 oval-shaped cookies (I used Mint Milano’s)
Assorted decorations, such as chocolate sprinkles and miniature chocolate chips

PREPARE cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla and mint extracts to the cupcakes as well.

BAKE as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Makes 24 servings.


Tint 1 container frosting black with few drops black food color, I used 4 drops. Frost cupcakes.

Spoon frosting into small plastic resalable plastic bag. Snip a small corner from bag. Pipe “RIP” onto top half of cookie. Push tombstone cookie into cupcake.

For the ghost, spoon remaining container frosting into large resalable plastic bag. Snip a corner from bag. Pipe 1/2-inch dollop next to tombstone. This is the bottom of the ghost. Pipe a smaller dollop on top, lifting while squeezing bag so that top of dollop is pointed. This is the head of the ghost. Use chocolate sprinkles and miniature chocolate chips to decorate the face or you can pipe the eyes and mouth on (which is what I did).

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 9 to 10 minutes per batch

1 package (17.5 ounces) sugar cookie mix
¾ teaspoon McCormick® Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1 container (16 ounces) vanilla frosting (or make your own)
McCormick® Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye in red and yellow to make orange for pumpkins, and green for vines
16 Tootsie Roll Midgets, cut in half, rolled and shaped to look like a stem

Makes 3 dozen

PREPARE cookie mix as directed on package, adding vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Cut out rounds with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter.

BAKE and cool cookies as directed on package.


Frost cookies with orange vanilla frosting. Using a piping bag, cut a small hole at the bottom or using a piping tip if you have them to make vines with the green frosting. Start at the top and work your way down to form the vines. Place Tootsie Roll stem on top of cookies.

*I was compensated by Kitchen PLAY and McCormick®for this post, but the ideas, words, bad grammar, and opinions are all mine.


  1. Those cupcakes are awesome! I love that black food coloring…



  2. Adorable! I totally just pinned this to make for later on in the month!

  3. These are too cute! I love the idea of adding the pumpkin pie spice to the pumpkin decorated sugar cookies!

  4. yay for sponsors!! and those are some good looking treats Peabody!

  5. Awesome! :). That cupcake looks great. I have the artistic ability of a gnat so I know there is little chance I can pull that off but I’m sure my aunt would have a blast with something like this :). I’ll have to let her know about the black food colouring. Unfortunately I’ve never seen McCormick in Southern Ontario :(.

  6. ooh I was just thinking about how I need black frosting last week so I actually bought black frosting at Michael’s. I had no idea there was black food coloring. Next time! Thanks for the tip!

  7. Love the pumpkin cookies! Can’t wait to try!!

  8. Oh man, I know what you mean about the “black” food coloring, but sometimes to purple tint it creates can be a little cool at times. The pumpkin cookies look absolutly delicious, and your decorating skills are like off the charts compared to mine, haha.

  9. Oh, my, look at those yummy cookies sitting on that cute gingham!!

  10. I love how your cupcakes turned out and your pumpkin cookies are way cute!!!

  11. I love the idea of putting pumpkin pie spice into the pumpkin shaped cookies. I’ll definitely be trying that!

  12. Does the black food coloring turn your tongue and teeth disgusting colors after partaking in one of those delicious cupcakes?

  13. My oh my those pumpkin cookies are just precious! Excellent idea for both Halloween AND Thanksgiving.

  14. Your pumpkin cookies are so cute!

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