Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts-- Perfect for Halloween!

When you take a huge bite out of this brown sugar and sweet potato cupcake with the maple frosting and meringue ghost on top you will taste a peep. Like those ones you find in your Easter basket. It’s a homemade peep. I’m serious.

I’m going to straight up tell you that Halloween isn’t a super me type holiday. It’s basically a pre-cursor for Thanksgiving and Christmas, my go-to holidays, and so I never get pumped for Halloween. But it’s cool.

But now with the bloggio, and the fun halloween recipes I can put into the interwebs (pun intended), I might be into it.

Food is such a motivator.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cupcakes

I had this one year where I dressed up like a chicken, in a chicken suit, and my friend dressed up like a gorilla (they sell these costumes at target, get ya one) and we hid in the bushes to scare my sister and all her friends. Good times.

When I first moved to Rosemary Beach, there was no concept of Halloween. By the end of September there was no concept of a living soul either. It emptied out. So my mom decided that we were all (as in all 10 of us kids of the entire neighborhood, no joke) going to dress up and go trick or treating and hope for the best. People were so shocked when we showed up at their door that we got the most random stuff.

I remember I had boxes of pasta, pretzels, popcorn balls, and money. Hard cash, baby. That’s the way you do Halloween.

And then my aunt and uncle made chicken chili and we all sat in the driveway just enjoying our first Rosemary Halloween. I’ll just say that it’s changed a lot since then. There’s now tourists that stay through the winter and lots of fun festivities, but my favorite was still those first few holidays when it was just a few families.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cupcakes

I’ve got this dream that one day I am going to dress up as Belle and it’s going to look so realistic that all the kids will think I am Belle. Or am I? My children are never going to be embarrassed of their mom. Not ever.

Have I mentioned yet that these cupcakes are gluten-free? I’ve rebounded since my donut attempt and come back strong. I used a gluten-free box mix as a base and added the delectable sweet potatoes and brown sugar, and they turned out great! I panicked at first when they were super dense in the middle, but after cooling completely they cooked all the way through.

Boo to the yah. I’m so punny.

How to Make Meringue Ghosts

I used my favorite aka easy vegan buttercream frosting recipe and just added maple. Then trashed it all up with some orange sprinkles, and topped the party with meringue ghosts.

On a cuteness level, the ghosts are off the chart. I was worried that the ghosts would melt throughout the day, but they stayed in there shape until I gobbled them all up. 

These cupcakes are absolutely perfect for a Halloween get together of any sort. Bring your crockpot meal and meringue ghost cupcakes and call yourself a hit. That’s costume enough.

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts

5.0 from 2 reviews
Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Meringue Ghosts
Serves: 18
  • 1 15-ounce box gluten-free yellow cake mix (I used this.)
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ½ cup vegan butter (1 stick)
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup brown sugar
for the maple frosting:
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • Sprinkles (for topping)
for the meringue ghosts:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • black icing gel
  • toothpick
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap the sweet potatoes in tin foil and bake for 2 hours, or until sweet potatoes are soft to the touch. I do this the night before and then just refrigerate them.
  2. Lower oven heat to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix together the cake mix, water, butter, vanilla and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds and then medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. While the batter is mixing, peel and mash the sweet potatoes and measure out 1½ cups. Place in with the batter, add the brown sugar, and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour the sweet potato batter into cupcake liners, filling each paper about ¾ of the way full.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, and then turn off the oven and let the cupcakes sit for 5 more minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool completely.
Maple Frosting:
  1. In the stand mixer, whisk together the butter and shortening. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and whisk together. Pour in the maple syrup in slowly while the mixer is on low and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
Meringue Ghosts:
  1. In a double boiler, or a saucepan with a glass bowl, pour 3 inches of water into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and place the glass bowl on top. Pour the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar into the glass bowl and whisk together until the sugar completely dissolves, about 5-7 minutes. You can tell when you rub your fingers together with the mixture. If there's no graininess, then the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the stand mixer. Whisk on high for 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form and your mixture turns into meringue.
Put It All Together:
  1. Using a piping bag with a large round tip, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. In a small bowl with sprinkles, flip the cupcakes over and press the frosting into the sprinkles so the sprinkles completely coat the frosting.
  2. Next, using a piping bag with a large round tip as well, pipe the meringue onto the cupcakes on top of the frosting by pressing down and making a large round circle, then releasing the pressure a little and then press down again to make another ghost layer, then release, and press down the last time while lifting to make the top of the ghost. Stick a toothpick into the black icing gel and press the toothpick end into the meringue lightly to create the eyes and mouth.
  3. Serve at any Halloween get together for a spooky good time!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Ooh, ahh. What’s a ghosts favorite dessert?

I-scream! Happy Halloween!



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