Sanderson Sisters Cupcakes for Halloween

Today we made these easy Sanderson Sisters cupcakes, with a decadent chocolate cake and the most hilarious frosting toppers. These are perfect if you have a “Hocus Pocus movie night” each year like we do.

We love the original campy classic Hocus Pocus movie and these cupcakes are an easy way to add to the fun. Plus, you’ll learn some frosting piping skills to show off to family or friends.

An overhead image of a rectangular white plate full of Hocus Pocus cupcakes, with more cupcakes on a burnt orange napkin, next to faux fall decorations.
This Hocus Pocus cupcake recipe is so easy, the kids can help you whip them up!

RELATED READING: Black Flame Candle DIY (Hocus Pocus Craft with Free Printable)

Easy Hocus Pocus Cupcakes

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, we love Halloween and the spooky cute decorations, movies, and food. It’s become a tradition around here to watch the Disney classic, Hocus Pocus each year with a bit of a treat.

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The imagery of the movie is downright amazing! If you watch the movie as many times as we have, you can see something new each time. Details on the Spellbook, the black flame candle (SO easy to make your own), and of course the Sanderson Sisters themselves offer tons of eye candy.

So let’s get to the tasty treat! If you need to gather your supplies to make this recipe, bookmark this page (the little heart at the bottom right) or share it to social. Either will make it easy to find when you are ready to bake your cupcakes.

A fork with a bite of the orange frosted Hocus Pocus cupcake with several other cupcakes in the background against a white marble background.
Our Hocus Pocus cupcakes are made with a moist chocolate cake base and are topped with a swirl of buttercream frosting in the colors of the three Sanderson sisters: yellow for Sarah, orange for Winnie, and purple for Mary.

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RELATED READING: The Sanderson Sisters Wooden Spoon Craft (Hocus Pocus DIY)

These Halloween Cupcakes Are Perfect Fun!

These Sanderson Sisters cupcakes are easy to make. You can use any cupcake base you want and color the frosting to see if people pick up on it without the piping for Sarah, Mary, and Winnie.

They are a unique twist on a beloved favorite… These will be the star of the show and your wallet will be happy because the recipe is made with a few simple ingredients from the pantry.

Everyone will love them! These take minimal effort and have a max-level reward and you can eve make these with the kids.

Three Hocus Pocus frosting decorated in the orange, purple and yellow frosting on a white plate next to fall decorations against a white marble background.
This spooky and delicious Hocus Pocus cupcake recipe is perfect for Halloween!

RELATED READING: Make This Sanderson Sisters Bookmark Craft from Hocus Pocus

Tips for Making Hocus Pocus Cupcakes and Frosting Toppers

  • The type of food coloring is optional, but I prefer and recommend the gel colorants. They are thicker so you use less to obtain a more vibrant color.
  • Because the gel gives a more vibrant color, start out with just 1-2 drops and mix it into the frosting. If the color is not quite as saturated as you want, add another drop, mix, and repeat.
  • If you make buttercream frosting for your baked goods, you most likely use powdered sugar. If you are using an electric mixer, it should get rid of all the lumps but if whisking by hand, sift the powdered sugar.
Three frosted cupcakes for the Hocus Pocus colors of yellow, orange and purple, on a white plate and next to a faux pumpkin and other fall decorations against a white marble background.
This Hocus Pocus cupcake recipe is sure to be a hit at your next Halloween party.

Ingredients for Hocus Pocus Cupcakes

Below are the ingredients I used for making my Halloween party cupcakes and frosting. For information on the best way to color your frosting, read the tips section above.

  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Eggs
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Warm water
  • Oil
  • Vanilla
The ingredients for the Hocus Pocus cupcakes against a white marble background.

Note: You can use a boxed chocolate mix to make cake mix cupcakes. They will taste just as good and no one will know.

How to Make Hocus Pocus Cupcakes

Each step for this recipe is detailed below so it’s easy to follow. Keep this page open while you are creating your cupcakes. If you would rather have a printable recipe, scroll down and select the print button to save as a PDF or sent to the printer.

The ingredients for chocolate cupcakes in a large metal bowl against a white marble background.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 24 liners or spray with non-stick spray. Set them aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients.

A large metal bowl filled with chocolate batter for cupcakes against a white marble background.

Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat for about 2 minutes on medium.

A cupcake pan filled with chocolate cupcake batter against a white marble background.

Fill each cupcake cavity approximately ⅔ full.

A dozen chocolate cupcakes on a wire cooling rack next to three bags of frosting against a white marble background.

Bake for approximately 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Ingredients for the Hocus Pocus Frosting

Below are the ingredients I used and, if this is your first time making it, read through the tips I share in my basic buttercream recipe.

  • Unsalted butter, softened   
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Gel food coloring – yellow, orange, and purple
The ingredients for the Hocus Pocus frosting against a white marble background.

How to Make Vanilla Buttermilk Frosting

Whether you have a hand mixer or stand mixer, always start on a low speed. Remember to incorporate everything fully before moving to the next step.

A large metal bowl filled with butter, vanilla and powdered sugar against a white marble background.

In the bowl of an electric hand or stand mixer, combine the softened butter, salt, vanilla, and half of the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until combined.

A large bowl with powdered sugar against a white marble background.

Add in the remaining powdered sugar and about half of the milk.

A large bowl of white frosting for the Hocus Pocus cupcakes against a white marble background.

Mix on low until combined. Bump up the speed to high for an additional minute or until the frosting is light and fluffy and forms stiff peaks. Only add the remaining milk if the mixture is dry and then mix again.

Three bowls of white frosting with drops of food coloring against a white marble background.

Divide the frosting between three bowls. Add yellow to one, orange to another, and purple to the last bowl.

Three bowls filled with purple, yellow and orange frosting against a white marble background.

Mix by hand until the desired color is achieved. Add more color if needed.

Piping bags filled with yellow, orange and purple frosting against a white marble background.

Transfer the frosting to piping bags fitted with a large star (1M) tip.

Frosted Hocus Pocus cupcakes with Sarah color and shape against a white marble background.

For Sarah Sanderson cupcakes, use the yellow frosting. Pipe the frosting in a spiral (rosette) shape. Start in the center of the cupcake and use steady, even, gentle pressure to go around the spiral. Stop applying pressure and end the frosting on the edge. Repeat with ⅓ of the cupcakes.

Frosted Hocus Pocus cupcakes with Sarah and Mary color and shapes against a white marble background.

For Mary Sanderson, use the purple frosting. Pipe the frosting in a spiral going up to create a mound. Start at the outside edge of the cupcake and move inward and up. When ready to end the frosting, allow it to drag slightly to the side and down to create a droop. Repeat with another ⅓ of the cupcakes.

A dozen Hocus Pocus cupcakes on a wire cooling rack against a white marble background.

For Winnie – my favorite is Winifred Sanderson – use the orange frosting to pipe a small spiral (rosette) on the cupcake, as flat as possible, and end the frosting.

On one side of the spiral, pipe a straight up and down motion with the star tip to create a “hair bun.” Repeat on the other side to create another frosting “bun.” Repeat with the remaining ⅓ of cupcakes.

Hocus Pocus cupcakes on a wire cooling rack against a white marble background.

You are ready to serve your Hocus Pocus cupcakes to your friends and family.

Notes for Making From Scratch Cupcakes

  • Always use powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) for the buttercream frosting. It has a fine grain to it that dissolves quickly into the mix, making it the best choice.
  • Have you ever wondered if pure vanilla extract is worth the extra cost of imitation vanilla? Most bakers will tell you if you are baking cookies, cakes, and cupcakes, the imitation is just fine. I tend to have extract on hand, but for this recipe you can use them interchangeably.
  • If a cupcake or cake recipe calls for milk and you are not sure which to use, unless specified, try to use full-fat milk. This will offer a more moist product than skim milk but again, you can use them interchangeably for this recipe.
  • When it comes to butter, I recommend using unsalted butter. Salt content can vary from brand to brand, therefore making the taste very different from one to another. You can always add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt to the recipe, although this is usually saved for the buttercream frosting.

More Cupcake Recipes You May Like

  • Melted Snowman Cupcakes: These cupcakes are just adorable! They look like they were made by Frosty himself or maybe the elves up at the North Pole. This easy recipe is just what you need for your winter or Christmas party, or family meal.
  • Strawberry Shortcake Cupcake Recipe: Have you ever eaten a strawberry Good Humor ice cream bar? I love those strawberry-flavored crunchy bits on the outside and the fruit-flavored filling on the inside. These cupcakes taste exactly like those yummy frozen treats.
  • Fake Ice Cream Sundae Cupcake Recipe: This is one of my favorite cupcake recipes. Every time I serve them I have at least one guest think I have scooped ice cream on top of a delicious cupcake. These faux ice cream sundae cupcakes are fun at any get-together.

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A plate with an orange Hocus Pocus cupcake, with a forkful on the white plate, with more cupcakes in the background against a white marble background.
This Hocus Pocus cupcake recipe is easy and inexpensive to make.
Yield: 24

Hocus Pocus Cupcakes Recipe

Three frosted cupcakes for the Hocus Pocus colors of yellow, orange and purple, on a white plate and next to a faux pumpkin and other fall decorations against a white marble background.

This spooky and delicious Hocus Pocus cupcake recipe is perfect for Halloween! They are sure to be a hit at your next Halloween party. They would also be great to make for a Hocus Pocus movie watch party with the family. They're made with a  moist chocolate cake base and are topped with a swirl of buttercream frosting in the colors of the three Sanderson sisters: yellow for Sarah, orange for Winnie, and purple for Mary.  

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-5 tablespoon milk
  • Gel food coloring - yellow, orange and purple

Instructions

How to Make the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 24 liners or spray with non-stick spray. Set them aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Using an electric hand or stand mixer, beat for about 2 minutes on medium.
  3. Fill each cupcake cavity approximately ⅔ full.
  4. Bake for approximately 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

How to Make the Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric hand or stand mixer, combine the softened butter, salt, vanilla, and half of the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until combined.
  2. Add in the remaining powdered sugar and about half of the milk.
  3. Mix on low until combined. Bump up the speed to high for an additional minute or until the frosting is light and fluffy and forms stiff peaks. Only add the remaining milk if the mixture is dry and then mix again.
  4. Divide the frosting between three bowls. Add yellow to one, orange to another, and purple to the last bowl.
  5. Mix by hand until the desired color is achieved. Add more color if needed.
  6. Transfer the frosting to piping bags fitted with a large star (1M) tip.
  7. For Sarah, use the yellow frosting. Pipe the frosting in a spiral (rosette) shape. Start in the center of the cupcake and use steady, even, gentle pressure to go around the spiral. Stop applying pressure and end the frosting. Repeat with ⅓ of the cupcakes.
  8. For Mary use the purple frosting. Pipe the frosting in a spiral going up to create a mound. Start at the outside edge of the cupcake and move inward and up. When
    ready to end the frosting, allow it to drag slightly to the side and down to create a droop. Repeat with another ⅓ of the cupcakes.
  9. For Winnie, use orange frosting. Pipe a small spiral (rosette) on the cupcake, as flat as possible, and end the frosting. On one side of the spiral, pipe straight up with the star to create a “bun.” Repeat on the other side to create another frosting “bun.” Repeat with the remaining ⅓ of cupcakes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 523Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 241mgCarbohydrates: 97gFiber: 2gSugar: 80gProtein: 4g

All nutrition information is estimated. For accuracy, please calculate your exact brands and ingredients if accuracy is desired.

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