Who needs miniature Butterfingers? You’re a grown-up, sort of! You buy King Size now. But just because you can’t go trick-or-treating doesn’t mean you don’t get hit by the seasonal sweets craving (something about staring at bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for five weeks while you’re on line at the Walgreens).
Since most adult Halloween shindigs revolve around booze, we figured why not kill two birds with one delicious stone? We rounded up a bunch of double-duty desserts, bringing the spirit of Halloween and actual high-ABV spirits together to terrify, intoxicate, and ensure we all get the seasonal cavities we deserve.
Sure, these popsicles seem friendly—more so because they only require four ingredients, one of which you can drink as you work. But they come out deep blood red, with whirls of white (‘cuz, whipped cream), meaning when they melt, your guests will all look guilty of something terrible.
Hard Cider Cinnamon Cupcakes with Caramel Whiskey Apples and Whisky Buttercream from Veggie and the Beast
These cupcakes aren’t terrifying looking unless you’re on a Paleo regimen, but they do booze it up nicely with fall flavor. Hard cider is baked into the cake, so you lose the booze there, but whiskey (of your choosing) goes into both the buttercream and the caramel apple filling.
This one acts like a cocktail, but it’s really dessert—and decadent enough to satisfy the top-hatted vampire Galdy Oldman in us all. Vanilla ice cream, Triple Sec, Crème de Cacao, and grenadine to drip down the sides like blood.
Gelatin molds are the perfect way to combine booze with unpleasant, graphic physical imagery (not that kind). In her “Halloween” section, the apparently prolific Modern Gelatina offers an easy way to transform traditional Bloody Mary ingredients into an alcoholic disembodied heart. If Bloody Mary’s aren’t your thing, there’s always Raspberry Cream Brains with Cognac. Classy, but still creepy as hell.
We’ve hit on Jack and Coke cupcakes before—you can never have too many. But these bad boys bake the Jack and Coke into the cake itself and fill them with a Jack-spiked chocolate ganache. Nothing says Halloween like stuff oozing out of something. (Bonus: you actually get to have candy with this one…)
Red Wine Slush from Delish.com
Ridiculously easy to make—blending, mixing, and freezing. And just like the popsicles, takes ghoulish advantage of the deep red color of your favorite inky wine, which can pick by the horrifying label or for (creepy) depth of flavor.
Not quite a dessert, unless you’re taking yours liquid, but it’s got shrunken apple heads gaping out in despair from a blood red bath. We couldn’t resist. And while the salt and lemon juice used to shrink them might tang the apples into gruesome inedibility, there’s still technically fruit happening here. So, dessert.
Hooray! Your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stand-in, and it’s not messing around: a doughnut filled with bourbon-spiked peanut butter pastry cream. Bonus points for adding a bit of bourbon, preferably at the stroke of midnight, to the chocolate ganache.
Another cocktail, but it’s got Irish cream, which makes it a bit dessert-like. Maybe what’s most terrifying is the flavor combo—Strawberry Vodka, Rose’s Lime Juice, and Bailey’s Irish Cream, which curdles into a brain-like shape as you drip it into the shot. Grenadine, once more, stands in for blood. Knock that brain back quickly, to maintain the acidity, and, of course, avoid attracting zombies.