Fall is a magical time of the year. In many parts of the country, the temperatures and leaves drop, and no matter where you're located, fall means the return of seasonal flavors, and the big event: Halloween. And when it comes to the Halloween party buffet, the fun part is that it can be as family-friendly or as adults-only (themed cocktails, anyone?) as you please.
Whether you love Halloween or consider yourself beyond the age of dressing up, everyone's got to eat, and the Halloween party is here to make sure no one goes hungry (or thirsty). From a Deathly Hallows-themed cheese board to a fruity Halloween zombie punch, these Halloween party food and drink ideas will ensure you have the best celebration on the block. Take it from some of our favorite food bloggers and try these 15 Halloween-themed recipes for your next fall shindig.
How Did Halloween Begin?
Halloween is a combination of two ancient holidays: Samhain, a Celtic tradition where people donned costumes to ward off ghosts, and the Roman Catholic, Saints Day, on November 1st which honored saints and martyrs. The day before Saints Day (October 31st, also the traditional night of Samhain) was known as All Hallows Eve, or Halloween, as we call it today.
Appetizers and Snacks
Deathly Hallows Cheese Board
The Recipe: Deathly Hallows Cheese Board
Why We Love It: Potterheads, rejoice! This theme-appropriate cheese board from Half Baked Harvest includes a witches cheese hat, marinated mozzarella eyeballs, cheddar cheese caramel apples, peanut butter and cheddar black spiders, and vampire teeth apples.
Pro Tip: For the witch's cheese hat, chill a plate in the fridge before placing it on the plate, then pop it back in the fridge until you're ready to serve the entire platter.
Spooky Fried Mozzarella Cheese Eyeballs
The Recipe: Spooky Fried Mozzarella Cheese Eyeballs
Why We Love It: Cheesy, crispy mozzarella balls are personified for Halloween with the addition of sliced olives and hot sauce for "eyeballs." To make this recipe from Foodie Crush, you'll also need cream cheese, mozzarella, panko crumbs, eggs, and green onions.
Pro Tip: Be sure cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin making this recipe.
Baked Mexican Street Corn Pumpkin Dip
The Recipe: Baked Mexican Street Corn Pumpkin Dip
Why We Love It: Hola Jalapeño's comforting dip recipe gets the fall treatment by using an empty pumpkin as a serving bowl. This dip recipe asks for corn, Cotija cheese, sour cream, chicken bouillon, cilantro, lime, ancho chili powder, and of course, a miniature pumpkin.
Pro Tip: Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, sliced radishes, celery sticks, or carrot sticks.
The Recipe: Jalapeño Mummies
Why We Love It: These Halloween snacks from Grits and Pinecones are easy to make, and ideal for when you're craving something a bit more substantial. Make these with jalapeños, softened cream cheese, grated pepper jack cheese (or Monterrey cheese for less spice), garlic powder, onion powder, candy googly eyes, an egg, and a roll of crescent dough.
Pro Tip: Find candy googly eyes at most grocery stores or Michael's.
Halloween Deviled Eggs
The Recipe: Halloween Deviled Eggs
Why We Love It: With a little black food coloring, the classic deviled eggs appetizer is fit for Halloween. Make this version from The Seaside Baker: The yolk filling includes Dijon mustard, Tabasco sauce, mayonnaise, and fresh chives for garnish.
Pro Tip: Dye the eggs by gently cracking their shells first—don't remove them.
Spooky Halloween Pretzels and Monster Mash Cookies
The Recipe: Spooky Halloween Pretzels
Why We Love It: Half Baked Harvest turns the utilitarian pretzel into adorably spooky owls, ghosts, and magic wands in this Halloween pretzel recipe. Chocolate dipped pretzels, Oreo cookies, and various candies come together for these sweet snacks.
Pro Tip: Let all of the candied pretzels set in the freezer for 10 minutes before serving.
White Chocolate Halloween Sprinkle Popcorn
The Recipe: White Chocolate Halloween Sprinkle Popcorn
Why We Love It: This salty-sweet, orange-hued dessert popcorn from Sugar Salted is undeniably festive. Add orange food dye to melted white chocolate, mix with popcorn, and add sprinkles. It’ll look like a pumpkin, but it won’t taste like it.
Pro Tip: While melting the chocolate, "If the water starts to boil too hard, remove the pot from heat for a minute, then put it back on," Sugar Salted advises.
Candy Corn Cookies
The Recipe: Candy Corn Cookies
Why We Love It: Candy corn, a classic Halloween trick-or-treat treat gets the cookie treatment in Hummingbird High's recipe. Italian rainbow cookies are dyed in candy corn colors for the occasion. Make them with butter, sugar, almond paste, eggs, all-purpose flour, almond and lemon extracts, food coloring, orange blossom water, and apricot jam.
Pro Tip: Plan ahead for these cookies, Hummingbird High says. "You’ll need to bake the three different layers and wait for them to cool before assembling the cookies. After assembling the cookies, you’ll need to chill them in the fridge for an hour to get them to hold their layered shape."
The Recipe: Monster Brookies
Why We Love It: Hummingbird High's brownie and cookie hybrid adds googly eyes and Reese's Pieces candy for a fun and cute Halloween-themed baked goods. You'll need dark chocolate, baking powder, all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa flour, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and granulated sugar.
Pro Tip: "For best results, it’s best to stick the eyes immediately after you pull the cookies out of the oven and place them (still on their trays) on a wire rack to cool, when the cookies are still soft and malleable," Hummingbird High recommends. Placing them on before baking will cause them to melt otherwise.
Deathly Chocolate Graveyard Cakes
The Recipe: Deathly Chocolate Graveyard Cakes
Why We Love It: Witches beware: This recipe from Half Baked Harvest isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is a chocolate lover’s dream. Each serving cup is filled with layers of chocolate, cake, mousse, whipped cream, and Snickers. Decorate the top with a brownie tombstone, Oreo crumbs, and witches legs for the most delicious crime scene.
Pro Tip: In place of Kahlua, caramel sauce or sweetened condensed milk are great alcohol-free and kid-friendly substitutes.
Salted Caramel Apple Snickers Cake
The Recipe: Salted Caramel Apple Snickers Cake
Why We Love It: This indulgent dessert from Half Baked Harvest doubles as a work of art. Spiced apple cake is frosted in a layer of chocolate followed by a thick layer of caramel, then topped with caramel apples for the ultimate showstopper.
Pro Tip: Note that this recipe requires two chill times in the refrigerator. You'll also want the caramel sauce to cool slightly before pouring over the cake—this allows the sauce to thicken and prevents it from melting the cake.
Chocolate Bark Halloween Brownies
The Recipe: Chocolate Bark Halloween Brownies
Why We Love It: In this Chocolate Bark Halloween Brownies recipe from How Sweet Eats, the contents of a trick-or-treater’s basket are turned into brownie form. In addition to Halloween sprinkles and candies, you'll need unsalted butter, sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, dark chocolate, and white chocolate.
Pro Tip: Place brownies in the fridge for quick cooling, or leave at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
Haunted Orchard Cocktail
The Recipe: Haunted Orchard Cocktail
Why We Love It: If apples are your favorite fall taste, try the Haunted Orchard Cocktail from Half Baked Harvest. It’s more than just a bottle of hard cider—it’s a mix of tequila, lemon, apple cider, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and sparkling hard cider.
Pro Tip: Garnish the drink with a cinnamon stick and apple slices to wow your crowd.
Halloween Zombie Punch
The Recipe: Halloween Zombie Punch
Why We Love It: Touted as "sinfully fruity and delicious," this zombie punch recipe from The Butter Half includes sherbet and lime gelatin mix. While the ingredients might give your beverage its electric green color, dry ice adds another element of spookiness.
Pro Tip: To go all out, The Butter Half recommends filling a syringe with raspberry syrup to add some extra zombie flair.
Deathly Hallows Cocktail
The Recipe: Deathly Hallows Cocktail
Why We Love It: Why stop with the cheeseboard? Pair your handiwork with this Deathly Hallows Cocktail from Half Baked Harvest. Mix a splash of cranberry juice with tequila, orange liqueur, lemon juice, maple syrup, and ginger beer for a cocktail with all the Halloween vibes.
Pro Tip: Garnish with a fresh thyme sprig, and light it on fire for a smoky effect, Half Baked Harvest recommends.