Fall is a magical time of the year. The temperatures and leaves drop, the familiar seasonal flavors return, and regardless of age, we look forward to the big event: Halloween. While the holiday may be considered more for children, adults also need the little bit of magic the day brings. In October Dreams Paula Curan wrote, "The farther we've gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we've come to need Halloween."
When else can you toss your responsibilities to the side to dish out candy to trick-or-treaters or sport that La Croix can costume? Whether you love Halloween or consider yourself beyond the age of dressing up to trick-or-treat, there’s one thing you can get behind: the Halloween party. What’s not to love about another excuse to get together, dress up, and feel festive? Those themed appetizers, desserts, and drinks don’t hurt, either.
If you need a little magic in your life, or you’re looking for some inspiration for a Halloween party you'll be hosting, we’re here for you. From a Deathly Hallows–themed cheese board to a fruity Halloween zombie punch, these Halloween party food ideas will ensure you have the best celebration on the block. Who knows? You might feel like a kid again, too.
Potterheads, rejoice! This Deathly Hallows Cheese Board from Half Baked Harvest includes the witch’s cheese hat, marinated mozzarella eyeballs, cheddar cheese caramel apples, peanut butter, and cheddar black spiders, and vampire teeth apples. With this spread, you’ll be sure to gain a few extra points for Gryffindor.
Olive spiders atop a web spun from sour cream take the beloved seven-layer dip to spooky heights. This recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Kitchen sticks to the traditional beans, guac, and sour cream layers, and adds festive decor to the top. Why mess with a good thing?
These aren’t your mom’s crockpot meatballs. The Butter Half’s recipe only uses four simple ingredients, one of which is plant energy balls. After you spread a layer of hummus on a serving platter, mold the protein balls into spheres and top with tomatoes, grapes, and olives. Once your eyeballs are assembled and arranged on the bed of hummus, eat them up with sliced veggies or chips.
This recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Kitchen turns your typical pigs in a blanket into zombies (that you’ll actually want to eat). Through creative slicing, you can create arms and legs for your hotdog zombie that can be covered with crescent dough. Pipe two small dots of mustard for eyes, and you’ll be ready for the apocalypse.
Half Baked Harvest turns the utilitarian pretzel into adorably spooky owls in this Halloween pretzel recipe. Chocolate dipped pretzels, Oreo cookies, and various candies come together for these sweet snacks. Pair them with their spooky mummy and rod counterparts, and you’ll have an array of salty-sweet goodness.
This salty-sweet orange dessert popcorn from Sugar Salted is something you can only get away with on Halloween. 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.
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. Garnish the drink with a cinnamon stick and apple slices to wow your crowd.
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. To go all out, the blog recommends filling a syringe with raspberry syrup to add some extra zombie flair.
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 liquor, lemon juice, maple and ginger beer for a cocktail with all the Halloween vibes.
Treats & Desserts
Simple vanilla bean sugar cookies are transformed by whipped chocolate frosting and a few Oreo cookies and candy combinations into vampires in this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Serve them alongside their owl cookie counterparts for a haunted dessert table. Each perfectly crumbly bite will taste buttery and sweet.
Creme de la Crumb’s pumpkin cheesecake truffle mummies are so delightfully easy to make, you don’t even have to bake them. Combine ingredients like gingersnap crumbs and pumpkin purée into the truffle mixture, cover and chill until you can roll them into balls, dip into chocolate and decorate. Altogether, it's a speedy mummification process.
Halloween is about treating yourself, and these monster eyeballs from Chelsea’s Messy Apron are no exception. The miniature Reese’s cups covered with cream cheese frosting, a chewy Lifesavers candy, and a dot of black frosting are not what the doctor ordered, but they are pretty festive. And if that’s not what Halloween’s all about, I don’t know what is.
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 witch legs for the most delicious crime scene.
This indulgent dessert from Half Baked Harvest doubles as a work of art. Spiced apple cake layers made with chocolate are combined with a nougat and peanut layer of frosting. Once the whole cake is frosted in a thick layer of chocolate followed by a thick layer of caramel, top it with caramel apples for the ultimate showstopper.
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. And that’s not a bad thing. The colorful, chocolatey dessert brings the best of Halloween.