These Severed Finger Cupcakes are the ultimate in creepy and gross desserts for Halloween! Fear not though, the fingers are made with candy-dipped pretzels rods, but look eerily realistic on top of frosted cupcakes!
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Severed Finger Cupcakes
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
I don’t know what it is about gross-looking Halloween foods, but kids go nuts for them, and I think they’ll go nuts for these severed finger cupcakes!
Fortunately no humans were harmed in the making of these cupcakes! The fingers are made from pretzel rods dipped in candy, but they look pretty realistic don’t you think?
You can concentrate on making the candy bloody fingers as the cupcakes and frosting can easily be bought ready-made (but if you want to make from scratch or a box mix, you totally can!).
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may have some of the ingredients for this recipe in your kitchen already – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon if available online.
This recipe uses American cups. They’re a handy piece of kitchen equipment to have along with a kitchen food scale. Having both in your kitchen means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog as I use both cups and weighted measures.
- Chocolate Cupcakes – you can use a box of cake mix, your favorite recipe, or just buy them ready-made from the store!
- Vanilla Frosting – you can use a tub of frosting, or use your favorite recipe
- Pretzel Rods – these are snapped in half to make the fingers*
- White Candy Melt Wafers
- Orange Candy Melt Wafers
- Toasted Sliced almonds
- Tube of Red Gel Icing
*For my UK readers: Pretzel rods are longer and chunkier than pretzel sticks – and the latter seems to be the kind that I see in our supermarkets.
The brand that I bring home from the USA is called Snyder’s of Hanover, and they sell a range of pretzel products, which I have seen on Amazon UK. However, pretzel rods do not seem to be one of them, which is super annoying!
You could check out stores like Aldi or Lidl which might carry larger pretzel sticks. Or if you can’t find pretzels in rod or stick form, just use this method on regular shaped pretzels! Or even plain breadsticks (just don’t use garlic or cheese ones because I can’t imagine that would be a good combo!!)
Another option is to use Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers!
More Recipes Using Pretzel Rods
One of the hero ingredients in this recipe is the pretzel rods to make the fingers! Here are some more recipes using the same ingredient:
- Mickey Mouse Pretzel Rods – A Fun Disney Snack!
- Make These Tropical Pretzel Rods For a Hawaiian Luau Party!
- Red White & Blue Firecracker Pretzel Rods
Severed Finger Cupcakes Recipe Tips
- The pretzel rods used to make the fingers are dipped in candy melts – see my tips below for successful candy melting!
- Have a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper ready to place the dipped pretzels onto.
- Before dipping the pretzels have the sliced almonds ready to be placed immediately onto them.
- Use a fork to hold each pretzel as you dip it into the melted candy, or use a candy decorating tool. Gently tap off excess candy and pop any air bubbles with a toothpick.
- Leave to set for a few hours before making your cupcakes.
- When set, use a toothpick to draw lines across to resemble knuckles.
- You could serve these candy severed fingers as a stand alone treat too!
Melting Tips for Candy Melts
You can melt candy melts/candy wafers in the microwave or a double boiler, or if you plan on making lots of candy covered treats in the future, I recommend investing in a Wilton candy melting pot as treat-making life is then so much easier!
If you use the Wilton Candy Melting Pot, you can check out Wilton’s demo video on YouTube which is really helpful. They also give tips on how to melt candy melts in the microwave, as well as using the double boiler method.
The two most important things are
- Do not overheat – use an even melting temperature
- Do not add water – it makes the candy seize up and become unusable. Make sure the equipment used is completely dry, and avoid using utensils that retain moisture like a wooden spoon.
If you find that the candy is too thick, add vegetable shortening or (solid) coconut oil in 1 teaspoon increments, up to 1 tablespoon, and stir well.
Another reminder – do not add water. The very first time I used candy melts I managed to get water in the bowl and it was ruined. Learn from my mistakes! Additionally, do not use vegetable oil, butter, milk, or any other liquids as this will also make the candy seize up.
If you are using your microwave, test melt a small amount of candy melts first, to see how it works. You may need to adjust the temperature and time to suit your machine. Heat in 15-30 second increments, stirring the candy melts each time. They may not look melted, but they might have started melting from the inside. Stirring helps to distribute the heat.
Cupcake Making Tips
- If you are making your own cupcakes, bake them in Halloween cupcake liners.
- If you have bought them ready-made, you can place them in cupcake wrappers. The bloody patterned ones in this set look pretty cool!
- Use an ice cream scoop to equally divide the cupcake mixture between the cupcake liners.
- Most cupcakes should be ready in about 20 minutes – test their doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cakes. It should come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked through. Bake for an extra 2 minutes and check again.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake Frosting Tips
- You will need a piping bag fitted with a large star piping tip.
- If you feel like you are going to be making a lot of cakes and cupcakes in your future, I think it is worth investing in a set of piping tips so that you know you always have the right ones on hand for a recipe.
- Do not overfill the piping bag with frosting, and make sure you squeeze the frosting down the bag to expel any air bubbles.
- If you are not confident with your piping skills you can practice on some parchment paper first and scoop the frosting back into the bag to use on the cupcakes.
More Halloween Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more Halloween cupcakes to make? Check these recipes out next:
How Do I Make Severed Finger Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, instructions, and demonstration photos. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
- 12 cupcakes (Use store bought or your favorite recipe)
- 2 to 3 cups vanilla frosting in white (Use store bought or your favorite recipe)
- 6 Pretzel rods, broken in half
- White candy melts
- Orange candy melts
- Toasted sliced almonds
- Red gel icing
- Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
- Place 1 cup white candy melts and 3 discs of orange candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Melt the candy coating according to package directions giving special care not to overheat the candy. If the candy coating is overheated, it will be too thick. You can add 2 teaspoons of vegetable shortening or coconut oil to help thin the candy but do not add any other type of liquid as the candy will seize and harden. If the color is not “flesh tone” enough, you can add one additional orange candy melt at a time until the desired color is reached. For darker skin tones, use brown or black candy melts in place of orange.
- Dip the pretzel rod into the candy melts and shake gently to remove excess.
- Place the pretzel rod onto the prepared cookie sheet and immediately press an almond slice onto the tip as a fingernail.
- Once the candy coating on the pretzel rod is set, use a toothpick to scratch lines across the pretzel rod to resemble knuckles.
- Pipe frosting over the cupcakes in a circular direction working from the center of the cupcake towards the outside and back toward the center to create a peak.
- Top each cupcake with a pretzel rod finger.
- On the end of the pretzel rod without an almond, apply red gel icing to resemble blood. Be aware that this gel icing will slowly drip until it is set. Add a small amount at a time and then add additional gel icing if needed.
- Add additional drops of red gel icing over the cupcake.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Placing in the refrigerator may cause the pretzel to soften.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 930Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 573mgCarbohydrates: 140gFiber: 3gSugar: 117gProtein: 5g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Appetizer: Halloween Quesadillas
- Main Dish: Oven-Roasted Apple & Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Beverage: Bloody Vampire Cocktail
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!
The post is part of the Crafty October series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Halloween and Fall! You can check out Crafty October from 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 for tons of awesome Halloween ideas and inspiration!