While kids may technically get to have all the fun this October, that doesn’t mean us adults have to miss out. One of my favorite things about Halloween are all the parties, which give me several chances throughout the season to try out a few new recipes to bring and share with friends. Below are a few ideas that I’ve tested out and really loved, as well as a bunch more that I’m looking forward to trying in the coming weeks.

Here’s a look at 10 easy recipes that should undoubtedly be a hit at your Halloween parties this month, and be sure to let us know which ones you try out and enjoyed in our comments section below!

Halloween Onion Ranch Cheese Ball

This recipe for a Halloween Onion Ranch Cheese Ball (recipe via Sandy Toes & Popsicles) is almost spot-on for a cheese ball recipe I use year-round, except that this one you roll in shredded carrots, and I usually roll my cheese balls in shredded cheese (because who doesn’t love more cheese?). That being said, if you’re not feeling super healthy this October, feel free to substitute the shredded carrots with shredded sharp cheese (fromage lovers will appreciate the extra punch of flavor).


  • 2 Cups Cream Cheese
  • 1-1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese (use an extra cup if you plan to omit carrots)
  • 1 Packet of Ranch Dressing Mix
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Green Onions
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrots (for rolling, if you decide to not use the extra cheese)
  • 1 Piece of Celery (to create a stem)


  • First, mix together the cream cheese, the initial shredded cheese, the packet of ranch dressing and green onions.
  • After the ingredients are thoroughly combined, start shaping your mixture into a pumpkin-shaped ball.
  • Place the ball on top of a large piece of plastic wrap, and roll the ball around in your shredded topping (cheese or carrots).
  • Once it is completely covered, use the plastic wrap to seal your pumpkin ball, and let it chill in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours before serving.
  • Top off your cheese ball with a celery stalk to create the ultimate edible pumpkin, and serve with a sturdy cracker.

Poisoned Apple Cocktail

Even Snow White couldn’t resist this Poisoned Apple drink (recipe via Cooking with Curls)! I’ve never made this one myself, but I have tasted something similar at a get-together a few years ago, and this just sounded too delicious not to share here. All you need to do is mix together the different ingredients and serve in a glass of your choosing with an apple slice for a delicious topper!


  • 2 12 Ounce Bottles of Green Apple Soda (chilled)
  • 1 1/4 cup Stoli Salted Karamel Vodka (chilled)
  • 1/2 cup Pearl Apple Pie Vodka (chilled)
  • Apple Slices (to garnish)

Graveyard Taco Dip

One of my favorite appetizers to serve any time of year is a taco dip, because it’s not only delicious, but it also looks like a dish that’s way more complicated than it really is. And I just thought this Graveyard Taco Dip recipe (via would be a sure crowd-pleaser for your Halloween party this year, and it’s easy to prep, too.


  • 1 Can Refried Beans or Refried Black Beans (First Layer)
  • 2 Cups Sour Cream & 1 Package Taco Seasoning (Second Layer)
  • 2 Mashed Avocados, 1 Clove of Minced Garlic & 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise (Third Layer)
  • 1 Cup Salsa (Fourth Layer)
  • 1 Bunch of Chopped Green Onions (Fifth Layer)
  • Large Flour Tortillas (for the Tombstones and Spooky Tree)
  • Black Food Safe Marker (can be found at Michaels or on Amazon)


  • In a small bowl, mix the sour cream and taco seasoning. In another small bowl, mix the mashed avocados, minced garlic, and mayonnaise.
  • In a small Pyrex dish or pie plate, layer the beans, sour cream mixture, avocado mixture, and salsa. Sprinkle the scallions on top.
  • Chill at least an hour, or until ready to serve. The dip can be made up to a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. If you do make the recipe ahead of time, wait to put the chopped green onions and tombstones on top until you are ready to serve.
  • To make the tombstones and tree, cut the shapes you want out of 2 large tortillas (Halloween cookie cutters work great!).
  • Place the cutout shapes on a parchment paper-lined cookie tray and bake at 350 degrees until the tortillas are nice and brown.
  • You can add text to the tombstones with a black food safe marker, and then put the tombstones and tree in the dip just before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

As soon as fall approaches, that’s when we see everyone go into pumpkin overload, which is why I thought this delicious Pumpkin Pie Martini (recipe via Tito's Vodka) would be a great way to infuse your grown-up gathering with a dose of fall festiveness. This drink is easy to make, too—just combine your ingredients in a martini shaker, strain twice, and serve.


  • 2 Ounces Vodka
  • 1 Tablespoon Canned Pumpkin Pie Mix (make sure it’s canned pumpkin pie mix, and not just canned pumpkin)
  • 1/2 Ounce Spiced Syrup (Mulling Spice Syrup or Torani’s Pumpkin Spice Syrup work great)

Pumpkin Deviled Eggs

Up next is another pumpkin-themed recipe, but these little buggers only look the part. If you need another fun and easy appetizer to serve up for your ghoulish guests this October, you should definitely try these Pumpkin Deviled Eggs— (recipe via Tadka Pasta)—they take practically no time at all, and the Thai flavoring adds an extra kick, too.


  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 2 Teaspoons Thai Curry Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Ketchup
  • ½ Teaspoon Paprika (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
  • ½ Teaspoon Spicy Mustard
  • ¼ Teaspoon Sriracha (or other red chili sauce)
  • Salt
  • Green Onion (to create pumpkin stems)


  • To hard boil your eggs, cover the eggs with an inch of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for a minute, then cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Drain and then fill the pan with cold water. After five minutes, peel the eggs. Slice each egg length-wise and gently remove the yolks (a small spoon can be helpful).
  • Place the yolks and all the other ingredients in a small bowl and mash until very smooth.
  • Mound the yolk mixture into the egg whites with a small spoon or transfer it to a Ziploc baggie, cut one corner of the bag, and then pipe it out into each empty egg half.
  • Wet your finger and pat the surface of the filling smooth. Then, using a toothpick, draw lines to make the "pumpkin" indentations.
  • Sprinkle with extra paprika if desired.
  • Cut up the green part of the onion to make tiny stems and add them to each deviled egg to finish off the pumpkin look.

Candy Corn Jell-O Shots

While it has been at least 10 years since I’ve dared to dance with the devilish drink known as a Jell-O shot, I thought these colorful Candy Corn Jell-O Shots (recipe via A Beautiful Mess) looked like a lot of fun, and I’m excited to try them later this month myself (fingers crossed!). And, if you’re someone who likes your boozy beverages on the strong side, feel free to add in some extra vodka—a few extra splashes shouldn’t throw off the consistency.


  • 1 3 Ounce Box of Orange-Flavored Jell-O
  • 3 Envelopes Knox Unflavored Gelatin (you can find this in the baking aisle)
  • 7 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk (1/2 of a 14 ounce can)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Vanilla or Cake-Flavored Vodka
  • Yellow Food Coloring
  • Tall Shot Glasses


  • These first steps will make both your first and last layer, so once it's mixed together, we will save half of this mixture for the end.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into a small saucepan and pour 2 packets of the unflavored gelatin into the water.
  • Warm the water and gelatin over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the gelatin has dissolved (about five minutes).
  • Remove pan from the heat and add 1/2 your can of condensed milk to the mixture, and then stir until the ingredients combine.
  • Add 2/3 cup vanilla vodka. Cover and set aside half of your milk mixture (you'll add food coloring to it and use it as your last layer later). Evenly distribute the first half of your mixture throughout your 20 shots (just don't fill them more than 1/3 of the way full). Refrigerate your shots until firm (30-40 minutes).
  • When the first layer is firm, pour another 1 cup of water into your saucepan and add 1 packet of gelatin to make your middle layer. Warm the water until the gelatin dissolves, remove from heat, and stir in the box of orange Jell-O until that dissolves as well. Add 1/3 cup vanilla vodka. Evenly distribute orange layer on top of white layer and refrigerate until chilled.
  • When your orange layer is solid, retrieve the second half of your milk mixture that you set aside, and add in a few drops of yellow food coloring. If the mixture has already started to set, put it in the microwave until warm and let it sit still until the lumps dissolve. Distribute your yellow layer on top of the orange layer, and put it back into the fridge until it finally sets (usually about an hour).

Mozzarella Eyeballs

Who doesn’t like food that looks back at you when you’re eating it? Mozzarella pearls are a fun snack all by themselves, but these Mozzarella Eyeballs (recipe via Sainsbury's) make for a fresh and easy treat to serve up to your victims—er, guests—at your Halloween party this month. Even better? There’s no cooking involved either, so they take no time at all to prepare.


  • 6 Green Olives
  • 4 Black Olives
  • Tomato Purée
  • 125g Mozzarella Pearls


  • Carefully cut the green olives into 1.5cm-wide discs (like the size of your pinky fingernail). Slice small circles from the black olives to fit inside the green olive discs, mimicking pupils.
  • Then, use the tomato purée to stick each green olive onto a mozzarella pearl, then attach the black olives on top of the green olives with a little more tomato purée if needed.
  • Use a thin piping nozzle/tip (Wilton brand tips can be found at Michaels or on Amazon) to pipe wriggly tomato purée lines all over the mozzarella.
  • Transfer to a lined baking tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

Black Magic Cocktail

If you’re looking to serve up some enchanting elixirs this Halloween, be sure to try out this Black Magic Cocktail (recipe via Elle Talk) I’d never heard of black vodka until now, but this is another one I’m going to be trying out (actually, I’m saving it for Friday the 13th), and I hope it’s as fun as it looks. Just combine your ingredients with ice in a martini shaker, and strain into a glass of your choice. Enjoy!


  • 2 Ounces Black Vodka
  • 1 Ounce Cherry Juice
  • 1/2 Ounce Orange Juice
  • 1/2 Ounce Maraschino Cherry Juice
  • Pinch of Wilton Pearl Dust (can be found at Michaels or on Amazon)

Brain Dip

Last year, I had a friend bring over a red velvet cake dip for Christmas, and I’ve been obsessed with trying to find a similar recipe ever since. And then, lo and behold, I came across this Brain Dip (recipe via Homemade Hooplah) on Pinterest last month, and knew I had to include it here. Not only does it sound delicious, but it looks deceptively gory, and I just love that.


Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 3 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • Red Food Coloring

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip:

  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 1/2 Cup Dry Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Ladyfinger Cookies for Dipping


For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer and large bowl), add in cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high until smooth and fluffy, about 2-5 minutes.
  • Drop speed to medium and slowly add in powdered sugar until thoroughly mixed. Add in a small amount of food coloring to frosting so that it's pale pink in color (you can add as much as you’d like depending on how dark you want your brains).
  • Prepare your icing bag (with a large, round Wilton tip, which can be purchased at Michaels or on Amazon) and fill it with the prepared cream cheese frosting.
  • Place the icing bag in the refrigerator for 30 minutes so the icing can firm up (this will help the frosting keep its shape better). If you refrigerate the icing for longer than 30 minutes, you may need to let the icing soften for 30 minutes before using. Be sure to test the frosting on a plate before using.

For the Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip:

  • While the icing chills, prepare the cake batter dip. Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer and large bowl), add in the cream cheese and butter, then beat on medium-high until smooth and fluffy, about 2-5 minutes.
  • Drop speed to medium and slowly add in the dry red velvet cake mix, powdered sugar, and brown sugar until thoroughly mixed. If you'd like the dip to be a deeper red, you can try adding a few drops of red food coloring (can go up to 1 tablespoon of food coloring total if needed).
  • Place red velvet cake batter dip in your chosen serving bowl and smooth the top into a dome.
  • Dip can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat. If dip has been refrigerated, let the dip thaw for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • To top off your dip, pipe the icing on top in a brain-like pattern, then immediately serve with the Ladyfinger cookies.

The Beetlejuice

Even if you call this drink by its name three times, it’s still just as delicious. For those of you who dig on alcoholic drinks that offer up something to satisfy your sweet tooth, too, then you should definitely summon up The Beetlejuice (recipe via White Lights on Wednesday) this October. Be sure to serve over ice for best results, and fun garnishes to use include cantaloupe pieces or raspberries.


  • 1/2 Ounce Vodka
  • 1/2 Ounce Melon Liqueur
  • 1/2 Ounce Blue Curacao
  • 1/2 Ounce Raspberry Liqueur
  • 1/2 Ounce Cranberry Juice
  • 1/2 Ounce Sweet ’n Sour Mix

[Photo credits: All photos are from the respective recipe links. Top photo is from A Beautiful Mess.]


In case you missed it, check here to read our other special features that celebrate the Halloween season, and stay tuned to Daily Dead for more articles in the coming weeks!

Heather Wixson
About the Author - Heather Wixson

After falling in love with the horror genre at a very early age, Heather Wixson has spent the last decade carving out a name for herself in the genre world as a both a journalist and as a proponent of independent horror cinema. Wixson is currently the Managing Editor for, and was previously a featured writer at and where her online career began; she’s also been a contributor at FEARnet as well as a panelist for several of their online programs.

Wixson recently finished her first book, Monster Squad: Celebrating the Artists Behind Cinema's Most Memorable Creatures, and is currently working on her second upcoming book project on special effects artists as well.

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