Halloween is just around the corner and all of the best Halloween baking and cooking is in full force! One of my favorites (and arguably, one of the easiest Halloween baking things you can do) is to make Halloween googley eyeballs. They're little bits of icing that you can pop onto anything: a charcuterie board, cakes, cookies, or my Halloween Dark Chocolate Crispies!
Yes, you can buy these - you don't have to make them yourself (but let's be serious, that's what we do here!). Halloween googley eyeballs are available at grocery stores (in the baking aisle, near sprinkles), or online (like these Festival candy eyes). I find them to be overly expensive ($10 for a tube of icing eyeballs that you'll use once per year??), and they are incredibly easy and cheap to make.
As always, I do include a few affiliate links in this post for products I truly use and love. This just means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I'll earn a little money (at no cost to you) to keep the kitchen up and running, which I promise to use to create more fun content like this! One of those affiliates is with Amazon, which requires a very clear disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have any questions about affiliates, please reach out!
What you need to get started
This is the simplest of recipes. To get started, you will need:
- Powdered sugar: you will need a good bit of it!
- Meringue powder: this is an ingredient you may not have. You can find this in the baking aisle, or you can order online. I like this Wilton Meringue Powder. And a little goes a long way, so you don't need to get a ton.
- Piping bags (for icing): it is easiest to use a piping bag, ideally with a small tip. BUT, you don't have to! You can also do this with a ziplock or other plastic bag and just cut off a small corner. Both work!
- Parchment paper or wax paper: you'll want to cover either your countertop or line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper to keep the eyeballs from sticking.
Halloween Googley Eyeballs FAQ
Do I need to make this whole recipe?
This recipe makes a small bowl full of eyeballs (of course, it depends on the size of eyeballs you make!). It's a lot -- remember, you're probably putting two eyeballs on each cookie / brownie, etc. So a little goes a long way! When you're making the icing, you may be thinking that it doesn't look like a lot of icing, but just remember, you're not trying to coat a whole cake here!
I'd recommend making the full batch, but if you really want just a few, you can of course cut them down.
How should I store Halloween googley eyeballs?
If you get to the point where you're needing to store these, congrats! Somehow I always end up eating them straight out of the bowl... But in all seriousness, if you want to store them, just keep them in an airtight container.
Can I make them in any color?
Yes, definitely! Have fun with it! White with black pupils is the traditional combination, but it could also be fun to try red pupils, or any other color combination!
What is meringue powder, and do I need to use it?
Meringue powder is made up of dried egg whites, and is typically used in frosting. Meringue powder helps frosting / icing keep its shape so it doesn't fall flat. Yes, you do need it!
Below is a quick recipe to make your own Halloween googley eyeballs! Enjoy and Happy Halloween!
Halloween Googley Eyeballs
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons meringue powder
- ¼ cup water
- black food coloring or color of your choice
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Combine powdered sugar and meringue powder in a medium bowl. Add ¼ cup water, 1 Tablespoon at a time. You may not need the full ¼ cup -- keep in mind you want your eyeballs to retain their shape; they will naturally flatten as they rest, so you don't want to add too much water. Stir until smooth.
- Transfer ⅓ of the icing to a small bowl. Add 5-6 drops of black food coloring (or color of your choice) to create your pupils. Stir until combined.
- Transfer both bowls of icing into piping bags. It's easiest to stand the bag in a tall cup and pour the icing in.
- Cut the tip of the icing bag to your desired size. Starting with the white icing, create small circles for eyeballs on the prepared parchment paper. Make them as big or small as you like, and remember that irregular shapes work great as well!
- Once the whites have set a little bit, repeat with the black icing, adding pupils to each eyeball. Vary sizes as you like!
- Let rest and set for 12-24 hours. Larger eyeballs may take more time to set.