Halloween spread of food and drinks

How to throw a last-minute Halloween party

Has 31st October crept up on you this year? Find out how to throw a Halloween party in no time. We have all the tips, tricks and delicious treats you need.

Anyone who says Halloween is the reserve of teeny children in ghostly bed sheets hasn’t been to the right party. Grown-ups can enjoy bowls of grog, novelty playlists, clever canapés and the opportunity to wear a wig. But organising an impressive costume is a feat alone, then you have to worry about choosing spooky décor and freakish food. Thankfully, we have ideas that are simple and quick to make. Read on to find out how to put together a monster bash in super-quick time.

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See our ultimate selection of Halloween recipes.

Make a Halloween lantern

Perk up your pumpkin…

The evening of 31st October is no time to practise your sculpting skills, so follow this easy video guide on how to carve a pumpkin and keep things simple by using one of our handy templates. Choose from a bat, witch or haunted house design, tape it to your squash then mark the outline with a skewer to get a head-start on the carving process. Simpler still, our hole-punched lantern can be achieved in minutes. Just use an apple corer to create an instant lantern. Add a candle and dim those lights.

Or make a pumpkin bowl

Slash your pumpkin in half, horizontally – a serrated knife may make this easier – and use it as a decorative treasure trove. Hollow it out so there’s enough space in the crevice to fit a glass bowl to provide a protective layer, then fill it with sweets, as shown in the following video:

Find more delicious ways to use up your pumpkin:

Pumpkin hummus
10 new ways with pumpkin
How to use pumpkin seeds
Our best ever pumpkin soup recipes

Ideas for spooky snacks

Halloween cheeseboard with creepy crackers


Assemble a Halloween cheeseboard with creepy crackers for a party spread suitable for adults. You’ll need a selection of cheeses, including an orange one, blue-veined variety, white one, and if you can find it, a charcoal-coated cheese. Then bake some creepy crackers using black food colouring.

Devilled eggs


These spooky devilled eggs are a perfect bite-sized party canapé. Gently crack some hardboiled eggs and leave the shell on. Then submerge in a mixture of water, vingegar and food colouring – we suggest using red, orange, green or black. Remove the shell and make the filling for a striking finish.

Healthy Halloween nachos


Make these fun healthy Halloween nachos for a sharing platter everyone will love. Start with a simple guacamole by mashing avocado, lime juice and coriander. Then make a sweetcorn salsa by combining corn, tomatoes, onions, peppers and black beans. Cut the bat shapes out of tortillas using a cookie cooker or with scissors, then bake until crispy.

Discover more quick and tasty Halloween bites.

Create the drinks menu

Eyeball & hand fruit punch


Kids and adults alike will love this creepy eyeball & hand fruit punch. Make the ice hands by filling disposable gloves with water and freezing overnight. Then mix blueberry juice, cranberry juice and sparking water. Make eyeball shapes using lychees stuffed with cherries and raisins.

Grasshopper cocktail


Grown-ups can look forward to this minty grasshopper cocktail with an eerie green colour. Mix equal parts crème de menthe, white crème de cacao and single cream. Shake hard until the outside of the cocktail shaker is cold, then strain into a cocktail glass or small coupe.

Blood beetroot cocktails


Mix a batch of these vampire-inspired blood beetroot cocktails for your next Halloween party. Steep grated beetroot in lemon juice and caster sugar for an hour to get the vibrant colour. Strain out the beetroot and combine with Aperol, chilled prosecco and ice.

Find more terrifying tipples to sip with our Halloween drinks guide.

Bake spine-tingling sweets

Halloween slash cake


This scary Halloween slash cake is not for the faint of heart. Bake a rich red velvet sponge, then layer with blood-red buttercream frosting and sweet strawberry jam. Cover the cake with white fondant, then use a sharp knife to cut slashes into the icing. Drizzle a little of the reserved buttercream mixed with some water into each to look like blood.

Kiwi slime pies


Gooey kiwi slime pies are an easy party food which screams Halloween. Bake some individual pastry cases by filling muffin tins with shop-bought shortcrust pastry. Make a tinted custard with green jelly, eggs, milk and sugar. Fill the cases with the custard and top with kiwi slices.

See more ideas with our Halloween baking recipes.

And finally… throw together a costume

Reach into your kitchen cupboards to create a last-minute costume. Black bin liners can be used as a gothic poncho, while a sprinkling of flour in your hair gives a ghostly pallor. Just make sure you brush it out thoroughly before washing it – nobody wants to start November with the beginnings of a pizza base in their hair.

Get more Halloween party ideas…

How to make a Halloween feast
Halloween cocktails, punches and soft drinks
How to throw a kid’s Halloween party
How to make Halloween cupcakes
Halloween recipe collection
Halloween hub page

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Are you a grown-up who loves Halloween? We’d love to hear how you celebrate…