Whilst planning our Halloween schedule, Debs and I decided to make something that could be a simple but effective addition to your Halloween parties AND give you something for free (because we’re nice like that)! We looked for inspiration from around the web and this is what we came up with (if it makes you feel as sick as I did, I apologise now!).
We began with a simple vanilla cupcake recipe and added lots of natural red food colouring – about half a bottle in our case, but this will vary dependant on the type of food colouring you use. Add it gradually until you get a lovely blood red colour. If the mix becomes too wet, even it out with some cocoa powder.
The filling was made by mixing about half of a standard 454g jar of strawberry jam with some more red food colouring until it reached a sticky, blood-like consistency (I feel sick again…!). We put a small amount of cake mix into the cases and added the jam mix into a well in the centre. We also popped a dark red glace cherry in there (because we didn’t think the recipe was disgusting enough without the addition of a blood clot…?!). Eurgh. Then just add more cake mix on top, so the case is around two thirds full and bake in the oven to your recipe.
While you’re waiting for the cupcakes to bake, make up our awesome printables (designed by our wonderful Debs) by wrapping them around in a circle and sticking the tabs down with some glue. Then leave to dry while you make up your frosting. I hate to admit, we cheated(!!) and used ready-made frosting, but it would work just as well to use a standard buttercream frosting recipe. Once you’ve got your frosting ready, gradually add a little more red food colouring. This time you only want a hint of pink, so you need to make sure you add it a drop at a time until it’s a nice brainy colour.
We added our wrappers before we iced the brains, but beware, the moisture from the icing will make the ink run if you’ve used an inkjet printer and the icing is touching the wrapper. To prevent this, just add the wrappers before serving, use a laser printer or keep that icing away from the edges :)
Mentally divide your cupcake in half before icing. Add one wiggly icing line against the imagined centre line, and another between that and the edge of the cake. Then repeat the pattern on the other half. We also experimented with adding food colouring to the tops of the icing to look like (yet more) blood on the brains. I actually think it looks quite cool!
And there you have it! Vile treats for your Halloween guests :) Download your printables below!