These Zombie Brain Cupcakes are a fun and spook-tacular treat for Halloween. Black Velvet cupcakes are filled with green zombie goo and topped with a delicious buttercream zombie brain!
Looking for a fun dessert to serve for Halloween? These zombie brain cupcakes are not only spooky looking, but they’re super easy to make and taste amazing!
My favourite kind of horror is paranormal, possessions, unsolved mysteries and zombies! For Halloween this year, I thought I should make a dessert dedicated to those iconic undead, brain eating ex-humans.
Zombie Brain Cupcakes
When it comes to zombies, there’s only one thing everyone in the entire universe thinks of: BRAINS! So I decided to go with a brain themed zombie dessert, and cupcakes were the easiest option.
These Zombie Brain Cupcakes are super easy to make! They start with a black chocolate cupcake, a green gooey filling, and a sickly green frosting brain that’s drenched with an edible green “brain goo”.
Super Black Cupcakes
This recipe starts with a black chocolate cupcake, because not only is it spooky and Halloween themed, but it also contrasts perfectly with the bright green brain.
The recipe for the chocolate cupcake is very simple – just mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then mix them together. The cupcake gets its super black colour from the black unsweetened cocoa powder I used. This gives the cupcakes both a strong chocolate flavour and a gorgeous black appearance without the need for any food colouring!
Gooey Slime Filling
I always find an excuse to give my cupcakes a surprise filling, and since these are BRAIN cupcakes, it only made sense to add a slimy green filling that spills out when you take a bite. Like eating a real brain!
For the filling, I made a simple ganache using vibrant green candy melts and heavy cream. If you want a less sweeter alternative, I recommend making a boxed mix vanilla pudding and tinting it with neon green food colouring. It may not ooze out like slimy zombie brain juice, but it’ll still be delicious!
Zombie Brain Frosting
Alright, now it’s time to discuss the star of the show — the zombie brain! When searching up other brain cupcake recipes, they simply pipe a line in the middle and squiggly lines one either side to make the brain.
I, however, wanted my brains to look somewhat similar to a real brain, so I did something a bit different. I started by whipping up a large batch of green frosting I flavoured with mint extract (because mint and chocolate are to die for! Pun intended).
This recipe makes a lot of frosting, but it’s for good reason. To create the shape of the brain, I used a large ice cream scoop to scoop out a dome shaped base for each cupcake.
I put each scoop onto a silpat lined baking sheet and allowed them to freeze for 30 minutes so I could easily lift it up and place it on each cupcake. I probably could’ve scooped it directly onto the cupcakes, but I was afraid of messing up, so this method would have to do.
To pipe the brain design, I used a small round piping tip (Wilton #10). I started by piping a line straight down the middle. Then I piped 2-3 rows of zig zags on each side. That’s it! It’s so easy to do, and they look amazing!
Brain Goo Topping
As great as the brains looked, they were still missing something. They didn’t look spooky and slimy enough, so I decided to drizzle on some “brain goo”.
I made the brain goo the same way you make edible blood — corn syrup and food colouring. Who knew two simple ingredients could create such an amazing effect?! It’s definitely optional, but highly recommend. The green goo added so much to the brains and really took these cupcakes to a creepier level. I love it.
And there you have it my little goblins! A slimy, sticky and frighteningly delicious treat that will wow all of your Halloween party guests.
These can definitely be customized however you like. Maybe tint the buttercream red or pink if you want a more human looking brain. And use red food colouring in the corn syrup to give these cupcakes a bloodier and gorier look! And for the surprise middle? Cherry pie filling! Ok I’m definitely making this version next year, but I’ll give you a head start.
Enjoy, if you dare!
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Let’s get baking!
Black Velvet Cupcakes:
- 1 and ½ cups All purpose flour
- 1 and ½ cups granulated Sugar
- ½ cup regular unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- ¼ cup “black” unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 and ½ teaspoons Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large Eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup Vegetable oil
- ¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup hot coffee or boiling water
Slime Filling (see notes):
- 1 package bright green candy melts
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
Neon Green Mint Buttercream:
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter, slightly softened
- 1 cup Shortening
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 8 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- ½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 and ½ tsp pure mint extract (optional)
- Few drops of neon green food colouring
Brain Goo Topping:
- ½ cup Light corn syrup
- Few drops Neon green food colouring
For the Black Velvet Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C), and line 2 standard 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add boiling water OR hot coffee and mix until combined and smooth. Batter will be runny.
- Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling them ⅔ way full. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
For the Slime Filling:
- Add green candy melts and heavy cream to a heat safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then to loosen it up.
- Meanwhile, use the bottom of a piping tip or an apple corer to cut a hole out the top of the cupcakes. Fill with the green ganache.
For the Neon Green Mint Buttercream:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat the butter, shortening and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5-6 minutes).
- Turn the mixer to low, and gradually add half of the sugar one cup at a time. Once incorporated, add heavy cream, vanilla and mint extract and beat until combined.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix on low until combined.
- Once the sugar is combined, increase mixer speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add green food colouring and mix until fully combined.
For the Brains:
- Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop out some frosting and use a butter knife to scrap off the excess.
- Place the scoop of buttercream onto the cupcakes. Repeat with all of the cupcakes.
- Transfer remaining buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe a line in the middle of the buttercream dome.
- Pipe 2-3 rows of zig zags on each side of the line until the dome is completely covered.
For the Brain Goo Topping:
- Pour the corn syrup into a small bowl. Add a few drops of green food colouring and stir until combined.
- Using the spoon, scoop up some of the goo and drizzle over the cupcakes.
- If you want a less sweeter alternative for the filling, I recommend making a boxed mix vanilla pudding and tinting it with neon green food colouring.
- Leftover cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
- Frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for several months. Before using — allow frosting to come to room temperature, then re-whip in a stand mixer until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
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Wilton Recipe Right Muffin Pan, 12-Cup Non-Stick Muffin Pan
Wilton 1911-421 Candy Melts, 12-Ounce, Vibrant Green
Club House Food Colour NEON LIQUID FOOD COLORING KIT of 4 colors (0.25 oz each) Pack Of 2
MAGICYOYO Ice Cream Scoop Trigger, Metal Cookie Scoop Melon Baller, Heavy Duty Premium 18/8 Stainless Steel Spoon Scooper, Gift for Kids, Friends & Family (Large Scoop)
Ateco 4712 Disposable Decorating Bags, 12-Inch, Pack of 100
Wilton 402-10 Standard Round Tip
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