When I think of Halloween, I always gravitate to something pretty. I was that kid that always wanted to be a Disney Princess and was totally scared of anything creepy. Fast forward to me as a 30 year old adult who has seen her share of flirty nurses and sexy ketchup bottles (yes that does exist), I wanted to take the creepy elements of Halloween and make them beautiful. This is the birth of my Halloween Bloody Brain Cake!While my family from Ecuador was in town for my wedding, my cousin and I went to Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel. We literally had no idea what to expect and I still don’t really know how to describe it. What I do know is that it was theatrical, scary, beautifully designed, and probably one of the best things I’ve experienced in my life! Everyone had to wear these white masks and we were not allowed to say a word (that was hard for me)! My cousin and I went in together and we immediately got separated 5 minutes into it lol! We eventually found each other but it was cool to swap stories of what we saw while we were wandering on our own. Every detail in this 20’s world was spot on and it really inspired me to create something similar through cake! I settled on a brain since it’s the vessel of all memories.
To start this cake, I made one 4 inch pumpkin cake to shape the brain and two 6 inch pumpkin cakes for the tier. I then split the two 6 inch cakes, filled them with buttercream, crumb coated and flat iced the cake.Since I wanted the cake to have a bit more color, I added some gray buttercream around the sides and top to create a watercolor effect. I put the cake in the fridge for about 2 hours and moved on to the blood!Caramel was the obvious choice since it not only pairs really well with pumpkin but it also has a really nice runny consistency. I used red food coloring to get that perfect blood red!I set the caramel aside to cool and started working on my BRAIN!
I watched several YouTube videos on how to make a brain and found Yolanda from How to Cake It had really helpful tips.I used my 4 inch cake and started to carve away slowly until I got the base of the brain shape. I then crumb coated the whole thing and set it in the fridge to set.
Next, I started to roll little tubes of white fondant to create the squiggles for the brain. I’m sure that’s not the correct word but hey, they look like squiggles to me!I worked on completing one side to make sure I had that line that divides the brain in the center. From there, I added some more fondant squiggles to the bottom to give the brain some height and completed the other side.To make the brain more realistic, I painted the entire cake with a mixture of red, brown and white food coloring mixed with some vodka to get that pinkish brainy hue.Gross!!!! I’m not going to lie. Once it was painted I was a little grossed out haha!
Now that the brain was complete, I set it aside and added my cooled blood caramel to my cake tier making sure it dripped on the sides of the cake!With the caramel blood added, I topped the cake with my brain and used more caramel blood to really accentuate the details and make it look like a fresh brain right out of a skull!MMMM!! Juicy!!!
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of cardamom
- 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice
- 1/4 teaspoon of cloves
- 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 can of pumpkin puree
- 4 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. *Line and spray two 6 inch pans and one 4 inch pan for this cake (see notes) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a separate large bowl, combine the oil, vanilla, pumpkin puree and eggs until smooth. Slowly whisk the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredient until the batter is combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each pan comes out clean (**see notes).
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- *This recipe yielded 6 regular sized cupcakes, two 6 inch cake rounds and two 4 inch cake rounds.
- ** Cupcakes filled 3/4ths of the way up will take 15-18 minutes to bake.
Can’t wait to show you more of these cakes and leave me a comment below on what you’d like to see!
Till next time!