Halloween Brain Cake
brain cake

Halloween Brain Cake

Total time: 2 hours
Servings: 15
brain cake

Have a bit of spooky fun with this very life-like Halloween brain cake recipe.

halloween banner


You can’t beat a bit of added realism to impress the adults and scare the kids at your Halloween party. I’m going to get the grandchildren to help me make one of these Halloween brain cakes this year, maybe not the 5-year-old twins, they won’t sleep nights afterwards 🎃.

It takes a while but it’s not difficult to make, basically, it’s a red velvet sponge, frosted, and patterned with fondant icing for the brain lobes. And don’t forget the edible fingers and fake blood for decoration.

You Can Cheat If You Want To

If you want to shortcut the sponge and frosting mixes then save yourself some time and use Betty Crocker Red Velvet cake mix and readymade buttercream icing. But don’t tell anyone you cheated, it will be our secret 🤫.

tub of betty crocker cream cheese icing
betty crocker red velvet cake mix

Edible Fake Blood

For some extra realism it’s good fun to liberally dress the brain cake with some fake edible blood.

Halloween fake blood in a bowl
Edible Fake Blood
Make your own fake blood for Halloween
Check out this recipe


brain cake sitting on head shaped stand

If you really want to go full on this Halloween then mount your brain cake on a head-shaped stand like this example from TV chef Phil Vickery.

In the film ‘Hannibal’ played by Anthony Hopkins, he gathers some of his victims at a dinner table where he has removed the top of one man’s skull leaving his brain exposed.

He then proceeds to take slices off the living man’s brain, frys them, and feeds them to him.

If you haven’t seen the film then have a look at the clip below, just not while you’re eating 🤢.

Warning: This is Not suitable watching for young children

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brain cake

Halloween Brain Cake

Have a bit of spooky fun with this very life-like Halloween brain cake recipe.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: 🇺🇸 American
Difficulty: Average
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 15
Author: Katie Davies


For the Sponge:

  • 250 g cooking margarine
  • 265 g caster sugar
  • 240 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • Pinch salt
  • 50 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 red food colouring

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 80 g butter
  • 120 g cream cheese
  • 500 g icing sugar sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

To Decorate:

  • 1 pack white fondant icing
  • ivory edible food colouring
  • edible fake blood


To Make the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C.
  • Beat the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl. Mix the food colouring and vanilla into the buttermilk and mix well to combine.
  • Add 2 eggs to the sugar/margarine mix together with a few tablespoons of your dry ingredients and beat until well combined. Add the last 2 eggs and keep mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients and mix together until combined, then add all of the buttermilk mixture and the remaining dry ingredients, again mixing until combined.
  • In a small bowl add the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, stir well then add to the cake mix and stir to incorporate.
  • Pour the mixture into an 8-inch half-sphere cake tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then turn out and allow to cool completely.

To Make the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.
  • Add half of the icing sugar and vanilla and beat slowly until combined then add the remaining icing sugar mix in.

To Decorate the Cake:

  • Level off the bottom of the half-sphere sponge and then cut in half lengthways to form the two brain hemispheres.
  • Fill between the two halves with the frosting and gently put it back together. Cover the sponge with a thin layer of frosting, then cut a thin slice off each side to form a more brain-like shape. Lightly frost the cut sides.
  • Refrigerate the frosted sponge for 30-60 minutes to set the frosting.
  • Roll out thin sausages of icing and form a concertina to give the brain a surface pattern.

To Serve:

  • Just before serving spoon over the edible fake blood for that fresh wet look.


For a touch of added realism, place some crumpled tissues and a knife dipped in the edible fake blood on the cake stand.

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Grandads Cookbook may reference or include sections of text and images reproduced courtesy of:

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