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Creepy brain food for Halloween is all part of the excitement and fun of the holiday right? These simple exposed brain cupcakes are super gross looking, yet totally tasty at the same time.
We make them from scratch with our easy recipe below, but if you are low on time a boxed red velvet mix works just fine!
We love the red velvet cupcakes with the butter cream frosting… yum, always a favorite. You can also choose to make the brains in a number of ways.
The first method uses frosting to make the brains and the other simpler version is to use chocolate candies placed on top! Either way makes for a fun a spooky treat and is far easier than you might even imagine!
Plus, as a bonus these cupcakes are great fun for kids to make and will definitely creep out their classmates or friends. Tell them they are rate brains and watch the squirming begin!
Items Needed For The Brain Cupcakes-
* Pink or white paper cupcake liners
* 1 recipe batter for Red Velvet Cupcakes (below)
* 1 recipe Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting (below)
* Red and Pink food coloring
* Chocolate brain candies or Bite Size Brains Candy Molds
* Pastry bag and large round tip
Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe Ingredients:
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 2 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons red food coloring
* 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a hand held electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
* 1 pound cream cheese, softened
* 2 sticks butter, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Directions For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
To Make the Brain Cupcakes:
1. Cool the cupcakes completely and right before serving bring them out to frost and decorate.
2. If you are using frosting for the brains, mix a drop of pink food coloring into the frosting to make it a pinkish brain color.
3. Using a pastry bag or clear plastic bag with the tip cut off, pipe the frosting in squiggly lines on half of each side of the cupcake to resemble the two hemispheres of the brain.
You can use small squiggly lines with a small piping tip or bigger ones, it makes no difference as long as you get the desired effect you are looking for.
If you choose not to use food color the white frosting would look fine as well or you can make it even more creepy by adding a few drops of red dye on top of the brain itself! (image)
I have also seen grey frosting as well- just add a bit of green in the red and it turns greyish. It gives it a bit of a dead brain look!
4. If you would prefer to use brain candies instead- as shown in the main image, just frost the cupcakes with the vanilla frosting and place some red food dye on top of the frosting to resemble blood.
Then place your brain candies which you can either purchase or simply make yourself with these neat Bite Size Brains Candy Molds.
Add a bit more of the red food coloring and that’s it- bloody creepy exposed brain cupcakes that looks gross but is super tasty!
Note: To make the candies you can melt chocolate and pour it into the small brain molds and let it set for a few hours. These also make great treats to top just about any dessert for the Halloween season! How about brain lollipops!
We love the candy brain cupcakes option for ease and appearance but its not as ideal if you have small kids that are going to be eating these. It can have a real gross out factor for them and may cause an unintentional reaction!