How to Decorate Brain Cupcakes for Halloween

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Are you looking for a fun and spooky Halloween treat to make with your kids? This recipe and tutorial for Halloween brain cupcakes are pretty easy to prepare and are sure to make everyone . . . lose their mind.

Halloween is a fun time to dress up and eat candy, but it can also be a time for creative baking. Best of all, if you think you can’t make these cupcakes, you can!

halloween brain cupcakes on a cutting board

Whether you’re a novice or an expert baker, these decorating instructions are simple enough for almost anyone to make their own batch of brain cupcakes this Halloween.

What Are Brain Cupcakes?

No, they’re not made of brains. That would be crazy! Brain cupcakes are cupcakes decorated to look like brains. They are often pink or red in color and have decorations such as veins or brain matter oozing out.

Gross, but oh so yummy at the same time.

halloween brain cupcakes on a cutting board

How To Decorate Brain Cupcakes

This recipe is more of a decorating tutorial. Make a batch of your favorite cupcakes or use a box mix. Here are some of my favorite cupcake recipes to get you started:

Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 24 cupcakes; made ahead of time, either from scratch or from a boxed mix
  • 3 cups of vanilla buttercream; from scratch or store-bought.
  • Red gel food coloring tube or 2 tbsp corn syrup

Instructions

chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream in a bowl
step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes

Fill a pastry bag with vanilla buttercream or pipe it into a coupler-equipped piping bag with Tip #5 or #14. The tip you choose depends on whether you want a straight line or a star shaped line for your brain cupcakes.

step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes

Make two lines of icing across the middle of each cupcake. Both tip styles is shown here.

To maintain the zig-zag form, hold the piping bag over the cupcakes instead of directly against the cupcake and let the icing drop onto the cupcake.

step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes

Make a zig-zag line on both sides of the two straight lines, making sure that the zig-zags are tight and the lines are close together.

step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes

Make another zigzag line next to the first to complete making your cupcakes look like a brain.

step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes
step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes

Use a tube of red gel sparkle food coloring to make your brain cupcakes more polished. Pipe or squeeze the “blood” food coloring mixture along the ridges of the buttercream in a zig-zag pattern.

step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes
step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes

For a spookier looking cupcake, mix 2 tbsp of corn syrup with two drops of red gel food coloring. Once the syrup and food coloring are mixed, drizzle some on the top to make it look like dripping blood.

step-by-step frosting halloween brain cupcakes

Notes

  • The corn syrup will cause the “blood” to run.
  • If you’re using tubes of gel color, you will need 3-4 tubes.

How To Store Frosted Cupcakes

Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

How To Freeze Frosted Cupcakes

Freezing frosted cupcakes without ruining your frosting is actually quite easy to do. Follow these simple steps if you want to make them ahead of time.

  • Arrange your decorated cupcakes evenly on a sheet pan and put them in the freezer for about an hour.
  • Once the frosting has hardened, wrap the cupcakes in wax paper or plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
  • Frosted cupcakes can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • When you’re ready to serve them, let the cupcakes thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Take the cupcakes out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before eating them so they can get back to room temperature.

Halloween Brain Cupcake Variations

If you want to get creative, try making these brain cupcakes with pink frosting and red brain matter oozing out, or just leave them pink.

If you’re feeling extra festive, use orange frosting and black brain matter for a more traditional Halloween look.

halloween brain cupcakes on a cutting board

Brain Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

These spooky brain cupcakes are perfect for your next Halloween party. They're easy to make and will definitely creep out your guests (in a good way)!

Instructions

  1. Fill a pastry bag with vanilla buttercream or pipe it into a coupler-equipped piping bag with Tip #5 or #14.
  2. Make two lines of icing across the middle of each cupcake.
  3. Ensure the piping bag is held over the cupcakes and the icing falls. This helps maintain the form.
  4. Make a zig-zag line on both sides of the two straight lines, making sure that the zig-zags are tight.
  5. Make another zigzag line.
  6. Use a bottle of red gel sparkle food coloring to make your final presentation more polished.
  7. Mix 2 tbsp of corn syrup with two drops of red gel food coloring for a more gruesome presentation.
  8. Pipe the "blood" food coloring mixture along the ridges of the buttercream.

Notes

  • The corn syrup will cause the “blood” to run.
  • If you're using tubes of gel color, you will need 3-4 tubes.
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    Final Thoughts

    These brain cupcakes are the perfect treat for your Halloween party or get-together. They’re also great for getting your kids involved in the kitchen. So, what are you waiting for? Get baking!

    Whether you’re looking for a fun Halloween treat to make with your kids or want to impress your friends with your decorating skills, brain cupcakes are the perfect option! So get creative and have fun with it.

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