In Cupcakes, Recipes, Tutorials

Yeeeeah, Rocktober!  Cue electric guitar riff: weedillie-weedilly-weedilly-weeeeewwwrrrr!

The minute the first leaf kissed cold concrete, I threw open my fall clothes drawer and pulled on my snazzy skeleton sweater, downed a Pumpkin Spice Latte with added chocolate drizzle, and started a page in my dsayplanner called “Jenny’s Super Bad-Ass Halloween Costume Ideas Whut Are Super Bad-Ass.”

If you’re hosting your own Rocktober shindigs this weekend and need a relatively quick and easy goodie to make for the moaning, clawing, jello-shot-downing ranks of the dead who’ll be clawing at your door, I’ve got a tutorial for you. These Brain Cupcakes are easy to make and decorate, taste delicious, and make a great, gory impact on your guests with their oozing cherry innards.

In the interest of giving you more time to spend on your costume and less time in the kitchen, these instructions use a boxed cake mix and tub of frosting, but feel free to sub in your favourite buttercream recipe or vanilla cupcake.


This recipe is featured in my new book Geek Sweets: An Adventurer’s Guide to Baking Wizardry, available now for preorder, and in stores this holiday season anywhere books are sold. (How fancy does it feel to say that ’anywhere books are sold’ bit at the end? SO FREAKING FANCY, you guys!)

This is just one of many gruesome seasonal goodies included in the book, along with a 60+ more recipes, tips and tricks for making Geeky Goodies and Nerdy Noms galore. Read on for how to enter to win your very own copy  – transform into a baking wizard, slay the dragon, and impress your mum. Did I mention there’s a hilarious intro written by Jen Yates from Cake Wrecks? Well there is, how about that?

Alright, enough “I wrote a book, I’m hella-fancy now” blabbing – onto the tutorial!


Oozing Brain Cupcakes

Makes 22-25 delicious braaaaaaains…

Town overrun by undead looking to score some juicy human brains? No problem – swap in some of these cherry-filled counterparts in place of actual human grey matter. Zombies aren’t known for their high perception stat.

Quest Requirements:

  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • Gel food coloring (no-taste red and black)
  • 1 piping bag fitted with a small round tip (Ateco 802, or follow skill check below to make your own!)
  • Cupcake liners (white recommended)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F; line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Prepare the Vanilla Cupcakes cake mix according to instructions (or feel free to sub in your own vanilla cupcake recipe!)
  3. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds of the way to the top with a disher or spoon. Bake according to directions, until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Carefully remove from the cupcake pan and allow to come to room temperature.
  4. While cupcakes are cooling, dye the vanilla frosting.
  5. Tint frosting with a tiny amount of no-taste red gel food coloring by adding coloring to buttercream with a toothpick. (No double dipping!) Once you have a very light pink, mix in an even tinier amount of black to point the pink in a more “grey matter” direction. Mix to completely incorporate color.
  6. When cupcakes are cooled, use a knife or a cupcake corer to remove a small amount of cake from the center of the cupcake. Feel free to nom immediately.
  7. Using a spoon, fill the cupcakes with cherry pie filling, making sure to get a few cherries in each one for maximum “gore factor” when the cupcake is bitten into.
  1. Frost cupcakes: In the piping bag fitted with a small round tip (with a hole about double the diameter of a pencil), pipe a backwards capital ‘D’ and a second forward facing capital ‘D’, back to back as pictured.
  1. Using a zigzag motion with rounded corners, pipe one side of the cupcake, then the other, covering the ‘D’s’ created in the last step. Repeat a second time for a second layer of brain if more frosting is desired. Try to match the zigzags so the two sides are mirrored.

Skill Check: Don’t have a piping bag / tip the right size? Try this hack: Cut a corner off of a ziplock bag and attach the end of a straw to the opening, making sure there’s no gaps for the frosting to escape anywhere but out the straw. Cut the straw down to a 1/2” nub. Fill the ziplock with the prepared, dyed buttercream frosting as indicated. Make sure buttercream is at room temperature before piping. Leftover buttercream can be stored right in the bag with a paper clip punching the straw shut.

Want to win a hard copy of the book this recipe is from? Enter the contest below! Winner will be chosen November 1st and announced here and on social media, so be sure to follow Geek Sweets on Facebook! Book will be mailed out when it is released this very holiday season!

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