Brain Cakes

Remember the time I made cakes that looked like brains?


The unavoidable answer to that question is ‘no, what are you talking about?’ because I never did write a blog post about them. Until now!

I only have phone photos – and low lighting phone photos at that – but you’ll be able to get the idea. These were a Hallowe’en project. The G man and I dressed up as Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.


Zombie Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, of course. Paul Zombiewood and Mary Deady, to give them the names the G man dreamed (or nightmared) up.

A plate of brain cakes seemed like the kind of thing Mary Berry would do if she was a zombie, so I put some together to serve as a prop, in case the floral jacket wasn’t clue enough to our Hallowe’en identities.


The cupcake on the bottom is your basic vanilla sponge. I also made cake pops with the same batter – half as many cake pops as cupcakes. Then, when everything was baked and cooled, I sliced the cake pops in half, so I had half-spheres to perch on top of the cakes. These were the base for my brains. I liked this much better than having a solid lump of icing on top of every one – combined with the cake and jam, it would have been seriously, teeth-grindingly sweet. There is only so far I’m willing to sacrifice taste for style, you know.

I made a vanilla buttercream, which I dyed a lilac-grey colour, then added a touch of red dye until the icing was a slighly mottled pink-grey – like raw meat. Appetising, no? I mixed it up too far, actually,  so the end result was more pink than anything else. I suppose that did make them look a bit healthier, and your discerning zombie would eat nothing but the healthiest brains available, preferably free-range and organic ones.


I filled each cake with strawberry jam, leaving a big splodge on top of the cake to stick my half-cake pops to. Once they were all on, it was time to decorate – if I’d made the brains first, then tried to stick them on, I’d definitely have flattened and smudged the icing. The brain detail was piped on top with a fine nozzle. It was painstaking work, it must be said. I applied a straight line right across the middle, then used a back and forth looping motion to fill in each half, with any gaps being filled by extra little lines and loops.

They came out suitably gory, just right for a Hallowe’en party. For a last-minute idea (hence the lack of photos), they ended up being pretty great. This year I’ll be more prepared.

Unless Paul Zombiewood resurfaces and eats my actual brains.


About Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983. View all posts by Rock Salt

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