Picture of Brain Cake
Making a Brain cake is fun, cheap and great for Halloween parties or get-togethers. This is a basic instructable to show you how to make the details for this cake, the size and shape depends on your preferences. You can do similar designs for cupcakes or even flat cakes depending on what best fits your needs. This cake is made from two 8 inch pan cakes that were cut and assembled together to make a more realistic brain cake. The gore is also optional, although it does make the cake look more grusome and realistic.

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
Here are the Basic Ingredients that you will need, however depending on what kind of cake mix or cake recipe you use it will vary.
1. Cake Mix + necessary ingredients (follow the instructions on your recipe or box)
2. Frosting (we bought ours but feel free to mix your own
3. Mini Marshmallows (a whole package preferably)
4.Powdered Sugar
5. Cake dye, especially the colors green and red.
6. Oil (to grease your hands with later)

karen.suttie6 months ago

I love this cake! I want to make a brain cake that oozes blood and 'brain lollies' when you cut into it. Can anyone tell me what I could use for the blood?

aksnowbelle10 months ago
I messed up the marshmallow business so imma try again. I cut the edges off the cake and used the half moon pieces to make it more of a mound shape. When I figure out how to post pics I will
VentureScout11 months ago
Looks cool
drainer13 years ago
This is such an amazing cake!!! I made this for my friends 25th birthday - themed Zombie. Was a MAJOR success, no one had any idea I was doing it & I got a standing ovation so that was pretty swell.
Just as a point of note, my cake was pretty big & I made my own marshmallow & there was HEAPS of it. It tasted great making it myself but be warned, it makes the process of turning it into a taffy like consistency a VERY painful job, with the recipe I went with, it took about 8 packets of icing sugar (powdered sugar) to turn get it to how I needed it. The whole decorating process took me hours & I was pretty exacting with the blood. But in the end major success, I was happy as was the birthday boy! Also took a chunk out where a "zombie" had bitten into it.
Also used heated jam instead of frosting to stick it to the cake.
2012-04-07 16.49.13.jpg2012-04-07 16.49.28.jpg
This is REALLY cool! I want to do this cake tomorrow, and I'd really like to make it as similar as possible to yours! Would you mind telling me the recipe of the cake inside?
Thanks :)
Thanks!! Sorry I hope this didn't get to you too late. I made 2 different cakes, one was a dark chocolate mud & the other a white chocolate mud & all I did was add about half a thingy of red food coloring to each. The white cake will look really light pink when you do the mix but don't stress, it'll come out red.
I can't remember the recipe to be honest, I probably found it through google lol - also I did a chocolate ganache between each layer & I did 4 layers for the height.
kiffakitty (author)  drainer12 years ago
I love that you used red cake on the inside; it's the perfect touch!
No worries figured it out. Wouldn't pink marshmallows be easier
kiffakitty (author)  Monster Muncher2 years ago
Sorry for not responding- anyways, it is up to you. If you are going for a pink brain, then you don't have to fuss with dye if you buy pink marshmallows. I was going for a grey matter, white matter, and some pink mix, so I just bought white marshmallows.
Thanks great instructable btw I'm so going to make this for halloween this year!
lovelyann2 years ago
I made this cake for my step son's 14th birthday and it was a smash! :) The only thing I did differently was actually cut the cake into a round, "brain" shape before applying the marshmallow fondant.
J-Five2 years ago
ME WANT BRAIN!!!!!!!!!
mdavison12 years ago
I made this cake last night for a Spooky Desserts contest at work. I added my own touch with some gray brain matter, it was a hit and I won the contest. Thank you!
Bloody Brain Cake.jpg
kiffakitty (author)  mdavison12 years ago
You're Welcome! It Turned out fantastic, BTW. I love the colors!
lucienaw2 years ago
Worked perfectly, but used a chocolate cake instead!
Wow- I am excited to try this for a birthday cake! My plan is for a homemade white cake with raspberry filling. I'm using the hints, like creating a dome out of two halved cake rounds, and piping buttercream icing instead of fondant (in this heat I hope to keep a nice consistncy). I'm trying two finishing touches, as I'm a trauma RN, and I want to make it as realistic as possible: before adding blood on the outside, I'm going to lightly "paint" the brain with either clear gelatin or caaro syrup after a test each to see what comes out right. And I'm going to "sit" my brain in a pool of red colored caaro to really make it look really bloody! Wish me luck!
kiffakitty (author)  beautifulsouth02 years ago
Wow, that is way more effort than I have ever put into a cake! Please post a picture!
kahaynes3 years ago
This is the "zombie brain" cake I made for my husband's Walking Dead birthday party this year. These instructions were great! Since the cake was green velvet (used green dye rather than red) I made cream cheese marshmallow fondant, and I thickened the blood mixture with a little cornstarch and added some vanilla to taste. Otherwise, I followed this exactly, and it turned out wonderful!
kiffakitty (author)  kahaynes2 years ago
Haha, that sounds like an awesome party! Thanks for sharing your pics!
My daughter wanted a zombie birthday party and this cake was perfect for her. I used whipped cream frosting and tinted it gray. I used 3 layers and trimmed it into the brain shape - filling each layer with cherry pie filling for the 'bleeding' effect. I drizzled some additional filling down the sides.

the kids loved it. Thanks for the idea.

brain cake 3.JPGbrain cake 1.JPGbrain cake 2.JPG
kiffakitty (author)  magwheels6620002 years ago
I bet the frosting tastes a lot better than my fondant! Nobody ended up really eating my fondant so switching over to frosting was a good idea for a kid's party. Thank you for sharing!
cool knex132 years ago
Now I know why zombies like brains
It is a little horrible.
Can you use larger marshmallows? Will you need less
tinker2343 years ago
i saw a skull pan online now i guess i can make a head cake
I loved this cake! My only thing I would add to this recipe is a detailed ingredients list. Since this was my first attempt to make anything like this . . . I used:

*Two boxes of cake mix
*Three bags of marshmallow
*A bag and a half of powdered sugar
*Two and a half containers of frosting

That might just be my inexperience . . . But it was HUDGE! Ha Ha. Otherwise it was a major success. Great Cake!
mryan153 years ago
I made the brainiest brain cake ever. Thanks so much for these instructions! It went perfect with our mad-scientist themed Halloween party.

jadekikyo3 years ago
This is going to sound weird but my 4yr old little girl would LOVE this as her birthday cake. She's almost a halloween baby and her personality shows it, lol.
CanningGirl3 years ago
the cakes are awesome i love them
bkr19695 years ago
Nice idea.  Made one for a Christmas party (hosted by a neurosurgeon).  Went over great. I did mine with 3 layers vertically instead of horizontal.  That gave me more height, though getting it to stand up took a bit of thought.
kiffakitty (author)  bkr19693 years ago
haha, a Christmas party with a brain cake sounds awesome!
WOW!!!! Great Job!!! I think I might have you make me one for haloween. JK
zcaper4 years ago
i made a vegan version of this for my friend's birthday complete with a chocolate knife in the top and raspberry bloody filling. if you use vegan marshmallows for the fondant, you need to add some shortening to make it come together in the right consistency.
kiffakitty (author)  zcaper3 years ago
That is really awesome! I love the details! It looks like you even shaded the squiggly parts with shades of pink. :D
pyho20075 years ago
Here's my brain-cake.  Making fondant from scratch is definitely a challenge but well worth it.
you should leave that in front of a police station "a gift for our officers" XP
kiffakitty (author)  pyho20075 years ago
 wow thats great! i love the shape of it, very realistic
kwnstant!na4 years ago
I unfortunately don't own a microwave oven.
Could I use the regular oven instead ?
Will it work the same way ?
kiffakitty (author)  kwnstant!na4 years ago
You could heat it up on a stove top. The important thing is to have melted marshmallows, the technique isn't really important.
ahouse184 years ago
Thanks so much for the instruction! We made it for my 9 year old's birthday/Halloween party. The funny thing is, I spent a few hours putting it together - I used 3 layers to make it tall (and strawberry cake on the inside), we unveiled it, and all of the boys at the party were so grossed out by it that they just had ice cream!! Thanks again for a fun memory.
I wouldn't eat it ether, just knowing that there's fondant on it grosses me out.
kiffakitty (author)  ahouse184 years ago
haha! no one really wanted to eat our cake either! My friend's 13 year old sister was especially grossed out :)
I guess you have to be a zombie lover at heart to truly enjoy this!
annafrank4 years ago
look so scary) great idea
Great instructable! I *mostly* followed the directions, but I placed my cake rounds on their side after cutting, creating the two hemispheres. After placing the fondant on them the two began to spread apart, but the effect was actually pretty neat and made it more realistic. Instead of knives I uses a little sign saying, "Zombie Special - FRESH BRAINS!!!"

Thanks for the idea. It was a winning entry in our office "creepy dessert" contest.
sarahu4 years ago
:) made one thanks for the instructable
ziggiau4 years ago
Could you just make the marshmallow from scratch? It's easy enough to do (this Instructable seems to do the trick - http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Flavored-Marshmallows/) and maybe you could modify the ingredients (less liquid, more sugar) to get you to the correct consistency?
kiffakitty (author)  ziggiau4 years ago
this is actually just a quick and cheap way of making fondant, if you want to make it from scratch you could probably make fondant from a recipe-that would probably give you the best consistency. The fondant is usually too sweet to eat (it uses confectioner's sugar like flour in dough) so if it were me I'd make the delicious homemade marshmellows as another snack for the party-especially if they are cut out like little ghosts or pumpkins- that would be so cute!
sadiecoons4 years ago
This would be cool for an april fools joke on your mom. Hehehe
chefmojo4 years ago
So i made my own version! A zombie brain!!!
brain food.jpg
emi80805 years ago
awww. Gross but looks sooo real. I think i might pass....
allison =D5 years ago
ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww lol I will defenetly be doing this for halloween also hehe
KMOM145 years ago
It looks so disgusting...I love it!  I think I will make one next Halloween.  Thanks for sharing it with us!
avakatie5 years ago
FANTASTIC I so have to try this one :D
IcenSheWolf5 years ago
This cake was a lot of fun to make! I'm glad I was there to help with the preparations!
kcli5 years ago
If my ma cooked brains this way I'd be sure to eat 'em!

Best of luck in the contest...you deserve to win based on the bloody good looks alone!!!
monaxle5 years ago
Thanks for this. We had as much fun making it as we did eating it! 
kiffakitty (author)  monaxle5 years ago
 cool! nice picture
7W475 years ago


What a great idea! I used butter icing and piped it through the lid of a pop bottle. Thanks for the inspiration!
I'm so mad you beat me too it. I was in the middle of writing a brain cake instructable, and you posted yours. I guess gross minds think alike. Here is mine. It's made from a bunt cake, upside down, and shaped a little to look like a brain. then I used buttercream frosting to pipe on the brain lumps with the leaf tip. then used a writing tip to pipe on the veins.

kiffakitty (author)  domestic_engineer5 years ago
 lol sorry! ha ha i love the veins on your cake!
momm5 years ago
It's braintastic; this opens up a door to so many ideas. You could build up enough layers of cake to carve out the dome shape of the brain and  pipe
on the blood mixture where needed (mushed strawberry preserve,red gel etc) Is it possible to make the fondant so that it can be piped on?
kiffakitty (author)  momm5 years ago
i don't think it is possible to pipe fondant because it has the consistency of taffy, but you could use frosting in a similar way if it was very think and you had a large tube
Void Schism5 years ago
Cake mix and a can of frosting... do people in America know how to bake real cake?

I suggest making cheam cheese frosting (http://www.cookuk.co.uk/cupcakes/cream-cheese-icing.htm), and I'm willing to bet flour, salt and raising agent is cheaper and tastier than a box of cake mix can make.

Love the look of this cake, tempting to make one (cake is always tempting?!)
There's a word for people like you...I just haven't come up with it yet.
kiffakitty (author)  Void Schism5 years ago
 lol,  well actually its much more expensive to bake real cakes then to buy a box mix(usually only a dollar at Albertsons) . the cake i usually make from scratch uses a ton of butter, especially if i make the homemade frosting to match (seriosuly i have to buy a whole pound of butter!) However I agree there is nothing like homemade cake! but when planning a party most often people do not have enough time to bake a cake from scratch, so thats why i suggest a cake mix. Also from the parties I have been to, cake mixes seem to  satisfy guests as much as homemade, so if already in a rush it really is a practical choice. But if you want to make one from scratch thats great, I'm sure your guests will love it!
i never use mix :D its fun to try and fail then catch the kitchen on fire BEFORE you even think about using mix.

(you DO crawl inside the microwave while holding metal, right?)
I wasn't aware they didn't sell cake mixes or prepared frosting in the UK. I make no apologies for using prepared foods as I have health issues that keep from cooking and baking the way I used to and I don't understand why some people get bent out of shape about the way someone else cooks when they will never meet that person or eat with them.
 Bake from scratch all you want. No one said you had to used prepared foods, it was just a fast suggestion.
AmyLuthien5 years ago
Ewwwwwww!  What a gross mess!  Two thumbs up!  How awesome for Halloween! 

I wonder if I have any marshmallows around the house?  hmmm . . .
Waiaba5 years ago
HisJournal5 years ago
I'm so using this for my church bake sale. xD
mnbouchet5 years ago
Yes thet is true. BBBBRRRRRR i don't ike it. I am afraid. Perfect for halloween.
SaloD5 years ago
Gross enough for me to love it!!  :)
Pompom5 years ago
That looks truly disgusting.  Job well done!!  :-D
erigeeka5 years ago
sandygeo5 years ago
this is such a awsome cake good job
isdiazd5 years ago
LOL is such a great cake,man!!!!!
karossii5 years ago
it might be a good idea to slice the two 8" rounds in half, then place them so the curved side is facing up... making a rainbow or arch shaped cake. Let them fall slightly apart in the middle to separate the two hemispheres, and use fondant/icing to finish the shape...that way you have the same basic concept but with less overall fondant/icing, making it more palatable/edible to the general populace...lol
kolowinter5 years ago
BRILLIANT!!!!  You should be very proud of having such a FANTASTIC idea!  Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!!!
juanvi5 years ago
nice...but I woudnlt do it with Marshmallows, i would find some thing as cream or something that would saty with the shape. That way maybe its softer...

if I have time to try it ill PM you the result!
BrindaMS5 years ago
 this is really aussome! we were going to make a cake that looked like pumpkin...now this one looks so fantastic...
Looks completely delicious. The idea of the marshmallow outside is great.

A nice idea might be to get some chunky (organic, something less colorful) strawberry preserves and put it in between the layers, maybe even some in between the squiggles.
Wow, that's even worse than the kitty litter cake that my sister-in-law made for a Halloween party.
OMG I love kitty litter cake. And one thing that would really improve the gore of this cake is a bleeding-brain-cake. I've done a bleeding cake before and it would be so simple to add to this build/bake.


hishealer5 years ago
That looks like the perfect halloween centerpiece!  How thin can you make the fondant and still make it look good?  I don't like the taste of fondant, especially when it's thick.  However, if it breaks or cracks, who cares on this one, right!  It will just look like less "fresh" brains.  Maybe use chocolate instead of the red for older blood too... hmmmm.....
kiffakitty (author)  hishealer5 years ago
 no, dont make it too thin or flat, you want it to give your cake texture. The fondant I make just tastes like really sweet marshmallows but you can peel it off while eating it. I usually peel off mine cause its too sweet for me, but some people really like sweets and actually like it. 
deofthedead5 years ago
simply freakin' amazing. 5 stars, favorite, and dangit, I gotta see if I can get my other half to make this. XD (Ok, I could, but I'm not the one who -loves- to make cakes...Hehe.)
amakerguy5 years ago
 wow that looks great! and sick! (in a good way :P) too bad my mom doesn't celebrate Halloween :(::...
Very cool.  IF I have enough time I'd like to make this for my party.

Warlrosity5 years ago
Making a Brain cake is fun, cheap and great for Halloween parties or get-togethers, IT IS ALsO DISTURBING AND SICK!!!

kcls5 years ago
That is the most disgustingly delicious cake ive ever seen! Good job!
mikeasaurus5 years ago
Doldrum5 years ago
 That would be perfect if you were a zombie for halloween! :P
didibemi5 years ago
Good Idea...

But i think i couldn't eat it... It's disgusting
stofke5 years ago
 Excellent! I've been looking for something like this for a while. 
Lerrinus5 years ago
I had no idea a *cake* could be gross and cool at the same time!

5* for a job well done! :-)
Joe Martin5 years ago
Ewwwwwww! In a nice way of course ;)

I just had to click on this one because it looked so gross! Great job! :D