Introduction: Creeps (Spicy Marshmallow Creepers)

Picture of Creeps (Spicy Marshmallow Creepers)

Just in time to be to late for Easter it's Creeps, the marshmallow treat with a bang!
As many of you probably know these were part of ThinkGeek's 2013 April Fools product line but this means, at least at time of writing, that they are also fake. This is a shame because it's a great pun and would make a great gift for the Minecraft enthusiast in your life. In keeping with the creeper's explosive tendencies I've added a twist to the marshmallow recipe, a jalapeno infusion. This gives these guys a spicy kick that sets them apart from their chick and bunny counterparts.

Note: For those of you who don't know, a creeper is a hostile monster (mob) from the game Minecraft. When a player ventures to near a creeper it explodes like a block of TNT. This nasty habit is the inspiration for making the Creeps spicy.

There are three parts to this project, each of which is sort of it's own mini project, but the best way to get real Creeps is to follow all of them. The parts are: Building a creeper shaped cutter, making the spicy marshmallow, and turning the marshmallow into creepers. First up is the cutter.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials
  • Sheet Stainless Steel or Aluminum($4-$10, eBay or hardware store) - I used 1" wide, 1/16" thick aluminium because that was the best I could do on short notice. Your best bet is more along the lines of .01-.02" stainless steel.
  • Epoxy/Rivet/Spot Welding - I first tried JB quick weld which failed due to poor prep and bad clamping. I ended up using plain Gorilla Glue which worked better but it still isn't the best solution. If you find a better solution I'd love to hear it.
  • Wood/Cardboard/Paper - Something to use as a template. If you have access, a 3D printer or laser cutter are even better options.
  • Wax Paper - Serves as a template material for decorating.
  • Cardboard (Optional) - For creating gift packaging.
  • Plastic Cling Wrap (Optional) - For packaging.
  • Hot Glue (Optional) - See above.
  • Ruler
  • Permanent Maker
  • Hammer
  • Clamps and Vice Grips
  • Hard Straight Edge - This can be the same as your ruler but it needs to have sharp edges and be stronger than your chosen metal strip.
  • Sandpaper and File
  • Tin Snips/Hacksaw
  • Knife - Something precise like a small, sharp, hobby knife.
Jump to Marshmallow Recipe

Step 2: Design & Template

Picture of Design & Template
To get the best looking creeps we need to try and properly scale the in-game creeper.
After a surprisingly long time digging around the cobwebs of the internet I found this chart:

Creeper: 1 block = 1 cubic pixel
Head: 8x8x8 blocks
Body: 4x8x12 blocks
Foot: 4x4x6 blocks

Total Height: 26 blocks

The important parts of this info is that the total height is 26 units, the width 8 units, and the feet are 6 units tall. I selected a total height of 3" which yields a width and foot of .923 and .692 respectively. Once I started working with the metal these numbers got fudged a bit smaller and more even.
Once you select a scale factor and you have your dimensions draw and cutout your template. I used cardboard because I realized I wasn't going to be able to hold any sort of precision due to my material's thickness.

Step 3: Build the Cutter

Picture of Build the Cutter

If you have access to sheet metal forming equipment then it may not matter where you start but if you're forming by hand then the 180º bend between the legs is where you'll need to start. Fold the material over using the sharp edge of something and then use a hammer to fold the strip completely in half.

Now we'll begin using a make shift break from your hard straight edge to form the rest of the corners. Measure and mark your next bend. Place the edge of your straight edge on the marks and clamp in place with vice grips. Holding as close to the break edge as possible fold the metal to 90º. Repeat a total of 5-6 times. I made my two ends meet at a corner so there were only 5 bends after the center one. This method is easier but if you have a more pliable material having the ends meet on a straight will make for more symmetrical cutouts. To attach the two ends I simply sanded the mating surfaces and applied Gorilla Glue. Not the best solution but it held up for at least one batch.

The finishing touch is using a file/grinder/sand paper to sharpen one of the edges. This of course is to aid in cutting through the marshmallow. If your material is thin enough this step won't be necessary.

Step 4: Recipe

Picture of Recipe
Below is the recipe I used for making the marshmallows. I've put the changes/additions I made in bold so that you can use your favorite marshmallow recipe. Original Recipe

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Green food dye
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray

Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
Roughly chop the jalapenos, cutting cross sections into quarters is fine.
Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and jalapenos. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup, through a strainer, removing the jalapenos, down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and food coloring during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Step 5: Cutting

Picture of Cutting

When the marshmallow is fully set, turn it out of the pan onto a cutting board. Grab your cutter, make sure you've given it a good cleaning after you finish building it, and coat the inside and outside with some of the cornstarch/confectioners sugar mix. You can also use oil, like with the spatula from earlier, if there is still to much sticking with the powder.

Use the cutter just like a cookie cutter, pressing it down through the marshmallow. Pull the excess away from the edges before removing the cutter. A little pressure on the cutter helps prevent run away tears. When the cut out creeper is removed lightly dust the freshly cut edges with the powder to prevent sticking. Repeat until there is no room left to get a full cut in.

Step 6: Decorating

Picture of Decorating

Using a sharp hobby knife cut the creeper's face pattern into the wax paper. I just eyeballed the cutouts and cut a couple of patterns until I was happy with the scale. You can use the excess pieces to test your pattern on.

Lay the cut out on it's back, cleanest surface up. Position the template over the piece placing near the top, equidistant from the top and two edges. With one hand hold the template to the table on either side of the piece, pulling it tight. Apply black decorating gel across the openings of the template. Make sure the thickness is pretty even between the three openings and that there are no points in the gel from pulling the tube up while applying. Remove the template by lifting straight up. You can try and use a toothpick to touch/clean up. Repeat on each cutout.

Before doing this is a good time to stretch the feet apart a little so they are distinctly separate. Place a single strip of black gel across the bottom of each foot. Don't do both feet in one go, make sure you lift in between so it remains obvious the feet are separate.

Step 7: Packaging

Picture of Packaging

If you want to give these as a gift creating a little box that emulates the iconic peep packaging is a fun way to do it.

Measure one of your completed creeps. Using these measurements you can size the internal space for your package based on the number of creeps you want in the package. Then create a fold-able cardboard box with the front face only coming up half the distance of the back.

Instead of the yellow color on the peeps box I took a cue from the ThinkGeek images and pasted a Minecraft grass pattern to the visible surfaces of the box. Don't glue the grass piece for the back on just yet though.
Next we need a Creeps logo. Feel free to use the one I made and attached below (it looks like it has a black background but that's just how Instructables displays .png's with transparency.

Finally load up the creeps and use some plastic wrap to seal up the package. Start at the front and tuck all the edges to the back. Cut the excess so it is just around the corner on the back. Glue the the edges down to the cardboard and then glue the back grass panel over it all for a nice clean look.

Step 8: Thoughts & Lessons

Picture of Thoughts & Lessons

The Good
I know many of you probably made a face remarkably similar to the creepers when you saw that this recipe involved jalapenos, thanks for sticking through to the end. To be honest I was fully prepared them to be pretty awful but I really wanted to try to capture the spirit of the creeper so I plowed ahead. The results blew me away, as a number of family members can attest, these are actually quite tasty. If you like spicy things I strongly suggest trying these (they don't have to be creepers). I made a 1/3 batch but still with 2 jalapenos and the heat is is fairly intense at its peak but fades quickly and it doesn't linger like if you were to eat the actual pepper, at all. There is little to no jalapeno taste so they still work as a dessert like treat.
The Not So Good
I was a little disappointed with my cutter. Using a thinner gauge metal would have made a world of difference as well as practicing some breaks beforehand to get a feel for how exactly the radii formed which would have led to better measurements.
I whipped the marshmallow for a little too long which let it cool too much and made it hard to spread. This is why the creepers aren't all the same thickness, the mixture didn't so much pour as it had to be scooped out of the mixing bowl.
I think a lot of the inconsistencies you see in the marshmallow surface could be covered up using the colored sugar you see on real Peeps (called sanding sugar, thanks nanosec12 and Threemoons). Instead of confectioners sugar in the powder mix use, at least some, sanding sugar.
The little box I made was thrown together pretty quickly really for fun more than any practical use and it shows.


bloomautomatic (author)2013-04-26

My boy and I made a batch of these last night. I don't have a stand mixer so I used a hand-held electric mixer. It barely had enough power to turn the mixture over after it thickened, but it did the job.
I used some aluminum for the cutter and it did fine. I overlapped on one of the long edges, didn't bother with attaching it in any way.
Dusting the cutter with the sugar/cornstarch mixture helped. Also used a knife to cut around the outside. For the face, I started free-hand with a toothpick, but then cut down a new pencil eraser and used it like a stamp. Dots came out vaguely square shaped.

Tried to attach some pics, but it's not cooperating.  Will try again later.

Ok. I think i got them.

bwrussell (author)bloomautomatic2013-04-26

Those look great, thanks for sharing! Did you make them spicy or regular? If they're spicy I'm interested in how they tasted, i.e. was my batch an anomaly or is my method for infusion actually repeatable.

bloomautomatic (author)bwrussell2013-04-26

Thanks, glad you like them. The boy took some to school today, so I'm sure it was the hit of the lunch-room. Kids have no idea how much effort went into them! We're taking them to the Cub Scout Banquet tonight, where I'm sure they'll also be popular.

Since they are for young kids, I made them plain old regular marshmallow flavor. I followed the Alton Brown recipe. For a while it looked like it wasn't going to work, but in the end they came out great. Probably a little firmer than the store bought stuff.

bwrussell (author)bloomautomatic2013-04-26

Probably a good idea, the spicy version has some pretty intense heat for a few seconds, at least my batch does.

Celestialwarrior (author)2016-03-28

I am mine blown

You're either too pun-ny for your good or that's one terrificly coincidental misspelling.

Celestialwarrior (author)2016-03-28

I am mine blown

The cloud 1808 (author)2016-03-10


DiyGal123 (author)2016-02-17

I do not like spicy stuff so im gonna keep it... non spicy...

DiyGal123 (author)2016-02-17

may take a while before I make them still make soap and stuff to sell at a show

DiyGal123 (author)2016-02-16

Very cute i love minecraft cant wait to try! -Madi

bwrussell (author)DiyGal1232016-02-17

Make sure to post pictures when you make them!

Ubertastic (author)2014-05-10

I dare you to make dusty brick ones

bwrussell (author)Ubertastic2014-05-14

I'm not sure what that means.

IndigoOnion (author)bwrussell2016-01-31


loompiggytutorials (author)2014-07-24

These are so cute!

coolbeanz9989 (author)2014-04-22

Such a good idea!

EmeraldOre (author)2014-03-09

Wow!!!! What an awesome idea! I have to make these sometime!

tringirl (author)2014-02-25

This is soooooo awesome!!!

Subdood (author)2014-01-05


Noah Tingey (author)2013-06-15


bwrussell (author)Noah Tingey2013-06-17

Thanks, glad you like them.

Jedi_man (author)2013-05-08

So funny and cool! XD 5* +Favorite!

bwrussell (author)Jedi_man2013-05-09

Thanks, glad you like it.

ArticAkita (author)2013-05-07

this was a enjoyable read! I like peeps & personaly wish they would make a 'April fools' peeps themed marsmellow goody, Jalepenos are quite tasty added to strawberry jam (juiced one in a batch mmmmmmm!)

bwrussell (author)ArticAkita2013-05-07

Thanks! That's an interesting twist on pepper jelly (or strawberry jam depending on your outlook) I'll have to try it. I've got some Serrano plants starting, a little more kick but so good.

KROKKENOSTER (author)2013-04-30

Guys I was forced one day to make a plan as the MRS mixer decided that it need parts that were n.a. The batter was too tough for her machine. I then took my 750 watt drilling machine with one of the beaters locked into the chuck. Now I have to either get a sturdier lock for my tool chest or buy her her own machine so ladies if your handheld electric mixer is not powerfull enough use a drill of 500 watt or bigger running at 32000 rpm

bwrussell (author)KROKKENOSTER2013-04-30

That's a good suggestion but I have just one point of contention: Stand mixers aren't just for the ladies.

suayres (author)2013-04-28

Have you thought about ramping up the flavor with the addition of a sour "punch"? Try mixing in some citric acid crystals in the sugar you roll them in , just as it's used in sour gummies--you can buy it in the spice section of the grocery store, labeled as "sour salt", or online at, say, Amazon. Also, it's possible to buy cookie cutters in that rectangular shape, as well as in a chili pepper shape (also on Amazon--no kidding!)

bwrussell (author)suayres2013-04-28

Sour is an interesting suggestion, particularly if you don't like spicy. I'm not sure that sour and spicy are great together though and since creepers explode I thought heat was a good metaphor for that. Give it a try and let me know how it works, could be delicious!
You'd have to modify a basic rectangular cutter or slice the feet by hand after you made the initial cut with the cutter but it is a good middle ground for those that don't have the tools or motivation to make their own. Definitely faster than cutting everything by hand.

clewis21 (author)2013-04-26

Tried to vote for this, but can't see that it took anything when I clicked on the blank box, it stayed blank, no info. So, really cool idea!

bwrussell (author)clewis212013-04-26

Thanks for trying though!
That's interesting. I'm not sure what the blank box is specifically, did you try to vote through the little orange vote banner at the top right or through the various contest's individual pages?

Bobey (author)2013-04-25

That is the coolest thing ever

bwrussell (author)Bobey2013-04-26

Thanks, glad you like it.

fughilli (author)2013-04-25

Has anyone tried poprocks? I don't know how well the poprocks and the jalapeño flavors would mix, but that would certainly increase the explosive factor!

bwrussell (author)fughilli2013-04-26

I wonder if you can get the rocks before they add the fruit flavor. At that point you could try mixing them directly into the "batter", for lack of a better word.

nanaverm (author)2013-04-25

You can use the leftover marshmallow scraps, melted down with some butter, to make rice crispy treats with the dry cereal. Seems as though you could hand-cut the marshmallows, too.

bwrussell (author)nanaverm2013-04-25

It is possible to hand cut them, I did one, you can see it in this picture (top row , third from left). The issue is that it takes about five times as long per creeper and it's harder to get them all uniform. Of course if you don't want to make a cutter it's a legitimate strategy. Also as a tool engineer creating a tool to do all the cutting was appealing and sort of how my mind works.

Mmm, spicey rice crispies would probably be delicious. Have you ever made RCT's with homemade marshmallows, does it work?

nanaverm (author)bwrussell2013-04-25

Yes, I've made RCT's with homemade marshmallow (scraps). Turned out well! (Yours will, too.)

bwrussell (author)nanaverm2013-04-26

Thanks for the tip, I may just try that. If not now then next time.

jfuredy (author)2013-04-25

Couldn't you just use the laser directly to cut the marshmallow? You could still form it in a pan lined with parchment paper, then remove it once cool and place the block in the laser cutter. Perfectly formed marshmallow shapes every time! Without having to worry about the cutting getting clogged with sticky sugar.

bwrussell (author)jfuredy2013-04-25

I though about that but I haven't ever used a laser cutter so I don't know. I could see fire, or at least smoldering, being an issue as well as melting or caramelizing along the cutting edge. I checked the Epilog website but marshmallow wasn't on the list suggested materials. I guess I'll just have to win the laser cutter and try it. ;D

nanosec12 (author)2013-04-24

Now all you need to do is dust them with green colored sugar for the initial sweetness, followed by the KICK

bwrussell (author)nanosec122013-04-24

Thanks for bringing that up. I was planning on writing about that in the conclusion but forgot. I'll add it in.

Threemoons (author)bwrussell2013-04-25

Fantastic project! FYI you can get sanding sugar (the "finishing" sugar you see on Peeps and pro cupcakes, etc) in just about any color at any baking supply shop, or at good ol' Amazon:

bwrussell (author)Threemoons2013-04-25

Thanks, and thank you for the tip!

Jessie Marie (author)2013-04-23

Haha I love this idea! Great pun!

About This Instructable




Bio: Why buy when you can DIY? Educated a Mechanical Engineer and trained as a classical cellist I consider myself a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, dabbling ... More »
More by bwrussell:Industrial-Style Pipe Wall ShelvesReplacement PC Case Power SwitchLaser Engraved QR & NFC WiFi Access Card
Add instructable to: