Bleeding Cake Ball Brains




About: I am a blogger ( and author of Hungry Halloween, a Halloween cookbook, and I am passionate about creating chocolate and edible art (themed cuisine) for holidays and special occasions.

Transform ordinary cake balls into gory brains for Halloween by creating a candy shell using a silicone brain mold, filling it with red colored jam and a cake ball. 

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Step 1: Ingredients

1 baked chocolate cake
1/4 - 1/2 cup vanilla frosting
30-38 ounces melted white confectionery coating/candy melts*
black candy coloring (if you want your brains to be grey)
cherry jelly, jam, preserves, or dessert sauce (3/4 teaspoon per brain)
red food coloring (if you want to intensify the color or the cherry sauce)

*If you don't have experience working with or melting white confectionery coating or candy melts, read my detailed Chocolate Making Tips page for instructions, here. This tutorial has lots of trouble shooting tips.

Step 2: Special Supplies Needed

You will need at least one, but I recommend several Fred and Friends Brain Freeze Molds.

Step 3: Making Your Cake Balls

Cut about 1/2" all around the edge of the cake and just enjoy a snack. Break up the center of the cake into a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer (my preferred method**) or a food processor. Add 1/4 cup white frosting. Mix to combine.  If the mixture holds together well and you can easily form balls, then stop, if it crumbles, add up to another 1/4 cup frosting. Set aside.

By using a stand mixer your cake balls will have a smooth truffle like consistency. If you do this by hand, you will probably want to mix it with your actual hands to get it smooth.

Step 4: Create a Candy Shell in Your Silicone Brain Molds

If you'd like your brains to be gray, stir drops of black candy coloring into your melted white confectionery coating until you get the desired shade. I made mine a pale gray, but you could go much darker, if you prefer.

Spoon some melted white candy coating into one of the brain mold cavities. Use a spoon or a pastry brush to paint the coating in a thin layer all around the inside of the mold. Be sure you can't see any pink (the color of the mold) through the white. Paint all four brain cavities in your mold.

If your candy coating is really thin and it just pools in the bottom of the mold and you can't create a thick enough shell up around the edges of the mold, then you will have to create two layers. Add the first layer, then freeze for 3-5 minutes, then remove from freezer, allow to sit for 5 minutes, then paint the second layer.

Step 5: Clean the Excess Candy Coating Off the Edge of Your Brain Molds

Wipe off any candy coating around the edges of the mold. Freeze for 5 minutes. Don't leave them in any longer or you may get cracks and condensation on your brains, and you wouldn't want that now, would you?

Step 6: Add the Cherry Jam (oozing Blood) and Cake Ball to Your Brains

Remove the molds from the freezer. If you want your cherry filling to be brighter red, add a few drops of red food coloring. Spoon 3/4 teaspoon of the cherry filling into each brain cavity. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the cake ball mixture and press it into a brain cavity leaving enough room to add a layer of candy coating on top.

Step 7: Finish and Pop Out Your Brains.

Spoon some more white candy coating on top of each cake ball and smooth it out. Be sure to wipe off any excess coating around the edge of the mold. Freeze for 5 minutes. Remove the cake ball brains from freezer, turn mold upside down, press and pull on the mold until your brains pop out.

Step 8: How to Properly Store Your Brains.

Store the candy coated brains in an airtight container for up to a week. Just know that the longer they sit, the more likely it is that the cherry jam or sauce will soak into the cake. Thin sauces will soak in faster. If that happens, just serve them with a bit of extra sauce. I don't recommend freezing or storing these in the refrigerator as the moisture in the fridge will cause beads of condensation on your cake ball brains.

When the guests at my party bite into these cake ball brains, the cherry filling will ooze out and be quite a surprise. I can't wait to see how everyone reacts. Let me know how your party guests enjoy eating brains!

Step 9: Eat You Brains.


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    32 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I made these and they turned out fantastic! I got a little too tired on the last batch and made the shell a bit too thin - a few cracked, but I didn't mind. They looked gross and added to the décor. Thanks for the great instructions and tips!! ;-)

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    I'm so happy to hear your brains turned out well! I hope you had a great Halloween.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the great idea! They were easy to make and came out perfect. I made 4 batches of 4, and none of them cracked. I made sure to get the coating nice and thick. I made peanut butter cake and used strawberry jam so they were peanut butter and jelly flavored. If I were to make these again I would use a strawberry jelly instead of jam because the color wasn't very bright, and I would put more inside so they would reall bleed when they were cut. They were a big hit at my office! I'm thinking about buying some other themed silicon molds to make these for other themes!

    1 reply

    I'm so happy to hear they turned out well for you. They look great in your pictures. I use silicone molds all the time to make all sorts of treats like cheesecakes, chocolate, and more. I have a bunch of holiday recipes using them on my blog, Hungry Happenings.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I LOOOOVE this recipe! I just tried it for the first time for a halloween party and they came out perfect. I used vanilla cake and strawberry jam instead so that the red jam "blood" would stand out more. I coated the inside of the mold with vegetable oil first to act as a mold release and it worked perfectly. One of the brains cracked though, but I used it to my advantage by making little green sugar 'worms' to be coming out of the bloody brain. Thanks for the great idea, I am making these next year as well (after I buy a few more molds).
    Here's some picks below.

    Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 4.51.37 PM.jpgScreen shot 2013-10-31 at 4.51.48 PM.jpgScreen shot 2013-10-31 at 4.51.57 PM.jpgScreen shot 2013-10-31 at 4.52.06 PM.jpg
    2 replies

    I'm so glad to hear you made my Cake Ball Brains for Halloween and that they turned out so well. I love the addition of the green worms. It's creepy and cool. I'm going to share one of your pictures on my blog, Hungry Happenings, in my Reader's Gallery, if you don't mind.


    6 years ago

    Looks yummy! Keep up the good work! And also BRAINS!!!!!:)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I made these today and could not, for the life of me, pop out the brains without cracking the chocolate. My brains looked like someone bashed them in with a hammer. I stretched the silicone and pushed as gently as possible but no dice. Tips?

    1 reply

    Sorry to hear you are having trouble. It can be challenging to get the brains out of the molds as they curve in, so you have to peel them away a bit before popping out the brains. If your brains are cracking, you most likely need to coat the mold with more chocolate. Most white chocolate or white confectionery coating will be thick enough with just one coat on the mold, but some coatings are quite thin and may require a second coat. You could either paint of two coats, or allow the candy coating to cool and thicken a bit before painting it into the molds.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I used Oreo truffle for the center ( because thats what i had left over from a previous project) and Herseys milk chocolate as the shell and Black Cherry jelly. They came out really well. Thanks for the inspiration :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    your site is awesome. any particular chocolate cake recipe and size you recommend for this?

    1 reply

    Thanks! I actually just use Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake mix. Sometimes I doctor it up by swapping out 2 tablespoons of the oil with 2 ounces of melted semi sweet chocolate.