This fun Halloween cupcake recipe and icing tutorial makes blood-red brain cupcakes that are all-natural … no, they do not contain real BRAINS, but they are made with real ingredients and contain no artificial food coloring!
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Calling All Zombie Fans
Are you a walking Dead Fan? I have to admit I love the series. It’s ominous and suspenseful without being too gory or disgusting. Don’t get me wrong, there is lots of blood and zombie killing… but it’s not so scary that it will keep you up at night.
Fall is the perfect time to snuggle up on the couch with a glass of wine, a good cupcake, and your shelfies. Shelfies are those shows you’ve been meaning to watch but they’ve been sitting on a virtual shelf (probably collecting dust) because you haven’t had the time.
Confession: I was late to the Walking Dead party, I binge watched the first five seasons on Netflix.
Mini Spice Cake Cupcakes with Beets
Every celebration needs some tasty snacks! You can make these these delicious blood-red brain cupcakes for a Minecraft, Night of the Living Dead or Walking Dead party. a Halloween get-together, or a night at home watching your favorite shows.
This fun spice cake tastes surprisingly like pumpkin cake with one difference, the intense red color! I’ve topped the cupcakes with simple cream cheese frosting decorations any zombie (or zombie fan) can appreciate. BRAINS!
No Artificial Coloring Needed
The red cupcake batter and pink frosting contain no artificial food coloring or dye. (I try to avoid artificial food coloring which are petroleum-based chemicals used to add color to food. You can read about the dangers of food dye at 100 Days of Real Food.)
So just how did I get my cake and icing these delightful shades? Fresh beet puree! Beets are a beautiful shade of red and add both delicious flavor and color to this fun recipe. Just look at the beautiful batter!
Zombie Crate Craft
The brain cupcakes look perfect in my free printable zombie gift boxes. These simple paper boxes are designed to look like a shipping crate and have lots of fun uses:
- Fill them with fun zombie party favors
- Use the zombie shipping crates for Valentine Day gift giving. Don’t forget to add the free printable Valentines!
- Get the free printable Zombie Crates in my Zombie Valentine post.
All Natural Zombie Brain Cupcakes
- Prep Time: 12 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Yield: 24 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
Celebrate Halloween with some delicious blood red beet spice cupcakes with simple brain icing decorations any zombie (or zombie fan) can appreciate. Recipe uses beets instead of artificial food coloring. Perfect for the Walking Dead.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup beet puree
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line mini muffin tin with cupcake papers.
- In a large bowl, mix together sugar, beet puree, egg and vanilla.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix until completely combined.
- Use a small scooper or spoon to drop two teaspoons of batter into each cupcake paper.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. The cupcakes should spring back when lightly touched.
- Remove from the oven and let cupcakes cool completely.
- How to make beet puree: Wash and boil three small to medium beets until tender. Remove skins and puree until smooth. (Add a tablespoon or two of the water you boiled the beets in if necessary to puree.)
- Serving Size: 1 mini cupcake
- Calories: 41
- Sugar: 4.6
- Sodium: 59.1
- Fat: 0.3
- Carbohydrates: 9
- Protein: 0.9
- Cholesterol: 7.8
Keywords: Zombie Brain Cupcakes, Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes
How to Decorate Brain Cupcakes
Making the brain decorations is easy. You need pink icing (see recipe below) and a pastry decorating bag with a 1/8 inch or #6 round icing tip.
Brain Icing Steps
- Bake 24 mini beet cupcakes and cool completely.
- Use about 1 tsp of icing and a small knife or spatula to smoothly frost the top of each mini cupcake.
- Pipe a line to the right of the center, slightly curve the end.
- Pipe a line to the left of the center, slightly curve the end.
- Stating at the curved end of the right line, pipe two squiggly lines outside the right line.
- Stating at the curved end of the left line, pipe two squiggly lines outside the left line.
Naturally Pink Cream Cheese Icing
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 minutes
- Total Time: 14 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
This tasty icing is a beautiful shade of pink but uses no artificial colors. Learn how to use beet puree instead of red dye in this easy recipe.
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1/8 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- 2–4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2–1 tsp beet puree
- dash salt
- Cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until no lumps remain.
- Scrape down sides of bowl and add 1 tsp beet puree. Mix until uniform in color.
- Stir in powdered sugar one cup at a time until you have a stiff icing.
- Use to frost cupcakes.
- Serving Size: 1 tbsp
- Calories: 83
- Sugar: 14.8
- Sodium: 24.2
- Fat: 2.6
- Carbohydrates: 15.2
- Protein: 0.3
- Cholesterol: 7.7
Keywords: Naturally Pink Icing, Cream Cheese Icing
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I think the use of beets is a great idea.. I was just wondering how you created your beet puree. I found recipes online but they don’t look like the same smooth consistency. I plan on attempting these for the office Halloween party. If you are willing to share the recipe for the beet puree, I know me and my coworkers will appreciate it!
Thanks, Tracy. I make the beet puree by boiling three small to medium beets until tender. Cool then remove skins and puree until smooth in a food processor or smoothie blender. (Add a tablespoon or two of the water you boiled the beets in if necessary to puree.)
Is thee any way to edit the recipe and include these beet purée instructions in them? 🙂 I plan on making these for my son’s birthday. Also, have you ever tried a gluten free flour instead? Think they’d turn out?
Jenni, to make beet puree simply roast a beet in the oven until soft then cool, peel and blend with a few tablespoons of water (use a blender or food processor). You can also peel the beets, cut into quarterse and boil until tender then cool and blend the beets with a few tablespoons of the water they were cooked in (use a blender or food processor). The boiling method is a little faster. 😉
I bet the beets would work for red velvet cake too!
Yes! In fact, beets are the original “red” of red velvet cake… it’s only modern versions that use food coloring!
I love that you created a cool “red recipe” with natural ingredients instead of food coloring. These are yummy!
These are so nice! 🙂 I’m going to test them out this Halloween! 😀
I hope you like the recipe! They are easy to frost and turn out cute.
These are so awesome! We don’t do any artificial ingredients (I’m the mom that brings her own cupcakes to bday parties). Our school does a cake walk for a fundraiser, and I’d love to participate with something not junked up. If I used an organic mix instead, do you think that I could reduce the oil in place of the beet puree? Thanks!
Thanks Micki! Yes, you should be able to use a mix and substitute some of the oil for beet puree. It’s a great idea for a cake walk!
these came out so amazing! Love it ♥ pinned! also excited for fall TV shows 🙂 I’m most excited for Sleepy Hollow, iZombie, Vampire Diaries and Heroes Reborn ♥
Thanks Tianna! I just watched the first episode of Heroes Reborn. I am loving fall television this year.
Definitely pinning for later these are adorable!
This is such a neat idea! Pinned and shared! Thanks for linking up with us at #Pinbellish! I hope you come back next Friday to pin some more!
-Gina @ Gina’s Craft Corner (Concealed carry purses w/ style)