Fun in the kitchen – involve your kids in the process of making the Brain cake

Fun in the kitchen – involve your kids in the process of making the Brain cake

Forget vampires, zombies are all the rage now. So are brains. For eating, of course.

Whether you’re trying to do something memorable for Friday the 13th, or you need snacks while watching iZombie or The Walking Dead, this is the cake.

Ready to construct a brain cake? It’s actually easy and fun to make. Promise. We even did our own fondant to create the twists and turns on the brain.


Prep time: 45 minutes + baking


  • 1 red velvet cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups red jam (like raspberry, seedless)

Homemade fondant

brain cake in process

  • 1 10.5-ounce bag mini marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 2-lb. bag powdered sugar
  • Canola oil

How to make a brain cake in 10 steps

  1. Put together the fondant first so it can refrigerate while you’re baking the cake. To make the fondant, heat the marshmallows and butter in a large glass bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir and heat again in 30-second intervals until fully melted. Cool slightly.
  2. Using a hand-held mixer add powdered sugar to the marshmallows 1 cup at a time. Beat after each addition until the mixture becomes stiff (you probably won’t need the whole bag).
  3. Coat a cutting board with powdered sugar and knead the mixture until it forms a smooth ball. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  4. Make red velvet cake mix according to package directions. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make the cake easier to move later (cut a circle out of the parchment to position on the bottom of the pan–coat with cooking spray). Bake the batter in a 8″ or 9″ circular cake pan. Cool.
  5. Use a sharp knife to cut two sides of the red velvet cake to create an oval shape. Eat the extras.
  6. Heat half of the jam to make it easier to spread. Use a pastry brush to cover the cake with the jam.
  7. Time to make brain matter! Roll out 6″ snakes out of the fondant dough (great kid job). It helps to cover your hands in powder sugar. Apply the snakes in zigzag designs on the cake. The way we put the cake together is we had one person rolling out dough snakes while the other applied them. For the person applying the fondant, put a little canola oil on your hands to make the dough more pliable. We pulled up a comic book picture of a brain to guide us in applying the fondant.
  8. Once all of the brain matter is on the cake (and you may not need all of your fondant) brush it again with the rest of the heated jam.
  9. Place the brain on a plate (remember you still have parchment paper on the bottom to make it simpler to handle). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  10. Offer to startled zombie fans.

Note: We trimmed a little too much red velvet cake off of our “brain.” No worries. We used a bit of regular white icing to glue the cake back into an oval shape.

If you have some marshmallow leftovers and want something less wild, try my recipe for pumpkin cookies