berries | chocolate | cookies | cupcake photos | cupcake toppers | cupcakes | d.i.y. (do it yourself) | decorations | fondant/gumpaste | frosting | fruit | halloween | quick & easy | raspberry | recipe | valentine's day

Dark chocolate raspberry zombie brainy cakes.

February 17, 2016

(“Okay first things first, I’ll eat ya brains. Then imma start rockin’ gold teeth and fangs… cause that’s what a mothafuckin’ monstah do…”)


Walking Dead Valentine's Day cupcakes with brains!

When our friend Matt (of Best Wings LI fame!) approached me via Facebook message and asked if I’d be willing to make some Walking Dead inspired Valentine’s Day cupcakes (on about 3 days notice), at first I was like “Uhhh…” I didn’t know what to do. My first reaction was no. I mean, I had ideas, but then I was thinking how I could probably NOT pull them off because where do I get ANYTHING zombie-themed in FEBRUARY!?

However, I calmed down and came to the realization that I’m an artist. Seriously. Like Jack Nicholson said in (one of my favorite movies) The Departed; “Yanno John Lennon? He said: I’m an artist. Ya give me a fuckin’ tuba, I’ll get you somethin’ out of it.” Why would I worry about buying anything when I have 4+ years of art school, 1 semester of sculpture class, a childhood of Play-Doh and Sculpey experience and over 10+ years of baking experience? Plus, there’s this newfangled concoction called fondant- it seems to be a hit on The Food Network! I could use that to make whatever I needed.

Thing is? I never really used it before. *dum dum dummmmm*

How hard could it be?

First things first: what kind of cupcakes was I going to make? Next: what was I going to do for this “Walking Dead” theme? I decided on dark chocolate cupcakes with fresh whole raspberries mixed in. Topped with chocolate frosting, then some crumbled Oreo cookies – which is basically the cake world’s universal symbol of “dirt.” Not only is that appropriate  but it adds texture to the otherwise smooth & sweet frosting. I used these big, over exaggerated black cupcake liners to up the ante on the drama. And then…? What else??

Walking Dead Valentine's Day cupcakes with brains!


Zombies, brains… it’s a no-brainer, right? Har, har. Plus, when you Google “Walking Dead cake” or cupcakes, there’s quite a few bloody brains included in the search. Good enough for me! Plus brains are way cooler than Sheriff’s badges or whatever. Confession time: I never saw the Walking Dead. Ugh. I know I know! I want to- but I have to start from the beginning, and like what happened with Dexter… basically, I need the series to be OVER so I can watch it all in one weekend, k. I can’t watch everything up to a certain point and then wait for a new season! IT’S CRUELTY!

But I knew enough about it to know what it involves. Duh. And Jay’s friend from work’s brother was a writer on the show back when it first started, so I definitely knew enough about it. Plus I have Facebook, and friends. I hear things. And see things. I know all about Glen. #spoilers

Walking Dead Valentine's Day cupcakes with brains!


Makes between 12 and 16 cupcakes, depending on pan size and cupcake liners


  • 1/4 cup Hershey’s® Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 container (6 ounces) fresh raspberries, chilled


  1. Preheat oven to 350º degrees F. Line a 12-count cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together cocoa powder, flour and baking powder. In another bowl whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk and vegetable oil. Gradually whisk flour mixture into sugar mixture. Stir in raspberries- it’s okay if they stay whole and it’s also okay if they break (as a matter of fact, because I did in fact use a hand mixer to incorporate my berries, the firmer ones stayed mostly whole but the softer ones broke into a gazillion little berry pieces & everyone loved them, said it tasted like raspberry jam mixed in there). Mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Fill cupcake liners around 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 12 – 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool for several minutes in the cupcake pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost only when completely cooled.




  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound plus 8 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Melt and cool chocolate (until just slightly warm). Beat butter until light and fluffy.
  2. With mixer on low speed, gradually add powdered sugar. Add salt, vanilla and sour cream and mix until very smooth.
  3. Add chocolate and mix until just incorporated. Pipe on to cooled cupcakes or spread on with offset spatula. Brains not included.

Walking Dead Valentine's Day cupcakes with brains!

 So, after figuring out my game plan, I went out to look for some materials, and instead of fondant I purchased some Wilton Shape ‘n’ Amaze edible decorating dough. Same principle as fondant- it’s an edible “doughy” clay that can be molded into different shapes, and tinted as needed. I though the natural/beige color was perfect for brains, so I went with it. It was very easy to work with.

After I made the brains- which wasn’t as time consuming as I thought!- I took some almond extract and watered down some red gel icing color. When it was the right consistency, I “painted” the brains with it, letting it drip in between the swirls and scrolls. It dried, and ended up looking very cool.

Walking Dead Valentine's Day cupcakes with brains!

How did I make the brains? Easy. First, I kneaded the edible dough to where it was soft and pliable enough to mold. Then I shaped little “egg” type shapes. I flattened one side of them (the bottom) so I could have them sit properly on a flat surface (my parchment paper on a plate). Then I just started creating long, thin, strips of dough and swirling them, attaching them to the egg shape with almond extract. I used Google to get images of fondant & candy brains, so that helped a lot. Faux brains and real brains are different, y’all. One package of the Shape ‘n’ Amaze will give you about 6 or 7 (maybe even 8 or 9) cupcake-sized brains.

After that, it was smooth sailing. I let the brains dry overnight and by the time I was ready for them, they were hard enough where they wouldn’t get smooshed and were holding their shape. I had to add some hearts in there. C’mon. It’s VALENTINE’S DAY.

And voila. Walking Dead Valentine cupcakes. We called them “Walker Cakes.” You can call them whatever you want. Now go eat some brains.

Walking Dead Valentine's Day cupcakes with brains!

Soundtrack: “Monster” – Kanye West ft. Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj
Sources & Credits: Wilton Shape ‘n’ Amaze edible decorating dough in “natural/beige”;, Black wave baking cups;, large star pastry tip; Layer Cake Shop, tiny red candy hearts; Wilton, chalkboard cake stand; handprinted by yours truly from a plain cake stand I bought at Michael’s. And thanks so much to Matt for the challenge! Without him this post wouldn’t exist.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebook Twitter Email

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Are these mini cupcakes or full size (normal) cupcakes? I don’t know if its how you take your pictures or what but they always look like mini cupcakes but I feel certain if they were, there wouldn’t be enough room for the brain and hearts and stuff on top. They look amazing though! Did you see Yolanda Gampp’s brain cake on her HOW TO CAKE IT channel? omg it was amazing that is what these reminded of but in a smaller version.

  2. They’re full size! I just have the macro setting on and a flair for the dramatics. 🙂

    Thank you! I haven’t seen or heard of Yolanda Gampp or her channel but I’ll check it out.

  3. I have been surfing on-line greater than 3 hours nowadays, yet I
    by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours.

    It is pretty value enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made just right
    content material as you did, the web will likely be a lot
    more useful than ever before.

  4. It’s awesome to pay a quick visit this website and
    reading the views of all colleagues regarding this piece
    of writing, while I am also keen of getting know-how.

  5. You really make it seem really easy together with your presentation but I in finding this topic to
    be really one thing that I think I might never understand.

    It sort of feels too complicated and extremely vast for me.
    I am taking a look forward to your next publish, I will try to
    get the hang of it!

  6. You’re so awesome! I do not believe I have read through anything like this before.
    So wonderful to discover another person with original thoughts on this topic.
    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  7. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than three hours these days, but I by no means found any fascinating article
    like yours. It’s pretty price sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good
    content as you probably did, the internet will probably be
    a lot more useful than ever before.

  8. I’m more than happy to uncover this web site.
    I wanted to thank you for your time for this particularly fantastic read!!

    I definitely loved every little bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out
    new stuff in your blog.

  9. Undeniably imagine that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the simplest factor to understand of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked at the same time as people think
    about worries that they just don’t understand about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and
    also outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect , other people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

  10. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a
    comment is added I receive four emails with the
    exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method
    you can remove me from that service? Kudos!

  11. Hey would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this
    blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting
    provider at a fair price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  12. I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also go to see this website on regular basis to
    obtain updated from most up-to-date reports.

  13. I know this web site presents quality based content and additional
    material, is there any other website which offers such things in quality?

  14. This excellent website really has all the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn’t
    know who to ask.

Comments are closed.