It’s a little bit ironic that I’m doing this post today because I feel like I’m missing my OWN brain! Sleep deprivation + copious amounts of coffee = delirium, so bear with me if this post suddenly turns into incoherent dribble. I’ve been dreaming of making these cupcakes since last October so I’m really excited to finally share them with you! I was inspired with the idea after seeing Sprinkle Bake’s amazing Frankenweenie cake a few years ago (seriously, she is talented beyond words!) and adapted her cake recipe into these brainy cupcakes! Fun, creepy, and delicious.. everything a Halloween treat should be!
Cake recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
(makes 18 cupcakes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg whites
¾ cup milk
1 ½ tsp neon green liquid food coloring (one small bottle)
¼ tsp green gel food coloring
“Brain” Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 drops of red liquid food coloring
*The recipe for the frosting will give you enough to frost each cupcake with one layer, but if you double the layers like I did on a few for a better ‘brain’ looking effect, you’ll want to double your ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
(1.) Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. (2.) In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. (3.) In a third bowl, whisk together egg whites and milk. (4.) An easy way to separate the whites from the yolk is to carefully transfer the yolk back and forth between the two eggshell halves, using the edge to ‘cut’ the whites away from the yolk.
(5.) Slowly beat in a bit of the flour mixture and egg white mixture to your large mixing bowl containing the butter and sugar. Continue to alternate mixing the dry and wet ingredients until everything is incorporated in. Scrape down the sides and mix again. (6. & 7.) Stir in food coloring until batter is an even bright green. (8.) Add two heaping tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup until they’re all about ¾ of the way full. And remember.. this recipe makes 18 so you’ll have some leftover batter if you’re only using one 12 cup muffin tin.
Place in the oven to bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling another 15-20 minutes. While we’re waiting on those, we can start on our ‘brain’ frosting!
Orrrr you can also have a little fun with the green food coloring and give your pet a fresh new do.. Punk seems to like her’s! 😉
(9.) In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy and then stir in vanilla extract. Slowly beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until completely mixed. (10.) Add red food coloring and stir to mix until evenly colored. (11. & 12.) When cupcakes have completely cooled, transfer frosting into a pastry bag and frost a squiggly brain pattern on top of each cupcake. Again, you’ll want to double your frosting ingredients if you’re doing two layers of ‘brains’ on the cupcakes.
Serve right away or make the night before. Just cover and refrigerate until the next day. Allow cupcakes to come back down to room temperature before serving.