Creep out your friends this Halloween by serving them homemade Gumdrop Brains. Each transparent candy looks like it's bleeding inside.
Oh, why didn't I come up with this idea last year for our zombie party? These bleeding candy brains would have been a killer addition to our zombie dessert table served alongside my Cake Ball Brains.
I have a bit of an obsession with bleeding brains for Halloween. Although I love creating cute party food, when it comes to Halloween the creepier the better. These are definitely in the gruesome category.
Each candy brain is hemorrhaging blood, or so it appears. Really they are just homemade gumdrops filled with red food coloring.
It's really cool how you can see the ruby red blood inside the clear gummy brain.
It's even better when you cut into the brains, er, I mean gumdrops. The cross-section really shows the blood.
Have you ever made homemade gumdrops? I did. last year, for the first time. I made Red, White, and Blue Gumdrop Stars, and I fell in love with their soft chewy texture. They are much better than store-bought candies and the best part is that you can make them any flavor you like.
I'll admit that making gumdrops can be a bit challenging, but I promise you once you get the hang of it, you'll want to make them over and over again, in various shapes and flavors. I got a bit carried away the other day and made three different batches of Halloween gumdrops. I'll share the other two tutorials with you soon.
Homemade Halloween Candy - Brain Hemorrhage Gumdrops
powdered fruit pectin (not low or no sugar pectin) - I used Sure-Gel pectin. Some pectins, like Ball Pectin have a brownish tint. You really want to use clear pectin when making these gumdrop brains and Sure-Gel pectin is nice and clear.
baking soda - Baking soda will provide lift to the candies so they are airy and light. These gumdrops have the most amazing texture. They are softer than store-bought gumdrops.
sugar - Use granulated sugar to make your candy sweet. You will also coat your gumdrops in sugar to keep them from sticking.
light corn syrup - Not only does corn syrup add sweetness, but it also prevents your gumdrops from crystallizing and adds the perfect chew to the candies.
flavored candy oil - I used LorAnn Sour Apple oil but you can use any flavor you like. Start by adding ¼ teaspoon of the candy oil to the hot gumdrop mixture. To test the flavor, fill a glass with ice cubes, then pour in some water. Dip a metal spoon into the hot gumdrop candy mixture then set that spoonful of candy into the ice water to cool for one minute. Once the candy cools, you can taste it to see if you want to add more flavoring.
red liquid food coloring - You will add a drop of liquid red food coloring to each gumdrop brain to make them look bloody inside.
2 Brain Freeze Molds (each has 4 brain cavities)
optional, food handling glove to help with greasing your molds
1 ½ or 2-quart saucepan, preferably a good quality stainless steel pan
2 or 3-quart saucepan
glass bowl with a spout or a glass mixing bowl
skewer or toothpick
Step 1 - Grease your silicone brain molds.
- Butter your brain molds before you make your batch of gumdrops.
- I recommend using butter because cooking spray will leave a film on your silicone molds.
Step 2 - Make homemade gumdrops.
- Pour corn syrup and sugar into a buttered 3-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat.
- Cook until a candy thermometer reaches 280 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, in another saucepan bring water, pectin, and baking soda to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches 280 degrees, pour in the pectin syrup.
- Stir constantly for one minute then remove it from the heat.
- Stir in the flavoring.
Step 3 - Fill brain molds with gumdrop mixture.
- Set your silicone brain molds on a baking pan or cutting board that will fit into your freezer.
- Pour the gumdrop mixture into the brain molds, filling them about ¾ full.
- You can top them off after you fill up all 8 brains. You won't have enough to completely fill the molds.
Step 4 - Make the brains look bloody!
- Immediately, poke a hole in each brain using a skewer or toothpick that has been dipped in red food coloring.
- Swirl the skewer around a bit, spreading the red coloring around inside the brains.
Step 5 - Cool the gumdrop brains.
- Allow the gumdrops to cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Then, pop the molds into the freezer for an hour.
- Remove, and un-mold the brains onto some sugar.
- Coat all the gumdrop brains in sugar.
The brains look eerily transparent without sugar, but they are pretty sticky, so I do recommend coating them.
Step 6 - Storing your homemade gumdrop brains.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
- Do not refrigerate. They will become sticky.
You can find the supplies needed to make these gumdrop brains at Amazon.com (commission earned for sales).
be sure to check out all the Halloween recipes here on Hungry Happenings.
- butter to grease pan and brain mold
- ¾ cup water
- 1 1.75 ounce package original powdered fruit pectin (not low or no sugar pectin)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ -½ teaspoon flavored oil I used LorAnn Sour Apple oil
- granulated sugar to coat gumdrops
- red liquid food coloring
- NOTE: You want pectin that is white or clear looking. I used Sure-Jell for this recipe. Ball pectin has a brown hue to it so I don't suggest it for this project.
- 2 Fred and Friends Brain Freeze Molds with 8 brain cavities
- optional food handling glove to help with greasing your molds
- 1 ½ or 2 quart saucepan preferably a good quality stainless steel pan
- 2 or 3 quart saucepan
- candy thermometer
- glass bowl with spout or a glass mixing bowl
- skewer or toothpick
Butter your brain molds before you make your batch of gumdrops.
Pour corn syrup and sugar into a buttered 3-quart saucepan set over medium-high heat.
Cook until a candy thermometer reaches 280 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan bring water, pectin, and baking soda to a boil, stirring constantly.
Once the sugar syrup reaches 280 degrees, pour in the pectin syrup. Stir constantly for one minute then remove it from the heat.
Stir in the flavoring.
As soon as your gumdrop mixture is ready, pour it into a glass bowl, preferably with a spout.
Pour the gumdrop mixture into your brain molds, filling them ¾ full.
Immediately, poke a hole in each brain using a skewer or toothpick that has been dipped in red food coloring.
Swirl the skewer around a bit, spreading the red coloring around inside the brains.
Allow the gumdrops to cool for 1 hour then pop the molds into the freezer for an hour.
Remove, and un-mold the brains onto some sugar.
Coat all the gumdrop brains in sugar.
Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
This recipe was originally published on October 3, 2013.
More Creepy Halloween Edible Crafts
from Hungry Happenings fit for a Zombie party
Cake Ball Brains Oozing Cherry Blood
Cookies 'n Cream Tombstones with clever epitaphs
Hand-Burger Dripping in Blood Red Ketchup
Pizza P-EYE and other Appet-EYE-sers
- Homemade Chocolate Easter Bunnies - April 3, 2023
- Mini Basketball Cheeseburgers - February 15, 2023
- Snowman Popcorn Bucket - December 24, 2022
I love creepy halloween food. Your food manages to be both creepy and cute at the same time. I love it! -- Sara Jelinek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Now that's the Beth I have been waiting for. This is totally gross and I have to make 105 of these and the best thing, I already have the molds. Can you tell you have made me a happy ghoul? Thank you for all of your hard work and great brain. Trish Butler
Totally creepy! Love it!
These seriously creep me out. You are so awesome with all your Halloween ideas!
Do you think I could sneak some kind of a fruit puree into this recipe. I've tried last year using some other recipe
and it didn't work.
If you actually made the brains, you could probably use a fruit syrup in place of the red food coloring. Otherwise, I bet you can just swap out some of the water for the fruit puree. I'll have to give that a try.
I LOVE Creepy Halloween Food 🙂
of course! the creepier the better! muahahahaha!
Jamie Leigh Martin
Sara Moulton! I got that part situated Beth, but even if I follow and unfollow on Twitter 900 times [I really want this cookbook!], it still will not allow me add this entry. You're welcome. Thanks for the chance.
I'm so sorry about that Jamie. No one apparently has been able to get that to work and it must be a bug in PunchTab's html. I don't know how to fix it. So at least everyone is on the same playing field. I can't even delete it. I just looked at the giveaway entry form, and really don't like it very much. I wont use it again, but I cant get rid of it now. Live and learn. I really appreciate you working so hard to enter! Good luck:)
How very cool. I actually have some Sure-Jell I got in the bargain bin at the grocery store and I have the brain freeze ice cube trays too!. I'm thinking of bring brains to school as treats for the teachers. (I'm the librarian). Thanks so much for the inspiration.
Perfect! It's a new use for Sure-Jell for most people, and I really love using it as apposed to gelatin for gumdrops. I hope you like it too!
Jamie Leigh Martin
I'm having trouble with one of your entries; I tried to see which chef reviewed your book; it gave me entries for visiting, but when I try to go to the link, it won't allow me see it without being an Amazon affiliate; what can we do? ♥
Hi Jamie, thanks for letting me know. I think I fixed it. It's my first time using the giveaway widget from PunchTab. Let me know it you get it to work. Thanks for entering!
love spooky food
leutheb at msn dot com
Jamie Leigh Martin
I love creepy food, and -gasps-, I might actually be able to make this one!
creepy food is the best
creepy food is the best
I love Halloween and the creepier the food the better!
I like creepy food.
You are so talented! That is such a great idea! I just bought that brain mold to try out your cake pops this year! Love it!
You make the best halloween stuff!! ick, but i love it!!
I'm not really a creepy Halloween food person. I prefer cute Halloween food as I have a 5 year old son.
I love creepy Halloween food! It's fun to make, and even more fun to watch people cringe while they eat it!
I too love watching my party guests squirm a bit. Only one of my guests has been too grossed out to eat something, which is good:)