Tag: chocolate

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs! It finally snowed a bit last week here, so I used it as justification to make my first holiday cookies and a black forest cake. As a fan of cherries and as a strong anti-fan of buttercream, […]

Chocolate & Peanut Butter, Cheesecake Filled Cupcakes

Chocolate & Peanut Butter, Cheesecake Filled Cupcakes

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs! I made these last week, but admittedly I was way way more excited about my Halloween bloody brain cupcakes so I fell behind posting these cheesecake filled cupcakes. These were for two coworkers’ birthdays. I swear, all […]

Broken Glass Brain Injury Halloween Cupcakes

Broken Glass Brain Injury Halloween Cupcakes

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DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs!

Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays to celebrate (especially in a college town, when you’re invited to 100000 overlapping parties), but it is one of my favorite holidays to bake for. There aren’t really any Halloween “flavors” (except maybe just, categorically candy) which means I let myself focus on appearance. I made these broken glass brain injury Halloween cupcakes last year. I really liked how they turned out but absolutely hated how they tasted. Basically, typical fake blood tastes bad. It’s essentially just colored and watered down corn syrup. Corn syrup is basically just concentrated sugar. Then, the cupcakes just absorbed tons of fake blood and I ended up with mushy, sickly sweet cupcakes. Like I said, I wasn’t a fan. Anyway, I decided that, because they looked cool, I was going to find a way to make them taste good this year. Luckily, I was successful (I think).

broken glass halloween cupcake

1. Bake Chocolate Cupcakes

First things first, we need chocolate cupcakes. I used a similar recipe as for the high-hat chocolate cupcakes with chocolate-covered coconut frosting a couple months ago except I didn’t include any of the coconut additions.

4.88 from 8 votes
Chocolate Cupcakes

Servings: 12 cupcakes
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together sugars, vanilla extract, and melted butter.

  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

  4. Mix in salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

  5. Sift and mix in the cocoa powder.

  6. Mix in the buttermilk.

  7. Mix in the flour.

  8. Spoon the batter evenly into the cupcake liners and bake for ~30min or until a toothpick comes out clean.


broken glass cupckae eating
Model cred @biology_on_point. (Sorry for making you bite into one of our earlier corn-syrup-filled attempts.)

2. Make the Brain Frosting

The brain frosting is just pink-colored, vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream. To make the brains, use a piping bag with the tip cut off. This will pipe a tubular shape. You can use a rount tip if you want, but it’s not necessary and you have more freedom in terms of sizing if you don’t use a tip. Theoretically you could use any kind of frosting or store bought frosting for this as well. I just like SMBC better than “regular” American buttercream (it’s less sweet).

To make the brains:

  1. Using a knife or an offset spatula, frost the entire top of the cupcake with a very thin layer. This way, if there happen to be any “holes” in the brain that go all the way down to the cupcake, it will still look pinkish.
  2. Using a knife (or offset spatula), make a vertical line in the frosting, straight down the middle. This will be your guideline for the halves of the brain.
  3. Pipe 2 layers of squiggly frosting. For each layer, I use one unbroken squiggle. Make sure there’s not pattern, it will look more realistic that way. Don’t cross the centerline so you end up with lobes.
4.88 from 8 votes
Pink Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 3.5 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3-4 egg whites
  • pink gel food coloring
  1. In a double boiler, whip together egg whites and sugar until they reach 140°F.

  2. Remove from heat and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

  3. Mix in butter and vanilla extract. Continue mixing at high speed until it turns into frosting. It may curdle at some point, continue mixing, it will eventually become the right texture.

  4. Add the desired amount of food coloring.


brain cupcake

3. Make the Broken “Beer Bottle” Glass

Could I have made clear sugar glass that looked more glass-like? Yes. But, like I said, my goal was to find a good-tasting recipe for these. For strange reasons, burnt sugar, aka caramel, tastes great, but un-burnt sugar, aka clear glass, does not. You could flavor clear glass with flavor oil (if you do this, I suggest cherry oil). However, I’m not a fan of hard candy, and I’m still pretty sure caramel tastes better. I justified my caramel use by calling it a broken beer bottle. I don’t know, being a zombie is probably hard, he might’ve gone to a bar to drown his sorrows and ended up in a bar fight. Make sure the caramel is completely hard before shattering it. I put mine in the refrigerator before breaking it because it was a bit humid and warm where I was. Take pointy shards and stick them into your brains.

4.88 from 8 votes
Beer Bottle Glass (Hard Caramel)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan.

  3. Continuously stirring, bring to a boil on high heat and continue stirring.

  4. When the caramel has reached the desired color, immediately pour it out onto your prepared baking sheet.

  5. Let cool and harden.


edible broken glass

4. Make the Edible Blood

This was the part I changed up most from last year. When I was making my Game of Thrones cake earlier this year, I came to the realization that cherry juice really looks like blood. It looks enough like blood that I don’t know why it isn’t the standard edible fake blood instead of the gross corn syrupy mix that’s normally used. Anyway, it was effective, tasted way way better, and added an extra dimension of flavor to the cupcakes. Overall, a simple solution for success. Once you have your fake blood, use a spoon to drip it all over your cupcakes, letting it pool on the brains and slightly stain the glass.

4.88 from 8 votes
Edible Blood (i.e. Cherry Juice)
  • 1 bag frozen cherries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

  2. In some sort of baking pan, combine the cherries and granulated sugar.

  3. Bake for 1.5 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

  4. Strain out the cherry juice and let cool.

Recipe Notes

For a slightly more viscous consistency, add corn starch.


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How to Make a Chocolate & Strawberry Hippo Cake

How to Make a Chocolate & Strawberry Hippo Cake

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs! My roommate just had her birthday and I needed an excuse to make a new elaborate cake. She loves hippos (and cows). One of the first things I noticed when she moved in was that she had […]

Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Green Tea Whipped Cream Frosting

Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Green Tea Whipped Cream Frosting

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs! It was my mom’s birthday yesterday, (Happy Birthday, Mom!) so of course I had to bake her cake. That also means that it’s been pretty much exactly one year since I first started my instagram with Pascal […]

Coffee & Almond Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream

Coffee & Almond Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream

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DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs!

It was a coworker’s birthday this week, which meant I had an excuse to bake a full cake. I haven’t baked a cake in a bit because I no longer live with a ton of roommates, so I was excited to bake one again. I asked my usual slew of somewhat random questions such as “chocolate or vanilla?,” “what’s your favorite color?,” and “is frosting delicious or disgusting?,” and got the following response:

“Chelsea is a general surgery resident who likes chocolate, is into nuts, likes blue or purple, and enjoys frosting.”

I also happened to know that Chelsea does quite a bit of baking herself so I wanted to go a bit fancy. My original flavor profile I planned on using was chocolate, almond, orange, and raspberry, but one of my other co-worker’s declared that oranges were gross so I decided not to go with that idea. (Plus, I had just made these orange mousse bars the other day so I was a bit tired of orange too.) Instead, I decided to go raspberry-heavy, and add in some coffee.

mirror glaze

I ended up with a chocolate cake with almond and coffee flavoring. I have to say, I was pretty proud of the result, and spent most of Sunday munching on the leftover cake tops from when I leveled the layers. The cake was frosted with a raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, and then finished with a purple and brown mirror glaze (because Chelsea “likes purple or blue”) and topped with fresh raspberries and sliced almonds.

beagle with chocolate cake

There was a bit of a speed bump I encountered while making this cake though. Entirely my fault, but I melted off some of the frosting! I was feeling really impatient by the time I got to the mirror glaze, and decided “eh, it’ll cool down fast enough.” No, no it didn’t. I ended up having to scrape off the chocolate, re-side the cake, and then re-make the mirror glaze! So much for my impatience, I ended up costing myself more time than saving any. In the end it was salvaged though, and you wouldn’t have guessed I had to avert a disaster.

chocolate cake mirror glaze

A couple notes:

  1. If you want to finish the cake with a mirror glaze, see this how-to post.
  2. The raspberries can be swapped out for other fruits. The best options are probably orange, cranberry, or cherry.
  3. Make sure the mirror glaze is cooled before applying or you’ll melt off the buttercream!

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4.89 from 9 votes
mirror glaze
Coffee & Almond Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream

A 3-layer moist and fluffy chocolate cake with notes of coffee and almond, finished with raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream and a mirror glaze.

Coffee & Almond Chocolate Cake
  • 1.25 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.25 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1.5 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup strong coffee
Raspberry Puree
  • 6 oz frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 3.5 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup raspberry puree
Bake the Chocolate Cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease 3 6-inch cake pans.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  3. In a second large bowl, mix together melted butter and sugar.

  4. Beat in 1.5 eggs (to get half an egg, beat an egg in a small bowl, and pour approximately half of it into the bowl).

  5. Mix in almond extract.

  6. Mix in 1/3 of the sifted dry ingredients.

  7. Mix in buttermilk.

  8. Mix in another 1/3 of sifted dry ingredients.

  9. Mix in coffee.

  10. Mix in last of the dry ingredients.

  11. Pour evenly into the 3 cake pans.

  12. Bake for ~30min or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Make the Raspberry Puree
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.

  2. In an oven safe pan, combine frozen raspberries and sugar.

  3. Bake for ~30min, stirring every 15min.

  4. Blend in a blender to finish making the puree.

Make Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. In a double-boiler, whipe egg whites and sugar until they reach 140°F.

  2. Remove from heat, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

  3. Mix in 3.5 sticks of butter.

  4. Mix in almond and vanilla extracts.

  5. Continue mixing until the mixture comes together to a buttercream.

  6. Add raspberry puree and continue mixing until fully incorporated.

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Double Chocolate Orange Mousse Bars

Double Chocolate Orange Mousse Bars

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs! My dad’s girlfriend’s daughter, Qing, was feeling pretty sick this weekend, so I went over on Friday night to hang out and baked something while I was there. She wanted brownies, and I tried to think of […]

High Hat Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

High Hat Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs! I’ve been swamped in medical school applications the last couple of weeks, but I’m moving out of my house to a new apartment soon, and I needed to clean my kitchen out a bit. After taking stock […]

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cups

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cups

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DISCLAIMER: This recipe is for humans not dogs!

I had a friend in need of some cheering up and she’s a huge fan of chocolate. It was also 90° so I really wanted something cold and not heavy. Mousse seemed like the obvious solution. Since I was working with a bunch of chocolate anyway, I also decided to give modeling chocolate a go. It worked pretty well, but I forgot that since it was so hot out and I don’t have A/C, I would need to work super fast before it melted on me. In the end I just sat in front of my open refrigerator and put together the flowers.

The recipe consists of 3 parts but it moves quickly since there’s no actual baking involved (there was no way I was turning on my oven today!) There’s the dark chocolate cups, the dark chocolate mousse, and the modeling chocolate flowers.

I made the chocolate cups first and then tossed them in the fridge to harden while I dealt with the rest, but if you plan on making your modeling chocolate, I’d take care of that first since it really should sit overnight (although you can probably cut some time off using a freezer, but I’ve never tried). I always just use the allrecipes recipe for plastic chocolate. I’ve linked it here, but, basically, melt a pound of chocolate and then mix in 3/4 cup of light corn syrup and let it sit for a while. To make the chocolate cups, I just spread melted chocolate on cupcake liners and let them sit upside down until they hardened.

To make the chocolate roses, first, roll out a handful of modeling chocolate. Use cocoa powder like you would use flour when rolling out dough. When it is about 1/8″ thick, use a fondant cutter to cut out small circles. The size of the circle will determine the size of the rose. I used a 1″ diameter circle. take your first circle, and roll it into a cone shape. This is the middleof the rose bud. Use as many remaining circles as you’d like to complete the flower. (The more circles you use the more “full” the rose). To add petals, flatten one half of the circle to make it more petal-like, and then wrap it around the cone. I usually end up with 3 petals in my first layer around the cone. Each petal should overlap slightly with the next.

modeling chocolate roses modeling chocolate roses

For the mousse I just made plain old chocolate mousse, nothing fancy. Overall they turned out pretty good and were much easier than I expected! Pascal wasn’t complaining either.

A couple notes:

  1. Modeling chocolate gets soft when you handle it. If it’s tough, just squish it down on the counter or in your hand and you’ll feel it getting soft quickly.
  2. Put cocoa powder on your hands and the surface you’re rolling the modeling chocolate on; it’ll keep the chocolate from sticking to you or the surface.
  3. Keep all the ingredients for the mousse cold at all times (except for the chocolate.)

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4.88 from 8 votes
modeling chocolate roses
Triple Chocolate Mousse Cups

Dark chocolate cups filled with dark chocolate mousse topped with dark chocolate flowers

Servings: 8 cups
Chocolate Cups
  • 7 oz dark chocolate (chips or chopped)
  • 8 cupcake liners
Dark Chocolate Mousse
  • 2.5 oz dark chocolate (chips or chopped)
  • 7 oz heavy whipping cream
  • 1.5 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
Make Chocolate Cups
  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler

Using a spoon, spoona thick layer of chocolate on the bottom of a cupcake liner, and then rotate while "painting" chocolate onto sides
  1. Repeat for next 7 cupcake liners

  2. Let cool upside down on parchment paper

  3. Once the chocolate has hardened, carefully peel off liners. Keep cool until you're ready to fill with mousse.

Make Chocolate Mousse
  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler

  2. Set chocolate aside to cool slightly

  3. Whip egg whites to soft peaks

  4. Slowly add in sugar and continue whipping until egg whites form stiff peaks

  5. Fold egg whites into chocolate

  6. Whip whipping cream until it forms soft peaks

  7. Fold whipped cream into egg white and chocolate mixture

  8. Cool for at least 1 hour

Assemble Cups
  1. Make your chocolate roses (see above for instructions)

  2. Spoon desired amount of mousse into chocolate cups

  3. Place rose(s) on top

  4. Chill before serving


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