This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
Zombie Brain Brownie Bites are bite-sized brownies, topped with a bright green zombie brain that oozes green chocolate “slime” when you bite into it!
This post is sponsored by International Delight. This year I’m pleased to partner with them to bring you a series of dessert recipes featuring their products.
From Melting Chocolate Skulls to oozing zombie brains…I think this is the week I get aaaallll of my disgusting Halloween recipes out! Seriously, if you’re a fan of spooky sweets and creepy candies, then these so-gross-they’re-good Zombie Brain Brownie Bites are for you.
They’re also really easy to make! Check out this quick video showing how to make Zombie Brain Brownie Bites:
I have the bad habit of impulsively buying candy molds and other fun culinary toys and then forgetting to use them. This year, as I was going through my stash of Halloween props and accessories, I found not one but TWO of the exact same brain-shaped candy mold. Both unopened and unused. Awkward.
I decided that this had to be the year that those molds were finally put to use, and thus, these zombie brains oozing slime were born.
They start with small brownie cups, baked in mini muffin tins so they’re cute and perfect pop-able. (You could also make this with your favorite cupcake recipe, if brownies aren’t your thing.) You can even make them full-size, if you have a larger candy mold. Put on your experimental mad scientist lab coat, customize these how you want, and then finish with a long, low, evil laugh.
The brains are made with green candy coating, and were sized to fit perfectly on top of the brownie bites. I actually didn’t fill them all the way to the top, because my brownie bites were not as wide as the bottom of the brains. So I used a paintbrush to brush the coating just as far up the mold as I needed to to ensure a tight fit. You might need to experiment a bit to see what fits best on your brownies as well!
Speaking of the brains, in addition to the chocolate, I also tried to make hollow brains out of gelatin and fondant. Gelatin was actually my favorite result–it had the best gross-out texture and appearance–but was a huge pain to make, and I wanted to spare you as much pain as possible. But just know that if you don’t want crunchy chocolate brains, you can use the molds in other ways and achieve a result that looks just as good!
For the oozing slime filling, I combined candy coating with International Delight Caramel Macchiato coffee creamer, to make a ganache that’s firm enough to scoop, but runny enough to slowly drip out of the brownie cup once you bite into it.
I went back and forth so many times about what flavor of creamer to use! Pumpkin Spice would be the obvious October choice, but are zombie brains really pumpkin spice flavored? Somehow I think not. In the end I thought the caramel would be a nice compliment to the chocolate brownies (and it was!!), but you can swap in any flavor you’d like.
As far as the texture, I was really attached to the idea of the brains oozing out once the chocolate shell was cracked, so I made it fairly fluid and loose on purpose. If this kind of squicks you out, which is understandable, I’ve included instructions in the recipe for making the filling firmer.
For a finishing touch, I painted the outside of the chocolate brains with a mixture of jelly and food coloring, to make them glisten with slime. Over time the jelly dries down so it’s tacky and not wet, but it does always transfer a little to the fingers, so that step can be omitted if you need to transfer them, or serve them to a group of kindergartners in your pristine white dining room, etc.
These would be perfect for a Halloween party, haunted house, or scary movie night!
Zombie Brain Brownie Bites
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, and spray two mini cupcake pans very well with nonstick cooking spray.
- Prepare the brownie mix according to the directions on the package. Use a cookie scoop or large spoon to fill each mini cupcake cavity almost to the top. You should get about 20 brownie bites from this recipe.
- Bake the brownie bites for 15 minutes, until the top is puffed and crackly, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool completely, then run a thin metal spatula around the edges and pop the brownies out of the pan. (If they start to tear, refrigerate them briefly so they firm up before removing.)
- Combine 8 oz of candy coating and the International Delight Caramel Macchiato Creamer in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat for 1 minute. Whisk well, and if there are any unmelted pieces, heat again briefly for 10-20 seconds until fully melted and smooth. It will be very loose, like a liquid. Press a layer of cling wrap directly on top of the ganache and refrigerate for at least 2 hours—longer is okay.
- Melt the remaining 8 oz of candy coating, and place a spoonful in the cavity of a brain candy mold. Use a clean, dry food-safe paintbrush to brush the coating up the sides of the mold. You may not go all the way to the top, depending on the size of your brownie bites. If the top of the mold is wider than the top of your brownie bites, do not extend the coating to the top. Instead, stop a quarter or half inch down from the top (whatever works best for your measurements) so the brains are the same size as the tops of your brownie bites.
- Once all of the molds are filled, place the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes, then gently remove the brains from the molds. Repeat to make more brains, re-warming the candy coating as necessary, until you have a brain for each brownie bite.
- To assemble, gently press a hole in the top of each brownie bite using your finger or the handle of a wooden spoon. Take a teaspoon-sized scoop of ganache and fill the hole and top of the brownie bite. Press a chocolate brain on top. If the brain is not touching the ganache, it won’t stay put, so if necessary, fill the top of the brain with ganache and then press it down onto the brownie bite until secure.
- Once all of the brains are attached, stir together the jelly and a drop of green food coloring, then paint the brains with the glistening mixture. Serve at room temperature, and enjoy!