Bloody Brain Cake

This bloody delicious cake will make you go insane in the membrane!


  • Applesauce cake:
  • 1 stick softened salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp beet powder
  • Red wine caramel:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • Maple buttercream:
  • 1 cup softened salted butter
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp beet powder


  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Mix all cake ingredients in a bowl. Grease and flour a ball cake tin or small oven-safe bowl. Transfer batter and bake for about 90 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean from the center. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce. In a saucepan, add red wine, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Simmer on low for about 8 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick. Add sugar and salt. Stir just until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium and allow to reduce until it begins to thicken. Set aside to cool and thicken even more.
  3. Make the buttercream: in a mixing bowl, beat softened butter for 5 minutes, until pale in color. Add powdered sugar in two parts while mixing for 3 minutes in between. Gradually add maple syrup and food coloring and mix until fully combined. Transfer to a piping bag with a round tip.
  4. Remove cake from the bowl and use a serrated knife to carve a brain shape. Slice the cake into three even layers. Cut out a small circle from the middle slice. Place the bottom cake layer on your serving item. Spread a thin layer of the butter and place the middle “ring” slice on top. Fill the center hole with some red wine caramel. Spread more buttercream and top with the final layer. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the whole surface to form a crumb coat and chill in the fridge until set.
  5. Pipe brain-like waves on cake and chill. Insert a small knife through the top of the cake and drip red wine caramel on top.