Brain Gelatin

Brain Gelatin

October 31: Halloween

Dr. Hannibal Lecter is our maniacal medical movie muse when we make a brain-shaped gelatin for Halloween parties and potlucks. The gross looking but great tasting gray matter always freaks out folks! What makes this festive, fat-free food more fabulous is that it does not require brain surgery to create something this creepy (although a specialized mold is needed for the operation). Simply set the solidified brain on a stainless steel or metal plate and drip bloody red gel icing in the wrinkles and folds for a freshly-extracted, neurosurgical presentation. Both cannibals and clinicians alike are sure to savor this sweet and smart centerpiece!


(Adapted from Archie McPhee)


  • 4 small (3 ounces each) boxes of peach or watermelon flavor gelatin mix (we used Jell-O brand) [total ounces = 12]
  • 1 ¾ cups boiling water
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 9 ounces fat-free evaporated milk (must be fat-free or “brain” will curdle)
  • food coloring (red, green and blue)
  • 1 tube of red icing gel (we used Wilton brand)


In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Mix in the cold water. Add the milk and stir. Slowly put a few drops of green, blue and red food coloring until the desired shade of gray is reached.

Brain Gelatin

Pour into the lightly oiled mold about a quarter inch from the top. Place in a shallow bowl to stabilize the mold and level the contents. Allow the bubbles to settle slightly at room temperature for about half an hour before covering with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Invert the gelatin onto a plate, shaking the mold gently to loosen if necessary. Decorate with red gel icing. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice off pieces with a scalpel knife.

Brain Gelatin


  • We purchased the brain gelatin mold from Archie McPhee novelties online store. They may also be available at seasonal retail locations, specialized Halloween shops or party stores.