Well That Explains Count Chocula

I’m making a zombie rat cake that bleeds, so I needed to make some edible fake blood.

If any of the above statement confuses you, you’re reading the wrong food blog…


I Googled around for recipes and found a lot of variety, but all of the decent-looking ones had the same basic ingredients: corn syrup, a thickener (commonly corn starch), red colour (usually the cheap liquid kind), and chocolate (either chocolate syrup or cocoa powder). Those that didn’t use chocolate used blue and/or green to darken the red.

Having used chocolate syrup in black and white movies my friends and I made as teenagers when we were enthralled with David Lynch (you’re sure you’re reading the right food blog, right?), I knew it looked “damned fine” as a Lynch character would say in that black and white setting, so I wasn’t surprised to see it come up in various recipes. I could also tell immediately that it would do well to darken the red.

So I just sat at my kitchen table mixing things until I achieved the desired level of gore (okay if you’re still here, you’re reading the right food blog), and here it is:

Fake Blood

Mmm, drippy…

I deliberately made this very thick because I want it to stay nicely encapsulated inside some modelling chocolate inside the cake until the recipient cuts the head off of the rat. I still have to run some tests to double check that that’ll work, but I think it will. Plus it’s a zombie, so it’s had time to coagulate, right? Go with it.

Here’s a detail shot:

Fake Blood - Detail

Cake delivery for Dexter, and I promise I’m not a land shark!

I showed it to Peo who said, “Ewww!” and then laughed and added, “Looks like you’re really bleeding!” She didn’t know I was making fake blood but she’s met me before and the spatula in the other hand probably gave away what I was up to. I told her to stick her finger in the stuff on my hand and taste it, so she did. I actually expected her to balk but she didn’t. That’s my girl! Now never do that with a stranger!

Her eyes lit up when she tasted it and she shouted, “It’s yummy!”

And it is, for values of fairly sweet chocolate. A little sweet for my liking but then I think milk chocolate is too sweet and semi-sweet is pushing it. So for normal people (as if any of those sorts read this blog), this should taste good in addition to being nice and gross for your Halloween or general nefarious cake decorating needs.

Here’s the recipe:

Tasty Chocolate Fake Blood


  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup (or golden syrup in the UK)
  • small squirt of Americolor Super Red*, about 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup (I used Hershey’s Special Dark but regular Hershey’s also works)
  • 1 teaspoon regular cocoa


1) Mix the red into the corn syrup thoroughly.

2) Add the corn starch and combine, using a silicone spatula against the bottom of the bowl repeatedly to mash any lumps.

3) The amount of chocolate syrup listed is a range because it will vary if you use a different food colouring or a different brand of syrup. Start with one tablespoon and mix thoroughly, adding more as necessary in small amounts and mixing thoroughly each time, comparing it against a white surface as well as the flesh tone of your choice. Resist the urge to make anyone actually bleed for comparison. * shifty eyes *

4) Add cocoa and stir thoroughly, again using the spatula to mash lumps.

5) Let the bowl sit for a minute so any remaining lumps of cocoa or starch rise to the top, and then sweep them to the side of the bowl, mash them, and mix again.

Optional: This recipe is very thick, which is good for dripping without running off too fast. Add water in tiny amounts to thin as desired if you want it to flow faster.

* You can use other red colouring, but honestly if you’re going to do any amount of cake decorating, do yourself a favour and get a big bottle of Americolor Super Red. Unlike most reds, it doesn’t taste weird and doesn’t make dark pink, it makes real red. While you’re at it, get some of their Super Black as well because it makes black, not grey. With both you’d have to use the tiniest drop across a big amount of stuff to dilute down to pink or grey. I don’t have any kind of sponsorship from Americolor to say this, although it’s fairly common to get free little samples at various cake shows I attend. I honestly love this product. Their other colours are good too but these two are essential tools for even the most frugal of home bakers, trust me.

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15 Responses to Well That Explains Count Chocula

  1. Kara Perry says:

    I vant to suck your cake! (eer, that doesn’t sound right, but then I’m on the right blog, right?) Your timing couldn’t be more perfect. I’m determined to make some bloody treat for Halloween. Thanks!

  2. sarah says:

    i made this added extra coarn sturch to thickenit up even after that it keeps running off the cake how do i get it to stop

    • Sarah, it's going to stay fairly liquidy. It's not meant to set up, but to flow. If you want something that goes solid, you're going to need to use something like royal icing, buttercream, fondant, or gelatin.

  3. Jenny says:

    Do you think it would work well for a bloody bathroom scene? I'm throwing my son a bloody awesome Halloween birthday party 🙂

    • As long as you're okay with it slowly dripping the whole time, you could definitely use it as decoration. It is very sticky and will stain white clothing/carpets, though, so keep that in mind!

      • sienna abbott says:

        will it still look like blood if it gets on the clothes(white)

        • Ander says:

          I've been trying for a long time to get my stuff to do that. I'm a really gory eleven year old. I actually used to have nosebleeds a lot and could tell when one was coming. I turned to my really religious classmate and said "hail satan" and then my nose started bleeding. He fell off his chair and screamed. When the teacher asked what was wrong, I smiled and put a finger to my lips. He stayed away, and whenever he saw me looking at him he closed his eyes.
          No one knows, everyone suspects. Anyway, I ranted. I'm pretty sure it will, but the thicker it is, I believe, the better.

  4. Da'Shon Cherry says:

    Love it!


    Thank you for this. Just in time, as I have to make a Jason cake for my grandson's birthday on Halloween.

  6. sienna abbott says:

    Do you think it would stain clothes and still look like blood?

    • It will definitely stain since red food colouring is known for staining. I can't see why it wouldn't stay looking like blood. You might need to make is thin enough to "splash" on the material, though.

      • Ander says:

        The thing is, when it's too thin what I've done has simply looked like spilled cherry juice. BTW, using cherries is a good idea for something quick. Next time you eat them, get a bit of the juice on your finger and see what it looks like running down your hand.

  7. Michelle says:

    How long in advance could you make this? Have you ever tried storing it for a week or so? I really appreciate the advice in advance. Thank you!

    • I often store it for a long time. I've had some in the cupboard for well over a year and while I wouldn't serve that for eating at that point, it didn't have any mould or anything. The corn syrup preserves it pretty well for a long time.

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