Advisory: We are in no way professionals; in fact, I’d say we’re noobs at cooking/baking/food & drink making. So we’ll have our foibles, but we make the mistakes so that you don’t have to! Plus, if we can make it, so can you!
Part of the reason we all love Halloween is because it is the first of the binge eating seasons. This Halloween, we decided to stuff our faces with candy (like we used to when we were kids) by making eyeball cake pops and disgustingly gooby jello worms! These treats would be great to bring to a Halloween party or to make if you’re planning to host your own party as they’re relatively simple and they look so deliciously disgusting!
Jello is a staple Halloween party favorite as it’s so easy to make it look creepy! You can use jello to make “guts,” or you can put creepy crawlies in your jello; there’s a whole slew of ideas, but these worms are just so unique! A word of warning: as with many baking and sweet treat recipes, there is a lot of waiting. So be sure to allow yourself enough time for this recipe! Also, helping hands is recommended as some of these steps can be very time consuming!
What you’ll need:
- Raspberry jello
- Unflavored gelatin (3 packets)
- Flexi straws (we had 100, but you could certainly do more!)
- Whipping cream (¾ of a cup)
- Green food color
- Mason Jar (or a tall container to hold the straws)
Step 1: Boil approximately 3 cups of water. Then add the jello, 3 packets of gelatin, and boiling water into a bowl. Mix thoroughly and then let the mixture sit in the fridge until it is at least lukewarm. Warning: You don’t want to put your hot bowl onto a glass shelf, for example, in your fridge! As we all know, extreme heat and extreme cold and glass do not mix well. I let my mixture cool on the counter for a while first, or you could put a hot pad on your shelf to protect it!
Step 2: As you’re waiting for your mixture to cool, stretch our your flexi straws and then put them flexi side down into your mason jar. If you have helpers, this would be an easy and fun job to give them!
Step 3: Measure ¾ cup of whipping cream and add green food coloring until it’s a nice minty color. Unfortunately, if you have gel food coloring, you may run into some problems getting the color to mix here as the whipping cream is quite thick. If this happens, you can pour the mixture into another container that seals, like if you have another mason jar with a lid for example, and shake it to get the color to mix.
Step 4: Add the green whipping cream to the jello mixture, and mix it all up! Then, pour it into the straws. I used my measuring cup, but anything that has a pouring lip can work. It would totally work just fine if you poured the mixture into the jar and then added your straws as well. Either way, it will all level itself out, so you don’t need to worry about pouring into every single straw. I just preferred doing it this way as it was more fun for me.
Step 5: Let the jello solidify! You want to give it a minimum of 4 hours, though it may take longer.
Step 6: Once the jello has solidified, you may want to rinse the outside of your straws, but if you don’t mind the mess, you don’t have to. Basically, to get the worms out of the straws, you want to pinch the top of the straws where the worm ends, and slowly squeeze it out. I tried using a “rolling pin” (a wine bottle) to squeeze out multiple worms at a time, but it didn’t work entirely too well, so I recruited my husband and our friends to help us get all 100 of the worms out of their straws.
If you have a glass bowl to display these worms in that would be perfect! I, unfortunately, did not, but they still looked great!
Eyeball Cake Pops
Given the roundness of cake pops, it was only natural to put this creepy “eyeball” twist on them for Halloween! Plus, using a fork instead of the cake pop sticks actually makes this even spoopier!
What you’ll need:
- Cake mix (and required ingredients for your mix)
- 1 can of cake frosting
- White melting candies
- Green and red melting candies
- Black edible marker or black melting candies
- White candy confetti (optional)
- Plastic Forks
- Parchment Paper (or something to prop the forks up on once you’ve dipped the pops. Hint: a cake pop stand won’t work because we’re not using standard cake pop sticks! You can check out how we made our own cardboard box style stand that would work for this here!)
Step 1: Follow the directions on your cake mix, and bake your cake. I used a vanilla cake mix and would recommend using a cake mix with a lighter color as the darker cake mixes might show through the white candy.
Step 2: Once the cake is baked, let it thoroughly cool in the fridge then crumble it into a large bowl. This is definitely the fun part because you get to use your hands and play with the food like your parents told you not to do. Just please make sure your hands are clean.
Step 3: Add approximately ½ – ¾ of the can of frosting to the crumbles and mix. Some recipes call for an entire can, but it’s better to start conservatively and then add more frosting as you feel it is needed. What you’re looking for is a nice mixture that is will mold and stick together nicely. Again, feel free to use your hands if you’d like.
Step 4: Roll the mixture into balls; use your own judgement, but the balls should be big enough to stick your fork into. Let the balls chill in the fridge. Also, balls.
Step 5: Once the cake balls have sufficiently chilled (at least an hour), follow the directions for your candy melts to melt a small bowl of white candy.
*For the next step, you’ll want to make sure you have wax parchment paper ready as you don’t want the pops to stick to your cookie sheet, or you’ll need something that you can prop your cake pops up into.*
Step 6: Fork your cake balls and dip them into the candy, being careful not to get too much candy on your fork! Be gentle as you fork your cake balls because if you’re too rough, you may split the entire ball down the middle like I did for a few of them. Also, if you don’t have enough candy to completely submerge the cake pop, you can use this technique to get good coverage: dip the pop as much as you can; then tilt it forward, backward, left, and right. To get a nice smooth surface, you can gently (very, very gently) tap the fork on the side of your bowl in small taps while rotating the pop.
Step 7: Let the freshly dipped pops solidify (once you’ve gotten to the last few, the first few should already be ready to go) and then melt a small amount of green candy melts. Then, you’ll want to spoon the melted green candy and dip the “front” of your pop into the green to make the eyeball’s “iris.” Be careful, as you want the iris to be as circular as possible. You can also make it smooth by using the “tapping” technique again here. Once these are dry, melt a small amount of red melts, and use a toothpick to add the “blood veins” to create a bloodshot eye effect.
Step 8: For the pupil, you have two different options. I used a black edible marker for my pupil; however, it was very tedious and after a while my marker actually stopped working altogether. So if you’re making a whole lot of these, you may want to consider using black candy melts for this. If you choose this route, I would recommend playing around with techniques: for example, using a toothpick to draw the pupils on.
Step 9: This last step is optional. I actually didn’t do this step, but there were other eyeball cake pop recipes I’ve seen online that have used the white confetti to add a “glint” to the pupils.
And then that’s it! You’re done! If you’re making an entire cake’s worth of cake pops, then this was probably a long and tedious process. However, it will be worth it when you need a tasty treat, or when you receive compliments on them at your parties!
If you make either of these treats this Halloween, let us know how they came out by tagging us on your pictures @6nerdychicks ! Also, if you have suggestions or ideas for future recipes you want to see, let us know in the comments as well! And Happy Halloween!