A Bloody Good Recipe for National Dessert Day

April Henley - Lennar

Do you entertain an unnatural fascination for the macabre and bloody cinematic thrillers like Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween? Perhaps you prefer gory films with a flair of gothic romance, such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Sweeney Todd? Whatever your preference, it only seems fitting to excite and complement this interest for filmic carnage with a crimson confection befitting a night of fright immersed in slasher pictures and screams. A treat for grisly appetites, you will slay your friends with this red velvet cheesecake, glazed over in blood-red gelatin icing that has the look and consistency of the real thing. A delectable, red-ily tantalizing delicacy for National Dessert Day (October 14th), this bloody cheesecake is fang-tastic – a succulent sweet to sample before the demise of a fateful character who says, “There are no such things as ghosts.”

The recipe that follows in this blog post is for red velvet cheesecake, which is actually chocolate cheesecake dressed in a masque of red death – shout-out to Poe fans! However, if you prefer the taste of classic cheesecake, but still want the twisted allure of a sanguine delight, skip the dark cocoa powder and use the red dye to mask the classic white cake. Actually, this culinary concept can work with several flavors of cheesecake; all you need is the red dye and bloody glaze to give it that eerie twist.

Recipe (By Heather Tullos on SugarDishMe.com): Bloody Good Cheesecake

Being in the Halloween spirit, I really enjoyed making this bloody dessert. I got a real thrill out of surprising people with the ghoulish pastry, and if you like to shock people with spooky, fun recipes, this is the cake for you! I have added a few notes below that discuss the cake size and creation of the blood gelatin icing – just a couple sticky situations to overcome in recreating Tullos’ cheesecake.

Cake Size

The preparation and baking of this cheesecake is nothing to feel nervous about; Tullos’ instructions for the crust and cake are straightforward and easy to follow. I must admit that my cheesecake came out a little shorter than Tullos’ – you may notice this by comparing my photos to those in her blog, and I believe this may be due to my use of a 9 ½-inch springform pan, while Tullos used a 9-inch pan. It may not seem that great a factor, but baking is an edible science, in which one small change can make a big difference in the final product. Fortunately, the size of my cheesecake did not affect its taste!

Making the Blood

The trickiest step in this recipe was the bloody gelatin icing. In her blog, Tullos says she made two separate batches of icing – one with four teaspoons of cornstarch, and another with three teaspoons; following her lead, I found the extra teaspoon makes the icing thicker, almost with the consistency of jam. However, in both cases, when I heated the water/cornstarch blend in the saucepan, the mix quickly thickened and turned white, instead of reaching a simmer like Tullos describes in her blog. Upon adding the corn syrup, the mixture cleared, but tiny white clusters still remained in the gelatin; you may be able to see these “white blood cells”, as I call them, in the image of my finished cake, which has spurred the joke that my blood clotted.

Looking through the comments from Tullos’ followers, one fan seemed to encounter the same issue with the icing, and she noted that you must completely dissolve the cornstarch before cooking to avoid lumps; so, the next time I attempt to produce this blood garnish, I will shake, not stir, the water/cornstarch blend for 30 to 60 seconds. Should you feel frustrated with this method of blood-making though, and you wish for an alternative blood recipe, I find the subject blog on Clockwork Lemon by Stephanie (i.e., How to Make Edible Fake Blood) simple to follow, as it requires three easy ingredients and no heat.


If you savor the bloody cheesecake, you may also relish blood drip cupcakes – a tasty treat topped with edible candy glass!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your browser is out of date and may not display all features of this and other websites

Learn how to update your browser here.