Food & Drink

Make your own Zombie-inspired Undead Brain Freeze Milkshake for Halloween

Beckie Lombardi’s Undead Milkshake
Beckie Lombardi’s Undead Milkshake The Necro Nom-nom-nomicon

Boise blogger Beckie Lombardi, aka Hellen Die, works her magic for Halloween. This past weekend, she updated her recipe for the Undead Brain Freeze Milkshake as an homage to Starbucks' Zombie Frappuccino and shared it with the Statesman.

Her blog, The Necro (, won’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Blog Award in — not surprisingly — “The Obsessive” category.

Die says her recipe isn’t meant to replace the Starbucks drink, it’s been inspired by the official Zombie Frappuccino.

She made a few adjustments to the first Undead Brain Freeze recipe and toned down the sour apple, took out the strawberry and the citric acid and made it a bit lighter.

To make your own Undead Brain Freeze, you will need:

  • 1 packet of Jolly Rancher’s Instant Drink Mix in Sour Apple
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cold whole milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided equally into 1/8 teaspoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon Xanthan gum, divided equally into 1/8 teaspoons* (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 5 hard caramel candies
  • Pink food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • Purple food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • Black food coloring
  • 1/4 cup caramel syrup + 1 Tablespoon caramel syrup

Recipe note: Xanthan gum - it is optional. If you want to use it, it will make your whipped cream perkier and your ice cream base thicker. It is not an essential ingredient, however, which means, if you don’t have it…don’t worry. It’s found in most health food stores (it’s used a lot in vegan and gluten free cooking). It’s not a common ingredient used regularly, but you will often come across when reading the labels of prepared food. Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide and is commonly used in cooking as a thickening agent. It’s also used as a stabilizer to prevent separation in ingredients. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way, both in how well it thickens and how it tastes (it’s very bitter), so the ‘less is more’ approach is the best with this stuff.

Recipe directions: Courtesy of Beckie Lombardi and her blog, The Necro Nom-nom-nomicon

In a food processor, pulse chop your hard caramel candies until they’re fully pulverized. This is your caramel powder. Transfer into a shaker bottle and set aside for now.

In your blender, combine your whole milk, ice cream, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon of your xanthan gum and all your ice. Blend well. This is your cream base.

Add in your single packet of Jolly Rancher sour apple mix. While this will give you the sour apple taste, it won’t do much for the color of your shake. Add a few drops of green food coloring until you get a nice green color.

Mix in 1 1/2 tablespoons of your crushed caramel candy and your 1 Tablespoon of caramel syrup.

In a small bowl, mix together your heavy whipping cream, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of your xanthan gum. Mix in a drop of pink food coloring and enough purple food coloring to end up with a nice almost lilac color.

Either transfer this to a whipped cream charger or whisk well until you end up with a fluffy pile of sweet pink/lilac-ish colored whipped cream magic.

Now we’re going to make our caramel drizzle. Mix your caramel syrup with a few drops of red food coloring until you achieve a deep red. To give it the darkness of true zombie blood, add in the smallest (and I mean absolutely smallest) amount of black food coloring to give it a little depth. An easy way to add it in is to dip a toothpick into the black and then just swirl that through the red caramel.

Drizzle a small amount of this all around the inside edge of your glass, letting it drip down the sides.

Carefully spoon in your green caramel apple milkshake and top with your lilac whipped cream. While it’s entirely appropriate to just squirt your whipped cream on top like a madman, try giving it a slow back and forth movement to create the illusion of brain matter.

And there you have it, part 2 of our quest to recreate the Zombie Frappuccino. It’s a little sweet, it’s a little sour, and it’s actually a whole lot of fun.

Bone appetite!

Read our previous story from Treasure Magazine on Die and her gory creations.