Dr. Moreau’s Gateau

By 10/11/2022March 19th, 2023One Comment

To round out our Mad Scientist menu ,this dessert was inspired from the classic mad man himself, Dr. Moreau. A mad scientist who experimented with turning animals into humans in the classic book, The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells.  So not wanting to miss an opportunity to create my own edible mutants for our Halloween theme this year, I made some mutant spiders which are pretty damn terrifying if you ask me. 🕷🕷🕷 I hate spiders.

To create them I turned to my massive inventory of molds. I get a lot of questions about some of my recipes and where I get my molds. Well let me tell you…I buy them every Halloween season, if I see one, I’ll buy them. I may not have any clue at what I’m going to do with them, but eventually they all inspire something great in my recipes. For these spiders I used a mini brain mold for the body of the spider and a mini bird skull mold for the head. I made them out of melting chocolate and fondant to decorate this delicious Margarita flavored cake recipe from Inspiration Apron. Julie has some amazing recipes so please check out her blog and give her a follow on social media. Enjoy!

Dr. Moreau's Gâteau

Create mutant spiders with human brain bodies and bird skulls to adorn this delicious 4-layered lemon lime cake inspired by the classic mad scientist, Dr. Moreau.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Halloween Food
Keyword: cake, Halloween
Servings: 12 servings


  • Bird skull silicone mold (see recipe notes)
  • Mini brain mold (1¾-inch mold) (see recipe notes)


  • 1 box lemon cake mix with pudding
  • 1 3oz. lime gelatin
  • ½ tsp. margarita salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about two limes)
  • cup coconut milk, full fat (or substitute with whole milk)

Lime Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups butter, salted (room temperature)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced (~⅓ cup juice)
  • ~⅛ tsp. Lemon yellow gel food coloring
  • 4-6 drops regular green food coloring

Mutant Spiders Garnish (Make ahead)

  • ½ bag light green, melting chocolate
  • 2 tbsp. yellow melting chocolate disks
  • fondant, black and lime green (I used Satin Ice brand)
  • edible adhesive
  • 1 bag cotton candy (for the spider nest)
  • 4-5 large marshmallows (melted in microwave for 10-15 seconds to create webs)


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
    Spray 4 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray. Cut parchment paper into 4, 6-inch rounds and add them into the bottom of each cake pan. Spray parchment with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Mix cake mix, lime gelatin, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, oil, lime juice and coconut milk and beat for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of batter to each pan and bake for approximately 17-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cakes from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Lime Buttercream Frosting

  • Add room temperature butter, powdered sugar, salt, lime zest and juice to a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add more lime juice if too dry or add a little more powdered sugar if too wet.
    To get a neon green frosting, add the lemon yellow food coloring and beat until fully incorporated. Next add in green a few drops at a time and beat until the desired color is reached. Transfer frosting to a piping bag and set aside.

Mutant Spider Garnishes (Make ahead)

  • Add the yellow and green melting chocolate in a microwave safe dish and melt according to package directions. Spoon melting chocolate into brain molds and coat all sides. Refrigerate 20 minutes until set and remove from molds.
    Note: I chose to leave these brains hollow as a chocolate garnish but you could easily fill the brains with jam or cookie dough and seal them with more melting chocolate for an extra special dessert layer.
  • Roll small amounts of fondant into thin ropes and shape into spider legs and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, pinch to join them where they meet. Make 8 sets of spider legs.
    Roll a small amount of fondant into a ball and then press it into the bird skull mold and gently peel the mold away from the bird skull. Place on parchment paper to dry with the spider legs.
    Note: I dusted the outside of the brains and the skulls with a little bit of cocoa powder to age them a bit but this step is optional.


  • Pipe frosting onto each layer and top with the next cake layer. Pipe a thin layer of frosting to the outside and smooth out to create a crumb coat. Chill in fridge for about 10 minutes. Pipe more frosting on out side and smooth out to cover all the cake. Chill to set the frosting.
  • Melt marshmallows in a microwave for about 10 seconds. Careful it will be hot. Pull melted marshmallow into strings and coat the outside of the cake.
    Ball cotton candy into a large spider egg and and top cake. Garnish with spiders attaching with extra frosting as needed. Allow cake to come to room temperature and serve. Enjoy!

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