While I’m overwhelmingly impressed with how close we got with our original attempt, to the one that was recently released by a certain Mermaid themed coffee shop, it wasn’t exactly like the corporate sanctioned version…which is why we’re revisiting our original and making a few small changes.
Now, as I said before, this recipe isn’t meant to replace the actual Zombie Frappuccino. All this is is a fun recipe I came up with that has been inspired by the official Zombie Frappuccino. There are some very distinct differences; namely the complete and total absence of the mocha drizzle. Why? Because when I tried the “official” version, I wasn’t overly impressed with the flavor the mocha added. Personally, I felt another jolt of caramel would have been much tastier…so that’s what you’ll find here in this recipe.
I also adjusted the first Undead Brain Freeze we made earlier just a touch. I toned down the sour apple, took out the strawberry and the citric acid, and made it a bit lighter. It’s still a mouth watering pucker of caramel apple autumn in a glass, but it’s not going to send your blood sugar spiking quite like the original version did.
Before we get started, I should let you know, **This post contains affiliate links.
To make your own Undead Brain Freeze (part 2), 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
*THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: Let’s quickly talk about Xanthan gum. For many of us, it’s not an ingredient we use regularly, but that 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.
We’re using it in both our whipped cream and our zombie cream base for our drink. Why? Well, it makes the whipped cream thick and rich which is perfect as I’m using a whipped cream charger and not whisking it in a bowl. It also allows me to spend more time photographing it before it starts to droop under the lights.
It’s also good for my cream base as it does double duty making the drink extra creamy and thick and also giving me an additional 10 minutes of working time when I take my photos. There’s a bit of a time jump in my world between finishing my recipes and photographing them (I have to run them from the kitchen all the way downstairs where I have to set up the backdrop, turn on the lights, carefully figure out how to photograph everything, and manage to do this all with 5 dogs at my feet lying exactly where I need to be standing), and there’s nothing more frustrating than getting everything set up and realizing my gorgeous ice cream based drink has melted.
In this recipe, Xanthan gum 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! If you do want to give it a try, you can find it in most health food stores (it’s used a lot in vegan and gluten free cooking) or online.
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.
Now, if you’re looking for a Zombie Frappuccino experience that is more true to what our mermaid friend is selling…simply substitute the 1/4 cup of caramel syrup in our recipe for 1/4 cup of chocolate syrup. Everything else remains the same. No…really…that’s it!
But you didn’t hear that from us.
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