There is no shortage of gross looking Halloween food making an appearance on October 31st every year. But these Halloween panna cotta eyeballs are extra gross! This gluten free Halloween dessert that looks like eyeballs is one of my favourite Halloween party food ideas for adults and kids.
This is a gluten free Halloween dessert that looks like eyeballs. Serve them to trick or treaters, enjoy them with a festive drink or make them the centerpiece of your Halloween buffet table this year.
A traditional panna cotta is quite soft but these Halloween panna cotta eyeballs are firmer so they don’t fall apart easily. A lot of Halloween party food ideas are tweaked to make them better as finger food.
You don’t need too many ingredients for this dessert that looks like eyeballs. Cream, milk, gelatine, vanilla, sugar, gummy candies, and jelly beans are all you need. If you want to make some faux blood as well, you will need some kind of red-coloured syrup such as Smuckers strawberry, plus red food colouring.
You will also need a silicone half globe mould.
How to Make this Gross Looking Halloween Food
If you’re thinking about adding this to your Halloween party food ideas list, let’s look at how to make them.
The first thing to do is to whisk the gelatine into warm milk. Gelatine is basically the main ingredient in Jell-O but by itself it is unflavoured and just used to add firmness to recipes.
Next stir in the cream and sugar and then mix in the vanilla with the pan off the heat. Put a Lifesaver gummy into greased silicon moulds and then pour in the gelatine liquid.
The gluten free Halloween dessert has to chill for a minimum of 5 hours at this point so you might like to begin a day ahead.
Just run a knife around the edge of each ‘eyeball’ when you are ready to serve them. Use the tips of the jellybeans as eyeball pupils.
If you want to add some ‘blood’ mix red food dye with red coloured strawberry syrup (or similar) and drizzle that on top. Personally I love gross looking Halloween food and would definitely add that!
As far as Halloween party food ideas go, this one is great. Halloween panna cotta eyeballs are simple to make, you don’t need a lot of ingredients and you can make them a day in advance.
If you are making this dessert a day or so ahead, you might like to reduce the gelatine by about ½ teaspoon. The reason for this is the longer it sits in the refrigerator the firmer it will set.
What is Panna Cotta Anyway?
This moulded, chilled Italian recipe is a gelatine-based dessert. Panna cotta can be flavoured however you like, with flavours such as vanilla, strawberry and coffee being popular.
The name ‘panna cotta’ means cooked cream in Italian. It’s a nice dessert to make for a dinner party because it can be prepared in advance. Well it has to be prepared ahead so it can set.
Although panna cotta in Italy is more likely to be served with berry coulis, chocolate sauce or a drizzle of liquor instead of eyeballs, this recipe is tailor-made for Halloween!
Halloween Panna Cotta Eyeballs: Some Variations
Tweak this gluten free Halloween dessert to your heart’s content. One interesting variation would be to use slices of kiwi rather than the Lifesaver candies. The great thing about kiwi is the pattern looks similar to a human iris! Which of course makes this already gross looking food even creepier!
Switch the vanilla extract for a different flavour if you like. I think coconut would be good. Pretty much anything will work in this dessert that looks like eyeballs. Another idea would be to sub raisins for the jelly beans.
There is more gelatine in this gluten free Halloween dessert than in a typical panna cotta. It doesn’t affect the flavour but will make the panna cotta sturdier.
Although perhaps nothing could be more gross than an ‘eyeball’ falling apart between your fingers, that’s not why I was going for here!
When it comes to the best Halloween party food ideas, there are plenty to choose from. In fact there are so many it can be hard to pick what to make! I like make-ahead Halloween party food ideas because I can prepare everything in advance, freeing up my time to get all dressed up!
If you like this gluten free Halloween dessert, you might also like Halloween Monster Eye Crinkle Cookies, Colourful No Churn Halloween Ice Cream, Spooky Halloween Monster Eye Pretzels or Colourful Halloween Pancakes – Spooky Breakfast Ideas.
Halloween Panna Cotta Eyeballs Recipe
Halloween Panna Cotta Eyeballs
- 2 Cups heavy cream
- 1 Cup milk
- 4 Tsp. gelatin plain
- 1 Tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
- Lifesaver Gummy Candies
- Jelly Beans
- Pour the milk into a medium-size saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin on top of the milk and let it soften for 5 minutes.
- Heat the milk and gelatin mixture over medium low heat, whisking frequently. The gelatin should be melted within a few minutes.
- With the saucepan still on the stove stir in the sugar and heavy cream, heat the mixture until it is very hot, but not boiling or simmering and the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the sugar has been dissolved, remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
- While the mixture is cooling for a moment, prepare your silicone molds by spraying very lightly with non-stick oil and placing the molds onto a cookie sheet. This will make moving it to the refrigerator easier.
- Place one of the Lifesaver gummies with the writing-side up into each of the molds, pressing down into the bottom of the mold.
- Fill each mold with the panna cotta liquid.
- Place the panna cotta in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to plate the panna cotta, use a thin small knife and run it around the edge of each of the silicone molds to release the panna cotta. Very gently press each of the little panna cotta eyeballs out onto a plate.
- If needed, use your small knife to cut or scrape any excess panna cotta off of the iris/lifesaver, it should come off easily.
- Cut the very tips off of jellybeans and use them as the pupils of the eyeballs.
- Optional – Serve with “blood, you can make your own edible blood by mixing strawberry breakfast syrup with some red food coloring. Drizzle each eyeball with the blood mixture.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Halloween panna cotta eyeballs are really simple to prepare. Working with gelatine is easy enough. In fact if you can make Jell-O you can easily rustle up a panna cotta dessert that looks like eyeballs. So grab your ingredients and get ready to make Halloween panna cotta eyeballs which will impress (and scare) everyone!
If you are looking for other cute Halloween ideas, you might like these Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Shaped Mini Bundt Cakes.