Ghoulishly Glowing Cupcakes





Introduction: Ghoulishly Glowing Cupcakes

Second Prize in the
Halloween Food Challenge

Hey Everyone!! I'm just gonna start out by saying, I am so stinking excited about this recipe! A couple of weeks ago I had a follower e-mail me about a frosting recipe that would glow in the dark. Or I should say almost glow in the dark.

Specifically she needed a cupcake recipe that could glow under a black light, but the trouble was that I couldn't find one on the internet to try, so I decided to try my hand at making one. After a couple of tries I am glad to report that I have figured it out!! Yay! And the secret ingredient that causes it to glow is...

Tonic Water! Cool, right? The quinine in the tonic water causes it to glow under a black light for some reason. So, the challenge was to get enough if this into a frosting without making it too bitter or runny. Ugh! Turns out this was a little harder then I thought, but after trial and error I got a frosting that I loved that would actually glow, until I started adding color to it, and no matter what I did I just couldn't get the stupid frosting to glow after I added food coloring.

Then it dawned on me that if you make gelatin with tonic water the jello will glow. What I ended up doing is taking my cupcake and frosting it. Then I stuck it in the freezer to let the frosting get nice and hard. After cooling I took the cupcake and dipped the frosting into liquid gelatin.

After a few dips and trips back into the freezer to set, the frosting glowed!! Before you start just know that the white frosting glows the best. The green, or if you decide to do orange, will glow it just isn't as bright. Also a quick note, the darker you go with your color on the frosting the less it glows. And lastly, if you decide to make the colored frosting with the gelatin, discard any left over gelatin that you do not use for the frosting. If you want to make glow in the dark jello then use less tonic water or else it will come out way too bitter {like a 3 to 1 ratio, 3 parts water to 1 part tonic water}. Hope you all have as much fun with glowing cupcakes as me and my family have. Enjoy!!


1 black light
prepared and cooled cupcakes

White Glow In The Dark Frosting

7 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
5 tablespoons tonic water {diet tonic water works too}
mini chocolate chips morsels

Extras Needed for Green Glowing Frosting

Neon Food Color
0.3 ounce package of either Lime or Orange Gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 cup chilled tonic water

Prepare desired cupcakes and allow to cool. Begin frosting by adding confectioners' sugar, shortening, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons tonic water into a large bowl. Beat on low speed until no loss sugar is visible. Add remaining two tablespoons as needed to bring frosting to piping consistency. Mix at high speed for about a minute to allow frosting to become light and fluffy. Place half of white frosting into a separate bowl and set aside. Add neon food coloring to frosting until it reaches desired color {orange for orange gelatin, green for lime gelatin}.

Pipe colored frosting onto cooled cupcakes and place in the freezer for at least an hour. Meanwhile pipe white frosting on half of the cupcakes using a large round frosting tip. Add two mini chocolate chip morsels for the ghost's eyes to finish ghost cupcakes.

After lettering colored cupcakes freeze, prepare the gelatin by adding gelatin mix to 1 cup boiling water. Stir for about 2 minutes then add 1 cup chilled tonic water. Transfer to a container that will let you easily dip frosting into and place into an ice bath to cool. Keep gelatin in ice bath stirring occasionally until gelatin is cool but not yet set {about 5 to 10 minutes}.

When gelatin is cool to the touch take cupcakes out of the freezer a couple at a time. Dip into gelatin upside down, submerging the frosting but not the cake {it is ok for the gelatin to drip onto cupcake, just don't submerge it completely}. Rotate cupcakes dipping and then returning to the freezer for about a minutes to set gelatin, then re-dip. Dip 4 to 6 times for best results.

Refrigerate until a couple minutes before serving to keep gelatin set. Then place cupcakes under a black light and watch them glow.

{Make enough frosting for about 24 cupcakes}



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Questions & Answers


Any chance there is a recipe somewhere for Glow in the Dark Vegetarian Icing. My neice is turning "16" and is a vegetarian.

Applying the "glow" as a separate layer is sheer genius! This could also be brushed on a variety of things too large or fragile to dip. Outstanding 'ible!

"Cupcakes". For sure. But glowing edible poo does sound exciting!

can i use brown vanilla extract?

I am wondering if I can substitute butter for the vegetable shortening?

Looking forward to trying the recipe!

I was wondering if you can make glow frosting out of store-bought frosting and how much tonic you would add. I tried it and just diluted the frosting and it didn't really glow... would save me a lot of time if I could do that instead of frosting from scratch??

Ooh, and also, if you ever have time to share your lucky charms marshmallow experiment. . . . :D

I went ahead and added the commentary that I had on my blog. Thanks for the comment!! It totally made my day. And I will try to get my treats on here. Thanks :)

Lucky Charms marshmallow experiment??!!?? Please let us in on the secret!

Some vitamins also glow under blacklight--Vitamin A and B vitamins - thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin. Crush a vitamin B-12 tablet and dissolve it in water and it should be able to be incorporated into the frosting for a glowing effect.

I say should, because I have not tried it but it should work. You might have to use a LOT of vitamins to get an effect, and who knows if too many vitamins are bad for you.