Eerie Glowing Cupcakes

About: I am an engineering student at Stony Brook university, and a hoop dancer. I am, The Hoopgineer!

There are plenty of glowing foods and drinks instructables already, but no ones decided to try and make glowing cupcakes or icing yet! Well, here is my attempt and some suggestions to make yours better!

For some fun glowing cocktails take a look at:

More pictures of the cupcakes to come this week. I had a hard time getting nice pictures the first time around. But trust me, it looks awesome in the black light ^.^

I want to apologize for the poor photos. My camera just cannot seem to take good pictures in the black light. I tried many settings too.

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Step 1: Ingredients


Cake recipe or store bought cake mix
Gather all materials as stated on cake mix box. ie the eggs, water, butter

There are a few ways to do the icing so the ingredients list will differ.

Method 1: (I tried this method)
A container of white or off white flavored iceings
A bottle of Tonic Water

Method 2: (and I tried this method)
I used a standard simple vanella icing recipe and added tonic water as I pleased
2 Cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Tonic water till it glows

Method 3: (I started trying this method, its quite interesting.)
jello packet
tonic water
home made or store bought icing (you can use the tonic water icings we make!)

Method 4: (I haven't yet tried but looks like a good recipe)
After doing all the work of trying to make a recipe, I finally came across this recipe online. I did not yet get a chance to try it, but if my cupcakes glow like theirs I would be so excited.


Step 2: Make the Cake

If using a store bought cake, make the cake as directed. Same if you are making a home made cake.

While the cake is baking, begin making your glow in the dark UV icing.
When making the icing it is best to have a black light handy.

Step 3: Time to Make Some Icing

Method 1:
A container of white or off white flavored icings
A bottle of Tonic Water

This is the simplest method.
Take your regular icing and add Tonic Water to the mix.
Stir it as evenly as possible.
This is when a black light comes in handy.Every once in a while as you stir (or maybe the whole time) turn the lights off and the black light on. Take a peak at your mix and see if its glowing.
Also, the tonic water makes the icing slightly bitter. Tonic water is non alcoholic but does have a taste that not everyone will like. So as you add the tonic water, taste a little bit of the icing to make sure it is not over powering the flavors.

The downfall with this method, is that when stiring the mix by hand, I couldn't get a very even glow. But it was still glowing and some spots when iced on the cupcake glowed stronger then others. This gave it an interesting effect in itself.

Step 4: Time to Make Some Icing

Method 2:
For this method, used a standard home made vanilla icing recipe and add tonic water till it glows. The recipe I used was below.

2 Cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Tonic water till it glows

When adding the tonic water, it changes the flavors a tad. So I added another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to counter act the flavor. Vanilla is a strong flavor as well though so be careful when adding extra!
Again, check with or make this with a black light. This will let you know that the icing is glowing.

When adding the tonic water to this method, I ended up thinning the icing out a lot to get it to glow as nicely as I wanted. I had to stick it in the fridge to harden the icing a little. The icing worked great for plain icing, but it was impossible to decorate or design with.

Step 5: Time to Make Some Icing

Method 3:
This is an interesting method. I got the idea when I found the instructable. I tried to figure out the best way to use the jellow which had a nice even glow under the black light on my cupcakes. I did some looking online, and found someone who had the same idea as me. How they used the jello was by dipping their iced cupcake in the liquid glowing jello and let the cupcakes sit in the fridge to set the jello in place. This was exactly what I wanted to do, but couldn't figure out the best way of doing it! Thank you stranger online for reading my mind.

This method is great for making colored glowing icing. I noticed just using food coloring in other steps didn't work. With some food colorings it actually made it harder for the stuff to glow.

jello packet
tonic water
home made or store bought icing (you can use the tonic water icings we make!)

Ok so make your cupcakes and icing as desired.
Next begin to make your jello, but substitute the water in the mix for tonic water. Now you have liquid glowing jello. Do not freeze yet, you need the liquid form for this method.
Now ice your cupcakes as desired. let the icing set (to the point where you can dip it upside down and not loose your icing decoration)
Now that its set, dip it in the liquid jello and place in the fridge or freezer to set the jello.
Finally, turn on the black light and enjoy your spooky glowing jello topped cupcakes. yummmm

Step 6: Time to Make Some Icing

Method 4: Try this recipe

Finally, you can try this recipe:
This is the site that helped me figure out what to do with my glowing jello as well. I have not tried their icing recipe, but if my cupcakes glow as bright as there I'd be happy. Mine did not glow as bright.

I will try this recipe in the upcoming week, and I will update accordingly ^.^

Step 7: Time to Decorate

Now that you have spooky glowing icing, you can decorate as you please or keep them plain and spooky. Turn off the lights, turn on the black lights and bam. Surprise your guests with what looks like radio active cupcakes lol

The pictures below, are my hand at making a ghost rising from a graveyard scene. If my icing didn't get thinned out, I think it would have been really cool. And sorry I have no pics of the icing glowing. My camera does this weird thing that when flash is turned off it doesn't stabilize pictures anymore. So my pictures were not coming out. When I try this recipe again this week for the family I'll try a different camera and update.

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Participated in the
Halloween Food Challenge

The Mad Science Fair

Participated in the
The Mad Science Fair

Make It Glow Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Glow Challenge



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    7 years ago on Step 4

    Have you tried using a tonic concentrate? Soda stream has a tonic concentrate that is inexpensive and can avoid the thinning.