Ghoulishly Glowing Cupcakes




Introduction: Ghoulishly Glowing Cupcakes

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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    47 Discussions

    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!


    2 years ago

    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??

    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 :)

    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.

    6 replies

    I didn't know that, but I would just be careful. I know for sure that too much vitamin A is toxic.

    It is nearly impossible to "overdose" on Vitamin B. I'm not actually sure if it's possible at all. So I'd say that if you're going to try this, go with the B vitamins, any problems you ran into would not be from ingesting too much vitamin B1, B6, B12, etc...

    A D E and K are all fat soluble and toxic if too much is ingested. The water soluble vitamins, virtually limitless.

    Yes and no. Some vitamins can cause vitaminose, reactions that would make you sick, or even mess with your kidney and liver functions. But it would have to be A LOT, of vitamins. So unless you plan on completely replacing the sugar with powdered vitamins and eating 25 cupcakes, I would not worry. As a comparison, think about how many carrots you would have to eat before your skin would be affected (yes you can turn orange from eating too much carrots... It's hilarious. You can also make your guests pee turn blue if you color your cupcake with methilen blue, an organic coloring similar to iodine but non toxic that you can buy at pharmacies... Evil.) that said, some vitamins, like e and c are eliminated by your system and will wash out without side effects (e can actually change the smell of your skin when it reach a certain level. Some say it helps repel biting flies at high concentration). I am not a doctor, just fed a lot of vitamins to my older guinea pig on vet's counsel and I know about some, but not all vitamin effects. Take it for what it is worth. Mind you guinea pigs are much smaller than humans.

    I didn't know you could still buy methylene blue. Evil is right. So many people taking Prozac and the like, probably not the best prank since it "could" cause serotonin syndrome, among other things. Even if they've been off of it for a month, in some cases. Not to mention how many people take anti-depressants and don't tell their close family and/or friends. Since methylene blue is considered an MAOI of sorts, I think blue pee would be the least of their problems.

    i made this before a party and all my friends thought they were toys until i ate it

    These cupcakes do glow...if they're a few inches away from the black light. Setting the cupcakes on a table and using the black light in the dining room table to make all the other decorations glow too...not so much. It's a great idea, just wish I could have a dedicated black light for the cupcakes.

    The white frosting recipe can be used to make just glowing frosting, right? I don't need to do the jello part, do I?

    I found this cool "recipe":

    But I was think of using your fluorescent instead of regular frosting. If I have to jello, I could make Frankensteins.

    Thanks for the recipe. Gets me thinking!

    1 reply

    Yes, the white frosting will glow without the additional Jello. That was just a solution for those that wanted color added. Very cute idea btw!!