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Glow in the Dark Cupcakes

Sometimes it’s pretty cool to be a Rock Star Mom! I love it when the kids think what I make is cool, and let’s face it, those times are few and far between, especially with teenagers. These Glow in the Dark Cupcakes will put your kids {and adults} in awe of you, but Shhh…don’t tell them…they are really easy!

This cupcake shoot was a first for us, taking pictures at night has a whole new challenge. And let’s not mention that our neighbors think we are even more crazy now. Thanks to Recipe Snobs for sharing her recipe.

Without the dark of night and the help of a black light, the Glow in the Dark Cupcakes are actually green. Let me show you how to make them…

First you will need to frost your cupcakes. The recipe is below, but essentially it’s frosting with Tonic Water added. I found that using a star tip for decorating was best. We also tried orange frosting, but the white turned out best. After the cupcakes are frosted, pop them into the freezer while you make the jello.

And here is where most of the action happens…jello and tonic water!

Mix lime jello with 1 cup boiling water and stir about 2 minutes until dissolved.

Add 1 cup tonic water to the jello. You can find tonic water near the liquor in your grocery store.

Now fill a large bowl with ice water and place the bowl of jello in. Continue to stir. You want the jello to cool down, but not begin to set up. When the jello is cool to the touch, remove it from the ice water.

Now it’s time to dip the cupcakes. Remove a couple at a time from the fridge and dip into the jello. Place them back into the freezer for 5 minutes. Repeat this dipping – freezing process 6 times. Be sure to stir the jello each time and watch it so it doesn’t start setting up. If it does get thick, dipping 4 times will work as well, but 6 is better.

See…I told you it wasn’t difficult! Now you can be a Rock Star Mom too!  Use a black light to make the cupcakes glow, it will need to be larger than a light bulb, we tried that and it wasn’t big enough. You can find black lights near the other light bulbs in Walmart, or sometimes by the home decor area.

Glow in the Dark Cupcakes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Glow in the Dark Cupcakes

Your kids will think you are a Rock Star when you make their cupcakes Glow in the Dark. Recipe from Adapted from Recipe Snobs


  • 1 cup Real Butter
  • 4 - 6 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 5 tablespoons tonic water
  • 1-2 tablespoons Vanilla
  • Glow in the Dark Dip
  • 1 small box lime jello
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup tonic water


  1. Beat butter until smooth, gradually add powdered sugar, alternate with tonic water
  2. Stir in vanilla
  3. Frosting should be stiff for these cupcakes
  4. Glow in the Dark
  5. Mix jello and boiling water, stir 2 minutes until dissolved
  6. Add tonic water and stir
  7. Place in large bowl with ice water and stir until jello is cool to the touch
  8. Remove jello from ice bath
  9. Remove a couple cupcakes from the freezer at a time and dip in jello mixture
  10. Place back in freezer, repeat dipping and freezing process 4-6 times


Be sure to have your frosting stiff, not super stiff though, it will work better when dipping.

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  1. How Cool Are These!!! Love them!
    Megan @ Megan’s Munchies recently posted..Welcome to Texas Trader Joe’sMy Profile

  2. Mel;anie says:

    Where do you buy Glow in the Dark Dip?

  3. How creepy and cute at the same time!
    Julia | recently posted..Chocolate bundt cake with cognac soaked cherriesMy Profile

  4. Perfectly spooky for Halloween!
    Angie @ Big Bear’s Wife recently posted..Orange Soda Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes #SundaySupperMy Profile

  5. Jen B. says:

    OMG! I have to make these. That is so cool! Thanks for sharing. It is brilliant!

  6. Debra says:

    Those are the coolest cupcakes EVER!

  7. Felicia says:

    The boys would adore these!
    Felicia recently posted..No-Sew Bob Tomato VeggieTales Costume TutorialMy Profile

  8. Sarah says:

    So cool! They would be perfect for a Halloween Party. If you get a chance come link up your cupcakes at my Pin Party.

  9. Eliza says:

    These are awesome! Can’t wait to give them a try:)

    I’m your newest follower from the Made By You Monday Blog Hop. Come by and say hi!
    Eliza recently posted..DIY: Cork CoastersMy Profile

  10. M. C. says:

    How much does the lime jello affect their taste/flavor?

    They LOOK super cool!

  11. Kim says:

    Will it glow just in the dark without a black light?

  12. Megan says:

    WHAT? Glow in the dark cupcakes?? You are a genius! I love this!!

    I would LOVE for you to link this up at my Ginger Jamboree Link Party!!

  13. cupcakebaby93 says:

    Will it work with any color jello instead of just the lime??

  14. Kristin says:

    I love this idea and thinking about making glow frosting for my daughter’s birthday party next weekend. For those who have made it — how does it taste? Do you detect the bitterness of the tonic?

  15. Julie says:

    Do you make these same day or can you do it the day before? If you can do it the day before, do you have to keep them frozen or in the fridge?

    • Liz says:

      Hi Julie, I made the glow in the dark cupcakes the same day so I can not tell you for sure if you can do them the day before. I “think” they would be fine, but again, I did not test it.
      Happy Baking!

  16. Joe says:

    Can it be done with any color jello?

  17. tavette says:

    What a cool idea. How in the world did you ever think to combine jello & tonic water to make glow in the dark frosting????? I can see why your neighbors are watching YOUR house. HAHAHAHA TV stations and photographers used a green screen so wonder, like the other readers, if the jello has to be green.

    You mentioned black lights can be purchased at Home Depot but they have to be bigger than a regular light bulb. Did you mean to get the highest wattage possible or that the bulb has to actually be larger in size, like maybe an outdoor flood light? What type of bulb (size, wattage) did you find works best?


    • Liz says:

      Hi Tavette, black lights are the same size as a regular light bulb, you can also find them at Walmart. I did not test any other flavor of jello besides green, but the glowing comes from the tonic water, so other flavors should work.

    • tavette says:

      Now that I’m looking at the photos again, it seems your cupcakes (dipped in green jello) look blue under the black light. The entire top of the cupcake glows, not just where the green stuck to the frosting. I’m a little confused as it seems only the green streaks (on frosting) would glow. ????

  18. tavette says:

    OK – now I think I got it. What you meant by “it needs to be larger than a light bulb” you meant it absolutely needs to be a BLACK light. Regular household light bulbs won’t work.

  19. Tammy says:

    Very cute idea. One very important part of recipe missing: Keep in freezer until just before serving. I left out last night and now 2 pkgs of cupcake mix a few hours of labor intensive work and they’re ruined and has become a soggy mess.

  20. Ben says:

    Thank you for a great how-to article! I have linked to it from my website, I’d love to try this with my own kids!
    Ben recently posted..Activities for Your Glow in the Dark PartyMy Profile

  21. Lorraine says:

    Have you ever tried this on a cake? My granddaughter wants a glow in the dark cake for her birthday!

    • Liz says:

      Hi Lorraine, I have not tried it, but I’m sure it would work okay. You, obliviously, just wouldn’t be able to dip the cake in the jello mixture.
      Happy Baking!


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