Bake Glowing Cupcakes!

Project Description

Amazingly enough, these fluorescent cupcakes are 100% edible! Thanks to the quinine in tonic water, we have a no fail recipe that you and your students can follow to make your own – just in time for a Halloween lesson on fluorescence at the end of the recipe! Enjoy with your classroom.

Download the FREE Slimy Glowing Cupcake Recipe

Grades: 1 to 14
Duration: 2-4 Hours

Supplies: 1 Black Light (be sure it is in the Ultra Violet range: <405nm) 24 cooled cupcakes 7 cups confectioners sugar 1 C vegetable shortening 1 tsp clear vanilla extract 0.3 ounce package of LIME gelatin 1 C boiling water 1 C chilled tonic water (with quinine) 3-5 Tbsp tonic water (diet works also) chocolate chips

Step 1

Prepare or purchase Cupcakes

Allow to cool if necessary

Step 2

Make the Frosting

Make your frosting by adding confectioner’s sugar, shortening, vanilla and 3 Tbsp tonic water in a large bowl. Beat on low speed until creamy – adding the remaining 2 Tbsp of tonic water as necessary. Mix at high speed for about a minute to allow the frosting to become light and fluffy. We used all 5 Tbsp of tonic water when we did it.

Frost your cupcakes and set them in the freezer for 30-45 minutes to set the frosting – they don’t need to be frozen solid – just set.

Step 3

Make the Slimy Glowing Goo!

As your frosting sets in the freezer, prepare your Slimy Glow Goo. Prepare the gelatin using 1 C boiling water and 1 C chilled tonic water. This is where most of the glow comes from!

After you’ve completed the mixture, place the hot gelatin mixture in an ice bath to cool it. Monitor the temperature and consistency of your glow goo carefully. Once it is cool – but not set – remove it from the ice bath (about 10 minutes)

Step 4

Apply the Slimy Glowing Goo!

Take the frosted cupcakes out of the freezer, a couple at a time. Hold the cake and dip the frosting into the cool gelatin to coat thoroughly. Do not submerge the cake – only the frosting. Once coated, return the cupcake to the freezer for 2-3 minutes. Repeat 4-5 times until the gelatin coating is thick!

Instructor Tip:

Once all of the cupcakes have been thoroughly coated, return the gelatin to the ice bath and let it cool until it just begins to set. It will be a thick, gloppy, messy (SO FUN!) consistency. If you want, you can spoon a tablespoon of the gloppy gelatin over the top of the cupcakes to create a slime!

Now… add a couple of chocolate chip eyes and you’re ready for presentation. Under white light, you have slimed cupcakes. Turn on a UV or Black Light and you have an eerie purple glow! Both are sure to please!

Step 5

Why do they glow? What’s happening??

Fluorescence is one of the most fascinating phenomenon ever! Along with its cousin, phosporescence, fluorescence results from the interaction between specific frequencies of light (electromagnetic waves) and the atoms that make up certain materials. Certain frequencies of light excite the electrons in certain materials, rasing them to a higher energy level. As the energy level of the material’s electrons returns to normal, the energy in the form of light, is emitted.

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