baked goods, diy desserts, diy projects

DIY: Gemstone Cupcakes

AJM Gemstone CupcakesI had the idea for this set of gemstone cupcakes a while back, and as most just for fun projects go around these parts it took me quite some time to actually make them.  But, they’re finally here…and I couldn’t be happier with how they came out!  For the cupcakes I topped each one with a unique edible gemstone including: an agate slice, a geode, tourmaline, azurite, and pyrite. If you’re interested in making one or all of the gemstone cupcakes, follow along to get the DIY.

AJM Gemstone Cupcakes_TourmalineAJM Gemstone Cupcakes_Agate and GeodeAJM Gemstone Cupcakes 3click here


AJM DIY Gemstone Cupcakes

Part #1 – The Sugar Base: To make the crystallized base of each cupcake (and the pyrite, tourmaline and azurite crystals), you’ll need to make a hard candy from sugar.  It’s VERY important to use a potholder and to keep a distance from the pot once your sugar mixture gets hot, as it can bubble and may splatter outside of the pan. Before you start, I’d recommend watching some how-to videos on YouTube or google search “sugar burn”, just so you know how serious and frequent sugar burns are.  Use extreme caution, people!

Update – Some Advice: If baking and working with sugar are both uncommon grounds for you, I’d recommend just using pre-made hard candy for the bases and gemstone pieces. You can buy large lollipops, rock candy, or colored hard candy at most grocery stores and all you’ll need to do is break it apart with a hammer (put the candy in a plastic bag and then wrap a dish cloth around the plastic bag before hammering).

What You’ll Need:

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Light Corn Syrup
  • Saucepan + Pot Holder
  • Spatula
  • Food coloring or gel color
  • Silpat or Parchment paper + Pan
  • Frosted cupcakes

For each mixture I made I eyeballed the corn syrup and sugar amounts and got the same results each time, so you definitely don’t need an exact ratio for the two ingredients.  I’d recommend using about 2 cup of sugar with 3-4 Tbsp of corn syrup for your first batch. 

First, mix together the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan. Turn on heat to med-hi, stirring frequently until the sugar starts to dissolve. Once the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil, stop stirring and allow the mixture to cook for a few minutes.  Once your mixture reaches a light amber color, remove from heat and add a couple drops of your preferred coloring.  Mix well until the color has completely dyed the mixture. [Note: If using a water-based dye, it will cause the heated mixture to sizzle and splatter, so keep a distance and make sure to use a potholder.]

Next, lay a Silpat or parchment paper onto a baking pan. Working quickly, pour your dyed sugar mixture onto the lined pan and place in refrigerator.  [Note: You can also pour the sugar mixture into silicone molds or greased muffin tins to get larger solidified sugar pieces.]

After 15-30 minutes in the refrigerator your candy should be completely hard. You can take a knife, hammer, or you can use your hands to break down the sugar. For the pyrite, tourmaline, and azurite cupcakes, set aside a few larger pieces for the crystals.  To break down the sugar to a fine sugar for each of the cupcake base, you can use a food processor.  Or just place the sugar pieces into a plastic bag, cover with a towel, and hit with a hammer.

For each cupcake, first frost the top with buttercream. Place the colored fine sugar onto a plate and roll the top of the cupcake in the sugar.

AJM DIY Gemstone Cupcakes Part 1AJM DIY Gemstone Cupcakes Part 1-2

Part #2 –  The Gemstone Toppers (materials required are noted in bold)

Green Tourmaline Crystal: Add green dye to your sugar mixture. Once hard, break down sugar, setting aside a few of the larger pieces for the tourmaline crystals that will sit atop the cupcake. Roll cupcake in fine sugar, then position larger pieces into the center. Once you’re finished decorating, set cupcake(s) in the refrigerator to set.

AJM Gemstone Cupcakes_Tourmaline-2 copy

Blue Azurite Crystal: Add blue dye to your sugar mixture. Once hard, break down sugar, setting aside a few of the larger pieces for the azurite crystals that will sit atop the cupcake. Roll cupcake in fine sugar, then position larger pieces into the center. Once you’re finished decorating, set cupcake(s) in the refrigerator to set.

Metallic Pyrite: Do not add any coloring to your sugar mixture. Once hard, break down sugar, setting aside a few of the larger pieces for the pyrite pieces that will sit atop the cupcake. Roll cupcake in fine sugar, then position larger pieces into the center. Use a paintbrush to apply either an edible metallic color (i.e. AmeriColor airbrush color) or a gold decorating dust. Using a paintbrush, cover the entire crystals and the sugar base with the metallic color. Once you’re finished decorating, set cupcake(s) in the refrigerator to set. [Note: Pyrite is typically a silver-gold metallic, but since I only had gold, that’s what I went with. If you have the gold and silver metallic colors, get wild and use them both!]

Geode: First roll out two pieces of fondant – one marbleized gray and the other white. You can achieve the marbleized gray color by mixing a few small pieces of black fondant into white fondant. Once you’ve rolled out the two layers, lightly moisten the top of the gray piece with water and adhere the white piece of fondant on top.

AJM DIY Gemstone Cupcakes Geode

Line a bowl (or a silicone mold) with tinfoil. Use multiple pieces of foil to make a rock mold. Lightly grease the tinfoil using cooking spray and lay your fondant into the tinfoil mold.

For the crystallized interior of the geode, you’ll need to cook a saturated sugar mixture. In a saucepan over med-hi heat, mix 3 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water until dissolved (completely clear). Remove from heat and add your desired dye color.  Set aside to cool for 1-2 minutes, then pour directly into your fondant mold. Cover the entire mold and bowl with tinfoil or plastic wrap and set aside to crystallize for 12 to 16 hours.

The next day, break through the top of the sugar with your finger. Pour out the liquid that has not crystallized. Set aside to dry for a few minutes. Once your geode’s interior is completely dry you can take off the tinfoil, trim the edges of your fondant mold, and cut to size/shape of a geode. Once happy with the shape, position atop a sugar coated cupcake.

Update – Some Advice: There’s a video on YouTube from HowToCookThat that demonstrates a how-to for the geode process – watch that HERE.

AJM DIY Gemstone Cupcakes Geode-2AJM Gemstone Cupcakes_Geode

Agate Slice: Roll out a small ball of white fondant and cut/shape to resemble a rock slice. [Note: Feel free to use a cookie in place of the fondant]

Prepare two batches of royal icing – leave one white and dye the other a color of your choice. Working from the center, add rings of royal icing, alternating the colors. You can also add darker tones by using a toothpick and adding a bit of the dye color you used for your frosting. Once you reach the edge, you can leave as is or you can add additional detail around the edge.  I used a touch of metallic airbrush color around the edge of my slice to add a bit more dimension. Let royal icing completely set before placing atop your cupcake.

Update – Some Advice: Check out the Agate Slice Cookie DIY for additional help. You could even swap out that fondant with a mini cookie, if you prefer!AJM DIY Gemstone Cupcakes Agate SliceAJM Agate Slice CupcakeAJM Gemstone Cupcakes_Agate Slice


  1. Lene Levy

    January 13, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I had your cake at Harrison’s birthday! It was hands down the best cake I’ve ever had. My daughter is turning 1 in a few weeks and I can’t think of two things I love more. Cupcakes or semi precious stones! This is kick ass! I going to give it a shot for her birthday I will tag you in any Instagram shots! Thanks!!

  2. Gaby

    January 14, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    You are amazing!!!I just love your work and your website. These cupcakes are more than beautiful. New follower!!

    1. alanajonesmann

      January 19, 2015 at 10:58 am

      aww thanks so much!!

  3. Alex

    March 28, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Tourmaline and azurite in a… a… cupcake?? Niiiice! This is not for everyone, you have to know about rocks and their colors… Great, good job, and an excellent ideea!


    March 30, 2015 at 12:55 pm


    1. alanajonesmann

      March 31, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      thank youuu! 🙂

  5. Jennifer Campbell

    March 30, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    I can’t believe how beautiful these are! I am making these for my daughters geology themed birthday party. She is a science lover and these rock! (Sorry, had to do it).

    1. alanajonesmann

      March 31, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      haha I love it! sounds like a great party!

  6. Jill

    April 6, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Wow! I have never seen anything like this!

  7. Keli

    May 19, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Can I order these from you?!?!?

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  9. Rachael

    June 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

    They’re minerals, Marie.

    1. alanajonesmann

      June 18, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Favorite Comment EVER

  10. Miriam

    June 28, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Wow, wow, wow. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Nikki @ Tikkido

    September 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Holy cow, these are absolutely amazing! Spectacularly, masterfully done.

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  17. Jamie Aasen

    September 28, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Totally Awesome! The Green Tourmaline Crystal Cupcake reminds me of a Wizard of Oz themed party. Coolest cupcake idea of the century! Thanks for sharing your ideas, I like the cookies too! Can’t wait to bake some of these, and pretend I am eating rocks! 😀 <3

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  19. wishinkitchen

    October 6, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    These are absolutely incredible! I love these and can’t wait to give them a try– how unique and inspiring!

    1. alanajonesmann

      October 12, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      thank you so much for your sweet comment!

  20. Wanda

    December 31, 2015 at 10:21 am

    QUESTION??? I love this idea. I’ve been looking for something special for a major birthday party I am throwing for myself. My theme is gems (even my invite says the party is for a rare gem….me!). My favors are rose quartz & amethyst. All that said, I will need to make approx 100 cupcakes & I will have to use the hard candy method (short on time. Party Jan 17, 2016). I am just came out of the hospital yesterday, so I am limited in strength & stamina also. Can I make a batch a day and freeze them? I could take them out in the morning the day of the party….it is in the evening. Do you think this would ruin the frosting or the decorations? Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

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  23. Virginia Pascual

    January 28, 2016 at 3:46 am

    gracias, gracias, gracias por compartir toda esta belleza

  24. Bee Gianni

    February 24, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    AAHHHMMAAAZZING‼️. Can’t wait till my granddaughters come this summer. What wild fun we’ll have. Thank you so much. Just gorgeous.

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  26. Stephanie

    March 20, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    We are going to use this as inspiration for our sapphire cupcakes for our cheer team! Thank you for sharing.

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