DIY: Stained Glass Cupcakes
A couple of weeks ago I was trying to think of some fun holiday-related dessert DIYs, but found myself very frustrated. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but so many DIY projects look the same to me these days and when you’re limited to a holiday, well so much has already be done and re-done…and done with some little twist. So, I paused my planning and realized that I can’t focus on a specific holiday or occasion while I’m brainstorming because I get pigeonholed. That’s when I went back to my list of inspired ideas I’ve had but haven’t had time to make and decided to give the Stained Glass inspired dessert a go! And with Thanksgiving and all the winter holidays, you could even neutralize the colors and do holiday-specific shades. In my opinion, you would be very rad if you showed up to a holiday dinner with these bad boys!!
I felt that the black piping was a bit necessary to achieve that true stained glass look, but as you can see below they look pretty cool without the piping as well. If the black piping isn’t your thing, you could also break up your candy into smaller pieces and cover them for a mosaic style cupcake. There’s a lot you can do by following this same process. So get that creativity flowing and continue on below for the DIY!
These cupcakes are essentially candy on a cupcake, so make sure you eat them that way. Pick off and suck on the candies like you would a lollipop, and then chow down on the cupcake. Because the candy is thin, it won’t break your teeth, but it can be sharp, so make sure to suck on them for a minute before chopping down. Remember – just like a lollipop, guys!
- 1 batch cupcakes, frosted with buttercream
- 1 batch black decorating icing (homemade or store-bought)
- Lollipops (Party City has color-coded bags!)
- Parchment paper
- Baking pan
- Piping bag + round tip
Step #1: Lightly frost each cupcake with buttercream. If you are looking for a recipe for buttercream frosting head on over HERE. You want to keep the cupcake top relatively level, so don’t add too much frosting! If you plan on making your black frosting, I’d recommend preparing that at this point as well. You can also just use store-bought black decorating icing, which is what I used since I was tight on time!
Step #2: Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit. While your oven is warming up, prep the candy. Before removing the plastic wrappers of the lollipops, hit them one or two times with a hammer to break up the candy. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking pan and crumble each lollipop into small rounds on the parchment – 1 round per lollipop.
Step #3: Bake at 325° for 3-4 minutes [Note: I baked mine for 3 minutes and 30 seconds each time, but baking times may vary with different ovens]. Watch the sugar closely while it’s baking to make sure it does not begin to bubble. If you see it starting to bubble before the time has passed, remove them! Let the lollipops sit until they are completely cool. DO NOT EVER TOUCH HOT SUGAR!
You’ll likely see small bubbles in your candies – especially the more translucent colored ones. There are ways to get rid of those but it’s dangerous since you have to work with the sugar when it’s hot, so just leave them. And it’s totally fine if they have small bubbles, because you know what else often has small bubbles?! Yup, you guessed it – stained glass!
Step #4: Once cool, break apart with your hands or with a knife. Arrange all of your broken candy pieces on a separate sheet of parchment (or wax) paper.
Step #6: Next, take each frosted cupcake and add the glass pieces on top. I decided to arrange my designs prior to adding them to the buttercream. As you can see below, I cut a circular paper template to the size of my cupcake, placed it under wax paper, and then arranged the pieces of candy on top. It kind of felt like I was doing a puzzle, but with a better reward at the end! If needed, you can also cut / round the pieces to better fit. I noticed that working in front of an open window slightly decreased the hardness of my candy, which made it very easy to cut and (most of the time) prevented it from breaking into more pieces.
Sidenote: Ladies – this would be a really fun craft to make with girlfriends! Right?!
Step #7: Now I was pretty happy with how these guys looked at this point, but as I mentioned earlier, I felt that the black piping was essential for the true stained glass look. Using a piping bag with a #3 tip (a small round tip), pipe in between the candy cracks. It doesn’t have to look perfect! Shooting these photos with one hand while piping with the other hand was a little tricky, but even with squiggly lines, it still looks cool.
And there you have it – stained glass cupcakes! That wasn’t too hard, right?! As I mentioned earlier, these could also be made with smaller pieces of candy and arranged in a mosaic fashion, or you could experiment and swirl different colors of melted lollipop together to get one super trippy candied cupcake topper. Make sure to use extreme caution around the hot sugar and have fun!