Culinary Adventures: Making “bloody” Broken Glass Cupcakes for Halloween
I had seen these Broken Glass Cupcakes on Pinterest and really wanted to try them out for our annual pumpkin carving party this year. I wasn’t sure how making the glass would go, as I’ve never made hard candy before. I found Martha Stewart’s recipe for the sugar glass (she calls it caramel, which makes no sense to me) online, and tried it out:
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small high-sided saucepan, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until mixture just starts to turn pale gold around edges. Remove from heat, and immediately pour caramel onto a rimmed baking sheet. Working quickly, tilt pan to spread caramel to edges to make a very thin layer. Let cool to harden.
I added the sugar and water to a pot and began bringing it to a boil. I wasn’t sure about the “cook until mixture starts to turn a pale gold around the edges” part of Martha’s instructions, and there were no photos to show what that looked like, or any reference to about how long this would take.
I am familiar with reducing liquids down to thicken, so I figured the consistency would need to be pretty thick for it to make the glass candy.
It took quite a while, about 20 minutes or so. Definitely watch it and stir on occasion. Eventually, it reduced down and very little steam was coming off of the syrup any more, it was mostly just bubbling. I tested it with a spoon, and it was a honey-like consistency. It looked like this just before I took it off the burner and poured it onto the cookie sheet:
I poured it onto the cookie sheet as instructed, quickly tilting it to spread the syrup in a thin sheet. It was really bubbly at first and I was worried that the bubbles would end up in the candy. Once it spread out, the bubbles quickly disappeared and it formed a clear, glossy sheet.
I let it harden while I made the cupcakes. You can use any recipe you want, really–but I would recommend using a white frosting for contrast with the “blood.” I used chocolate cupcakes and cream cheese frosting. Red velvet cupcakes would be a good idea too.
When the sugar glass was hard and my cupcakes were frosted and ready, I used a metal spatula to break the sugar glass apart. To my delight, it worked out perfectly and looked just like broken glass.
I added cherry pie filling to the tops to look like blood. (Tastes good too).
I inserted the sugar glass shards into each cupcake, and ended up having some leftover. The recipe makes a large batch.
I had originally planned on making the sugar glass a day or two before the party, because I figured it would keep fine and I wanted to make sure that I could do it without screwing it up. I’m glad that I ran out of time and waited until the day of–the day after the party the sugar glass turned frosty and began to disintegrate a bit. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.
- The sugar glass for the broken glass cupcakes will take about 30-40 minutes, plus at least 1-2 hours of cooling time
- The syrup is ready when there is little steam coming off of the syrup anymore, and it is thick like honey, forming glassy frothy bubbles while boiling
- Make it the day of your event, do not make ahead of time to keep your glass looking clear and realistic.
Our pumpkin carving party was a success, and everyone seemed to like my broken glass cupcakes. They weren’t as difficult as I thought they’d be, and the effect was delightfully gruesome.