Decorate your cupcakes with these sweet, delicate little bubbles inspired by Cake Central’s (as featured in my “Break Out the Bubbly” preschool graduation party).

Time: 15 minutes (plus 24 hours to dry)

Cost: $12


  • Small balloons
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Pastry brush
  • Paper towel
  • Cooling rack
  • Large baking sheet
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 ounce unflavored gelatin (approximately 2 packets)
  • Desired food coloring
  • A pinch of edible fine-grained glitter (such as Wilton Shimmer Dust)
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Scissors

Step 1: Blow up a small balloon just a tiny bit and tie both ends (the open side and the tip) together by gently pulling them back and tying a knot. You should now have a very small round balloon.

Step 2: Brush some vegetable shortening onto the surface of the balloon and use your fingers to spread it out, making sure you get every nook and cranny on the balloon.

Step 3: Wipe off excess shortening with a paper towel, leaving a very thin film of shortening on the balloon.

Step 4: Mix gelatin, water, food coloring and shimmer dust in microwave-safe bowl with a fork or small whisk.

Step 5: Heat the gelatin mix in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Step 6: Hold the balloon on the bottom, turn it upside down and dip it into the gelatin bowl, coating its entire surface.

Step 7: Turn the balloon upright and allow the excess gelatin to drip off.

Step 8: Place the balloon upright on the cooling rack with a baking sheet under it to catch the drips from the gelatin.

Step 9: Allow the balloon to dry for about 10 minutes, then dip it again to make the color stronger. Feel free to heat the gelatin up for a few more seconds if it begins to harden.

Step 10: Allow the balloon to dry overnight. Then, using scissors, start to cut off the bottom knot portion, which will allow air to escape, causing the balloon to shrivel and begin to separate from the gelatin. Gently pull it out.

Step 11: Place the gelatin bubble cupcake toppers on your frosted cupcakes.