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The recipe for the "glass" is essentially one for caramel. The trick is to cook it for a shorter amount of time than usual so it stays clear.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2011
Total Time Prep Yield


For the Cupcakes

For the Caramel

For the Frosting


Cook's Notes

Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Frosting can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Caramel can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day; break just before using. Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Top with caramel shards and cherry preserves just before serving.

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How would you rate this recipe?
  • faithstockton
    5 APR, 2019
    I only needed to know how to make the glass. I made it 4 times exactly as the recipe says. It never dried. I put it in the freezer, it froze as planned. I broke it up. It looked perfect. And when I turned around to do the third cupcake. The first glass had completed began dissolving and melting and drooping all over the place. Other websites state at least 2-3 more ingredients and have much higher ratings. Recommend going to those instead.
  • wade.sells
    26 OCT, 2016
    Disappointing. The cupcake was more like a souffle and the first batch all sank in the middle. The glass did not work. Waste of my money and time
  • carolenewstart
    29 OCT, 2015
    I haven't attempted to make these yet and to be honest not sure I am going to - how on earth are we supposed to know what "2 sticks" of butter is?!! what's wrong with using the conventional weighing measures of pounds and ounces or grammes, why cups. I'm going to find another recipe
    • cupcakepink21g
      11 DEC, 2015
      In America, a 'stick' refers to the way a lot of butter is sold. Often, it is packaged 1-lb containers with 4 individually-wrapped slender rectangles (sticks). Therefor, anytime a recipe calls for a certain number of 'sticks', each represents 1/4 lb . Hope that helps!
  • Phydeaux71
    10 OCT, 2013
    My daughter made these. Our first attempt at the sugar glass was a disaster since it granulated upon cooling. So, we found a more reliable candy recipe from another site. 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1/4 cup water. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then slowly heat to 302--no more stirring. Pour into a nonstick foil lined cake pan and spread thin, cool. The corn syrup is the key. It's slightly yellowish but very clear and hard when cooled.
    • daneekaps
      23 OCT, 2014
      it granulated because it was contaminated with crystals from the pan. This is a common problem in candy making. Glad you found something that worked better for you.
  • lalaelizabeth
    8 OCT, 2014
    I followed another user's instructions for the caramel glass--you really need corn syrup and a candy thermometer for this. I tried this sugar and water recipe and it never hardened; maybe it works, but I would need additional instructions for how since I am not familiar with candy making. Really cute idea--I'll be using corn syrup and red food coloring for the "blood" instead of cherry preserves.
  • Steve Thompson
    11 NOV, 2013
    The glass will work, exactly as shown, if you take your time and use a candy thermometer. You do not need corn syrup. I used just water and sugar. Don't even stir in the sugar. The key is to turn the boiling water down immediately after water comes to a boil and let the water slowly evaporate, this takes time, take the sugar off the stove, immediately, when your thermometer says 300 degrees. If your sugar yellows, after cooling on silipat, run under hot water over the glass until it's clear.
  • Jenn O
    31 OCT, 2013
    I only looked at this recipe for guidance and for the sugar glass and was extremely irritated when it didn't work, & now find that it couldn't possibly work~ & more frustrated to find EVERY other posting on how to make it has corn syrup and much better instructions. This post is linked to a Halloween site, and without the "glass" they're normal, every day frosted cupcakes. Needless to say, this boring alternative is what I'll be taking to work, since I don't have corn syrup around.
  • lbauer321
    10 OCT, 2013
    This is a great Halloween cupcake idea! But I used Martha Stewart's Red Velvet Cupcake recipe instead so that the cakes would look blood-soaked! Yum!
  • MS10466880
    2 OCT, 2013
    The instructions for the glass could be more novice-friendly, providing a target temperature for the finished caramel as well as an instruction not to stir the sugar mixture as it heats (or crystals will develop), but the directions *are* accurate. The magazine/staff shouldn't be unfairly criticized for providing inaccurate or poor recipes; instead, they should be encouraged to remember not everyone has the same level of experience and make sure the instructions anticipate any/all questions.
  • sunnydaytheory
    24 APR, 2013
    For a clearer looking glass (no bubbles) I use a kitchen torch (kitchen flame thrower) or other high, quick heat expending tools and quickly brush over the bubble filled area. Made the glass absolutely perfect!

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