Can I Make a "Snow Globe Cupcake"?
I saw "Snow Globe Cupcakes" on some different YouTube videos (like the one below from the Yummy Cake Recipes YouTube channel) and they looked so cool with their clear gelatin bubbles. I worked on learning about gelatin bubbles through this art cooking project and also with the "Bubblepop Electric Cupcake." (link)
Tuesday December 10, 2019/Wednesday December 11, 2019, Attempt #1:
** You can scroll down if you already read this part, I just wrote it again in case someone didn't catch the other post about gelatin bubbles.
As I wrote in my other post -- which has more detailed pictures regarding the steps,
To make the gelatin bubbles: you need:
- gelatin powder (or gelatin sheets), water, vase (any tall skinny container), straws (or something to serve as a sticks), tape, and a microwave.
- Optional: pump to fill balloons
I used gelatin powder because I had it around. First, you put some gelatin powder in a bowl and some water. I wasn't paying too much attention in this attempt at how much water I was putting in the bowl, which will become important later. You stir it together. Then you let the gelatin powder+water bloom (sit there at room temp) for ~5 min.
While the gelatin is blooming, you prepare the balloons+straws/sticks. You fill the balloons up. When you are making them for a cupcake, you don't want to make the balloon too big or they won't fit on the cupcake.
You tape the balloons to a straw or stick. In most of the videos I saw and in this one, they use disposable straws in the different videos, which are all the same height. I just used straws or sticks/handles I had in my apartment. I actually found this worked better because this random assortment was different heights, which gave more room for the balloons when they were drying. I recycled this plastic container that my lemonade packets came in to use as a vase.
When the gelatin+water is done blooming, then you microwave at 15-second or 30-second interval until it's all dissolved. (You could do this step in the stove and some videos show that.) You let it cool down for 1-2 minutes, so it's not too hot, then you coat the balloons with the gelatin mixture and let them set overnight.
For the first batch for the Snow Globe cupcakes, I used 5 tablespoons for 4 packets (28.8 grams) of Knox gelatin powder after watching the Cheeky Crumbs YouTube channel video. She used gelatin sheets rather than gelatin powder. She gives a good instruction on how to dip.
The mixture before microwaving and dipping was quite thick. I learned from the Cheeky Crumbs video that you really want to roll the balloon around multiple times to get a good coating around.
To assemble the entire Snow Globe cupcake,
- Snow: I took a cupcake and covered it with vanilla frosting and shredded coconut -- the snow.
- Chocolate Christmas tree: I stuck the Chocolate Christmas tree in the cupcake. (see link)
- Poinsettia: There was also extra pink gelatin that I had poured into a flower silicone mold and left at room temperature. It became like plastic. It looked like a poinsettia flower and added some color, so I put 1 or 2 on the cupcakes too.
RESULT: Success / Failure, maybe more of a success. :)
We are good at this? / We are good at this. Haha. :) The bubbles looked okay. There were some bubbles in the gelatin bubble itself. It was not so clear and transparent as in the videos. Maybe they look a little dirty, but they're not -- it's just gelatin and water. Haha. :) On the other hand, because it was kind of hazy looking, it looked like it really was snowing in the snow globe. :)
I already had gelatin powder around. I did learn that gelatin sheets will generally result in more transparent bubbles or transparent final product whatever you are making (see link). In some of the YouTube videos I've seen, they use gelatin sheets for this because of the more transparent nature. It's something I may think about going forward with art projects.
I wanted my gelatin bubble for the snow globe to be thin like my first batch of Bubblepop Electric Cupcakes, so I knew I needed to add more water into the gelatin mixture in the next attempt.
Wednesday December 11, 2019/Thursday, December 12, 2019, Attempt #2:
Because I wanted a thinner snow globe, I added a lot more water to the gelatin powder. For this batch, I added 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water for 2 packets.
RESULT: Fail! :)
We are good at this? They were so thin that it was like plastic wrap and wouldn't come off the balloon. It was kind of cool to watch. When I popped the balloon, the gelatin would shrivel up with the balloon and get crinkled. However, it didn't work as a snow globe. Another attempt was needed.
Thursday December 12, 2019/Saturday, December 14, 2019, Attempt #3:
For this batch, I added less water than Attempt #2: 8 tablespoons of water for 3 packets. There isn't a reason that I left them for 48 hours instead of 24 hours. I just kind of forgot to cut them off the balloons on 12/13/19.
RESULT: Success. :)
We are good at this -- period, no exclamation point. Haha. :) This was the best ratio of water to gelatin powder I did. There was one snow globe that looked the best and most transparent -- the one featured in the thumbnail. There are some more photos below.
There are still some bubbles in the snow globe. While the videos I saw for Snow Globe cupcakes were for the holidays, you can have snow globes with lots of things inside, so I'm going to try it again sometime and put something cute inside and work on the snow globe glass clarity. Maybe with gelatin sheets next time.
It is a super fun art / science project to do. Give it a try! We are good at this! :)