Jello Shot Cupcakes

March 11, 2009 at 7:36 AM | Posted in crunkcakes, cupcakes | 107 Comments

I have 2 confessions.

(1) Me and strawberry jello shots were BFF in high school before he made me puke in my friend’s boyfriend’s car. We broke up that night.
(2) Apparently I don’t know how to make jello.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably read that I had a heck of a time making J-E-L-L-O over the weekend. Sounds easy enough. Just powder, boiling water, cold water and then set for 3-4 hours. You couldn’t get any more easier than that. Heck I even decided to play it safe and let it chill overnight.

But the next morning it was soup. Slushy jello soup.

Besides all the incoherent curse words I didn’t know what to say. I followed the directions. Even my husband can make jello. Let me repeat… my husband. That just makes my failure even more lame. Maybe I was too overconfident in my jello making abilities. What else could I do but try again? I couldn’t let the jello win. CB don’t play that.

So I drove back to the grocery store, picked up some more jello boxes and made my husband do round 2 while I watched with hawk eyes to see what I did wrong. He did the exact same thing! …and in 3 hours it was perfect and jiggly like jello should be. What gives?

You know who I blame? I blame the cheaper generic store brand that I bought the first time. Yeah that’s right! It certainly wasn’t the jello maker. No sirree bob.

Note to self: Buy Jello brand. Pay the extra $.13 per box. It’s worth it.

PS. Please check out the link to Food Librarian’s blog for AWESOME pictures of the broken glass jello garnish inspiration. Mine didn’t even come close to doing it justice.

PPS. Yes, I used a cake mix. So sue me. I needed easy after the heartbreaking jello fiasco but you could easily use your favorite scratch vanilla recipe too.

Recipe adapted from Food Librarian & Kraft Foods

Print this recipe

Makes about 24 cupcakes


For jello shot cupcakes
1 pkg. white cake mix
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) Jello Gelatin, any red flavor (I used strawberry)
1 cup Malibu coconut rum

For whipped cream
3 cups whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp granulated sugar

For “broken glass jello” garnish
4 small boxes (3 oz. each) of Jell-O (I used strawberry, blackberry, lime, lemon)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin


To make cupcakes—
Prepare cake batter and bake as directed per box for cupcakes.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full and bake for about 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and poke holes in the cupcakes with a fork or toothpick.

In a separate bowl, stir boiling water into jello powder until completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add rum. Spoon over cupcakes. (Don’t be shy with the jello. Be generous! 2-3-4 spoonfuls!) Let cool before frosting with whipped cream.

To make whipped cream—
Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on low until stiff peaks are formed. Change to medium speed and whisk until thick.

To make garnish—
Make jello per package instructions for each flavor. After chilling for 4 hours (or overnight), cut them into small blocks.

Carefully mix the blocks in a 9 x 13 pan. In a separate bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin into 1/2 cup cold water. After the gelatin blooms (thickens), add 1-1/2 cup boiling water and dissolve. Add condensed milk. Stir and cool. Pour cooled milk mixture over jello and chill overnight.

Cut into blocks and garnish on top of cupcakes.


Husband rating: A
Even though he has an aversion to alcohol, he loves coconut rum so I knew it was a winner when he said “now this is my kind of crunkcake”.

Wifey rating: A
Love the white cake with the mix of strawberry and coconut rum. Such a yummy flavor. Maybe next time I’ll make a strawberry-rum buttercream instead of whipped cream though but if you’re looking for a light frosting the whipped cream was very nice. The garnish was my favorite part though. So pretty and tasty!



  1. Awesome!! These are too cute! You can turn everything in the world into a very inspired cupcake! You rock!

  2. The cupcakes are adorable! If you hear me giggling over the jello misha, know that I’m giggling *with* you and not at yo… yeah, couldn’t keep a straight ace for that one.

  3. We have a half-used bottle of coconut rum in the cabinet, and neither of us will drink it. This might be just what I need! In fact, I think I have an unused box of red jello as well! Woohoo…someone’s baking cupcakes this weekend….

  4. Wow these look so beautiful and so super dleiciouos. Bookmaking these.

  5. If it makes you feel better, for a long time I couldn’t make a cake from a mix. The broken glass jello looks really neat! And these cupcakes sound delicious!

  6. Wow, these look awesome! Do you think coconut milk could be substituted for the rum? I just don’t do alcohol at all! :)

  7. What are you talking about? Those look amazing! Love the broken glass jello too – I don’t even like jello and I was thinking about making it thanks to Mary’s posts :)

  8. One shot for the jello. Two shots for you? Are you sure you weren’t drunk while you were making the jello? Hee hee. I just kidding. Those look a-w-e-s-o-m-e! Nothing like a crunkcake. I do agree with you about brand vs. non brand items. I made generic brownies once. They did not turn out so great. I bought Betty Crocker brand. Yea, trust Betty. She is your friend. :)

  9. holy malibu batman! i think i love you. not so much jello shots, but jello shot cuppycakes? yeah….love. thank you!!!

  10. You have taken Jello shots to a WHOLE new level… man I wish they tasted this good when I was … well at least what I remember.. they used pure grain alcohol.. Okay next up is cupcakes in tube? lol

  11. Yum they look great! And it is nice to hear that even the most talented of cupcake makers has some tough times in the kitchen too, makes us readers feel better! ;) Now I know what crunkcakes are – thanks!

  12. love these sooo much! You always have the most creative ideas!!

  13. Always blame generic brands when something goes wrong!! Don’t you hate it when something that should be so simple gets so complicated?! At least the Jell-O came together in the end, and these cupcakes turned out just preciously!! This story had quite the sweet ending!

  14. I need to send this to my cousins!! Seriously growing up there were jello shots at every family reunion (I was both too young and straight edge at that point so no partaking for me) But the rest of the family always loved them haha. I’m sending this now!

  15. It was your broken glass jello that inspired me! … so thank you! :)

  16. Yeah sure… “with” me right? What if I aint laughing?? hehe

  17. w00t w00t! Can’t wait to see what you think of them!

  18. Thank you for bookmarking. When (if) you make them, def let me know what you think!

  19. Ooohh cake mix? I am not sure who’s more lame – me or you? haha. I tease! I tease!

  20. Hmmm… good question. I would say any cold liquid could be added to the jello instead of rum but it might change the color slightly. Then again you might not wanna listen to me about making jello. HAHA. You could use 1 cup cold water instead of the rum if you don’t wanna do alcohol. But if you try it with coconut milk, let me know how it goes!

  21. You know what? I am not a huge jello person either but the broken glass has condensed milk with it and that makes me quite tasty (if you like condensed milk, of course).

  22. Who told you??? I may have partaken in some jello shots on the side. HAHA. Oh def. Betty knows best. ;)

  23. I love being loved. ;)

  24. Eeewww… pure grain alcohol. Here’s what you do. Get yourself some jello (not the store brand haha), boiling water, and Malibu coconut rum and make yourself some GOOD jello shots. Then call me and I’ll come over to help you taste test ;)

  25. Me talented? Aaaawww… Trust me. I make alot of mistakes but practice makes perfect right?

  26. Thank you!

  27. I hate when simple gets complicated but it’s definitely worthwhile in the end when complicated becomes simple again ;)

  28. You? straight edge?? HAHAHA. You so funny.

  29. I know I know! haha I partake in a drink now… still never smoked or done drugs though :)

    Ok my cousin wrote me back already

    “OMG this sounds wonderful! And Malibu Rum too…my favorite! I am definitely going to have to try these! Instead of the strawberry jello though I think I’m going to use cranberry as Malibu and Cranberry is my most favorite drink!”

  30. Uh… yeah… me either *looking innocent*

    Ooohhh… Malibu and cranberry would be a fabulous combo! Def let me know if you cousin makes it and what she thinks!

  31. That is too funny! What a great idea!! ha!

  32. OMG! Those totally ROCK!!

  33. I saw that jelly on Mary’s site as well and thought they looked fantastic!! I love them on top of your cupcakes

  34. Thanks J! I am kinda silly huh? But I think silly is good with cupcakes :)

  35. Thanks!

  36. Her’s turned out so much MORE amazing than mine. I think I didn’t let the condensed milk cool enough so when I poured it into the 9×13, the jello colors kinda melted so it wasnt perfectly pearly white like Mary’s.

  37. OMG I love Malibu! These cupcakes will be mine, all mine.

  38. I have a confession: My and jello shots are still BFFs. He;s my “drink” of choice! Lol

    And uh.. CB.. I think it might be user error with the store brand jello.. I make it all the time! :P :P Hehehehe *hug*

  39. *Me and

  40. Can’t go wrong with Malibu ;)

  41. Ok if we’re doing “real” confessions. Me and jello shots never broke up. FYI it was the store brand!! Not all store brands are created equal. What’s your store brand? ;)

  42. Hello! I just found your lovely site and this cupcake recipe looks really delicious!

    But I`ve got a small problem before I can start, because I`m a German and I don`t know what “oz” means.
    Example in your recipe: 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

    It would be so nice of you, if you could explain to me what hides behind the acronym. Thanks.

  43. I think these cupcakes look yummy and awesome. My BFF and I LOVE coconut rum. Her birthday is Thursday and I told her I would attempt these for her birthday! Thanks!

  44. Hi there! oz is just shorthand for ounce. Love to hear what you think if you make it! Any other questions, please ask!

  45. Happy (early) birthday to your BFF! Let me know what you (and her) think of the cupcakes. I love hearing reviews.

  46. Ok…these cupcakes are DANGEROUS! They turned out wonderfully and between the 2 of us we ate all of them! I wonder if you can get a hangover from cupcakes!

  47. made these today! They are to die for :)

  48. oh my these look so yummy! and the jello cubes look pretty! I would certainly try this but i’m on a losing streak with soaked cakes…they don’t look as good the next day as they sit in a pool of pure sugar/booze. ick. I’ll save this recipe anyways, maybe I’ll feel more daring. Or have more friends around to engulf within minutes.

  49. Awesome! I have yet to get a hangover from cupcakes so that’s definitely a perk! ;)

  50. Thanks for coming back and letting me know! Glad you enjoyed them :)

  51. I agree that I think these cupcakes are best eaten the day of but I did eat a couple the next day and they were still quite tasty. It could be the booze though. haha

  52. Big fan of the blog. Question: where do you get the cupcake liners that you use? Not the regular ones of course, but the sturdy looking white ones that you used in the jello shots pictures? Can you e-mail me the info?

  53. You got email!

  54. This recipe looks awesome! But I’m wondering why you didn’t make the garnish on top a Jello shot also? Too much you think?

  55. HAHA. I was thinking a jello shot garnish “might” be overkill but I certainly wouldn’t stop anyone from making that substitution in the recipe either ;)

  56. […] I’ve decided, this site is my new go-to for all things culinary. Little known fact, the author…she’s also the genuis mind that brought us the oh-so-delicious jello shot cupcakes. […]

  57. I had made these a week or so ago. WOW, everyone loved these! I don’t drink, but the cupcake part was not that bad alcohol wise. =]

  58. So glad to hear! It’s really not that alcohol-y. Just a little taste that tastes yummy with the jello :)

  59. […] I Heart Cupcakes has the recipe to end all recipes for your next shindig. […]

  60. hey! I was sooo excited to try this recipe. I just have one question. I just finished making them (and I mean just finished. they’re jello-d and cooling right now!) but I didn’t use all the jello/malibu. are you supposed to? I don’t want them to be soggy :\ help!

  61. Hello Kate, It’s ok if you wanna err on the side of caution by using less jello+mailbu. I made these a while ago but if my memory serves me correctly I think I did about 3-4 teaspoonfuls for each cupcake so I don’t remember having much leftover (if any) and mine weren’t soggy. Come back and let me know what you think of the cupcakes. HTH!

  62. Totally making these for my cousins 21st birthday party this weekend!! These are so perfect!

  63. I am definitely making these for my bf for Valentine’s Day! One question: How long can these stay stored? Can you freeze jello?

  64. I haven’t tried to freeze these cupcakes but in general I’ve frozen cupcakes for up to 1 month with great results. I’m not sure about the added jello though. Usually freezing jello isn’t recommended b/c when it thaws it gets chunky and mushy. But since there’s alcohol and very little per cupcake I think it would be ok. Come back and let me know how it goes!

  65. Wow these look awesome, doing cakes for my Presentation at college, these might just be on the menu :D

  66. Awesome Idea!!! Do you think you could use angel food cake cupcakes?

  67. I don’t see why not! If you make it, let me know how it turned out.

  68. So what exactly are you guys putting the garnish in to cool it doesnt say……

  69. I’m sorry! I don’t know if I understand your question. Are you asking where I put the cupcakes to cool? I leave them out until they reach room temperature. HTH.

  70. Where did you get the paper cup liners for the cupcakes?

  71. Hello Ruthanne, They are called party nut cups or souffle cups depending on where you buy them. I do not recommend buying the ones coated in wax. Just the paper cups. I buy mine at Smart&Final, 250 for $5. HTH!

  72. Ok, CB. I’m about to try this recipe…with a little variation. Instead of white cake I’m going with orange supreme. I picked up some cherry jello (illusion of grenadine) and I’m using pineapple rum… a Bahama Mama version. I’m going to use your icing and going with a jello shot jiggler as the garnish. By combining cherry, orange and pineapple jello with pineapple rum. Soooo, in your honest opinion, how do you think this will be? In my head it sounds pretty darn refreshing.

  73. Ok, CB. I’m about to try this recipe…with a little variation. Instead of white cake I’m going with orange supreme. I picked up some cherry jello (illusion of grenadine) and I’m using pineapple rum… a Bahama Mama version. I’m going to use your icing and going with a jello shot jiggler as the garnish. By combining cherry, orange and pineapple jello with pineapple rum. Soooo, in your honest opinion, how do you think this will be? In my head it sounds pretty darn refreshing.

  74. Hello Kathy! I love combining flavors (and a big fan of pineapple rum!) I say go for it. it sounds delish! Let me know how it turns out :)

  75. Um, um GOOD!!!!! It was fantastic, such a huge hit at my party! I am defiantly making these again….and according to my friends, more often than I think, lol. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  76. Awesome review! Will you share your recipe? I’m in the mood for some pineapple rum :)

  77. So i made these last night for a halloween party and they were a hit.! used strawberry jello with 99 bananas. everyone loved the garnish.

  78. Ok CB, I would be happy to share. As I stated I started out by using Orange Supreme cake mix and made my cupcakes according to package direction.
    When they came out of the oven I allowed them to cool for 10 -15 minutes before poking the holes in them. After the holes were done I mixed up my CHERRY jello by stir boiling water into jello powder until completely dissolved, about 2 minutes then added 1 cup of pineapple rum then I spooned the jello over cupcakes. I measured exactly 4 tbsp over each cupcake, and they were not soggy as some first timers might fear, as a matter of fact one more tblsp would not even make them soggy.
    I made my whipped cream icing as you instructed above but in addition I added….you guessed it a few more tblsp of pineapple rum…just for flavor.
    Now, as I said I made jello shot jigglers for on top of my cupcakes, you know those awesome jello squares we can eat with your fingers.
    To make those is super simple. Using a measuring cup, measure 2 1/4 cups of boiling water and dissolve 2 PACKAGES OF EACH FLAVOR – Orange, Cherry and Pineapple (all the 3 oz size), stirring for at least 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of of cold water and 1 cup of pineapple rum and stir well. Pour everything into a 9 x 13 inch pan and chill until the jello is set (at least 4 hours) though I made mine up the night before.

    The number of servings entirely depends on the size that you cut your jigglers – adjust as needed for your party. If you have extra, just go ahead and eat them up, no need to have them go to waste.

    Let me know if you like them

  79. Can you tell me for the jello shot garnish, you put all the different flavors of jello into one bowl – or 3 seperate? If it was one bowl, didn’t the color turn out brown? Just curious before I make these for a bachelorette party this weekend! Thanks for the recipe!

  80. Awesome!

  81. Hi Joanie. You make the 3 different flavors of jello into separate bowls to set overnight. Then you cut them up into cubes and combine them in a 9 x 13 pan. In a separate bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin into 1/2 cup cold water. After the gelatin blooms (thickens), add 1-1/2 cup boiling water and dissolve. Add condensed milk. Stir and cool. Pour cooled milk mixture over jello and chill overnight. After set them cut into cubes for garnish. Hope that makes sense!

  82. Joanie
    If you were referring to my recipe, I made jigglers, and yes I made all three flavors together in the same bowl. It doesn’t turn brown, it stayed red. When you mix the yellow (pineapple) and orange it makes red and you are just adding more red with the cherry.

  83. Thanks to you both! Looks like I need to take another look at a color wheel :) Appreciate the help!

  84. Hi, what is your twitter name?? I am going to attempt to make these for a party on Friday.

  85. These sound soooo good! Though I wonder if you would get more of the rum topping taste if you cut a hole in the top of the cupcake (as if you were filling it with creme) and letting it absorb into the center of the cake? Then you could put the cut-out piece back on, spoon some more over the top, and then frost it. Makes me think you would get a more consistent mouthful of alcohol throughout the cake. :)

  86. OH MY GOSH… Absolutely am going to HAVE to make these for my Malibu loving friends… hell… i’m just going to make them for me… i have 3-4 months to get back in shape, right??
    On top however, I think i will put a ‘drunk gummy bear’ (saved under my ‘drink recipes’ board…. i believe)

    *instead of vodka for the drunk gummy…i will use rum….yum

  87. has anyone tried this with mini muffin tins? i’m thinking that if they are made mini, you could eat a few of them, more like a shot?

  88. These look amazing! Do you have an recipe recommendations for the strawberry-rum buttercream?

  89. You are hilarious! Fun to read and what a great-sounding recipe. I found my way here from Pinterest.

    Maybe your husband can give you some Jello pointers.

    Don’t feel bad– there was a time in my marriage where I couldn’t make rice without a special microwave steamer. Even my husband (who has maybe cooked dinner twice in all of our years together) could make it in any old pan. I now know how to make rice in a pot and have given away that steamer so there’s always hope. :)

  90. I made these kid of last minute today…love coconut rum and can’t wait to try them. I only got ingredients for cupcake and icing tho…didn’t see the garnish part in time. I’m a little confused about the garnish tho…can someone explain it a little more in detail? Like do I only use strawberry and the unflavored or get others? Any comments would be helpful?

  91. Can u use more than a cup of rum???….how much can u use??

  92. I wish I could see the pictures!!!

  93. OMG! These sound perfect! Five years ago a new tradition began for the Class of ’77 Rio Linda Knights. Instead of just celebrating our many years since graduation from High School we decided to invite all graduating classes from 1970 thru 1979. With each reunion since then the numbers have grown. At the 1st Annual all 70’s Reunion we started the tradition of Jello shots. We made a couple hundred with many variations in flavors and liquors. This was the only alcohol that was free for the attendees so naturally everyone wanted to have a few. Now picture this, a bunch of 48-58 yr. olds lovin on the jello shots. The shots have continued and now that same bunch are now 53-63 yr. olds and still wanting the jello shots! SOOOOOOOO me thinks this year I will have to make these cuppycakes with a jello shot on top!
    They, I am sure, will be a big hit!

  94. OMG!!! Yummm! I think I’ll try them both ways.

  95. […] you like Jello shots? How about cupcakes? What about Jello Shot Cupcakes? I Heart Cupcakes made Jello Shot Cupcakes from a cake mix, Jello, and rum (for those of age). […]

  96. I have been the go-to-girl for making Jello Shots in my group of friends. River trips, bunko nights, first (full) day of school for kids & moms get together to celebrate…you see where this is headed. One contributor to your Jello mishap might have been the bowl. Hard glastic, glass, and metal all make Jello set differently. Metal will make it sloppy, so AVOID MIXING IN METAL BOWLS. Also, I just made these and used a TURKEY BASTER to “spoon” the Jello over the cupcakes = no mess. Can’t wait to take a bite. Thanks for sharing the recipe and your imperfection in the kitchen. It’s inspiring for the rest of us.

  97. I am making right now an am super excited to try them out. I’m making a butter cream rum frosting to go on top.

  98. […] Cupcakes recipe adapted from […]

  99. Had an idea today to make ‘jello filled cupcakes’ and your recipe came up in google. Absolutely loved it, the coconut rum jello is awesome just on its own.. Only change I made was I found that the jello didn’t sink all the way through the cupcake so I filled the inside pocket of the cupcake with the left over set jello, did this with a long icing nozzle and used butter cream instead of fresh cream.. Turned out awesome.. THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE!

  100. Hello CB,
    You ROCK!!! My question to you is, Do you think if I add coconut shreds and your garnish on top, would it be too much? Also, can you taste the alcohol in it?
    Thank you for all of your awesome hard work <3

    XOXO – Ingrid

  101. Absolutely LOVE this idea! But I have one question, If I add rum to the garnish on top will it ruin them?! I don’t want to mess this up, my roommate loves cupcakes and jello shots so this recipe is perfect for her birthday!

  102. Do you think vodka will work or will it taste gross? I’m making these for a birthday gift and my friend is not a rum fan.

  103. […] I do have frozen vegetables to go with these meals. We will be somewhat healthy! I didn’t get to the Shrimp in a Ritz that was listed in last week’s post. And I forgot to post that I made Jalapeño Cream Cheese Crescent Roll Poppers, which were a huge hit! This week I’ll also be making Parmesan Wonton Crackers and Jello Shot Cupcakes. […]

  104. I just made these!! Outstanding!!! I’m having these at a party tonight, will the whipped cream frosting hold up for hours in the fridge?

  105. […] have to come up with dessert.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and.. it seemed perfect!  Jello Shot Cupcakes – Cupcakes / alcohol / whipped cream.. sounds like something I could do!  The recipe […]

  106. 2 cute

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: