Cupcakes with Hard Candy

Turn your favorite cupcakes into edible art when you top them with shards of colorful hard candy covered in sprinkles.


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Vanilla frosting
  • For the hard candy:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 3 3/4 cups white sugar
  • Pink gel food coloring
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon rose extract
  • Gold star sprinkles
  • Oil for cookie sheet


  1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Slowly add the water and beat on low speed, scraping down sides to make sure everything is mixed.
  5. Pour batter into cupcake liners until each is half full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Let cupcakes cool for 2 minutes then transfer to cooling rack until completely cool. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes in a flower shape.
  6. Make the hard candy: Cover a cookie sheet with foil then grease with oil.
  7. In a saucepan over medium heat, add water, corn syrup and sugar. Stir to combine. Place a candy thermometer in the pan. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved and mixture becomes clear, then stop stirring completely. Continue to heat mixture until it reaches 300 degrees, about 20 to 30 minutes total, then quickly stir in the rose extract and food coloring. Mixture will bubble up; continue to stir gently until bubbles decrease.
  8. Pour the mixture evenly onto the prepared cookie sheet. Before it cools, add desired sprinkles, pushing them into the candy with the back of a spoon if needed.
  9. Once candy has cooled completely (about 45 minutes), hit it with a hammer or rolling pin to break it into pieces. Place pieces on top of cupcakes, arranging in desired pattern.