Making Cupcake Candles


I have no reasonable excuse for why I’m making cupcake candles when I should be making holiday gifts and baking cookies, but I was in the midst of a container candle-palooza when I got bored with container candles and wanted to do something more creative. I’ve been wanting to try cupcake candles ever since I made a cake candle a while back. Cupcake candles use the same method for the frosting. (Whipping the partially-cooled wax.)

To make cupcake candles, start with paper cupcake liners. Double-line a cupcake/muffin pan, two paper liners per hole. (Two liners gives added strength for the hot wax.)

Melt and dye your wax. I’ve been using a lot of soy blend wax lately–and I love it–but soy wax is a little soft. (Great for container candles, not so great for stand-alone candles.) For these cupcake candles, I used a mix of regular container wax and pillar wax. (You don’t have to buy pillar wax. I don’t. I buy those cheap-cheap-cheap sets of holiday pillars you can find on sale at this time of the year in discount stores and re-melt them. If you get them cheap enough, it’s less expensive than buying pillar wax.) The pillar I used was already a light brown. I added more brown dye (a LOT of it) and a little bit of blue dye. Brown + blue = black. I was going for a dark, rich chocolaty brown.

I test and test until I get the color right–wax sets up lighter than it looks in the pot. You can tell a little bit by the utensil you’re using to stir your pot, but I also keep a “test” jar around and pour a little into it to really get a good look at the color before I pour my candles.

When I was satisfied I had the chocolaty look I was going for, I added some “vanilla crunch” fragrance oil (because I had it from my free stash) and poured the cupcakes.

I filled the cupcake liners almost to the top but not quite.

Notice I haven’t put any wicks in there. Yet.

There’s nothing to affix a wick to since I’ll be removing the liners. To put a wick in the cupcakes, wait until it starts halfway setting up then just poke the wick in there.

We’re not worried about how the top looks. We’re going to frost it anyway.

Within about 30 minutes they’d set up enough that I could start loosening the liners then removing them. See the pattern left behind by the liner?


Leave the candles alone for an hour or two to let them completely set up. While I was waiting, I made some “apple pie” scented container candles. I used red dye mixed with a bit of brown to deepen the color. I had twice as much scent as necessary and made them really strong.

Back to the cupcake candles…. Melt the wax for your frosting. I used the soy blend container wax for this part. I wanted creamy white frosting, so I didn’t add any dye. Once the wax is melted, remove the pot from the heat and let partially cool. Add fragrance oil before it cools too much. When you see a “skin” starting to form on the top of the melted wax, it’s ready. Whip it with a wire whisk. The wax beneath the skin will still look clear and melted, but when you whip it, it will thicken up–-just like real frosting.

Once the wax reaches a workable consistency (similar to frosting) use a spoon to scoop it out of the pot and scrape it off the spoon with a knife, transferring the wax to the tops of the cupcakes. Work quickly–the wax will harden quickly once you take it out of the pot. You can only do one or two cupcakes at a time.

Spread the wax with a knife.

The “candy sprinkles” on top are bits of wax I had been scraping out of a jar to recycle the candle.

If your frosting hardens up past a workable consistency, just melt, cool, and whip it up again to finish.

Morgan didn’t even give me the “whatever keeps you busy” line. She just snatched one up and made off with it.

(She didn’t really try to eat it. But she did take it to her room.)

I had so much fun making these.

I think tomorrow I’m going to make some cheese enchilada candles!


P.S. I have a bunch of candlemaking posts here with how-to’s, tips, and fun ideas.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 2, 2010  

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33 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 12-2

    The cupcake candles are adorable!!!!!! :fairy:

  2. 12-2

    Morgans’ way of saying ‘good job mom-really cute’.
    and I think we will all agree on that.

  3. 12-2

    How cute! My girls and I will have to give these a go. Thanks for another cool idea, Suzanne!

  4. 12-2

    Those look good enough to eat! I think these would be amazing holiday gifts too.

  5. 12-2

    Very cute…looks like a lot of work, but VERY cute!
    When I saw the title of this post for some reason I thought it was going to be about those skinny birthday cake candles & thought ‘how is she going to do that?!?’ Now I wanna know, how would one do that?
    I made up that chocolate cookie dough yesterday & can’t wait to get home from work & play with it later today…those looked beautiful!

  6. 12-2

    Super adorable! I really like how you can see the lines of the cupcake paper.

    It almost looks like you are a candle manufacturer! LOL!

  7. 12-2

    WOW I’m coming to your house for a craft day. LOL Those cupcake candles are so cute.

  8. 12-2

    Don’t we all *wish* we were on your Christmas list! :D These are too cute and they do look good enough to eat! :eating:

  9. 12-2

    Don’t leave them on the counter or they may get eaten! Love these!

  10. 12-2

    :lol: Those are the cutest candles ever! I cracked up when I saw the picture of Morgan with one almost in her mouth, and the cheesy enchilada candles…LOL…I needed that good laugh this morning :lol:

  11. 12-2

    Every time I log on here you are always making something else! Just trying to keep up with you is making me tired :) I don’t know how you do it all! You totally amaze me! These are great!!! Now I want to get into candle making :)

  12. 12-2

    Those turned out really great! Anybody would love this as a gift!

  13. 12-2

    those are absolutely adorable!!

  14. 12-2

    Working your candle magic, for sure. Yum!

  15. 12-2

    I thought the sprinkles were BACON!! :lol:

  16. 12-2

    My husband is a junk food junkie and I showed him the picture of the close-up of the candle and said “look at this honey” and he said “oh that looks goooooooood…make those!” Then I told him they were candles! :D

  17. 12-2

    Morgan’s a mess. Great job. Luv the way they look.

  18. 12-2

    Ah, HA! That’s what she was doing. S. is so(!) productive!! (And, full of surprises.) WOW, Suzanne. :hug:

  19. 12-2

    Love the cupcake candles! Makes me want to try my hand at candle making!

  20. 12-2

    When you make more cupcake candles use the colorful little sprinkles that you used on your Christmas tree cookies…that would be really cute!

  21. 12-2

    Unfortunately for me they look so good, I want a cupcake.
    Really they are so cute.

  22. 12-2

    OK got a crazy question. I went and bought some candle dye to make candles, BUT (keep in mind this is my first time) I made the mistake of only buying one color…can I use food coloring? Would it work or just dissipate? I am just trying to keep myself from going back to the store, its about 30 miles away and I know I will find “something” else that I HAVE to have!

  23. 12-2

    mammaleigh–I’ve used crayons to color the wax. You have to experiment with colors and amounts to get the look you want. Maybe you have some broken crayons around the house.

  24. 12-2

    Oh with a 2 year old and a 9 year old I have PLENTY!! Thanks I will give that a try, the dollar store is less then 5 mins from me.

  25. 12-2

    mamaleigh, I don’t know, I’ve never tried food dye in candle wax. If you want to try that, I’d do it with a small amount of wax to experiment. I’ve heard of the idea of using crayons! Or you could order online!

  26. 12-2

    I think I am going to give the crayons a try, They are a endless supply here so….why not use what you have! Thank you so much for the help!

  27. 12-2

    So cute! I’ve been loving all the candle pictures and stories you’ve been posting lately. :happyflower:

  28. 12-4

    I was just wondering if REAL sprinkles would work on the top of the cuppy cake? Hmmm! An Amish store I know of sells sprinkles in bulk, and wouldn’t that be so cute on top? (Not that I don’t like your sprinkles, they’re pretty, too! You are such a clever person!

  29. 12-4

    Joni, in case someone decided to burn the cupcake candle, it all needs to be wax!

  30. 12-7

    How I love your candle posts!! Your striped candles look great. Do you have a good source for scents and dyes? I ordered wicks from ebay, although I wasn’t sure which type, and cannot wait to make some! The cupcakes look so real. Keep making candles, you inspire me everyday with your energy! Thank you. :happyflower:

  31. 12-7

    Shabbysewer, I’ve been ordering from Wellington Fragrance.

    Thank you!

  32. 12-16

    Thank You for sharing!

  33. 1-3

    When we were kids (a long time ago) we would buy boxes of canning wax. We would take four of the blocks for a candle and melt the 5th one. We used butcher string dipped in the melted wax for a wick. The wick was but between 2 blocks along with some of the melted wax to hold it together. We added the 2 other blocks the same way. Then we would color the remaining melted wax, whip it up and pile it on the candle.

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