Blood in the Water Cupcakes

by Jennifer on August 17, 2012

in Awesome Treats, Cupcakes, Shark Week Desserts, Summer Desserts

Shark Week wouldn’t be complete without gummy sharks.

It was serendipitous that one of the designers on Project Runway used gummy sharks for her dress’ collar a couple weeks ago.

It was meant to be.

So, once Shark Week rolled around, I went on the hunt. Luckily, we have a little hole in the wall candy store that sells all kinds of weird sweet treats, like gummy rats and bacon candy bars. I figured that if I was going to find gummy sharks anywhere in town, it would be this place.

My husband and I arrived and split up, figuring it would go faster if we separated. Ok, not really – he went in search of his own sweet snack while I made a beeline for the bagged gummy candy. I found a section of just gummy fish – I didn’t know there were so many kinds! But, no gummy sharks. My husband joined me with his own treat in hand and hadn’t had any luck either. Whether that was because he was busy picking out his candy remains to be seen.

Finally, I noticed some kind of blue gummy in the bulk candy section. But, it said gummy dolphins. Gummy dolphins simply won’t do.

Then, I took a closer look. Some of the gummies looked bluer than others. That’s when I noticed that the original label had been covered up…it had said “Gummy Sharks.” Dread set in…they mixed the gummy sharks with the gummy dolphins.


I told the young, sour-faced girl behind the counter that I would like a couple gummy sharks, but not the dolphins. She replied that they looked the same to her. Since, at that point, I did not trust her ability to distinguish sharks from dolphins, I had to watch carefully as she bagged them, correctly her as politely as I could when she grabbed a dolphin by mistake.

And that’s why the surly teenage girl at the candy store hates me.

But, I got my gummy sharks. That is all that matters.

These cupcakes are trouble…Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with B and that stands for blood! Sorry, too much?

Blood in the Water Cupcakes

Makes 12-16 cupcakes


  • Your favorite light colored cake batter (or a box cake mix). White and yellow cake recipes would work well.
  • 16 ounces canned, white frosting, or your favorite buttercream recipe
  • Red and blue paste or gel food coloring (violet is optional)
  • A pastry bag and a 1M tip
  • A small paintbrush
  • Cupcake liners (I used blue)
  • Gummy sharks, optional

1. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners. Mix up your cake batter. Make sure you have everything you need, or you may end up 2 eggs short and have to use Pepsi Next instead. True story.

Set aside about 1/4 to 1/6 of the batter into a smaller bowl.

2. Dye the smaller amount of batter red. Dye the larger bowl of batter blue. I actually used a mixture of royal blue, electric blue, and a little bit of violet, but just blue will work too.

3. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, put a small amount of blue batter in the bottom of the cupcake liner.

Add a little bit of red batter, making sure that it isn’t just one cohesive blob. You want it to look like “ribbons” of blood, so you want it to look a little something like this:

Add more blue batter until about 3/4 full. Using a butter knife, swirl the knife through the batter once or twice.

You don’t want to do this too much or your red batter will just mix with the blue, becoming purple! Less is more here.

Bake according to your individual recipe’s instructions.

4. While the cupcakes are cooling, dye your frosting blue. Feel free to be a lazy mixer – the marbled effect makes it look more realistic.

5. Place a pastry bag fitted with a 1M tip into a tall glass.

Put some red food coloring in a small bowl, or on a paper towel if none of your little bowls are clean. Not that I would know anything about that. **cough**

6. Take a small paintbrush and paint a couple stripes of red food color into the inside of the pastry bag (this is a great tip for pretty, candy cane meringues for Christmas!).

7. Spoon your blue frosting into the pastry bag. Frost cupcakes once they are cool. It will create a marbling effect, but keep in mind that it will be purplish, not a super red color. For a bright red, you may want to use two different colored frostings a la my star spangled cupcakes.

8. If you want to add a fun touch, cut off the tail of a gummy shark and place it directly in the middle of a frosted cupcake.




Leave a Comment

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Morgan August 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

Oh I think I am going to need to make these for my husbands birthday! He’s a big shark fan :)


2 Jennifer August 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

Awesome! Get the gummy sharks if you can – so fun :)


3 Carrie's Creations August 17, 2012 at 11:32 am

so cool! your blue is bluer than blue, i love it! i’m also cracking up about the candy store story. my husband would do the exact same thing as yours, and i would do the exact same thing as you – how DARE they mix sharks and dolphins!?


4 Jennifer August 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I know, seriously! There is a major difference, especially when it is Shark Week :)


5 susie August 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

these are amazing, the cake cracks me up….I loved the Project Runway dress..if there are chefs or sewers competing, I’m all in. And I am a little curious about the Pepsi Next…do they still make that? And does the Joy of Cooking consider that a suitable replacement for 2 eggs???? Did it really work? Love your creativity!


6 Jennifer August 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Hi Susie! I’m so glad you liked my silly cupcakes :)

Pepsi Next is still around! Is it an older drink? I don’t even know…my husband is the soda drinker, not I :) And, you can definitely use soda when making a box mix cake. It is not ideal and they won’t be as yummy, but it worked in my emergency! For any 18 ounce box cake mix, add 12 ounces of soda instead of the eggs, oil, and water. Mix and bake as usual :)


7 Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings August 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Love that you watched her separate out the gummy sharks :) I’m sure she loved you and can’t wait for you to come back!


8 Jennifer August 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I know…luckily, I don’t normally buy candy that I have to ask them to package, so I probably won’t have to bother her again…probably :)


9 Mike August 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Such a unique idea! I love the bloody surprise! haha


10 Jennifer August 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Thanks so much, Mike! :)


11 Janet Reid August 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

If I had an oven I would bake these.


12 Jennifer August 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

Thanks, Janet!


13 Kristina (paddle attachment) August 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Fantastic! I love the deep blue marbled frosting and the “blood.” It reminds me of that other shark flick, “Open Water” from 2003…. Also a fellow PR fan. Who says it’s jumped the shark?


14 Jennifer August 20, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Yes, I remember that movie! Very creepy, though Jaws will always be the greatest shark movie ever :)


15 irma August 23, 2012 at 9:15 am

Woow! i think they are amazing! Defenitly on my list ”to bake” ! :D


16 Jennifer August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am

Thanks, Irma! I’m so glad you like them :)


17 Christa August 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm

These cupcakes look great and also I had to laugh because in your most recent post you talk about your love for musicals and in the musical Legally Blonde one of the songs has a line called “Blood in the Water” for a second I thought you were paying homage to musicals again!


18 Jennifer August 27, 2012 at 7:21 am

Haha, really? I love that movie, but I don’t know much about the musical. Totally a shame! I need to check it out :)

And – lawyers and sharks – I can see the correlation ;)


19 Christa August 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I’ve never seen the Musical but I do have the soundtrack and I may or may not know it by heart!

And that’s exactly where the song comes into play about being a shark in the courtroom!


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