Jello Shot Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 12-18 cupcakes


Jello Mosaic Topping

  • 3 (3-oz each) boxes favorite Jello flavors (varied colors)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 (3-oz each) packets unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk

Strawberry Rum Cupcakes

  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup strawberry puree (8-10 strawberries, hulled & blended)
  • ¼ cup coconut rum
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (12-14) finely-chopped fresh strawberries

Jello Shot Drizzle

  • 2 (3-oz each) boxes strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ½ cup coconut rum

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

  • 1½ sticks (¾ cup) butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup strawberries, hulled & sliced
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 lbs (7½ cups) powdered sugar


  • stand mixer with whisk attachment
  • cupcake tins and liners
  • 2-3 oz ice cream scoop
  • skewers
  • pastry bag & wide tip


Make Jello Mosaic Topping

  1. Add contents of 3 small boxes of Jello into 3 separate bowls
  2. Distribute 2 cups boiling water evenly among the 3 bowls (about ⅔ cup per bowl) and whisk to mix
  3. Refrigerate 3-4 hours
  4. Once Jello has been refrigerated for 3-4 hours, slice into cubes and spatula them into a larger glass dish, disbursing the colors evenly in the dish
  5. In a small bowl, sprinkle 3 small packages of unflavored gelatin over ½ cup of cold water until it "buds" or thickens. This will take 2-3 minutes
  6. Stir in 1 cup hot water until fully dissolved. Mix in sweetened condensed milk until fully uniform and smooth. Pour this mixture in and around the colorful Jello cubes and shake slightly to get the mixture between the colors
  7. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours or overnight

Mix Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, cream butter and brown sugar  on medium-low speed
  3. Beat in eggs but do not over-mix
  4. The batter may look curdled at this point, which is fine
  5. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt and blend well
  6. Mix in strawberry puree. If you cannot find strawberry puree for purchase, blend 8-10 hulled strawberries in a blender until smooth (you do not need to strain)
  7. Add coconut rum and blend until incorporated
  8. Add in the flour, ¼ - ½ cup at a time, until well blended.  Scrape down the bowl thoroughly and blend again to incorporate the scrapings
  9. Add strawberries and fold in with a spatula until berries are covered with batter

Scoop & Bake Cupcakes

  1. Distribute batter evenly into cupcake liners or into very well-greased and floured cupcake tins, filling approximately ⅔ - ¾ full
  2. Bake for 12-20 minutes.  They will be ready when they spring back upon a light poke to the surface.  If they stay indented, leave in the oven for 1-2 additional minutes until done
  3. Allow to cool completely

Add Jello Shot Drizzle

  1. Set cupcakes on a wire baking rack which is then set into a baking sheet to catch drippings
  2. Stab each cupcake 12-20 times with a skewer.  Do not poke through the paper liners
  3. Add contents of 2 boxes of red Jello to a bowl. Add 2 cups of boiling water and whisk to mix
  4. Drizzle about 2 tsp of the Jello mixture over the holes so that it seeps into the cakes
  5. Next, spoon 1 tsp coconut rum over the tops until moderately saturated
  6. Refrigerate cupcakes until the Jello has set, about 1 hour

Make Frosting

  1. Beat butter and strawberries until broken up
  2. Add in vanilla and salt while still blending on medium speed
  3. Add powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, mixing on low speed. Mixture will be thick enough to stand up on its own when the whisk is lifted.  This is a stiff frosting, and you may need more or less powdered sugar than listed, depending on the juiciness of the strawberries
  4. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip

Frost & Decorate

  1. Pipe a couple of rings of frosting around the circumference of each cupcake
  2. With a spoon, scoop rounds of the mosaic topping and place in the center of each cupcake
  3. Add cocktail umbrellas, or other tropical decorations (optional)
  4. Refrigerate until serving