Magical Mirror Glaze Recipe

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Can you see your reflection in the glaze?

Challenge level: 3
Allergen alerts: dairy
Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling
Yield: around 2 cups

The secret to a shiny glaze is in the temperature. Drizzle this dazzling reflective frosting onto cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or frozen chocolate mousse.


  • Water
  • 1 cup chopped white baking chocolate containing cocoa butter (around 6 ounces, or 175 g)
  • 1 package (2.5 teaspoons [7g]) gelatin
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (80 ml) condensed milk
  • Food coloring, as desired
  • Frozen cake, cupcakes, cookies, or mousse to be glazed


  • Baking sheet
  • Hand blender (immersion blender)
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Saucepan with heavy bottom
  • Small bowls
  • Stove


Add gelatin to 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water and let it sit for 5 minutes or more.

Add the gelatin to water.

Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil. (Adult supervision required.)

When the sugar, corn syrup, and water form a clear syrup, remove them from the heat and stir in the gelatin.

Once the gelatin is dissolved, add the white chocolate, stir, and let the mixture sit for 1 minute.

Blend the chocolate into the gelatin solution.

Stir in 1/2 cup condensed milk and blend the mixture until you have a smooth, shiny mirror glaze.

Divide the mixture into three or four small bowls and use food coloring to create the mirror glaze palette you desire.

Cool and add food coloring.

Check the temperature in each bowl. When they have cooled to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius), remove the desserts you want to glaze from the freezer and set them on small bowls or upside-down muffin tins centered over a baking sheet.

Pour the mirror glaze over the desserts, coating them well. Use a different color to drizzle design.

Left: Pour over frozen pre-frosted cupcakes, cake, or mousse. Right: You can drizzle on details.

When you’re done, put the desserts in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 1-2 hours to harden the glaze.

Present your culinary creation.

The Science Behind the Food:

  • When gelatin is melted in water and cools, it forms a gel. Scientists call this gel a colloid, and it can refract and reflect light in an interesting way.
  • The word refraction refers to the way light changes speed and direction when it moves through different transparent materials, such as air, oil, water, and even gelatin.
  • When light waves hit the gelatin in mirror glaze, they are bent and reflected in a way that gives the glaze a glossy, reflective appearance.

Create and Combine:

  • Coat cupcakes, mousse or layer cakes with mirror glaze.

Safety Tips and Hints:

  • Adult supervision is required for boiling the sugar and corn syrup mixture.
  • Cake, cupcakes, and cookies should be coated with frosting and frozen before pouring mirror glaze.
  • Mousse can be frozen in silicone pans and set on top of a small container for glazing.
  • Put a baking sheet under whatever you glaze, or you’ll have a mess on your hands.

More from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids:

Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Mouth-Watering Recipes and the Everyday Science That Makes Them Taste Amazing gives you 52 delicious ways to explore food science in your own kitchen by making everything from healthy homemade snacks to scrumptious main dishes and mind-boggling desserts. When you step into your kitchen to cook or bake, you put science to work. Physics and chemistry come into play each time you simmer, steam, bake, freeze, boil, puree, saute, or ferment food. Knowing something about the physics, biology, and chemistry of food will give you the basic tools to be the best chef you can be. The “Science Behind the Food” section included with each recipe will help you understand the science concepts and nutrition behind the ingredients.

Reprinted with permission from Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Mouth-Watering Recipes and the Everyday Science That Makes Them Taste Amazing by Liz Lee Heinecke and published by Quarry Books, 2019.