Friday, May 6, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Want to know how I made the rainbow cupcakes from Wednesday's post? It's actually pretty easy. It takes extra time for mixing and splitting up the batter, but the results are totally worth it!

In case you'd like to give it a try, here's how I did it:

Supplies Needed
2 boxes white cake mix
Oil, eggs, water to make the cake mix
Large mixing bowl and spatula
Measuring cups and spoons
6 medium bowls
6 table spoons
Gel food coloring
Muffin/cupcake pan
Cupcake wrappers
Frosting, sprinkles, candy, etc for decorating
Cooling rack

I started out with the same method as I used for the rainbow birthday cake I posted about here.

Stop using the cake recipe after the batter is colored and get out your trusty muffin/cupcake pan and cupcake wrappers.

Using a table spoon--as in spoon from the table not a measuring spoon. You know, like this:

Okay, using the table spoons, scoop one color of batter gently on top of the next. Gently because you want the bottom layer to show on the bottom and not up the sides or on the top of the cupcake. You can't control how it bakes and it will do all kinds of cool tie-dye type things, but if you want it to resemble a rainbow then be careful when you layer the different colors of batter.

I like to do this part assembly line style filling one color at a time. It's monotonous but seems to make things go by a little bit faster. With that said, I can never resist the urge to make up just one with all the colors for fun. :) Try to resist. It's hard to do.

Don't be scared to fill the pan. 2/3 of the way full is what we're aiming for, but the more you add the bigger the cupcakes (generally speaking). I'm all for more cupcakes, so I say fill 'em up!

Once the pan is full, pop it in the oven for however long the box says to bake cupcakes. I generally like to check them at the earliest time listed on the box. That way I can pull them if they're done or give them another minute or few as needed. You can always cook them more, but you can't go back once they are over-cooked.

Slap some frosting and decoration on those babies and call them good!!

Other Things I Learned Along the Way
  • Use white cake mix. Yellow cake mix leaves the colors washed out looking. If you don't mind that then go for the yellow cake mix (or add the egg yolks to the white cake mix). If you want bright, vivid colors then use white cake mix. I learned this one the hard way, folks.
  • Use the cupcake wrappers. It will save you headache and heartache after you're done baking. For some reason, the batter is just a little more sticky than without the food coloring. It likes to stick to the pan. Another lesson learned the hard way over here.
  • If you want a rainbow, then pay attention to the order you are using for the colors. Even then, you may not get a rainbow. Baked goods are unpredictable like that. Just keep in mind that no matter what, you'll have a colorful result.
  • Don't add too much food coloring. You will be able to taste it. Just start with a few drops and keep adding until you have the color you want. The colors will get richer when baking, so if the red isn't red enough for you then bake a cupcake and see how it turns out. You may be surprised that the batter bakes up darker than it looks in the bowl.
  • Be prepared to share the recipe if you take this to parties or other events. Everybody loves a rainbow cupcake.
  • If you mess it up, who cares? Everybody loves a cupcake...even a weird colored one.
I found out recently that the Kaylah of the Dainty Squid also wrote a rainbow cupcake tutorial. I wish I'd seen it before my foray into rainbow cupcake baking. Actually, on second thought, I'm kind of happy I didn't see it first. We really enjoyed eating all the tester cupcakes before I found a method I liked best. Check out her tutorial for more tips!

If you bake them, please come back and share! I'd love to see your creations!

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