Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Believe it or not, some of my favorite quotes come from buxom country gal, Dolly Parton. She once said, "If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain".

To take her quote literally, I'm done with the rain. And the cold. Give me the rainbow for crying out loud. What's going on with you Mother Nature? It's the middle of May! We should be basking in the sun, getting out patio furniture out from its long slumber in the shed, the flowers should be showing off their blossoms, and I should be able to crank the windows open, listening to the birds. Instead, I'm wearing wooly socks, long sleeves and drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to ward off the chill - not to mention getting serious cabin fever.

Since she couldn't be found for a comment, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own damn rainbows.

Rainbow cupcakes that is. These are very cute, super colorful, and a nice way to take my mind off the weather for a bit. Consider these little lovelies your sunshine, rainbow, and pot of gold all in one.

If you're waiting for Ms. Nature to send any of those gifts to you, you could be waiting a long time. 

I also think she may have stolen my garden gnome. 


You can certainly use a box cake mix for these as well. If you do, be sure to use a white cake mix. If you cannot find a white cake mix, no worries, you can still use golden or yellow cake mix, just be sure to use ONLY the whites of the eggs. The yolks will make it yellow and it will be difficult to get true colors.

½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla
1½ cup flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup buttermilk (You can substitute sour cream here as well)

Preheat oven 350ºF.

In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; set aside. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Add egg whites, beating well. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Using mixer, add flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two - beginning and ending with the flour.

Using a ladel, spoon exact amounts of batter into 6 cups.

Once that step is done, use food coloring to make desired shades. The bolder and deeper the color, the better.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with foil cupcake liners. (Mine are paper lined foil wrappers). Starting with purple (or blue if you choose to omit purple) carefully layer colors on top of each other, finishing with red. If you're a bit heavy handed, you can transfer colored batter into squeeze bottles. It will yield almost perfect layers.  

Bake cupcakes for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and it comes out clean. Don't worry if the colors bubble to the top. You can cover up any imperfections with frosting.

Allow to completely cool and frost cupcakes with desired frosting. I used a chocolate buttercream frosting.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING  - This recipe makes quite a lot of frosting, but you can freeze what you don't use.

½ cup shortening
½ cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
¾ cups cocoa, sifted
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Cream shortening, butter, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and cocoa on medium speed, scraping down bowl often. Add milk and corn syrup until light and fluffy.
Yield: 12 cupcakes.

Happy Baking!

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