I've made these cupcakes several times now, and they're always a hit. They are especially fitting around St. Patrick's Day. Take one bite, and enjoy the revealed rainbow. Share them at a gathering, and delight in the exclamations of surprise.
What you'll need:
Box of vanilla cake mix and ingredients to make boxed mix
Large drinking cup
Plastic storage bags - 6 sandwich or quart-sized and 1 quart or gallon-sized
Food coloring - I had the gel variety on-hand. It gets measured in drops, but oozes out in globs.
Cupcake liners and tins
Old credit card or gift card
Can of vanilla frosting
Icing tip and decorating bag (optional)
Mix the batter.
Step 1: Prepare the cake batter as directed. If you have directions for an egg white alternative, preparing the cake with no yoke to maintain the white color is not necessary as all of the batter will be dyed.
Step 2: Take a plastic bag and place it on the cup like a trash bag goes into a trash can: flip the top inside out over the edge, as shown.
Step 3: Ladle 1/6 of the batter into the sandwich bag.
Step 4: Add the food coloring. I used the following ratios:
Red: 9 drops of red
Orange: 6 drops of yellow + 2 drops of red
Yellow: 6 drops of yellow
Green: 3 drops of green + 1 drop of yellow
Blue: 4 drops of blue
Purple: 3 drops of blue + 3 drops of red
Step 5: Seal the bag completely, and mush to mix. This works better when less air is in the bag.
Step 6: Repeat with the remaining batter making 5 more colors.
Fill the cupcake tins.
Step 7: Place the cupcake liners into the cupcake tins. You can spread the batter over 24 cupcakes, but making 18-21 produces more normal-sized cupcakes.
Step 8: Take the purple bag of batter and cut off a small corner of the bag.
Step 9: Pipe the batter into the liners so that each cupcake receives an even amount of batter. When the batter gets stuck at the top of the bag, lay it flat and use the credit card to push the batter toward the tip.
Tip: I always pipe cupcake batter into the liners. It's much easier, faster, and cleaner.
Step 10: Repeat with the remaining colors working in reverse-rainbow order.
Bake the cupcakes.
Step 11: Bake as directed, remembering to follow the baking time recommended for cupcakes. The cupcakes are cooked through when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
Step 12: Remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool completely.
Frost the cupcakes.
Step 13: If using an icing tip, cut off the corner of the bag and insert the tip. Alternatively, you can prepare a decorating bag.
Step 14: Spoon the frosting into the quart-sized bag (and cut off the corner). I've tried the popular Pinterest trick of whipping the frosting prior to using to make it fluffy and go further. I've noticed absolutely no difference, but maybe that's just me...
Step 15: Frost the cupcakes. Try to avoid letting air into the tip; you can see the resulting blow-out/break in the piping in the pictures.
Step 16: Add sprinkles to the cupcakes.
Step 17: Enjoy!
Note: For some reason, the colors in this batch of cupcakes did not layer as well as they have in my past batches. Perhaps this was due to the batter mixing up runnier than usual. Anyhow, I have included a picture of a cupcake from one of my previous batches that shows the nice layering effect.
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