Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes

A close friend of mine has been requesting some rainbow cupcakes for well over a year now, so I finally gave in and made them for her. As pretty as these turned out though, I'll have to admit that I don't plan on doing these again for quite some time, as it is very time consuming. And if you're semi-OCD like me, it could require a lot of patience as well as a steady hand. I mixed up and dyed the batter in no time, but filling the cups and spreading out all the colors took days. Okay, not really, more like 5 to 15 minutes per color. But because my batter is a little more thick, it took a little more elbow grease and careful spoon maneuvering to get the colors to spread out.

If you're not OCD like me though, you can always just spoon the batter in without spreading it out first and they'll still come out nicely!

Happy 2012!

The Ingredients (makes about 2 dozen): 
For the cupcakes:
-3 1/2 cups flour
-1 tbsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt

-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
-2 cups sugar
-2 tbsp vegetable oil
-4 eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup milk

-assorted food coloring (I used gel)
For the frosting:
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup vegetable shortening
-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
-1 tsp vanilla extract

The Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your cupcake pan(s).
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
3. In your mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Then add in the vanilla and oil, mixing well.
4. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet, mix until combined, then add 1/2 the milk. Repeat until you run out of both. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl between each addition, especially after the dry, to ensure everything is mixed in.
5. Divide the batter into 6 bowls/cups and add the food coloring until desired color is reached. I divided the batter evenly, but upon filling the cupcake liners, I realized I should've divided it so that my bottom color would have the least amount of batter and my top color would have the most since I wanted to spread out each color to the edges of the liners.
I reused some plastic cups from a coffee shop I frequent so I didn't have to worry about the dyes staining my dishes
6. Fill cupcake papers and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even baking.
7. Cream the butter and shortening together. Then slowly add the sugar and follow with the extract. This can also be dyed with the food colors, if desired.
8. Consume and enjoy!