In case you hadn’t heard, today is Saint Patrick’s Day, and in honor of the holiday, I decided to make rainbow cupcakes — something I’d pinned on Pinterest long ago.
My original idea was to make yellow cupcakes with white frosting, and then add an Airheads Xtreme to each in the form of a rainbow. Sadly, my plans were foiled when stores didn’t have any of the candy in stock. So, I turned to Pinterest. Rainbow cupcakes seemed like the next best thing.
I started with the vanilla cupcake recipe from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Joy of Vegan Baking. This cookbook has never steered me wrong, but the recipe apparently was going to make only 10-12 cupcakes. I wanted plenty, so I doubled the recipe. Then I went through the laborious process of finding containers big enough for the frosting and with no threat of food-coloring-stainage. I was successful in finding seven containers in all, one for each color of the rainbow. That process was probably the step that took the longest.
With my motley crew of plastic containers assembled, I roughly divided the batter. Very roughly. So roughly, in fact, that I ran out of colors at varying times during the process of actually creating the cupcakes, so not every cupcake is a rainbow. Some are … tie-dyed. You get the idea. Anyway, I got some great colors from the gel food coloring that I had on hand.
I did have a special find at the store — these parchment cupcake liners. I chose them because they claimed to be nonstick, and because there were 60 in the container and they were cheaper than the 32-count foil cupcake liners. In the end, they peeled away from the cupcakes very nicely (although I wouldn’t say they are absolutely nonstick, but #firstworldproblems, am I right?). And I’m glad I went with a 60-count package of liners, because doubling the recipe gave me 36 cupcakes. That’s three times the original recipe, and that’s even with some big honking cupcakes mixed in there. I was pleasantly surprised and left wondering if I had done the math correctly. They ended up tasting great, so no harm, no foul.
I’m a stickler for accuracy (except when I run out of red-colored cake batter and say screw it), so I made sure to add purple first, then blue – green – yellow – orange – red so that my cupcakes would truly resemble a rainbow. If you’ve read everything up to this point, you understand that I had good intentions that then devolved into making “good enough” cupcakes. That trend continues, if you were wondering.
You can see the gradual deprivation of red batter here. The cupcakes baked up beautifully. I waited FOREVER for them to cool, because I really wanted to frost them nicely. I did use good old Duncan Hines frosting because sometimes corners must be cut. I loaded up a “re-sealable plastic storage bag” with my frosting, cut off the tip, and began frosting. Or rather, I began shouting and scooping Duncan Hines frosting with my hands as the seam on the bag exploded. Best laid plans.
However, once I got a knife and spread the frosting around, and added a few green sprinkles, I had some pretty decent looking cupcakes.
I cut into it to check out the layers, and yes …
… pretty decent cupcakes. I plan on making these again — but I think I’ll splurge on pastry bags when I do.