For my son, Evan's 7th birthday I made rainbow cupcakes, requested by him to be just like the ones made by our good friend Jessica for her daughter, Luna's 5th birthday. Although it's nothing new, many of my friends asked how to make them, and since it's pretty easy, I decided to put this up.
box of white cake mix or gluten-free cake mix
vegetable or canola oil
food coloring or food gel (I used Wiltons)
frosting or whipped cream*
topping such as sprinkles
3 egg whites (or however many your mix requires)
toothpicks (for testing cupcake readiness in oven)
• Preheat oven as per your mix directions.
• Mix cake mix, egg whites, oil and water until you get the lumps out. I don't have a mixer, so we did it by hand, no problem... Okay, truth: my parents came in town for Evan's birthday, so my mom actually did the mixing while I was the colorist. :) It's a job, really!
• Evenly separate the batch into 6 different bowls and use 6 different spoons for each bowl.
• Use the coloring gel to create each color of the rainbow. My kids remember with ROY G BIV.
I didn't have a Red, yet didn't want to end up pastel-y Pink. So, I deepened the pink with a touch of blue, then brightened it back up with a bit of orange and yellow. Essentially I experimented.
With the cupcake liners in place in the cupcake tin, start with a teaspoon-ish of purple on the bottom, then layer each color after in reverse order: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and finish with red on top. Don't start out with too much, because your first couple of layers deceptively look nowhere near the top - and you only want it about 3/4 full once you get to red. I pat/spread each layer down a little because I wanted a flat layered effect. But, you could also swirl it for a more tie-dye effect. Fun, too!
• Place them in the oven as per the temperature and time that the your particular brand calls for.
• Test with toothpick for readiness. The toothpick should come out clean, no batter attached. Then ready to cool!
• Then decorate away!
*when using whipped cream, make sure to top it right before eating, since it melts immediately. (I learned the hard way and redid it before the kids ate it. But, it ended up being like a show with all of the kids crowded around the table in anticipation. So, we didn't have to stop the kids' fun as they naturally gravitated towards the sound of whipped cream spraying and it turned out to be a fun way to go!)
Also, for those looking for non-dairy versions, I used this frosting for our gluten-free / dairy-free cupcakes - just note that they contain soy. It was too sweet for me, but of course the kids loved it. 50 kids inhaled 50 cupcakes in 50 seconds. Literally.