With Hurricane Sandy approaching, I thought it might be a good idea (while we have power) to post about these rainbow cupcakes. I’m not sure that there will be a rainbow after Sandy, but you can make your own with these cupcakes!
I made these cakes for a Girl Scout Ceremony where a troop was bridging from Cadettes to Seniors. As a result, they get a rainbow-bridge patch to signify their “bridging”.
I used light color liners so that the colors would show through. If I had to do this again, I would omit the white swirl in the rainbow and keep it to only colors. The addition of the white swirl made it look more like paintball or graffiti cupcakes instead of a true rainbow.
I used Duff Electric Color Gels that my Mom gave me as a gift a while back. Because they are “electric” colors, they are a bit off compared to primary colors which are much deeper. For the red, orange, and yellow I used Williams-Sonoma Vivid Food Pastes. If you don’t want dyed skin, wear gloves. I didn’t care so ended up with rainbow fingers.
Mixing the food coloring into the batter was tricky because of the cake recipe I chose. I used the simplest White Layer Cake recipe I could find from Martha Stewart and I did not like the taste or process at all. I was wondering why everyone that made rainbow cakes started with a box mix; I figured that making a white mix from scratch and then coloring it 7 different colors and then swirling it wouldn’t add too many steps. Sadly, the cake I picked required folding in of egg whites at the end which just made it bake weird. The worst thing? After baking it tasted like box mix!
But, these cupcakes weren’t really about taste. It was about presentation. I went to a local drugstore and picked up some rainbow strips and mini-marshmallows. I dyed a simple cream cheese frosting blue to simulate the sky and cut the strips. You’d think that over 8 feet of rainbow strips would be enough, but I ran out and soon had to improvise. I cut some mini-marshmallows in half and fashioned hearts out of them. I had to cut all the mini-marshmallows in half anyways because un-cut they would not cooperate with the cupcake tops.
This was also my first time ever making cake push pops! I bought the containers from The Baker’s Kitchen, but am not sure I would buy them again in hindsight. At over $1 a piece, you better believe I was going around to all the kids and collecting them for wash and re-use.
To make these cakes, I made one 9″ cake by dropping in white and colored batter and swirling it together. After baking and cooling, I cut it in half. Some of the cake was overdone and some was still gummy. This was probably because of the pockets of egg whites that the recipe had me fold in. I then used a 1⅞” cutter to cut rounds of cooked cake, plopped them in, and layered with icing.
I tried to keep the icing to a ring just around the outside of the cake when layering because I did not want them to get too sweet. Since the main audience for these cakes was children, I didn’t fret too much over the disappointing flavor of the cake. I made extra for my office, which unfortunately, has been spoiled by the quality of my previous baked goods.
Everyone loved the novelty of the push-pops and asked where they were purchased from. My home, silly!