You know–a signature laugh, a signature walk, a signature lip color, a signature attitude… and yes, everyone has a signature.
I don’t really know what mine is.
In high school, it was my hair. I was notoriously known for my rainbow colored locks, amazing classmates left and right with my mermaid mane or my neon rainbow ‘do.
Secretly, my hackles rose a little when I’d spot an underclassman dye their hair hot pink or something… Was someone stealing my thunder?! Not that I owned the rights to dyeing ones hair crazy colors… but come on. My hair was ass-kicking, hair-murdering AWESOME. No lame pink streak could steal my thunder, even if that poor girl thought so.
My turquoise hair murdered her ass.
And I was fine with it.
But then that whole thing called ‘responsibility’ kicked in and I had to dye it normal for a job (read: boring). I had to forcefully give up my signature hair in favor of dress pants and paychecks, which, minus the dress pants part, was kind of worth it.
I was left to fend for a new identity, one which people could recognize me without my purple hair.
It became baking cupcakes.
Even without the cupcake tattoo proudly emblazoned on my right calf, I’m the Cupcake Queen. I reign supreme on these uncharted Internet waters, catching passersby in my web with my intriguing recipes and weird, irrelevant stories. I own these petite cakes!
And who would have thought one single cupcake recipe would dominate my cupcake life, both internet-wise and personal?! My Amazing Rainbow Cupcakes.
Ever since they graced the earth this past January, they’ve been the (proud) talk of the town ’round these parts. They’re the most viewed page on my blog, they’re consistently mentioned around my house as being craved, and they’re always reliable in impressing the hell out of family, friends, and fans.
I’m gonna have to call it here and now: my Amazing Rainbow Cupcakes are my signature. They’re my thing. And I couldn’t be happier.
Because of their immense (and rightful) popularity, it made complete sense to make them for my next video blog. What better way to make more friends by making them cupcakes… made of rainbows… with rainbow frosting… and sprinkles?
Without further adieu, I present to you, my pride and joy and signature cupcake!
Amazing Rainbow Cupcakes
1 box white cake mix
3 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup water
1 small box sugar free/fat free instant vanilla pudding mix
Wilton gel food colors in Lemon Yellow, Kelly Green, Royal Blue and Violet, as well as McCormick’s Red liquid food coloring
Rainbow Frosting (recipe and ingredients follow)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 muffin pan with paper liners, set aside. (Note: this recipe, because of the manipulation of the batter, generally yields about 12 cupcakes. Feel free to double the recipe separately, as not to compromise the colors of the batter)
2. In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, egg whites, applesauce, and water until combined, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla pudding mix until blended. As best as you can, evenly divide batter among five separate bowls. (Note: When I originally made this recipe, I stupidly forgot orange! If you’re an orange freak, feel free to add it in and divide your batter among six bowls, or substitute out another color for the orange).
3. Color each bowl of batter a different color, using your gel food colorings. I like using a liquid red coloring because it’s much easier to add to enhance the color as opposed to the gel colorings, but use what you have on hand. For the gel colors, I generally use about the tip of a butter knife’s worth of coloring; it’s highly concentrated, so that’s usually enough for a small amount of batter. Tint each color to your desired shade (I like mine nice and bright!) and set aside.
4. Now begin spooning your batter into your muffin cups one color at a time. Start with a small teaspoon or cereal spoonful of purple batter and plop it into the bottom of the liner, spreading to cover the bottom if necessary. Top with a spoonful of blue, then a spoonful of green, then a spoonful of yellow, then a spoonful of red for last. **The key here is to LAYER the colored batter. DO NOT swirl or marble it–keep it layered! It’s okay if the bottom colors peek through; it’ll make for a nice kaleidoscopic effect once it’s baked :) You can also experiment with doing a “reverse rainbow” by starting with red on the bottom and working your way backwards, like I did.
5. Once your cupcake liners are filled, bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Set aside to cool completely.
Amazing Rainbow Frosting
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tsp milk
About 5 cups powdered sugar
Wilton food gel colors in Lemon Yellow, Teal and Pink
1. Start by preparing your frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and vanilla extract until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition, until a paste forms. Add milk one teaspoon at a time until a nice, soft but spreadable consistency is reached. Divide your frosting evenly among three small bowls.
2. Tint each bowl a different color, as with the cake batter. Make one bowl a bright teal, another a hot pink, and the last, a nice and bright yellow.
3. Prep you frosting bag with your favorite tip (I’m using an open star tip; my fave). Begin spooning frosting into your piping bag, alternating colors side by side until your bag is full (e.g., start with blue, then add pink, then yellow, trying to smash them all together–doesn’t have to look perfect, just make sure you alternate the colors so they touch together).
**When you first pipe your frosting out, it may be a solid color (of the first color you put in the bag). Once you keep piping, the other colors will come through and create the rainbow effect you want!**
4. Pipe your frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Top with rainbow sprinkles. Impress the hell out of your friends and family.
While these may look hard, they’re incredibly easy to make, if not a little labor intensive. No worries–they’re worth the work because they’re so uniquely beautiful and totally amazing, hence the name.
You NEED to make these! Pretty please promise you will
Have an amazing day–thanks for watching!!