Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes

I know what you're thinking. This looks nothing like a rainbow cupcake! Well, you're right. But beneath the white and yellow butter cream frosting is a burst of colour that's so absolutely vibrant, you're gonna need to prepare yourself.

You ready? You sure? 

Well, alright now. No reason to dally. 

I present to you ...<grab your shades> ...  the brightest batch of cupcakes I've ever seen. 

Woah. Inspired by the famous rainbow cakes, these cupcakes are a festival of colour just exploding everywhere. 

The best part? They taste fantastic. This was a surprise to me. I expected them to taste ok but look fabulous. Turns out, they taste fabulous and look ... well, garishly gorgeous. 

I love em!

So why did I decide ok making a rainbow cupcake? Well, ever since I laid my eyes on Martha Stewart's rainbow cake  on her website, I've been itching to make it. Martha's cake comprises six (yeah, she's one colour short but who cares, right?) layers of colour layered and topped with a lemon meringue butter cream topping. It really is a beautiful cake. I have to post you a picture.

Martha Stewart's Rainbow Cake
See? Perfect! As much as I loved looking at it though, I didn't quite fancy the idea of making a 6-layer cake much less storing it in my fridge. I find any more than two layers in a cake too much to handle. So instead, I figured I'd make a cupcake version of the gorgeous cake.

Now Martha divides her batter into six portions, colours them and then bakes each coloured layer separately before assembling the cake. Good idea but impossible to execute in a cupcake.

So what I did was pour one layer of coloured batter (I only had five colours) upon another. The layers naturally bled into each other a little and so I didn't achieve the layered effect. What I ended up with was a burst of colours melding into each other.

I like it. I do. OK, now onto the recipe. And really, the cake tastes good. Soft, moist, buttery. Yum!

Rainbow (almost) Cupcakes
(Not Martha's Recipe)
For the cake
1 cup all purpose flour
11/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup butter milk (or milk + 1tsp vinegar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
colouring: blue, yellow, red, green, etc

For Butter cream frosting
60g butter, softened
3 tbsp milk
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a cupcake tray with cupcake liner and grease them lightly with some butter. 

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together the butter, buttermilk, sugar, eggs and vanilla till well Incorporated. Stir in and mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Mix only till well incorporated. No lumps.

Divide the batter into five bowls and colour them respectively to your liking. Note: you can mix blue and red to get purple, etc. 

Start with one colour. Fill a heaped teaspoonful of batter into each cupcake liner. The portion should be just right for 10 cupcakes. Repeat with the other colours. NOTE: Do not spread the batter with your spoon. Once you drop the second colour onto the first (right in the middle), the bottom layer will spread out to fill the cupcake liner by itself. 

Magic? No! Science, yeah I guess.

Repeat till the last colour has been added. 

Bake for 15 mins or until a tester comes out clean.

Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.

Beat the butter, sugar, milk and extract together until pale and fluffy, about 5 mins. Remove and chill frosting for at least 30 mins.

When they cakes are ready, remove them and cool them on a rack. Once they're COMPLETELY cook, remove the frosting (if it has hardened, whisk it with a fork a little) and start frosting!



  1. Haha, you nutty baker! What I want to do is make a loaf cake with four or five layers of pastel colours but baked in the Indonesian layered cake way. Wish me luck. :)

  2. Hey that sounds awesome. Good luck and I hope the pastel colours hold. Good luck :))


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