Rainbow Cupcakes

I have seen this recipe all over the place! It’s so fun and easy, especially if you’re using a mix. Well, I did use a mix, but a homemade one, but it’s worth making for the piece of mind it brings knowing what is in it. In order to make sure I had an equal amount of each color for these, I weighed out the amount in cups (8 ounces) and used my smallest disher to make sure I put roughly the same amount of each color batter in the cups. These were a lot of fun to make, and the kids enjoyed helping add the color to the batter. I liked the flavor of these and the almond extract tastes kind of like cherry to me for some reason. Next time I will try the same recipe, but with cake flour because I think all the stirring made the cupcakes more dense than I expected. I’m sure if I left the batter white, that wouldn’t have been a problem.
The buttercream was so fluffy, light and not too sweet. I found a recipe that I knew I needed to cut in half and it worked out perfectly. I’m not a “frosting” lover, but this buttercream was spoon licking good!

Overall, I’m really pleased with how these turned out. It was my first white cake I have ever made. I had never used almond extract before either, but I liked the flavor that it gave to these cupcakes. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Rainbow Cupcakes – 

  • One batch of white cake mix
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 5 egg whites (or 1 cup of Egg Beaters pure egg whites)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • *equipment – five cups, five spoons, gel food coloring, #60 disher, and muffin papers
Directions –
1. Cream butter. Add egg whites, one at a time until mixed, (mine never became a cohesive batter, but don’t worry). Add milk, vanilla and almond extract then slowly add the dry mixture in batches. Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl and do not overmix.
2. Divide the batter into five cups, then add a one color into each cup, (*I used pink, yellow, green, blue and purple gel colors. Liquid tends to thin out batters or icing, and you’ll use less of the gel vs. liquid) until your desired shade is achieved.
3. Prep your muffin tin by adding white muffin papers (you can see the colors through the white) Using a small disher (size 60) or a tablespoon measure, add your colored batter to each muffin cup in your desired pattern.
4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 17-20 minutes or until done. Cool in the pan for about five minutes, then remove the cupcakes and place them on a wire rack to cool.

Vanilla Buttercream – adapted from Apron Days

  • 4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups butter, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons whipping cream
  • a good pinch of salt
 Directions –
1. Cream butter and sugar on low-speed until combined, then beat on medium speed for several minutes (the time here is crucial in order to obtain a lighter frosting, so don’t skimp.)
2. Add vanilla, cream, and salt and beat on medium speed for another couple of minutes, adding more cream if you want an even lighter consistency (here’s where you would add food coloring, too, if you’d like).

Re-Post of the Best Birthday Cake (so far)

Our friends/neighbors’ birthday was this week (the same day, how cute/convenient is that?) and my husband suggested that we have them over. The kids made them birthday cards with their voucher for their free dinner and dessert which they happily accepted 🙂 For dinner, M grilled filet mingnon, which we served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and broccoli and everyone’s favorite – roasted garlic bread. Dinner was a complete success and I’m so happy that they enjoyed it 🙂
Now, onto everyones favorite part – the birthday cake! This is our favorite layer cake so far, but I decided the next celebration cake may need to be a different recipe. To make frosting the cake easier and less messy, I always wrap and freeze the cooled cakes overnight. It really does make a difference, and waxed paper squares underneath the cake help keep the cake plate clean. This buttercream icing is so yummy and not too sweet and the cake is rich and perfectly chocolatey. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Double Layer Chocolate Cake – adapted from Smitten Kitchen

** This became a “triple layer” cake because I only have 9″ cake pans**

The recipe below is for 2 10-inch layers filled and coated in chocolate ganache. My adaptations were to split the layers to create a four-layer cake and use raspberry filling instead of chocolate. To do the same, use half the frosting and all of the raspberry filling, recipe at the end.

For cake layers

  • 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Make cake layers: Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature

Quick Chocolate Buttercream – adapted from Williams-Sonoma

  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 6 Tbs. milk, plus more, if needed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions –

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Put the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler set over but not touching simmering water in the bottom pan. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, the 6 Tbs. milk, the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, then reduce the speed to low. Add the chocolate and beat until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.

If the frosting is dry, add more milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until it is creamy but still holds peaks. Makes about 4 1/2 cups.