My Mom is a really creative woman. I didn’t realize it until I grew up and became a mother myself. Now that I look back on the birthday parties she threw and the incredible cakes she created, I’m really amazed at the things she came up with back in the day when you couldn’t run to Target or Walmart and basically buy a party in a bag. Halloween costumes were no exception. We never, ever had store-bought costumes growing up. My Mom was a great seamstress and her creativity had no boundaries. I look at old family pictures and I love how she took simple ideas and turned them into something fun. Take me for example, around age 5:
That my friends, is a rainbow. And I thought it was the coolest costume ever. I was obsessed with this chick, and if you look at every picture I ever created out of any sort of art media between the ages of 3 and 9, it undoubtedly included 3 things: hearts, flowers, and rainbows. To this day, I still get a little bit giddy inside when I see all of those colors together. Something about rainbows just makes me happy.
So it’s no wonder these cupcakes make me smile. Every time 🙂
Gel food colors work especially well for this. Gel color adds a ton of color with a small amount of dye. You can find gel colors at craft stores like Michaels and Roberts, and in the cake decorating isle of Walmart. If using red, make sure to get the one that says “No Taste”
Divide your batter and tint each one
Then layer it by color into the cupcake papers. (See my tips in the recipe for easy layering). Sometimes I do red on top and sometimes I do the reverse so blue is on top.
Bake them up
And cool them on a rack before frosting.
Then you can frost and decorate to your heart’s desire!
The best part comes when you peel off that paper. Use white liners to show off the colors, or foil or dark liners to make it a surprise!
Even better is taking the first bite and seeing the inside:
Try them with the color of your favorite sports team, or your kids’ school colors. They’re sure to be a hit!
1 white cake mix
1 C yogurt (any smooth textured fruit flavor is fine!) or sour cream
1/2 C milk
1/3 C vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Scrape sides of bowl and then beat on med-high speed for 2 minutes.
Divide batter according to how many colors you are using. I used 5 colors and it worked out to a little over 1 cup for each color, but each cake brand will be slightly different.
Use food coloring to color batter to desired intensity.
To get a layered stripe like I used, you’ll want to put a spoonful of each color in the cupcake one at a time. The batter is thick, so it won’t spread on it’s own. A great tip is to set out a little bowl of water where you’re working. Dip your finger in the water and then gently spread the batter out. The water will make it so the batter doesn’t stick to your fingers.
Another tip is to use a measuring spoon and some water to measure out how many teaspoons/tablespoons are going to fit in your cupcake. Then divide that by how many colors you have so you know how much of each color to use for each cupcake. For my 5 colors, it worked out perfectly with 2 t of each color in each cupcake. So I put in 2 t of blue in the bottom of each cupcake and spread it out with my finger. Then I put in 2 t of green on top of that, then yellow, etc.
Bake them according to the package directions, until a toothpick comes out dry.
I topped mine with this frosting.
What fun and colorful cupcakes!
Jennifer–What about gold frosting? Maybe you could get some of that edible glitter stuff in the cake decorating section of Hobby Lobby or Michaels. That was my first thought, at least…. 🙂
Hmmm… I’m in charge of refreshments for a stk YW leadership training and I’m thinking Value colors… though that new gold Virtue is throwing me off a little! 😉
Either way, these look very fun and I can’t wait to make some!
Hey! Are you a Mormon? Me too. I’m 12 and my mother teaches YW!
Very cool cupcakes!! I would have never thought to make them look like that! When my girls were little I did the special birthday cakes and parties too. And every year I made their halloween costumes. Those were some fun years.
These cuppies are so cute!! I love those candles and the sprinkles,,I love it all!!
Sara, I love this, as I was reading this I was trying to think of the next something that I could make them for. The first time I ever saw anything like this was my friend colleen made a cake like this and posted it on her blog. I am a cupcake girl and I never though of doing that. Dough! I LOVE IT! Your halloween picture is the best. What a cute little girl. Thanks for the great ideals.
WOW! Those are so cute and fun! They look a little time consuming, but maybe I’ll get ambitious. They look great!
GORGEOUS! But we just had two birthdays this weekend… I may have to try making them for a non-birthday. Hmmm.
Those are fun! Love the bright colors.
Oh my goodness! Those look so fun! My girls would love to have these for their birthdays! Thanks for sharing this colorful recipe.
Ha, ha. That outfit is great. I loved rainbow bright, too. Those cupcakes are so fun!
Looks like you mom passed her creativity on to you! The cupcakes are awesome!
My son is turning 8 in a little over a week and I have had a hard time figuring out what to do. But this post rocks, Paker loves BSU,so blue and orange cupcakes here we come!! Thanks Sara!
Even though Isabel’s birthday was last month, when she saw these cupcakes she promptly insisted that I make those for her birthday! Very cute!
I made some of these for the 4th of July last year. Red, white and blue. They were super cute. And everyone ooh and aahed over them.
I love the old picture of you. What a cutie! This rainbow idea is great. We’ll make them for sure.
Those are so flippin’ fun. I love how bright the colors turned out. I’ve never used gel food colors but now I see that I’ve been missing out! lol
Wow, these cupcakes are so fun!
So creative! what an adorable birthday party, thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try these.
So, so fun! I can’t wait to make these. I love the last one with the heart. Very cool!
I never said you were a snob, I just said that there were definitely some foods that you preferred to avoid! I’m the same way, just ask my in-laws I NEVER eat the desserts they make because they are so foreign to my palate. Ella is in love with these, and I’m betting we make these for FHE today, ’cause she lacks patience just like me and wants them NOW. I heart you too!
Tie-dyed cupcakes…how fun!
LOVE the version in cupcakes! I actually made the rainbow cake (cinco de mayo version!) last week! So great!
They r so bright!!!!!:-)
I love these little things…soooo fun & cute
These are so much fun! I now have an idea for my daughters birthday.
Love it! So cute.
Those are so darn cute! The bright colors are just amazing.
Those are so amazing. I may just have to try them for Meredith’s birthday next month…