Making Rainbow Cupcakes

After cupcake wrapper removed

I think I shocked my family and friends last night when I posted pictures of the cupcakes last night on my Facebook account.  There was quite some shock and awe going.  I can pretty much follow a recipe, if I like it. As a toddler would say, “I just don’t want to.” But really, my friend Ruth summed it up best, “The cupcake looks so good. Kudos to you Jules…who knew?? All of these years you have been playing the “I can’t cook or bake” card.  What you really should have been saying was, “I DON’T WANT to cook or bake.”

I’ve seen many people bake these rainbow cupcakes online.  I thought, “why not” and wanted to give it a try.  I rarely bake, maybe once a month. So I had to do some supply shopping before I even started.  I headed straight towards my local Sur La Table, which is way too convenient.  I also asked my friend, Kristin for some help.  Kristin has been a big help in this project.  She basically provided me with supplies, recipes, and advice.  Without Kristin, I would have nothing.  I would have had plain ole’ cake mix with frosting from a jar.

Prepping to make cake mix

Perfect Cake-Mix Cupcakes from Hello Cupcake

Yield: 24 standard cupcakes

18.25-ounce box cake mix (French vanilla, devil’s food or yellow)
1 cup buttermilk, in place of the water called for on the box (the box will call for more water than the buttermilk you are using)
Vegetable oil (the amount on the box)
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Using substitutions above, follow the box instructions to mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and beat until thick, 2 minutes longer.

Spoon half of the batter into a zip-top bag. Snip a ¼-inch corner from the bag and fill the paper liners 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from baking pans, place on a wire rack . Cool completely.

I used Duncan Hines White Cake Mix for my cupcakes.  Kristin said that I need to use white cake mix as the color stands out better. I also adapted parts of this recipe to make rainbow cupcakes.

Placing the cake batter in different bowls for colors

After mixing the batter, I separated it into four different bowls.  I used four bowls, because I was going to use four different colors for my “rainbow effect”.

After the colors were mixed in

I used Wilton’s Icing Colors to get the desired effect. The colors that I used were Leaf Green, Violet, Pink, and Lemon Yellow. I was going for a more muted effect, but obviously they are quite bright. You just need to use a teeny tiny bit of the icing color for the batter. It was my first time so I got carried away.  Like I said, it was my first time. I had no clue on what I was doing.

Getting ready to go in oven

I didn’t take a picture of the filing the cupcakes phase. It was a complete mess and I had colored batter everywhere. My kitchen is small and there are only so many places to put stuff.  I pretty much layered the batter and it sloshed around.  I started by putting it into bags and trying to drip it into the baking cups. Yea, that was an epic fail.  I gave up and used a spoon. My theory is, “as long as it looks somewhat rainbow layered, it’s good enough.” Kristin told me that when you do rainbow cupcakes, you need to use a little less batter in your cups. She said that the layered colored batter rises differently.  I didn’t know how far to fill them up.  I filled them up someway between 1/2 and 3/4 full.

Warm rainbow cupcakes

These are how the cupcakes looked after popping them out of the muffin tin. They are on the cooling rack.  They were not as big on top as I would have liked.  I was a bit apprehensive when filing the baking cups.  Next time, I will fill them up a little more.

I let the cupcakes cool for about 30-45 minutes before I started working on the icing/frosting.  I’m using a recipe that Kristin gave me for icing.

Making cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Depending on how many cupcakes you are making, you might want to double or reduce by half.

10 oz cream cheese softened
10 oz butter unsalted room temp
1.5 lbs of powdered sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp of cream (heavy or whipping)
1.5 tsp of vanilla

Beat cream cheese and butter on med until fluffy, about 3 mins. Add powdered sugar, then liquids. Beat on med-high/high for about 3 more minutes. Taste. If it still tastes sugary, beat for another minute.

This makes about… 1.5 qts so I can usually frost about 2-3 dozen cupcakes depending on how much I pipe.

I split this recipe in half because I was just doing a test batch.  I would have brought out my bigger mixer if I was making the whole recipe. It got quite fluffy when I added in the powdered sugar. I also used whipping cream for my recipe.  I added the Wilton pink icing color once again, to color my icing/frosting.  I could have done several colors, but I was only making a dozen.  I added the icing color into the bowl and used the hand mixer on low for about a minute to make sure it was thoroughly mixed.

I did not get a picture of myself icing the cupcakes because well it’s pretty hard to ice cupcakes and take photographs at the same time. Plus, Angry Husband went to the store while I was doing this.

I purchased a Wilton 12-Piece Cupcake Decorating Set to pipe on the icing.  I used the 1M Star Tip on my cupcakes. Seriously, it was so easy. I just tossed some icing into the bag with the tip and swirled it around on the cupcake.  I swear, I have never ever done this before.

Iced Cupcakes 2

Not bad for a first timer, right? I’m pretty impressed with myself.  I even let Angry Kid help me out.  He thought that it was the coolest thing ever.  He kept wanting to eat the cupcakes also. I told him that he had to wait.  Angry Husband came home from the store after I had finished icing them. He was rather impressed.

But you know I’m not finished, right? I had to add some sugar to the tops of my cupcakes.  I used a pink sugar the Kristin bought for me, at a baking supply store.

Sugaring the cupcakes

Here’s a close-up of a cupcake after being sugar-dusted.

Cupcake Close-up

By the time I finished everything, it was almost 11pm. I’m such a night owl.  But Angry Husband wanted to see the center, so I cut one open.  I let Angry Kid eat the actual cake, and no frosting. I have no clue why he was up that late. Probably because he wanted to see the middle of the cupcakes also. Like I’ve always said, “I’m mother of the year!”

Center of rainbow cupcakes

I tasted one this morning. It was yummy.  This was my practice run for Easter.  I’m going to try to make the colors a little lighter for this weekend.

I want to thank Kristin for all of her hand holding and especially the recipes.  I think my text messaging probably drive her crazy, but she is rather helpful with the baking handicapped people like me. She also picked up some supplies for me too. Kristin lives in Orange County, CA and has a cupcake business. She makes some beautiful cupcakes, and they are tasty too.

Also, big cyber hugs to Rachel for her support of me even attempting this recipe!

Also check out i heart faces for Week 14: My story in photos: Dessert Recipe Edition”.

38 comments
Jessica
Jessica

These are super cute! Going to have to make them with my daughter. :)

Georgia
Georgia

Great job! Your cupcakes turned out great! As I speak (or type), I actually have a batch of rainbow cupcakes in the oven! It took me a LONG time to make them, but they are looking so cute! Happy baking!

Michelle
Michelle

I really need to make 24 cupcakes. Do you think it would be if I just doubled the recipe? I'm kinda a novice so I apologize if it's a silly question.

Anika
Anika

beautiful! I can' believe the colour! It's so bright! You are an expert!

Pepper Chapman
Pepper Chapman

Yay!! I would have never thought it was so easy. I'm going to try this out in the next few days. I love that your willing to be the gunnia pig (did I spell that wrong???) oh well he he I heart you Angry Julie!

Turtle
Turtle

I will need to try this recipe! Great job btw! =) I love it!

Sarah
Sarah

I really need to make these! They look so fun. My son would love them.

Kristina
Kristina

These look awesome! Love the colors! Who doesn't love a good rainbow, especially one you can eat! :) Thanks for sharing!

Jaclyn
Jaclyn

Those are so cool! Definitely trying that the next time we make cupcakes!

life with Kaishon
life with Kaishon

I left a comment on this post! Where is it? I think everyone thinks I am spammer and puts me in the junk mail! I am real : )

Michelle
Michelle

Hi I LOVE THEM! where do you get those coloers of food coloring?? Thanks I cant wait to try then!! But first I gotta get those awesome colors :) Michelle

Well Read Hostess
Well Read Hostess

I am doing this. Maybe even today. Wish wish wish I'd seen it before April fools day.

Kristen
Kristen

Those are gorgeous! So was the coloring stuff what you had in your bag when I saw you at Anthropologie?

Stephanie Shearer
Stephanie Shearer

OMG!! These are AWESOME!! I'm sooooo stealing this idea for my son's 13th birthday next weekend!! Thanks for sharing this Angry Julie!! As my 3-yr old would say..."YOU ROCK! YOU THE MAN!" LOL!

Lindsey
Lindsey

Congrats on your SITS day! I think the tip about Wilsons #1 is GREAT I just wish I thought of that BEFORE I frosted 48 cupcakes last weekend! ARGH!

Cheryl
Cheryl

Wow! Love them! By the way, baking once a month is a LOT. I bake maybe three times a year (cause I have three kids with birthdays).

MommaKiss
MommaKiss

Oh. My. GARAGE! I'm So doing this. These kids have been going insane w/ all of our rainy weather - we need the break. Clicking Print!

chele
chele

Very impressive. I agree, you are Mother of the Year!

mel
mel

Your cupcakes look AWESOME! I made rainbow cupcakes for St. Patty's day, but yours turned out WAY better than mine! Great job! Love your blog, I just found it & am now following. (we have 2 mutual friends...Julie (joyshope) and Erin (bringing up burns). Also, I saw that you are going to bloggy boot camp in SF. I live in the Bay Area & might go, so maybe we will meet! Looking forward to reading more of your blog :)

Kriste
Kriste

I love those! Me and my girls are gonna have to make those. Good job!

Sarahviz
Sarahviz

They came out awesome! Am totally gonna try this!

Mallory
Mallory

Amazing! They look great! I am impressed!

Megan
Megan

DUDE! Im SO doing this! TOMORROW! I need shades the colors are so bright in these pics! I LOVE IT!

lori mckenna
lori mckenna

Oh, by the way, Happy Sits Day. I love your blog and am now following.

lori mckenna
lori mckenna

I don't even like cupcakes so I avoid making them — especially from scratch. When I saw these rainbow delights, even I wanted to bake them. And just the way you did, with real non-Betty-Crocker ingredients! My sons fave place in L.A. is Sprinkles. All they make there is cupcakes. I have a feeling my kitchen is going to rival his favorite cupcake place when I make these. Thanks for such a fun recipe, and for finding a new reason for my son to love me more.

life with Kaishon
life with Kaishon

They look SO delicious! Angry husband didn't like how long they took! So funny!

Mommy Cracked
Mommy Cracked

Oh wow...those are almost too stinkin' cute to eat!! I love it! Great job!

Monica
Monica

oh my those look fab!great job! I am a day late in stopping by and CONGRATULATING you on your SITS day!! love the blog and am going to share your colorful cupcakes with my daughter who is much better at baking edibles than I am.

Tractor Mom
Tractor Mom

Loooooove this!! I had a friend to do this except she made whole cake and it was awesome! Thanks for sharing! www.frugaltractormom.blogspot.com

court
court

I've done the 7 layer rainbow cake but never thought to do cupcakes!! Fabulous idea!! I will be doing it for our Easter gathering.

Jessica
Jessica

These look fantastic! I want to try this!

Kristi
Kristi

These are so awesome!! Wow! I am super impressed!

Cupcake Activist
Cupcake Activist

Wow, I'm super impressed! That was very ambitious of you to make rainbow cupcakes. I'm a little scared of that. They look awesome! Great job!

Jennifer @ three pugs & a baby
Jennifer @ three pugs & a baby

Yum! We've done these a few different ways (red, white & blue for 4th of July, etc). It's a pain in the rear, but they come out so cute! You did a great job!

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

LOL, you are not a spammer. Maybe it got lost and never got submitted. Your comments usually get through.

Angry Julie
Angry Julie

The food coloring is from Wilton. I got it a Sur La Table. I think you can find them at baking places or online.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Check out these cupcakes from Angry Julie Monday. I’m totally tripping on these. I want to make some right now. Have to wait for Passover to be […]

  2. […] Cupcakes Recipe easFrom Angry Julie Monday — this is the BEST adaptation of boxed cake mix for cupcakes. Never go by the instructions on […]

  3. […] I'm going to make these cupcakes for Grace's class tomorrow! Making Rainbow Cupcakes @ Angry Julie Monday __________________ To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. […]

  4. […] tada! My beautiful (*ahem*) rainbow cupcakes, recipe courtesy of Angry Julie Monday! Go look at her picture and come back. K? Her colors were a lot more vibrant so I liked them […]

  5. […] Cupcakes Recipe From Angry Julie Monday — this is the BEST adaptation of boxed cake mix for cupcakes. Never go by the instructions on […]

  6. […] a cup of buttermilk and using four eggs instead of three – a cupcake trick I learned from AngryJulie – works great for cake balls […]

  7. […] with two boxes of white cake mix. White is best for keeping color vibrant. Doctor the mix with these instructions. I also added the zest of one lemon to the mix (half a lemon per […]

  8. […] I found the time to make some cupcakes in the “team colors”. I’ve used this same cupcake recipe several times and it works perfectly. Using multiple colors always impresses […]