Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes

On the way home from preschool the other day, I informed Princess RunWild that we would be having her "Mock Birthday" at school on Monday since her birthday falls during the summer months. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: "So... Princess RunWild, what kind of cupcakes do you want at your  mock-birthday at school on Monday?"
Princess RunWild: "I want REAL cupcakes" (I'm new at the whole preschool thing, but do some of the moms send fake cupcakes on occassion? Why would she even think I would send faux cupcakes...I just let this one go.)
Me: "Oh... well.... ok. I can make real cupcakes. What do you want them to look like?"
Princess RunWild: "I want them to be rainbow cupcakes"
Me: (Gloating, because I think she is referring to the tie dyed cake that I made a few months ago) "Oh, great, so you want the tie-dyed cupcakes with white icing?"
Princess RunWild: "No, I want white cake with rainbow frosting"

Of course that's what she wanted. I had never made rainbow frosting. She couldn't choose the tie dyed cake with white icing, because I had already figured that one out. Shamefully, I even offered to buy cupcakes today. She didn't fall for that one. She wanted ME to make them. So I got a game plan in mind and set to work. 
The recipe for these cupcakes remind me of childhood birthdays everytime I make them. As a child, it was a super treat to get a cake from a locally owned bakery, named Jerry's Bakery. They were known for their almond flavored frosting. No other local bakery ever made their cakes flavored exclusively with almond extract. This was their signature flavor. Sure, you could request almond flavoring at other bakeries, but they barely added any flavoring.  When Jerry's eventually closed, I decided I was going to have to come up with a similar recipe so that I could still get my almond flavored fix. This was the recipe I concocted after tinkering with a few different recipes and it is very close to Jerry's.  It is my standard staple recipe for cakes and cupcakes. I've tried others, but I always come back to this one. In case there are any mothers out there that have a request for rainbow icing,  here is what I did:
Fit a piping bag with a decorating tip (I think I used a 2C ). Place the tip end of the bag into a tall glass. Fold the top of the bag over the glass so you  have access to the inside of the bag. You will take a wooden skewer and dip it into gel food coloring. Make a stripe up the side of the inside of the piping bag (from tip to around 1/2 way up the bag. You can make as many colored stripes in the bag as you like.  It will look something like this:

This was actually the 2nd fill, so my bag wasn't nice and neat anymore, but you get the idea. Fill bag 2/3 full with icing (recipe following). Begin piping. Color will mix with the frosting as it flows through the bag. Voila! Rainbow Frosting! The first few will look like this:

I think they look like Rastafarian cupcakes, but of course this was Princess RunWild's favorite. The color will soften a bit as you continue to pipe and look like this:

Towards the end, they will be very muted, like this:

So to sum it up,
Price to make cupcakes: About 3 bucks.
Time to figure out how to make rainbow icing: Longer than I'm willing to admit :)
This smile as payment for it all:


Hope you love them as much as Princess RunWild.

Almond Sour Cream Cupcakes

1 (18 ounce) box white cake mix

1 cups all-purpose flour
1 cups granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup warm water
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites (I have also made this with 4 whole eggs, with great results)

1.Place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together with a wire whisk.
2.Add the remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
3.Pour into lined muffin pans, filling each cup a little over half full.
4.Lightly tap cake pans on counter to bring air bubbles to top.
5.Bake in preheated 325° F oven for about 20 minutes or until cupcakes tests done with a toothpick. Cool completely before frosting.

White Almond Frosting

8 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cup shortening
2 tablespoons milk
2 TBSP clear vanilla extract
2 TBSP pure almond extract
white corn syrup

1.In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water, almond and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed.
2.Note: If you're not using this for decorating, but just for icing the cake, thin the icing by adding 3-6 tbs. of corn syrup,  to the icing. It won't look like Icing at first, but keep the mixer going for fifteen minutes, and then you're done!
Note: Yes, you really do need to beat it that long. Beating in air is what makes the icing not have such a "greasy" after taste. Decorators call it "beating out the grease." This works best in a stand mixer.


Sonya said...

Look at that smile:) she sure is a cutie!! I've been wanting to make rainbow frosting and never knew I do! thanks a bunch for this and for posting a pic of it...sometimes it's hard to imagine things in your head as to what it's supposed to look like. I've also never heard of almond different yet cool. I cant buy cake mixes here so I imagine I could make a white cake mix from scratch and add in the almond extract aswell.

faithy, the baker said...

Your girl's so cute! Rainbow frosting is so fun! I love rainbow frosting too..even though i'm no longer a kid (for the longest time)..LOL!

toeandhaysmom said...

i'm soo impressed with you. you are such a genius!!!
i bet all the kids at her school are gonna think she's cool and her mom is the coolest!!!

Mae said...

Rastafarian cupcakes! Too adorable. Love the site, btw!

Chef Aimee said...

Ok this has to be the most amazing frosting ever! I am so impressed!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Thanks so much everyone! And yes toe&haysmom, I believe I just may have been the coolest mom in the 4k class this morning. Well, I was the only mom, but still....I was cool:)

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Wow, those are incredible. I love how they look like actual kids' paints... As if a kid just added real paints to mom's creamed cupcakes, mixing all color. Great idea!! :)

Diane {} said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog :)
These cupcakes are so cute! I was looking for you follow section or rss feed so I cut and pasted you into my google reader and look forward to see what you post next.

Anonymous said...

Those cupcakes are so pretty with the rainbow colors and I love the almond frosting!

Myers's Blog said...

Loved your conversation with Princess RunWild! You really do have to wonder about the faux cupcakes.....

grace said...

i'm a sucker for swirls of color, and if they just so happen to be incorporated into some sugary frosting, well, so be it. :)

Megan said...

These cupcakes are wild! I love them. The rainbow frosting makes me smile too.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

cookies and cups said...

Such pretty cupcakes! I love the rainbow swirls, looks like she did too!

One Southern Girl said...

Those are pretty cupcakes! Maybe I'll get to the point of swirls someday :*)

Anonymous said...

Totally gorgeous! I never thought of the glass method for working the gel icing colors in-- genius indeed!

Lovely blog! Thanks


SonyaAnn said...

OK, it would be so much fun to live in your house! YUM!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Great cupcakes, I have never tried the "rainbow" technique- must do so!