I remember learning the colors of the rainbow as a kid in piano class. It was one of the first lessons in my primer – a song titled “Roy G. Biv”. Just saying it takes me back to that ticking metronome. I’m tapping out a few rudimentary notes that are supposed to resemble a song about rainbows. I must have played that little ditty a hundred times before getting it right!
All these years later I still remember the simple words to that song. It was stuck in my head as I frosted these cupcakes in the same sequence of hues.
The idea for these came from a nice big box of goodies that Wilton sent me. Inside was a book all about cupcakes and other fun things like colorful batter mix-ins and candy sprinkles. I thought the green “batter bits” with rainbow frosting would make a great St. Paddy’s day treat. But heck! They turned out so cheery, I’d make them anytime someone needed an infusion of sugary happiness. Talk about a pick-me-up!
There were some similarly frosted cupcakes on the cover of the book I was given by Wilton, and I hoped it would tell me how much icing I’d need to complete these. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned and I was left trying to estimate how much I’d need for a dozen. I ended up using 6 cups, but I’d err on the side of caution next time and make 6 1/2. I realize that sounds like a huge amount, but these have about a half cup of icing topping each cake, which is no less than you’d get at a fancy cupcake boutique. That said, I wasn’t able to eat a whole one by myself, so I’d suggest splitting one with a friend.
I can’t wait to try out a mini version of these. I’ve got some Sixlets candies that would make a perfect mini “cherry” on top. I also think this same technique would be beautiful done in ombre hues.
Rainbow Frosting Cupcakes
Yield: 12-13 cupcakes
Start to finish: 3 hours +
Source: SprinkleBakes original recipes, technique inspired by Cupcakes! by Wilton
These are a bit of work from scratch, so using a white cake mix may be a time-saving option for busy bakers. I do suggest homemade frosting . It should be one you really love because these cupcakes hold a tall amount. Using disposable cups or bowls is a good idea when mixing so many different colors of icing. I chose a maraschino cherry as a topper, but you could use a candy cherries found at bulk candy stores.
Rainbow Frosting Cupcakes
Sour cream cake
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 milk
- Wilton Green color mix-ins or 1/3 cup green sprinkles (jimmies)
- 2 cups of unsalted butter softened
- 2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar – the finest you can find usually 10x
- 2-4 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tsp. Clear vanilla extract
- * Additional milk or heavy cream as needed
- Violet gel food coloring
- Royal blue gel food coloring
- Leaf green gel food coloring
- Golden yellow gel food coloring
- Orange gel food coloring
- 12 maraschino cherries with stems drained and patted dry
- 2 1/3 cups violet
- 1 1/2 cups indigo
- 1 cup blue 2/3 cup green
- 1/2 cup yellow
- 1/3 cup orange
Sour cream cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. in a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup sour cream. Add flour and milk mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Batter will be thick. Fold in color mix-ins, if using. Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter. Bake for 17 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes. Add milk gradually until it is piping consistency. Add vanilla extract and beat again for several minutes until light and fluffy. *Note: If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency.
- This is an estimation of the tinted icing amounts I used for these cupcakes. You’ll need a larger amount of violet versus the much smaller amount of orange. Divide the icing and tint accordingly. The only color you’ll need to create is indigo, and you can do that by adding one part blue food coloring to one part violet food coloring to untinted icing.
- Transfer violet icing to a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip (Wilton 2A). I’m confident this could also be done with a zip-top bag with a corner snipped. Pipe an even line of frosting around the edge of a cupcake and then lightly fill in the middle with frosting. Repeat process with remaining frostings, getting smaller in diameter as you change icing colors. Repeat process with remaining cupcakes. Top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry.
Disclaimer: Colorburst batter bits and Cupcakes! book were provided by Wilton. Wilton did not ask me to review these products, but I found them useful and of possible benefit and interest to SprinkleBakes readers.