Most of you know that I don't need an excuse to make rainbow filled treats (I mean I have a rainbow page there's been so many) but I do love how all the rainbow stuff starts showing up with St. Patty's day around the corner.
And I have done rainbow cupcakes before - super bright and colorful made with the typical food gels and colorings to make them. But since I made those awhile ago, I've also been experimenting with getting colors from natural food colorants, like in this Halloween Bundt Cake, in these Blueberry and Strawberry Striped Krispie Treats, these Whoopie Pies, and these 4th of July Madeleines.
The colors for these rainbow cupcakes are made from this stuff:
Freeze dried cranberries, freeze fried blueberries, carrot puree (yep baby food!), baby spinach, egg yolk, and crispy mandarin orange slices. I think for most of these ingredients, you'd say ok, yep I get that. Most are fruit and carrot is in carrot cake. But spinach in a cupcake? Yes, and you know what it doesn't taste like spinach at all once you add it to the cake mix. Really, it doesn't taste spinachy at all.
Start with your favorite white cake recipe or even faster, use a boxed mix. Mix up as directed but add about 1/4 less liquid. Separate evenly into 5 bowls as your white canvas!
For the colors:
Yellow: add 2 egg yolks to a bowl with the cake batter
Pink: add 2 Tbl crushed freeze dried cranberries (I put them in a mortar and pestle and go to town to pulverize as much as possible
Orange: add 1 Tbl of carrot puree plus 2 Tbl of crushed mandarin orange pieces
Blue/Violet: add 2 Tbl crushed freeze dried blueberries
Green: food process 1 cup of spinach leaves with about 1 Tbl milk. Add about 2 Tbl of the puree to the batter
That's pretty much it! Then just add a little of each color to your cupcake liners. I went with plain white so you can see the color through them. There will be tiny little pieces of the fruit/veggie but that didn't really bother me, and didn't affect the taste or texture at all.
Then bake them up as usual.
Don't they look like funky muffins this way? They would be so fun served just this way on their own.
But I had to add some homemade vanilla buttercream of course. And I pretty much love the contrast between the rainbow colors and the whiteness of the frosting.
I think these are one of my fav cupcakes now. Both the look and taste. They still taste pretty much taste like a white cake, but with a little bit of flavor that you just can't put your finger on. My kids didn't even ask about the colorings, just thought cool, rainbow cupcakes!
And although I have found you can't get super bright colors from some of the natural colorants, they are still pretty cool colors and fun!
Am I right??
Make some for St. Patty's Day (or whenever really!). Thanks for stopping by, I am hoping the weather people are wrong and I won't wake up to 6 inches of snow tomorrow. I love winter and all, but really enough is enough! Come on Spring! Have a great week!