making food from anywhere, with anything

today’s (second) post is brought to you by the letter “c”

Hello everyone.

Two posts in one day….can you tell I’m supposed to be writing a paper?

Anyway, I decided after seeing this that I needed to make my own psychedelic cupcakes.  Let me tell you something.  I do not bake.  I’m not sure why, but I don’t get as much of a kick out of baking as I do when cooking.  Although, baking Christmas cookies is probably one of my favorite things to do.  Anyway, I don’t know why these intrigued me as much as they did, but I promised myself I’d make some before going back to school.

psychedelic cupcakes

Gotta say, the entire time I was making them, I had the Sesame Street theme song stuck in my head.  These cupcakes are made for little kids.  They’re really colorful, and dolloped with a nice swirl of icing and sprinkles, they would be great for a birthday party (or, you know, for when you’re sitting around on a Friday night watching Maid in Manhattan).

I decided to make a white cake batter from scratch, and then I chose the colors I’d be working with.  I used Wilton gel food coloring – a little dab of it made the batter a really vivid color.  It took me forever to decide on what colors to use, since you get quite a variety in a box.  However, I stuck close to the colors of the rainbow and went with red, yellow, green and blue.

more cupcakes

White Cake Mix from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook

4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening, softened (shortening will yield a whiter cake mix)
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk


1. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Get out a muffin tin and line it.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 375F.  In a large mixing bowl beat shortening or butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg whites 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.

And now, for color.

4. Get separate bowls or ramekins to put about 2/3 of a cup of batter in.  Choose your colors, and add a small amount of food coloring to the separate bowls.  Once the coloring has been completely mixed into the batter, begin filling the cups with one color at a time. I found it was useful to use two spoons to do this.

5. Once the cups are full with one layer of each color, put in the oven for about 16-17 minutes.  This seemed like a long time to me, but I guess I was putting quite a bit of batter in the cups…? If 16 minutes seems too long to you, check the cakes after 10 minutes. If they’ve risen, insert a toothpick into the center and see if it comes out clean.  Obviously if it does, your cakes are done.


Those colors are definitely not photoshopped.  They are really vivid cupcakes!  Maybe next time I’ll attempt making the colors a bit darker to see what happens.  I had enough batter for 24 cupcakes.  I filled 4 ramekins with 2/3 of a cup of batter for each batch.  The cakes came out very light and fluffy, almost airy.  I did not use buttermilk or sour milk…I had to use plain milk.  I don’t yet know how this affected the outcome, as I’ve never made this white cake mix before (or any cake mix, for that matter).

I should probably get on that paper now…

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