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I was super excited to be asked to bake something for my friend Mayumi’s recent fundraiser (she’s recently headed over to Japan to volunteer to help with the tsunami clear up and she also has a blog where you can read about her volunteering adventures!), because

a) I love to bake (and blog!)

b) It was the perfect opportunity to try something I’ve had my eye on for a while, RAINBOW CUPCAKES

c) everyone knows that cakes from a charity bake sale contain no calories. Zilch. Zero.

The recipe I used to make the rainbow cupcakes was the hummingbird bakery vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting recipe that I tend to go back to at the moment. Since I’ve already posted the recipe on my blog, I won’t rehash it in this post, I’ll just cover the RAINBOW-ifying of the cupcakes. And you could RAINBOW-ify any cupcake or cake batter of your own recipe too. As well as making  the cake portion of the cupcake rainbowified, I also did rainbow frosting on some of the cupcakes, making them DOUBLE RAINBOW cupcakes. Like, woah.

First up on the road to RAINBOW, food colouring! A few months ago I invested in a set of five Sugarflair paste food colourings. Rather than a liquid food colouring like the ones we’re more used to, these are a gel consistency, and they’re super vibrant. I got mine from eBay for £10 for 5 but you can also get them from specialist baking shops.

Btw I have to apologise for the upcoming pictures – sadly its now dark by the time I get home every night which means I have to use the flash and take depressing pictures like this. I am getting a daylight bulb which should hopefully help though!

To get started on the rainbow, I divided my cupcake batter into six bowls (yes its true, the downside of rainbow cupcakes is the amount of washing up!) and coloured each one with my sugarflair colours. You can see how bright the colours turn out from the below picture!

BOWLS! I made red, yellow, pink, green, blue and purple batter. I mixed blue and yellow colouring to get green and was very pleased with how it turned out. My purple wasn’t as vibrant as I would have liked (I got the violet colour which appears to be the brightest purple in the range – let me know if anyone has any tips on how to make my purples brighter!?).

Next, start filling your cupcake cakes with the batter. I used a tablespoon to fill each case with a spoonful of red, then pink then yellow and so on.

Mmm delicious messy rainbow.

When the cupcakes were baked, I decided to frost them in different ways. I experimented with different coloured frosting – doing some yellow, some white and some swirly tie-dye. To achieve that effect, I painted gel colour on the inside of my piping bag (using a knife) before putting the frosting inside.

What do you think? I love how the ones with the swirly coloured frosting look like swirly mr whippys. It would be really cute to do this with just one colour – beautiful.

As I was piping away, I inexplicably did a perfect rose swirl…. by complete accident. I’m still not sure how.


There was a little too much red and too little yellow but overall I was THRILLED with how these cupcakes turned out, and its given me lots of confidence to make more rainbow cakes in the future.

The possibilities are endless! And my success with rainbow cupcakes has made me want to turn my hand to rainbow cake….. stay tuned!

Source - The Whisk Kid