When I started this blog 5 months ago one of the first things I attempted was rainbow cupcakes. I had issues with the icing method I experimented with. I painted stripes of color on the inside of a pastry bag and then filled it with white icing.
What I hoped would happen was a colorful blend of icing when I piped the buttercream. Instead, I had spots of color running through mostly white icing. I was not happy and have been wanting to try again.
So, my friend Amy joined me to give it another go. To make it a bit different and more fun we mixed in neon colored gel dye, rather than the usual red, orange, yellow, etc. Also, we used four colors instead of six. This made it easier to prevent overfilling the cupcake liners. We used the same method for the cupcakes as my original Rainbow Cupcake post, which you can find here.
There was enough batter to make about three more cupcakes, but Amy had the idea to make Whoopie Pies with the extra. We used a Whoopie Pie baking pan and she filled each cavity with several colors instead of just one. They were adorable!
While the baked cakes were cooling, I mixed up a batch of vanilla buttercream.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing
2 sticks of butter
4 cups of confectioner's sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons half and half
Using a mixer, beat butter until it is fluffy. Add 3 cups of sugar - one cup at a time - mixing until it's completely incorporated. Add vanilla and half and half along with last cup of sugar and mix, adding more half and half until the icing is the desired consistency.
We decided to use the same four colors of the cupcakes for the icing. I split the buttercream into four bowls and Amy added the gel dye. When she was done mixing, I spooned a small amount of each color, one on top of the other, into a pastry bag. The result was much closer to what I had in mind color-wise. The colors did mix together in the bag creating some new shades, but I loved the finished cupcake!
After the cupcakes were frosted, we put a ring of icing on the base of a Whoopie Pie and capped it off. We loved them, too!
I read about a THIRD method of making color swirl icing, which I'll try at another time. In the meantime, I am really taken by these neon cakes. They make me smile, and, hopefully, they'll do the same for you, too!