Monday, February 13, 2012

Something To Turn My Frown Upside Down - Pink Rainbow Cupcakes

Oh, so it's been a tough couple of days baking!  Sometimes it happens that I have a stretch of bad luck and recipes that don't turn out.  It can be a bit maddening, but I know it's part of the process of learning and trying new things.  There's are a few recipes I'm very practiced at, ones that turn out perfect every time.  I can continue to make those, or I can choose to challenge myself.  So, chin up!  Smile!  Keep baking!

Now can I admit I made something today that I knew would turn out just fine to make myself feel a little better?  It can be just our secret!  ;)

I made a Valentine's Day version of Rainbow Cupcakes.  So have a lot of other people, and theirs look better, but they made me happy.  I love pink and working with pinks and reds makes me smile.  

Scratch Vanilla Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with liners; set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time,  mixing until incorporated.  Scrape down sides of bowl and mix in vanilla.

Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add whole raspberries to batter and use mixer to incorporate.  The berries will break up into pieces but will not alter the color of the batter.
Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about 2/3 full.  
Bake until cake springs back, approximately 18-20 minutes.  After removing pan from over place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely on rack.

After mixing up the batter, I split it into four equal parts, dyeing each portion into different shades of pink.  Using the Rainbow Cake/Cupcake technique (click here to see) I filled the liners, careful not to go over 2/3 full.  If you are overzealous filling the liners you will end up with this:

Not ideal.  Not pretty!

While the cupcakes are cooling, mix up the 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.
I split the buttercream into four bowls and added the gel dye in the same colors of the cupcake.  When she was done mixing, I spooned a small amount of each color, one on top of the other, into a pastry bag.  When the cupcakes were COMPLETELY cooled, I piped on the buttercream.

Having one of the three recipes I made work out gave me a boost to try, try again.  Sometimes that's just what you have to do.  I would not have posted these since they're kind of redundant for my blog.  But, it's Valentine's Day tomorrow and probably the last pink treat for awhile.  Time to go green for St. Patrick's Day...I'm donating 150 items to a fundraiser so I'll be making lots of fun stuff!

Happy Valentine's Day!!


  1. Hang in there, Debbie! We all have bad baking days. I have noticed that Friday, afternoon/evening has NOT been working for me. Not sure why, but the only thing I have had turn out is trail mix. No baking required, just mixing up candy and nuts.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Robyn! I seem to have these couple-of-days-long stretches and it can be so discouraging. If I didn't love baking so much I'd give it up! How interesting there's a day of the week you pinpointed as a baking day. Train mix sound like the PERFECT solution!! :)

  2. GORGEOUS! Where do you get your cupcake liners, they are SO cute! And...Thanks for the photography compliment at Dwell on Joy! You're the best :)

    1. Hi, Sarah! I find most of liners at Michael's craft stores in the baking section. I also found a couple of really cute liners that are grease-proof, so look as great coming out of the oven as they do going in! I look at cupcake liners everywhere I go!! ;) Your pictures are fantastic and, as I wrote, I'm impressed you are teaching yourself instead of becoming frustrated and giving up like I did!!

  3. SO pretty! I love the pink. The perfect anytime treat. :)

    1. Thank you AGAIN, Dorothy! You are too kind!! :) Pink is my favorite...but now it's time to go green for St. Patrick's Day!

  4. Those look yummy!! I wish I could have cupcakes every day. Where is my magic pill?? ;)

    1. Oh, I know exactly what you mean! If I find that pill I will let you know. :) Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again!