These rainbow cupcakes have a way of bringing a smile to everyone’s face. When the rainy days of Vancouver set in and the resulting weeks of grey, our elementary school has their annual Rainbow Day. It’s a simple and fun concept really – WEAR ALL THE COLOURS!!! So we set about to create a suitable treat for the occasion.
It’s a great idea, no costumes need to be purchased or clothing in a particular colour, you just work with you’ve got and wear as many colours (and sometimes patterns too, if we are being honest) as you’ve got! So what’s not to love and celebrate here?! And celebrating with baked goods is kind of our thing, so my little budding bakers and I, thought class treats might just be in order – rainbow hued class treats of course!
So Pinterest and I started brainstorming extravagant ideas. Then real life hit (darn you real life). So these rainbow cupcakes were the answer. We made these little cuties with the little and willing hands helping out. And well marshmallow clouds make everything better, both in ease and in my children’s insatiable love of a marshmallows!
52 Mini Rainbow Cupcakes
With two kids in school I needed no less than 52 rainbow cupcakes. Yup – thats a lot of cupcakes, even of the mini variety.
So we busted out the mini cupcake trays and filled them with blue (mini) cupcake liners and when those ran out, with the brightest coloured ones we had on hand!!!
Then I whipped up a funfetti cupcake batter from this wonderful recipe here from Sally’s Baking Addiction (it’s yummy!). However I did go a little lighter on the sprinkles than the recipe called for and just generously sprinkled them on top of the batter (rather than mixing them in – to keep them better intact and limit the colours bleeding into the batter) just prior to scooping out the cupcakes, then half way through – I sprinkled some more on again. It seemed to work great. And of course I adjusted my baking time for the mini cupcakes I was making.
Then we made the brightest, funnest rainbow hued frosting we could, to top our cupcakes.
So follow along on our rainbow cupcake fun!
These rainbow cupcakes required:
About 55 mini cupcake liners (sky blue helps with the rainbow look)
Cellophane Wrap (cling wrap)
Large Piping Bag (I used a Wilton disposable)
A Wilton 1M Piping Tip
Wilton Gel Colours ( I went with blue, red, purple, orange, yellow and green )
Cupcake batter (homemade or cake mix)
Aprox. 3 1/2 Cups of Frosting – medium to stiff consistency – (see recipe below)
Mini White Marshmallows
First things first, bake up your cupcakes and allow them to cool completely.
Then get to work on the rainbow frosting.
Basic Butter Frosting:
1 Cup Room Temperature Butter
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup of Half and Half Cream (or milk)
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
Combine the butter and a cup of powdered sugar together on low in a mixer with the paddle attachment.
Add the rest of the powdered sugar a cup at a time.
Add the half and half and vanilla and mix to combine.
Scrape down the sides.
Beat on medium speed until desired consistency (about 1 – 2 minutes), adding more powdered sugar or half and half if needed to thicken or thin.
*Test for desired stiffness by standing a butter knife or spreader in the centre of frosting it should stay upright, if stiff enough, but fall to the side when the bowl is gently moved*
To colour the frosting, I used the wilton gel colours.
Prep a large piping bag with a 3D Wilton tip and set aside.
Lay out two sheets of cellophane (saran wrap), about 18 inches long each, on a clean surface. You will need two pieces, because this amount of frosting needs to be evenly divided, in order to fit in a piping bag.
Remove about a half cup of frosting and tint blue for the sky.
Then divide the remaining frosting into 6 equal portions.
One at a time remove each portion of frosting to a small bowl and colour a different hue of the rainbow. If you work lightest to darkest, there is no need to wash the bowl out between colours. I would generally start with about 1/8 of a teaspoon of gel colouring and then add more if needed, as I wanted each colour to be quite intense.
Once each colour is completed, spoon in a line about 6 inches in length, evenly split between each of the cling wraps.
Continue with each colour, laying directly next to the previous colour on the cling wrap.
Once all six colours are in place on both sheets of cling wrap, begin slowly rolling the cling wrap up, one at a time, into a tube and twisting the ends.
Next cut the twist off one of the ends and insert into the prepared piping bag, cut side down.
Twist the top of the piping bag closed and slowly squeeze the frosting down until coming out the tip in all its rainbow hued glory.
Then take and smooth blue frosting (your sky) on to the top of the cupcake, using a small cake spread or a butter knife.
Next pipe on the rainbow simply by holding the cupcake in your hand and starting with the piping bag in a 9 o’clock position, giving a slight twist/turn at the 12 o’clock position and ending at a 3 o’clock position, roughly. After trying one to two you will have it down. I found it looked more natural to stop my pressure after 12 and allow the frosting to taper off by 3.
Then use two mini white marshmallows, placed on their sides to act as the clouds at either end of the rainbow. The frosting holds them in place nicely.
Now for the older class we decided to just pipe on the frosting in regular cupcake fashion. Which had nothing to do with running out of time. Ok it had little to do with running out of time, but also they are in fact older and probably would just appreciate more frosting anyway.
Note: Once the first batch of frosting ran out, I simply opened up the piping bag, removed the cling wrap and then inserted the next one in its place.
And there you go – Sweet Rainbow Day Celebrations!!!
Check out these other kid friendly mini ‘Popsicle’ Cupcakes too!