Rainbow Cupcakes

Here is a depressing statistic:  for the last four-and-a-bit years, I’ve been teaching English six days a week.  Obviously I’ve had holidays and breaks between jobs, but still, that’s a lot of teaching.  There are many rewarding aspects to it, but one of the unfortunate side-effects of spending so much time in the classroom is that I have become rather authoritative.  (“Authoritative” is my word.  Other descriptions might include “bossy”, “a nagging harridan” or indeed “a tyrant”.)  It’s sometimes hard to switch off the teacher persona, so it can be necessary at times to indulge in a little silliness and frivolity.  And what could be more frivolous than rainbow cupcakes?

Cupcakes and cookies have long been in a duel for my affections.  Last year I was all about cupcakes, then this year cookies made a noble comeback, but it looks as if cupcakes might be snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.  How can cookies compete with these brightly-coloured beauties?  I first made rainbow cakes last summer, and, while they looked pretty special, the generic food colouring had a slightly detrimental effect on the taste.  This time I wanted to get both the look and the taste right, so I asked my mum to send me over some good quality food colouring and it made all the difference.  Only a smidgen is needed, and it produces really vibrant colours without sacrificing any of the sweetness.  Yum yum!

They can be a bit of a faff to make, but they’re worth the extra effort in my opinion.  All you do is make your regular batch of vanilla cupcakes (I use the Primrose Bakery recipe)…

Divide the batter between separate bowls and add a different food colouring to each one…

Place spoonfuls of the mixture into cake cases (don’t mix them together, just dollop them in – you could probably marble them though if you wanted), and bake as per the normal recipe…

And decorate!  I iced mine with vanilla buttercream and added a sprinkle of edible glitter for extra merriment.  And how merry they were!

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