•1 cup white sugar
•1/2 cup butter
•2 egg whites
•1 whole egg
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
•1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Stir in vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time - alternating with the flour/baking powder mixture. Stir in the milk slowly, constantly mixing, until batter is smooth. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Cupcakes take less time, perhaps 20-25 minutes.
Now is the time to divide your batter into as many colors as you want to use and food gel coloring to make each portion a different color. This is when I found out that I did not have any red food color. Then I remembered the Red Velvet cake mix and mixed up that batter as well and used a portion of it for the red. Sara has a wonderful tip for making the rainbow layers,"To get a layered stripe like I used, you'll want to put a spoonful of each color in the cupcake one at a time. The batter is thick, so it won't spread on it's own. A great tip is to set out a little bowl of water where you're working. Dip your finger in the water and then gently spread the batter out. The water will make it so the batter doesn't stick to your fingers." It really works!Then, I couldn't leave my gluten & casein free kids out of the fun, so I used Betty Crocker's new Gluten-free yellow cake mix. I mixed it according to the package and divided it into five different colors (we used pink food coloring for red this time.) This mix is a little speckled when you add color to it, as if part of the batter doesn't take to the coloring.
When the cupcakes were baked, however, it did not have a mottled look at all. This batter was much more runny, so we could not spread it as well as the other batter.
It turned out with a wonderfully swirled rainbow look, however, and was delightful.
All were iced with white icing and topped with St. Patrick's day sprinkles (although rainbow sprinkles would have been great too) and a single plastic gold coin. Gold foil wrapped chocolates would have been even better. Perhaps next year...
(First published on 3-17-2011)