...Now say that five times fast.
It was still June and the birthdays just kept on coming. Next on the list was the one I'd been waiting for...my best friend Marina's birthday. We had planned to have a 70's Themed Roller Disco party down at the local roller rink. Yes, there was only one left in town and it smelled a little musty. But if you know Marina at all you'd know that this was totally her type of party. We had discussed making some crazy good peanut butter cupcakes because well...peanut butter is awesome. But one day she called me up excited about her new, "brilliant" idea: Neon cupcakes. And I agreed. Neon + Cake + Skates = Good.
I wasn't exactly going for anything fancy with these cupcakes. I just really wanted the color to be bright. As I was researching how to do this I came across this blog that had a recipe for "Rainbow Cake." She was trying to make a cake that was low in sugar, etc. because she was on a diet, but I LOVED her technique. The cake was extremely bright and rich in color. AND what also impressed me was that the different colors were not layered one on top of the other. They were swirled in no particular order without blending into each other. I knew I had to have cupcakes like this.
In order to achieve this look, you take the white cake batter (in this case I just used a white cake mix) and divide it into separate bowls. Then you take food coloring (I used McCormick's Neon Food Color...although I've read that Betty Crocker's Neon Food Color Gel is even better) and mix one into each bowl. To make sure your cupcakes don't have that "rainbow layered" look, spoon the individual colors into the corner of each cupcake liner...this way it will look more like colored splotches/sections instead of consecutive lines.
For detailed instructions and pictures (yay!!) here is my source: Rainbow Cake
The cupcakes turned out amazing! Better than I even expected. The colors were extremely bright and rich. I almost didn't want to frost them.
I ended up frosting them with cream cheese frosting from the store and dyeing them with yellow and red food color. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the frosting to be as brilliant as the cake. I think it was because I didn't have orange neon color so I had to make do with the original red and yellow I had. And the cream cheese frosting already has a slight tint to it so it wasn't a pure blank canvas. I think vanilla frosting would have worked with the color better in this case...even though I find the taste of it too sweet.
I always find cupcakes look better when they've been decorated...even if the cupcake is a decoration in itself. Someone brought in oranges to work that day and I decided to take one home and place thin slices on top. Just a little something...I didn't want to overpower the glory of the cupcake surprise. :)
The cupcakes were a hit! Marina and I commented on how they tasted like Lucky Charms. It wasn't necessarily about amazing taste for these...it was about presentation. And these babies delivered. We had to move the whole party out to the car to eat them because the roller rink didn't allow any food. But the 100ft trek was worth it.