Holden’s first birthday is fast approaching (ack!) and I’ve been pinning and planning a colorful “You are my sunshine”-type party.
I fell in love with Spearmint Baby’s Rainbow Cupcakes when I was putting together my First Birthday Party Idea Board. I love them for the guests’ cakes but also for Holden’s smash cake. I love to bake, so I wanted to give these a shot, but I thought I’d better try a “practice round” first. Good thing I did…
So where did I go wrong? First of all, let me say that Shari at Spearmint Baby’s instructions are super clear and easy to follow (plus they’re gorgeous!), so this was all totally my bad.
I think it all started with me attempting to go right for the smash cake with my Wilton Giant Cupcake Cast Pan. So that’s a no-no right from the start.
But I digress, here’s what I did:
- I used a regular ol’ box of Betty Crocker white cake mix. Shari recommends using a recipe that uses egg whites and oil instead of butter (your colors will supposedly come out better and cupcakes will brown less – ha!)
- Divided the batter into six bowls.
- Added the food coloring to each bowl. I used McCormick’s neon pack for my pink, green, blue and purple. Per Shari’s instructions, I mixed yellow from a regular dye pack with the pink to make the orange (which was really more of a salmon).
So pretty! I totally stole borrowed the idea for those gorgeous shots straight from Shari (seriously–check out her post!). So far so good, right? Here’s where it all went wrong.
Rather than lining my muffin tin and going for your standard cupcake, I had to be a showoff and go right for the big guy. Okay, so here’s what came next:
- I used a rubber spatula to fill the giant cupcake bottom and top with each color, layered on top of each other: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink. Shari recommends using a fork to layer the batter if you go the preferred regular ol’ cupcake method. Pshaw.
Then I baked the cake as directed by Mrs. Crocker. However, once the timer had gone off and I peeped at my creation, I started to get a bit concerned: it seemed the inside of the cake wasn’t baking as quickly as the outside. I decided to leave it in a bit longer.
Oops. So as evidenced by the brownish-pink exterior, I left the bad boy in too long.
I was about to chalk this up as a massive, massive failure, but as I was picking the cake up to trash it, I noticed something beautiful:
The inside of the cake was filled with gorgeous, vibrant layers of color! Hope had been restored!
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to give up. I’m going to try again, this time with regular-sized cupcakes. I think being able to control the temperature in smaller batches will make this a success. I have a whole month until her party to try again. I may need to come up with an alternative for her smash cake, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
And yes, you better believe I still ate the crumbled-up cake. It was delicious; don’t judge me.
The other silver lining? I didn’t mind clean-up because it was so pretty!
Rainbow Cake: 1. Meg: 0.
Next time: victory will be mine!
(oh, and I totally submitted this to Young House Love’s Pinterest Challenge, Spring Edition, and on Bower Power, Sparkle Meets Pop and RedBirdBlue)