I think I’ve found my new favorite thing to bake! Maybe not for their taste so much as the way they make people FREAK OUT upon seeing them. Not that they taste bad (they are delicious!), but this is not the kind of thing I would bake just for myself and Steven to enjoy some weekend. This is the kind of thing I would bake to 1) celebrate a 5-year-old birthday, 2) celebrate my own birthday (5-year-olds have excellent taste; I would also have a bouncy house), and 3) impress people. Last week I was making them for reason #3 since it was my turn to present in class. Everyone knows bringing food totally ups your grade, and distracts people from how you may or may not be pronouncing “manga” wrong the entire time. The main reason these cupcakes escalated into a somewhat more dramatic production than I originally intended was that I have a partner in this project! Rather than rein in my ridiculousness and suggest we should maybe concentrate on, you know, our content, he just egged me on.
Me: I was thinking of baking something for the presentation. What do you think would go with graphic novels (our subject)?
Him: I don’t know, we could just get Pocky or something.
Me: OMG! I could bake cupcakes and stick Pocky in them!!! Like antenna!!
Him: Awesome! I can make speech bubbles on toothpicks to stick in them!
Me: Man, I have to find a cupcake recipe exciting enough to be a good Pocky-and-speech-bubble foundation…
Don’t worry, guys, I found that recipe. I was thinking about how graphic novels are about the visual impact and wanted the cupcakes to similarly make a bold statement. I remembered last year seeing Rainbow Cupcakes on Baking Bites. Nicole Weston is one of the few food bloggers I follow who has never once steered me wrong, or whose perfectly good recipes I have never managed to screw up somehow, which is why I was totally okay trying this recipe for the first time late the night before my presentation. It was shockingly easy.
Basically, it’s a normal cupcake recipe, but you divide the batter into five separate bowls:
Then you fill the bottoms of the cupcake tins with blue, then green, etc. until you have layered all the colors of the rainbow! The only annoying thing about this was that I was making a 2.5x larger batch (the original makes 10), so it was really hard to judge how much batter of each color to put in each cup at the beginning. Some of the ones at the end had no blue in them, but whatever. It was kind of hard to tell after they baked:
They sort of looked like mood rings from the top before I frosted them. Mostly red, but with little bubbles of other colors. Here are some of the leftovers that have their Pocky/speech bubbles:
I’d like to try this as a whole cake sometime instead of just cupcakes. Also, to cover them in Skittles to be even more colorful!
The other good thing about this recipe is that it forced me to buy buttermilk so I basically had no choice but to teach Steven how to make biscuits.