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I feel like I keep falling back on colored cupcakes. And I can’t help it, they’re just fun. And when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day you absolutely must not ignore the green.
And the rainbows.
Because, hello? Rainbows. If ever there’s the time to celebrate the joys of Roy G. Biv, it’s when there’s a chance of finding a pot of gold. This recipe is one that I love because you can very easily make it in a bowl with a whisk or be slightly lazier and make it in a stand mixer. I also love it because if you’re feeling industrious one day you can mix all the dry ingredients together and create your own ‘cake mix’ and just store it in a freezer bag until the itch to bake strikes you. Whether you do it now or at some unforeseen date, you should make these cupcakes.
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp cocoa
2 tbs. vanilla pudding mix*
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Guiness beer (or a chocolate stout)
green food color
*Just open a box of vanilla pudding and scoop out the 2 tbs. Keep the rest for the next time you bake.
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Place all dry ingredients into mixing bowl, and measure all wet ingredients. I like to put my salt, baking soda and baking powder into a small container so I don’t accidentally forget it.
Combine all dry ingredients with a whisk, adding wet ingredients (except for the beer). You can see I’ve already added the green food color, so it’s looking a little Shrek-like. It will darken when it bakes, so aim for a bright green color pre-baked. The cocoa adds a dark color to the batter as well.
Once combined, add the beer. If you really don’t want the beer (don’t worry, the alcohol bakes out, it just leaves the flavor), you can replace it with water. My original recipe actually calls for water, I substituted the beer to add some festive flavor!
The resulting batter is very runny, I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop and pour out the cupcakes. This will make just over a dozen. I used fun rainbow striped liners because it’s St. Patrick’s Day and why not?
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Time will vary based on your oven. While they’re baking, it’s time to make the frosting. Combine the butter and cream cheese, scrape the sides and mix until well blended. Add salt and vanilla.
Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, scraping the sides as you go. The amount of sugar I use varies based on how thick I want the frosting. 4 cups is a softer frosting, while 5 cups is thicker and better for piping (but is much sweeter), use as much as you feel comfortable with.
Place frosting into a piping bag. Since I’m going to finish these with a fun covering of sprinkles, it’s not as necessary for the frosting to be perfect, but I have bags so I use them. If you don’t, a freezer bag works or simply spread it on with a spatula.
Pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
To make the sprinkle design, use a plate with a lip on it, and begin portioning out sanding sugar, I had six colors, so I divided the plate into six wedges and filled each color following a rainbow pattern. Using your hand and a spoon, scoop out the color and push it against the last color, keep working until the plate is filled.
Once the design is ready, roll the cupcake in the sanding sugar. Keep pushing the excess sugar into the center to refill until all the cupcakes are decorated. If this is more than you’re willing to commit to, simply sprinkle rainbow sanding sugar on top and be done with it.
Because of the cream cheese frosting, I typically like to refrigerate these if I’m not eating them the same day. So, moral of the recipe – eat them when you bake them!