Superbowl Sunday usually means chicken wings, chili, and other heavy man-type food. I definitely enjoy all of that deliciously unhealthy stuff, but this year I wanted to throw a little something extra in. I wanted to break up the usual masculinity with something completely frivolous, and almost ridiculous in contrast. That's right. It's rainbow cupcake time.
I've been seeing rainbow cakes and rainbow cupcakes around the blogs for the past year or so, and something about the completely inedible-looking colors stacked on top of each other is strangely appealing to me. There were certainly a few raised eyebrows when the cupcakes came out, but all but two were gone by the time the party was over.
The concept is simple enough, and doesn't really require a recipe. You whip up your favorite white cake batter, or in my case, you get ultra lazy and buy a white cake mix at the grocery store. I know that cake mixes are sacrilegious to some people, but precisely measuring out ingredients to make cupcakes on superbowl Sunday wasn't exactly my top priority when so many other dishes were being made at the same time. Split your prepared cake batter evenly into separate bowls depending on the amount of colors you want to have in your finished cupcakes. Six is probably the ideal amount of colors, but I skipped out on the orange and went with five colors. Gel food coloring will create really vivid, saturated, almost alien-looking colors that you see in a lot of the rainbow cakes. I really wanted to try the gel, but I didn't have time to go to a specialty store and my local supermarket only had the liquid stuff.
Tint each bowl of batter with food coloring, being careful not to overdo it. If you use liquid like me, you'll probably need to do a little mixing to make the non-primary colors. Pour a small layer of one color into the bottom of each cup of your cupcake pan. Pour a small layer of a different color on top of the initial layer, and repeat this until you have used all of your colors and the cupcake cups are half-way filled. Bake the cupcakes according to their original recipe.
There's something kind of magical about the finished product. Maybe it's the way that the colors stay separate instead of turning into a big brown glob, or maybe it's just ridiculously fun to be eating something so silly, especially when it's starkly contrasted against something like the ultra-masculine superbowl. Either way, this is a pretty simple undertaking with really great results.