Plain white cupcakes are the base to many colorful ideas. Want to go beyond bright frosting without changing the flavor? Try putting something inside!

The trend first started with people putting sprinkles in their batter that would explode during baking. Now, bakers are thinking of new ways to colorize their cupcakes. I even spotted a tie-dye cupcake online and had to try it myself.

Batter Up

I took the easy way out and bought a french vanilla cupcake box, but if you have a favorite recipe for a white cake, you can use that too. After preparing it according to the directions on the box, and filling the cupcake liners with the batter, I created swirls with food coloring. I use Wilton’s brand because the coloring is thicker, so you use less and it is easier to make bright colors.

First I added a drop or two of food coloring, then swirled it around the battler with a cupcake. Use as much or as little as you want, but make sure you get the food coloring down as far as possible so the color goes throughout the cupcake. Bake the cupcakes as directed.

Frosty Days Ahead

You can stick with a plain white frosting, or match your swirled cupcakes. I use 3 bags to do swirled frosting. One bag for each color (white and your brightened shade). Put your frosting tip in a third bag. Flatten the 2 filled bags and slip them into the empty bag. Make sure they both go down to the tip equally. Squeeze until both colors come out the tip in a pretty swirl!

My buttercream frosting recipe. Just blend the following:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar (used about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Get Layered

Another way to incorporate this color trend is with layering. Start by making your batter and then separating it into as many bowls as you want colors. Mix food coloring into each bowl until it is equally distributed. Layer the colors into the cupcake liner and bake away!

You can use any color combination – school colors, holiday colors (red, white and blue for July 4th, pastel colors for Easter, green and red for Christmas) or even wedding colors (cupcakes are the new wedding cake).

Ways to make your cupcakes personal is limited only to the imagination in your mind.

photo credit: CamEvans