Rainbow swirl cupcakes

These cupcakes have been really popular lately, and I wanted to share with you just how easy they are to make. You don’t need a lot of equipment or technique for some real wow factor.

Firstly you’ll need some cupcakes. My favourite vanilla cupcake recipe is here.  I love the texture of these cupcakes – they are slightly more dense than many I’ve made before, yet really soft and moist and just melt in your mouth.  I also love the Cake Paper Party website – Summer has a heap of great recipes (with beautiful photos) and she delves into the science behind baking which is fascinating.

My favourite chocolate cupcake recipe is here. This cupcake manages to be light and super chocolate-y at the same time, while not dry or crumbly.

Next you are going to need some buttercream.  The simplest version is really just a mix of butter and sugar whipped together (an example here from My Cupcake Addiction). My favourite variety though is Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB). It is super smooth and soft and velvety. SMB does take a bit of effort but I think it is well worth it. There are heaps on recipes online, but there’s a good video here from Elisa Strauss.

Now the fun stuff starts. I’ve chosen to use five colours in my rainbow, and so I divided my buttercream into five bowls. Colour each bowl of buttercream using a gel paste (water based colours can alter the texture and make your buttercream too runny). Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and dollop the buttercream on in a line, with each colour side by side.

Roll up the plastic wrap so you have one big roll with all five colours inside.

Next you need to slide this big roll of buttercream into your piping bag (with star tip attached) and shake it to get the buttercream to push as close to the tip as possible. It won’t go all the way, but don’t worry.

All you need to do is twist the top of the piping bag closed and this pressure will squeeze all the colours towards the tip. The first bit of buttercream probably won’t have all the colours as they start to merge, so try it out on some spare cupcakes (it will still taste great!), or just onto some baking paper or something to throw away.

My favourite technique is to swirl from the outside towards the middle, building to a peak in the centre. You can add extra decorations like these silver cachous, sprinkles, 100s and 1000s, edible glitter etc – so many possibilities.

The final ‘sweet moment’ is enjoying a beautiful looking, and tasting, cupcake. I’d love to see your creations, so please post a photo in the comments below.



2 Comment

  1. So pretty!! These would have been perfect for Kate’s 5th birthday as she had a rainbow theme! Maybe for her next party:) I’m sure she would love to give these a go herself!
    I don’t suppose you have any good gluten free cake recipes to share?

    1. I have no doubt Kate could do this – she has the crafty/artistic touch! I have used both the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes recipes with gluten free plain flour (just from Coles) and they have been great.

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