Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rainbow Cupcakes | Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Greetings!! My name is Anne Marie and I am the mastermind behind Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated, a blog mostly about cooking and crafting with a dash of what is going on in my life sprinkled generously with coffee and Red Bull. I am also a mom to 3 little kids (6 yo boy, 4 yo girl, & *almost* 3 yo boy) and they all love to help me out in the kitchen…especially baking. So the other Sunday I was laying on the couch playing on my phone when my daughter comes up to me and says “I want to bake.” I told her “In a minute” and she scampered off for a minute and then came back begging to bake something for her day care class. She gave me that face…how could I say no to THAT FACE?! 
So I started looking for a quick, easy, and child friendly recipe on Pintrest…that we had all the ingredients for. Not asking for much, or anything! Finally, I resembled upon the recipe I used for our Father’s Day cupcakes. Vanilla Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes (http://www.therisinghollywood.com/2012/03/29/vanilla-cupcake-recipe-from-dcs-cupcake-girls/)! I skimmed the list and all but did a happy dance when I realized that we had everything! 

Off to the kitchen we went to gather our supplies. 
Now please keep in mind I do not bake like most people. I tend to eyeball and adjust as I want, AND I was cooking with a 4 year old who wanted to do everything! Basically I measured everything out and handed it to her to pour in the bowl and stir.

First, I turned on the oven to 350° while Eliza poured in the 2 1/2 cups of flour.
Then she added the 1/2 tsp of baking powder, while I sprinkled in the salt. 
Next up came the butter…and the beginning of where I read my recipe a little wrong :-)

Many recipes talk about using room temp butter and a stand mixer, well I don’t have one of those and I certainly do not have the patience to wait for my butter to soften naturally! So I break up my butter into chunks and pop it in the microwave for a quick 30 seconds. This usually does the job! 
Then I completely skipped reading “add sugar” and moved on to the 2 eggs and vanilla. Since Eliza was helping I broke the eggs into my mixing cup and eyeballed my vanilla. I tend to like things extra vanilla-y. I stirred these together before passing them along to my junior chef for adding and mixing.
At this point it dawned on me that no sugar had been added. I looked at my recipe for the zillionth time and saw it there. Whoops! We quickly added the 1 3/4 cups of sugar to the mix. 
At this point I poured in the 1 1/4 cups of whole milk (to much protesting) while Eliza stirred. I also took this opportunity to conduct an extremely short interview.

Seriously…how cute it she? 

Now our batter didn’t quite look right at this point. Very clumpy. This tends to happen when I let one or more of my kids help with a recipe. I decided that Mommy had to take over the mixing. I was able to work out enough of the clumps that I wasn’t concerned. This was also around the point where it registered with me that I should have made a half recipe because this makes a TON of batter. So I got creative. 

I was running a bit low on seasonally appropriate cupcake liners and I decided to just spray the heck out of my tins…I also decided to split the batter into 5 and add food coloring for some tie-dye cupcakes. This was a shock to the girl. (“Why are you pouring some in the coffee cups?”)
I split the cups with Eliza and we each mixed up 2 colors. We added a lot of food coloring! Possibly too much if we are being honest. I just hate when “colored” food cooks and doesn’t look right! 

Then came the messy part…and this was ALL ME! All of my measuring cups were dirty (I had cooked and baked a lot in the past 24 hours) so I needed another method of transferring batter. 
So I used a ladle to which I was told that it was for soup. I scooped some plain batter into my mini cupcake tins. I filled each about halfway so I would have room for the colored batter. 
Next, I poured in a SMALL amount of each color in…and overfilled! DRAT! I swear I am as messy as a child! I popped the minis in the oven while I filled the regular sized wells. I didn’t set the timer (I know!) but I knew I would be back in there in a moment so I wasn’t concerned. 

These came out looking a little better and little less overfilled. When I put them in the oven I checked on the minis and they were almost done. So I set my timer for like 2 minutes and when I checked them (with a toothpick) they were perfect. 

I then reset the timer for like 5 minutes for the regular cupcakes. I knew they wouldn’t be done yet, but better to check them earlier than to wait and they burn and become impossible to remove from the pan!

They ended up taking about 3 minutes past my alarm…expected and right on track with the recipe. When I took the cupcakes out I immediately removed them from the pans and put them on a cookie sheet to cool. One day I hope to have a proper rack for things…sigh…when I grow up. 
I knew that we didn’t have icing or the proper items to make icing so I never even mentioned this and somehow neither did Eliza! 
She was perfectly content with bringing rainbow cupcakes with no icing to her class. 
I realized that I wasn’t even sure if we were allowed to bring in cupcakes for snack unannounced, but we packed them in baggies and took them in. When I picked her up in the afternoon (right after snack) I had no less than 5 3-4 year old kids run up to me and tell me how excited they were that Eliza had made and brought them cupcakes. She was beaming and my heart was happy. It was well worth all of the stress it took to make these cupcakes…and the struggle with my inner control freak to let her do most of the work. 

Thank you Skinny Latte Mommy for letting me share with your readers!! 

You can find me all over the web:

This is the recipe that I followed!

* 2 1/2 cups flour , sifted
* 1/2 tsp. baking powder, sifted
* 1/4 Tsp. salt
* 8 Tbsp. (4 ounces) unsalted butter
* 1 3/4 cups sugar
* 2 large eggs, at room temperature
* 2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract + seeds from 1 vanilla bean
* 1 1/4 cups whole milk , at room temperature

For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 cupcake pans with baking cups or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Combine the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.

Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.

Scoop batter into baking cups and bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely).


  1. Our sitter made these with my son once and he was SO impressed! (but we used the boxed cupcakes... don't judge!)

    1. There is nothing wrong with using boxed mix!! I really only started from scratch baking a few years ago...before that I was all about the box!

  2. Hahaha!! Your post had me in stitches!! I love the way you've written it. I sense your heart on every line & I recognize everything about this scene (mine are 6,3,1)! Miss 6's smiling little face is priceless - who could resist... So true!
    And there IS NO POINT having a solid recipe when your baking with little ones! When I'm trying to stick to the recipe it is not a pleasant experience for my kids to bake with me!! 'Let it go' as my girls are singing while I type.

    Your cupcakes turned out beautifully, I love how bubbly they look on the top too :-)

    Thanks for linking up with #SHINEbloghop - your post is fantastic :-)


    1. Yay! Someone understands my humor ;-) Baking with kiddos may not be perfect, but it can be so much fun!

  3. Super cute and fun, love the way your cupcakes came out! My kiddos would love to give this a try :)

    1. Thank you!! My kids absolutely LOVE to cook! Sometimes they make their own dinner. I put a scoop of PB and a scoop of jelly on the plate and they slather it on a tortilla, roll it up, and enjoy!

  4. These are so cute and what a fun post!

    This was one of the three top-viewed posts at last week's #SHINEbloghop! Congratulations!

    I've done shout-outs on all my social media to link back to this post. Way to SHINE!

    1. Just getting around to offering my thanks for all of the shout-outs!! I can't wait to co-host next week!

  5. aha! possibly a way for me to get my 4 y/o daughter to eat an entire cupcake and not just the icing!!

    1. YES!! I mean, they are still loaded with sugar, but it's best not to waste ;-)


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