Thursday, March 22, 2012

Electromagnetic Spectrum Cupcakes

A while ago, a friend asked me if I could make cupcakes the encompass the entire electromagnetic spectrum. I replied that I don't think I can make ultra-violet or infra-red cupcakes. I definitely can't make x-ray cupcakes or gamma ray cupcakes. I could bake cupcakes in the microwave but they wouldn't really be microwave cupcakes and radio-wave cupcakes are certainly not possible because cupcakes are for eating, not listening to. However, I could certainly manage a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the visible radiation part. For those of you that aren't scientists in your spare time, that means light. As in, all the colours of the rainbow. So these are rainbow cupcakes. With white buttercream frosting. They should have rainbow sprinkles too but here in Galway I cannot find any that are brightly coloured enough for my liking. Not only that, but this is not even my fall-back-on cupcake recipe because I was not paying attention and first of all, I did not have a third egg, then I did not add some other substance to make up for that egg, which meant that I had only added three quarters of the flour before the batter was thick enough. So instead of making 18 cupcakes I made 12, with a difference consistency than usual because of the high proportion of butter and sugar to flour. They still taste good. They're very crumbly and soft.

Rainbow cupcakes

185 grams butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon custard powder
1/4 cup milk
Food colouring

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, soften the butter and then add the sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy, then add the vanilla essence and beat some more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

Sift the flour, baking powder and custard powder into the batter (the custard adds more vanilla flavour and gives the cupcakes a softer texture). Beat the batter again until all of the dry ingredients are combined. Add the milk and beat one last time.

Divide the mixture into three bowls (try to divide it evenly, unlike me; I just guessed and I had far more red than anything else). Add food colouring to each and mix well, adding more until you have bright blue, yellow and red. I figured that where the blue and yellow meet they would make green and where the yellow and red meet they would make orange. Didn't quite work out that way. If I had been making a much bigger batch I think I would have actually gone so far as to divide the mixture into 7 and actually make all the colours of the rainbow. But this is enough for now.

Did you notice that there are action shots for once? Don't get your hopes up though, it's not often that I'm baking with a crowd who have fun new cameras to play with.

So, bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the tray from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the tin and let them cool on a wire rack until they are completely cold.

Frost the cupcakes with a thick white buttercream frosting (or make it rainbow coloured, or gold, or something). If you have sprinkles, add them too. Then eat them. Eat them before everybody else sees them and expects you to share.


  1. Jaimie, I make a very similar gluten free version of this recipe but never thought of using it as a science lesson by calling them electromagnetic spectrum cupcakes. Next time I'll have to do that and have them lead into a lesson!

  2. Jaimie, these cupcakes are so cute and I be they taste good too.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great Spring week end and come back to see me real soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. Delicious and fun... Great project to do with kids!



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