Rainbow Cupcakes

It takes sunshine and rain to make a rainbow, or in this case, vanilla cake mixture and food colouring! These joyful rainbow cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream are sure to brighten your day and put a smile of your face.

Featuring a rainbow vanilla sponge base, these cupcakes are topped with a smooth and creamy white chocolate buttercream and are decorated with THE cutest unicorn sprinkles and decorations.

Rainbow cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream
Piping white chocolate buttercream onto rainbow cupcakes

Making a rainbow sponge is super easy!

Don’t you just love it when something looks really impressive but it’s actually so easy to make? Well, this recipe is exactly that!

Step 1: Whip up a simple cake mixture

Start by making a simple vanilla sponge mixture. Equal parts butter, sugar and flour, couple of eggs, a dash of vanilla extract, and I always like to add a tablespoon of milk.

Step 2: Dye the cake mixture

Split the sponge mixture into four bowls and dye each a different colour. I chose to use yellow, green, blue and red colours.

TOP TIP: Use food colouring gel or pastes to get a vibrant, bright colour. Liquid food colourings are more diluted and therefore the colours will look more washed out.

Step 3: Fill the cupcake cases

Spoon one coloured mixture into the left-hand side of the cupcake case, now spoon a different colour on the right-hand side. Repeat with the remaining two colours, spooning them on top. Hopefully that all makes sense, pictures below if not. This will give you lovely distinct colours in the sponge once they’re baked.

Other cupcake recipes you will love:


Rainbow cupcake recipe (makes 12)

Ingredients

For the sponge:
200g Stork tub
200g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
Green, blue, red and yellow food colouring – make sure you use the gels/pastes, not the liquid types. I used PME Concentrated Food Pastes.

For the white chocolate buttercream:
200g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
200g icing sugar
100g white chocolate

For the decoration:
Cute and colourful sprinkles – I used Dr.Oetker Unicorn Head Sprinkles and House of Cake Unicorn & Rainbow decorations

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. 

In a large bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the 200g flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining flour, baking powder and milk and fold together until smooth and combined.

Divide the mixture into four bowls. Using the food colouring gels, dye one bowl of mixture red, one blue, one green and one yellow.

Spoon one of the coloured mixtures into the left-hand side of a cupcake case, now spoon a different colour on the right-hand side. Repeat with the remaining two colours, spooning them on top. Repeat for all 12 cupcakes.

Bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes have risen, spring back to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now make the white chocolate buttercream.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 20-second blasts until smooth. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter until super soft, pale in colour and smooth. Sieve the icing sugar into the bowl and beat again until you have a smooth, lump-free buttercream.

Pour the white chocolate into the buttercream and fold together until combined.

Time to decorate!

Spread or pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes. I used a large 12 point closed star nozzle to get that lovely swirl effect. Finish the cupcakes with a scatter of rainbow sprinkles. CUTE!

Store the cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Celebrate summer with these delicious strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. Topped with cream cheese frosting and filled with strawberry jam, these cupcakes are perfect for picnics, BBQ’s or just to enjoy on a warm summers day.

strawberry cheesecake cupcakes

Let’s break it down

There are four parts to this recipe, each step is really easy to make but together they create a show-stopping cupcake:

  1. The cupcake base – made using a classic sponge cake recipe, the base has added vanilla essence for a light and sweet flavour.
  2. The filling – the middle of the cupcake is scooped out and filled with strawberry jam. I used Bonne Maman Strawberry Conserve, which is a lovely high-quality jam you can buy in most supermarkets.
  3. The icing – the cupcakes are topped with a swirl of sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. Now they’re starting to taste like cheesecake!
  4. The decoration – the cupcakes are finished with a sprinkle of crushed digestive biscuits and a fresh strawberry.

These strawberry cheesecake cupcakes really are delicious!

strawberry cheesecakes cupcakes with a jam filling

Strawberry cheesecake cupcake recipe

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the sponge:
150g Stork tub (margarine) or unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

For the cream cheese frosting:
300g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
150g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge

For the filling/decoration:
1 jar of strawberry jam
12 fresh whole strawberries
4-5 Digestive biscuits (crumbled)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes.

First beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and beat in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the 150g flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining flour and milk, and fold the mixture together.

Divide evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes are a golden brown, risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and leave to completely cool.

Fill the cupcakes.

Once the cupcakes are cool, scoop out the middle of each using either a cupcake corer, apple corer or teaspoon. Fill each cupcake with a heaped teaspoon of strawberry jam. Press the cake middles back into the hole to cap off the jam (you may have to trim them down).

Now make the cream cheese frosting.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until really soft and pale in colour. Now sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat again until you have a smooth and creamy frosting.

Now take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add to the bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold the cream cheese into the frosting until smooth. Be careful not to over do it, as it can quickly become runny.

Time to decorate.

Spread or pipe the frosting on top. I used an 11mm open star piping nozzle to get that lovely swirl effect. Crush a few digestive biscuits and sprinkle over the cupcakes. Finish by slicing a fresh strawberry in half and placing on top.

Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These lemon meringue cupcakes are filled with tangy lemon curd and topped with lightly toasted meringue – a delicious cupcake twist on a classic dessert!

I have a new found love for developing dessert-inspired cupcake recipes. It’s so much fun experimenting and finding the best way to incorporate the flavours, the textures and appearance of the dessert into the cupcake. So far we’ve had Banoffee Cupcakes and Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes, and now these gorgeous lemon meringue cupcakes.

Lemon meringue cupcakes

How to make lemon meringue cupcakes

There are 3 parts to these lemon meringue cupcakes:

  1. Lemon infused cupcakes – the zest of 2 lemons is added to a simple vanilla sponge mixture. Light in texture and buttery in flavour, the sponge melts in your mouth and has a lovely citrus kick.
  2. Lemon curd filling – the middle of the cupcakes is scooped out and filled with sweet and tangy homemade lemon curd. Lemon curd is surprisingly quick and easy to make, and homemade always tastes SO much better! But if you fancy taking a shortcut or want to speed the recipe up, then you can use a jar of shop-bought lemon curd instead.
  3. Toasted meringue topping – a simple two-ingredient meringue is whisked up, swirled on top of the cupcakes and lightly toasted under the grill. You can also return the cupcakes to the oven or use a blow torch to toast the meringue. Just watch them very closely (I literally sat next to the oven!) as they can quickly burn.
Lemon curd

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
200g Stork tub
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 lemons, zest only

For the lemon curd:
4 lemons, juice only (you can use the two lemons from the cake ingredients above)
2 lemons, zest only
120g caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
20g unsalted butter

For the meringue topping:
4 large egg whites
200g caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. 

In a large bowl beat together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the 200g flour with each egg to stop the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining flour, baking powder, lemon zest and milk and fold together until smooth and combined. Be careful not to over-mix. The mixture should drop off the spoon but still hold its shape.

Divide the mixture equally between the cupcake cases. Bake for 16-18 minutes until the cupcakes are golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now make the lemon curd.

In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and egg yolk. Heat gently for about 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter to make thick, glossy lemon curd. Pour into a jar and leave to cool and thicken up.

Fill the cupcakes.

Make a hole in the middle of each cupcake (you can do this using a cupcake corer, apple corer, piping nozzle or teaspoon). Fill each hole with a teaspoon of lemon curd and press the cut-out piece of sponge back into the hole, trimming to fit if needed.

Now make the meringue topping.

Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk on a medium-high setting until they are thick, bright white and can hold their shape. Now add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time, whilst continuing to whisk, until you have a stiff and glossy meringue.

Spread the meringue on the top of each cupcake and put them under the grill to lightly toast the meringue. Watch them like a hawk as they can burn very easily, mine took roughly 30 seconds to brown. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 2 days.


Banoffee cupcakes

A delicious twist on a classic dessert, banoffee cupcakes might just be my new favourite cupcake flavour! The recipe combines the two signature flavours of a banoffee dessert, banana and caramel.

You’ll start by making beautifully light and moist cupcakes flavoured with mashed bananas. Make sure the bananas are really ripe, the riper the better as this will only improve the flavour and texture.

The middle of the cupcakes is then scooped out (you can eat the middles!) and filled with a smooth and silky caramel sauce. I love cupcakes with a surprise centre, it just takes the bake to a whole other level. When you bite into them and discover the middle… mind-blown!

The cupcakes are decorated with a swirl of caramel buttercream. To keep things simple, as there’s quite a bit going on with this bake already, I opted for shop-bought caramel. I have made my own in the past, but this time I fancied taking a little shortcut. No judgement, please! If you feel up to making your own, I applaud you and this recipe will show you how, just remember to omit the salt.

A sprinkle of grated dark chocolate and a crunchy banana chip are the final touches to complete the banoffee cupcakes.

Banoffee cupcakes
Caramel filled cupcakes
Caramel buttercream

Ingredients (makes 12 large cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
150g unsalted butter or Stork
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
150g self-raising flour
2 ripe medium-sized bananas
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk

For the caramel filling and buttercream:
1 can (397g) of Carnation Caramel
200g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar

To decorate:
A couple of squares of dark chocolate to grate on top
Dried banana chips

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with 12 cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Crack in the eggs, add half of the flour and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour and baking powder and fold everything together until you have a smooth mixture.

In a separate bowl mash the bananas until no lumps remain. Add to the cake mixture, along with the milk and fold together.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Once the cakes are cool, make the caramel buttercream. Beat the butter until really soft and pale in colour. Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Sift in the remaining icing sugar and four tablespoons of caramel and mix together until smooth and fluffy.

Time to decorate. Make a hole in the middle of each cupcake (you can do this using a cupcake corer, apple corer, piping nozzle or teaspoon). Fill each hole with a teaspoon of caramel sauce. Spread or pipe the caramel buttercream on top. I used an 11mm open star piping nozzle to get that lovely swirl effect. Grate the dark chocolate on top of each cupcake and push a banana chip into the buttercream.

Snowman Cupcakes

Well aren’t these cute!

I’ve seen a few snowman recipe ideas around and thought this year I’d give one a go. However there’s a story to tell here…keep reading if you fancy a giggle!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

My first attempt was a huge….success disaster! Photo evidence below, try not to laugh 🙂

This got me thinking, how do I make sure my snowmen don’t look like they’ve spent a week on the beach in 30 degree heat!?

SONY DSC

Commence phase two…

I decided to add some height using white chocolate buttercream. No melted snowmen here! Then using Mikado biscuit sticks I added some ‘twig’ arms. For the eyes and mouth, I used melted chocolate and for the noses, orange sugar paste – nope they are not real carrots carved to be miniature in size like my gran thought 🙂

For the cupcake base, I used my tried and tested vanilla sponge recipe and added white chocolate chips and cinnamon spice for extra festive flavour.

I think it’s safe to say the second attempt turned out a bit better! I have to admit it’s not the quickest/easiest one I’ve posted, but they are great fun to make and the end result is so worth it. So put on your favourite Christmas music and your tackiest festive jumper, or one you don’t mind getting covered in icing sugar, and give it a go!

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:

150g unsalted butter
150g golden caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsps ground cinnamon
100g white chocolate chips
1 tbsp milk (optional)

For the snowmen:

Buttercream body: 125g unsalted butter, 250g icing sugar, 150g white chocolate, 1 tbsp milk
Heads: 12 white large marshmallows
Eyes and mouths: A few squares of milk/dark chocolate
Noses: Orange sugar paste, you will only need a small amount
Arms: 1 pack Mikado biscuit sticks
Buttons: different coloured icing pens
Cocktail sticks

 

Lets get baking…

Start with the cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour and cinnamon until the mixture is smooth. Now fold in the white chocolate chips. If the mixture is too thick add a tablespoon of milk to loosen it slightly.

Evenly fill the cupcake cases about 3/4 full with the mixture and bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top and springy to the touch.

Whilst your cakes are cooling you can begin the decoration…

Eyes and Mouth
Melt the squares of milk/dark chocolate in the microwave in 20 second blasts. Using the tip of a cocktail stick, dot the eyes and mouth onto the marshmallows. Set aside and leave to dry.

Noses
For the noses, take a small peice of sugar paste and roll into a cone shape. Cut the end of the nose with a knife to make a sharp flat surface (this will be the end that will attach to the head). Set aside and leave to dry out and harden.

Once for the sugar paste has dried, use an icing sugar and water paste to stick the nose on to the marshmallow head. You will need to hold it in place until it feels firm.

Body
In a microwaveable bowl melt the white chocolate in 30 second blasts until smooth. Beat the butter for at least 5 minutes until really pale in colour (if you have an electric whisk use it, it will save your arms from aching!). Now sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Repeat with the remaining icing sugar. Pour the white chocolate in, add the milk, fold until the buttercream is smooth, creamy and light.

To assemble a snowman…

Start with the body
Using a piping bag with a large open circular nozzle, pipe the buttercream in a swirly motion starting from the middle and circulating outwards and upwards. If you don’t have a piping bag you can achieve something similar with a spoon, using the back to create definition.

Add the head
Place a marshmallow on top of the buttercream swirl.

And the arms
Snap a Mikado stick in half and push into each side of the buttercream.

And finally the buttons
Using the icing pens dot buttons on the body of the snowman.

Repeat this for all 12 cupcakes. If you think they’re simply too cute to eat, they will last in the fridge for up to five days or on the counter for two.