I knew when I chose a Katy Perry birthday theme that cupcakes were a must. I spent every weekend before my birthday playing with recipes and trying out color combinations. I knew I wanted one gigantic cupcake to steal the show and thus had a mini dance party when I found this pan and got it for $18.00 (1/2 off with a Michael's coupon, the only way to buy Wilton):
We ended up making 3 gigantic cupcakes, plus over 50 regular sized cupcakes.
It was cupcake heaven.
How to make kick ass multi-colored cupcakes and impress all your friends:
Step 1 - Make Your Batter
Due to the large quantity of cupcakes we went with pre-made cake batter for almost every batch. If you're strapped on time pre-made batter is the way to go. If you have a bit of extra time or you just want to bake something extra special you'll need a white batter recipe. I used this one for the top of THE giant cupcake. (If you use the linked recipe note that using whole eggs does make the batter slightly tinted, add an extra egg white and omit the yolks if you want bright white.) I also used my special Bob's Red Mill Vanilla Cake Mix for the bottom of THE cupcake. Let's face it, Bob's knows their stuff and that cake mix is to-die-for.
Step 2 - Divide and Dye
Divide your batter into 6 equal parts. If you want to make a rainbow cake add a small amount of color to each individual bowl. You should have violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. If you want a multi-shade one color cake add a small amount of the same dye to the each bowl, slightly increasing the amount of dye added (see photo below). Note: you can always add more dye but you can't subtract it post mixing. So adding small amounts of dye at a time is key.
Step 3 - Add Your Mix to the Pan
If you are using a regular cupcake pan add liners and then drop the darkest color into the liner, then the next darkest on top of that color and so on. Let each color naturally push the previous color out. If your batter is thick, a gentle miner's shake will do the trick. If you are using the Wilton giant cupcake pan you'll use the same technique for the bottom of the cupcake. For the tops I chose to use an alternative colors entirely, white and pink.
Step 4 - Bake Your Cupcakes
Follow the time your recipe calls for. Note: If you're using the Wilton pan the top bakes faster than the bottom. Remove the pan when the time that the recipe calls for expires and using a butter knife gently pull the top out of the mold . Then add water to the top side mold and place the pan back in the oven for additional baking time.
Step 5 - Decorate
Give your cupcake(s) plenty of time to cool then do a crumb frosting. A crumb frosting is a super thin layer of frosting covering the cake and allowed to dry. Some suggest throwing the cake in the fridge, I let mine sit on the counter while going to tea. When your crumb layer has finished drying it's time to finish adding layers of frosting. Ryan made our white frosting which I then dyed appropriate Katy Perry color hues.
End result? Perfection: