Taylor's Tie-Dyed Cupcakes

I'm convinced that it's the weather, but of late I've been doing copious amounts of baking. Thankfully, most of the delectable treats goes to others and many are receptive to my trying new recipes, where they don't mind being the guinea pig! My niece, Taylor, is five and she has become quite fond of "tie-dyed" cupcakes.  Why the name? Because when they come out of the oven, they are swirled and baked in a way that look like they have been tie-dyed.  Adults alike have looked at them and asked "how did you make those?" Simple. And I'll show you how!

You can use a boxed mix for the vanilla cupcakes if you prefer.  I make mine from scratch, because it only takes a few more minutes to add all of the ingredients together.  But, by all means, use whatever works the best for you.  This recipe is my hands down favorite and the one I use for all of my vanilla cupcake needs.

After you've made your batter, divide it up into several bowls, depending on how many colors you would like to use.  The past few times, I've used five colors (you can use cereal bowls to make the colored batter) which works great. I prefer food paste when coloring the batter, as it's thicker and a more vibrant color, but you can use food coloring or food dust as well, whichever you have on hand. All are available at Michael's craft store, in the baking section, as well as Williams Sonoma. Add a few drops of food paste to the first bowl and stir.  Start out with a few, and remember that you can always add more if needed.  Once you're reached a color you like, move on to the next bowl and the next color.

Next, place your liners in your cupcake pan. Then, take your first bowl and start adding the batter.  Reminiscent of preschool painting, it's FUN! Make them however YOU want.  You can't mess them up, promise.  Fill each cupcake about 2/3 full. The cupcake recipe I use makes approximately 18 cupcakes.

Tie dyed cupcakes
Tie dyed cupcakes

Lastly, bake the cupcakes and enjoy!

I thought about making orange and brown ones (using a chocolate cupcake mix for brown, a dyed vanilla recipe orange recipe for the second color) but my niece insisted on the multi-color.  She's a girl who knows what she wants! My other idea is a camouflage cupcake for boys: green, brown and a sand color.  But, you can use whichever colors you would like: your school colors, sorority colors, red and green for Christmas.  Also, I don't add icing, which makes them easy to pack for school lunches, as well as portable.

Baked tie dyed cupcakes
Baked tie dyed cupcakes

UPDATE: Can be made in Fun, Autumnal Colors, perfect for Fall