In case you were unaware, I am a tried and true Silicon Valley brat, a product of the Bay Area, California, born and raised. With great pride I will tell you yes, my parents (my family!) could have been described as hippies — protesting, writing, painting, youth group organizing, activist hippies. It means a lot to me that my soon to be 102 year old grandfather came from the Philippines in search of a better life, fought for the US in WWII with great pride; that in turn my father went to college at UC Berkeley where he helped establish the Asian American Studies major, where he and my mother were part of the heartbeat that was that amazing period of time…
You may think I digress, but really this is a preface.
the first round – minis from 2009
For several years now I have supplied a wonderfully talented and generally amazing friend with rainbow cupcakes to bring to the big San Francisco Dyke March during SF PRIDE weekend. As time goes by, these cupcakes mean more and more to me. At first I joked that it was a great way for her to make friends pre-march and maybe even more than friends, but as I watch people I love fight and struggle for things that others take for granted and abuse, these cupcakes take on new meaning. As I embark on my own wedding planning adventure, I am painfully reminded of this.
Congratulations, New York. I raise my rainbow cupcake to you, in hopes that one day California – and everyone else – follows suit.
2011’s rainbow cupcake (sorry, no pics of 2010’s jewel-toned ones)
On a less serious note, here’s some more information about the cupcakes and how you can make your own!
These are made using a bullseye or zebra technique, where the batter is dropped in alternating colors directly in the center of the previous layer. In a two-color bullseye, it has a zebra-like effect when sliced, hence the name.
I use a pretty standard sized cupcake/muffin pan; each color layer was a generous 1/2 tablespoon. They took a bit longer to bake than usual but were still just as tasty.
I made a double batch of vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, then divided it using a measuring cup into five equal portions. Each bowl of batter was dyed accordingly. I was afraid I had over-beaten the batter while dying it but the batters turned out fine, so I don’t think you should have any issues either. Make sure you have five spoons at the ready; you don’t want to stop once you start your production line. Trust me on this one.
Carefully put your first, bottom-layer color into the pans. If you want it to be extra floopy, I suppose you don’t have to be too careful with placement, but the OCD in me says bullseye lands in the middle. Carefully place the second color in the first color. Repeat this process till you’ve either filled your paper or reached the desired color-layering state. Bake off as usual. Hand off to lucky recipients, watch them take a first bite and marvel together at the magic inside. Rejoice. ENJOY