I am always up for a cupcake party, and the First Day of Spring is a perfect excuse for one!
We had intended to make these cupcakes as a St Patrick’s Day treat — sort of an end-of -the-rainbow pot-of-gold Leprechaun thing — but the time got away from us and we didn’t make that deadline.
Instead these cupcakes are in celebration of the first day of Spring (even if it does look like Springtime on the North Pole right now outside).
They are Key Lime cake with a cloud of Vanilla frosting swirled high and a candy rainbow on top.
The taste is light and fresh and everything one could hope for in a springtime treat!
We used a Pillsbury box cake mix! *gasp* We didn’t even change anything — we just followed the directions on the box.
I can’t remember where we got this cake mix, but I think it was Walmart or Target — it seems to be a seasonal item that comes and goes throughout the year.
It is delicious. I wish I could claim it as my own recipe!
It’s light and fresh and the key lime flavor is divine.
The rainbows are made from Air Heads Extremes: Sweetly Sour Candy Rainbow Berry.
We picked them up at Walmart — $1.38 for a pack of 20 (just 4 short of the 24 needed for all my cupcakes!).
They taste sour and then sweet.
When combined with the fresh Key lime flavor of the cake and creamy vanilla in the frosting, they add an extra dimension to the flavor — unexpected and simply scrumptious!
The dry cake mix is oddly white, and we thought we were going to have to add food coloring, but as soon as we mixed in the eggs, oil and water, the green color came out — I guess it’s powdered color suspended in the mix.
Warning, this batter is thick and nearly killed our electric hand mixer. The box says to beat the batter for 2 minutes. We were not able to do that so we just used the whisk and a lot of arm power.
It was so thick that it felt like scooping heavy pudding into the cupcake cups!
At that point we thought it was not going to turn out well at all, but thank goodness we were wrong!
When they were cooled we loaded up our pastry bag (more of a pastry tube — like a calking gun for cooking) with Vanilla frosting and swirled on the vanilla ‘cloud’ with a decorative tip.
The Airhead Extremes are a little bit too long straight from the package, so we cut about an inch off of each strip with kitchen sheers.
When the strips are too long, the rainbows tend to warp and topple, so this simple snip solves that problem (and also leaves you with ‘extra’ candy bits for snacking).
We just tucked each end into the creamy cloud to create the rainbow and they held in place beautifully.
The tangy sour taste of the candy complimented the cupcake and frosting very nicely!
And that was that! A perfect light and yummy Key Lime Cuppycake to celebrate the very first day of Spring!
After such a long hard winter, we all deserve a nice springtime treat!