Rainbow unicorn cupcakes

Not so legal disclaimer: these cupcakes contain a lot of food coloring. I don’t typically use much food coloring because it is probably carcinogenic, but it was the perfect medium to fulfill this particular (though not especially unique) culinary — nay, artistic — vision.

A PPK forum says that Wilton food coloring is vegan, so I went ahead with baking them, though I read yesterday on Your Daily Vegan that food dyes are tested on animals; YDV gives coloring alternatives for those who don’t want the toxicity or cruelty of artificial colors.

The sparkling white sugar sprinkles I used are almost definitely not vegan, but I’ve had these sprinkles for years, and the folks I baked these cupcakes for don’t care or know the difference.

Okay, here’s the post. Conclude explanation of potential non-vegan-ness.


To say that my ultimate frisbee team has a losing streak is like saying factory farms are bad — definitely true, but also quite an understatement. They let me on the roster, after all.

The last game we won was against a team playing down a player — and even that was a close score.

During halftime of one such losing game, Anna, a spunky Brit with a quick, quirky sense of humor, stated that we were no longer Tsunami: we were the Unicorns. And unicorns don’t lose.

We still lost, but silly as the premise was, we definitely played better as unicorns than as Tsunami. [Maybe it's karma? (The team has had the name for years)]

To pump us up before our game this past weekend, I made unicorn cupcakes. They originally had fondant horns, but these soft frosting didn’t hold them upright, and then the fondant started to droop, and they just looked kinda, ummm, inappropriate. But the rainbow still makes them unicorny.

When I was a kid, my mom told me that food coloring would dye your insides. If there’s any truth to that, these cupcakes will turn your stomach lining the color of Capitol Hill during Pride.

Also, any kindergartener will tell you that my rainbow cupcakes aren’t truly ROY G BIV — there isn’t an orange layer. Or an indigo one. It’s best to keep it simple.

Start with the Golden Vanilla Cupcakes from VCTOTW (with lemon extract)

Divide into 5 bowls and add food coloring to each.






Add VCTOTW’s fluffy buttercream (with coconut extract)

And… magic.

If you don’t want to tie-dye your insides quite as much (but still want all the unicorn magic), Kelly at Vegan Cookie Connoisseur made a rainbow unicorn cake with rootbeer-flavored layers!

Tags: cupcakes, food coloring, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, veganmofo

12 Responses to “Rainbow unicorn cupcakes”

  1. October 19th, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Jeni Treehugger says:

    Psychedelically AWESOME!!

  2. October 19th, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Jes says:

    Those cupcakes are the bomb! Love how vibrant they are :)

  3. October 19th, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    TuxedoCat says:

    Looks amazing! I appreciate the step-by-step pics as I always wondered how people made this different colored cakes and cupcakes. Very inspirational.

  4. October 20th, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Richa@HobbyandMore says:

    oh my.. why havent i found u before.,. these magical cupcakes have me hypnotized!!

  5. October 22nd, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Sarah (appifanie) says:

    I did it, thanks for the steps! :)

  6. October 22nd, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    Helen says:

    Awesome, Sarah! How did they turn out? Also, as I said on your blog, I am soooo impressed that you made fondant. I’m always lazy and buy the Wilton stuff (which I believe is vegan) but kudos for making your own!

  7. October 24th, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    Susmitha - Veganosaurus says:

    Holy cow!! Those cupcakes are soooo freaking cool!!! :) Brilliant idea!

  8. May 3rd, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Cupcake betty says:

    Just looking for some cupcakes style for preparation of my ultimate wedding cake display, and this is definiately it!

  9. May 4th, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Helen says:

    Haha, I’m flattered, Betty, though your usual selection is much classier/prettier than these!

  10. July 9th, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Alyssa says:

    This is an amazing idea . Thank you . I am gonna use it for my birthday party .

  11. July 9th, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Helen says:

    Thanks, Alyssa! Let me know how they turn out.

  12. July 9th, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Alyssa says:

    Ok . I will c:

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