Neon Tie-Dye Cupcakes!

When brainstorming birthday cake ideas for a friend of mine, the one thing that stood out in my mind was her love of everything neon! So I decided to use some of the techniques from the “Double Rainbow, OMG!” cupcakes, modifying them to be as brightly neon as I could. And the neon tie-dye cupcake was born!! :)

For the cupcakes:

First, assemble your ingredients.

You are going to need:

  • Your favorite vanilla cake recipe (white cake works better than yellow because of the food dye)
  • 4 bowls and 4 spoons for mixing each color
  • Food coloring in pink, yellow, blue, and purple (I use these because the gel food coloring provides a more vibrant color without thinning out the batter.)
  • 2 pairs of chop sticks
  • 12-cup muffin pan lined with paper cupcake liners (not shown)

Divide batter evenly among your 4 bowls.

Add a pea-sized amount of food coloring to each bowl. (I use chopsticks for measuring out the food coloring because spoons are too big to fit in the pots.)

Mix each of the colors together.

Choose one of your batter colors, and put a spoon-full of batter in each muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining 3 colors. When all the colors are added, your muffin cups should be 2/3-3/4 full. (Do not worry about the colors being neat like the double rainbow cupcakes. You want them to be slightly sloppy to get the tie-dye effect.)

Bake for your recipe’s specified time, until a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. When done, remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for approximately 5 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Remove to a wire rack.

Repeat with any remaining batter. (I made 36 cupcakes, so I made 3 color variations of 12 cupcakes each!) If you are reusing your muffin tin, be sure to allow it to fully cool to room temperature before repeating! Let cupcakes cool for at least 30 minutes before icing.

For the icing:

First, assemble your ingredients.

You are going to need:

  • Fully-cooled neon tie-dye cupcakes
  • Your favorite vanilla icing recipe at room temperature (If you’re buying pre-made frosting, 1 tub will be enough for 12 cupcakes.)
  • Food coloring (Use the gel food colors from the cupcakes above. Liquid food coloring will not work for this step.)
  • Tall glass
  • 3 large icing bags (I use a 16-inch decorating bag because the 12-inch bags are a little too small for a tub of frosting.)
  • A large star tip (I use Wilton’s 1M tip because it creates the big, pretty, swirly cupcake top.)
  • Neon sprinkles, if desired (not shown)

Begin by diving your icing among bowls. Using the gel food coloring from above, dye your icing. (I chose to ice mine in pink, purple, and blue, but you can choose as many or few colors as you’d like.)

Place the icing tip in the bag, narrow end first. Using a pen, mark the bag about half-way along the metal tip. Remove the icing tip and cut the end of the bag off.

Place the icing tip back in to the bag, narrow end first. Fold over the top of the bag to form a cuff. Place the bag in a tall glass and fill with icing.

Squeeze the top of the bag and twist it closed.

Holding the tip approximately 1/4″ above the cupcake top, pipe a spiral of icing, beginning at the outer edge and working inward. Continue spiral in to the center of the cupcake. Stop pressure on the bag and pull the tip straight up and away.

Continue with remaining cupcakes. And, like I did, you can choose to add sprinkles for a little extra neon effect!

Repeat with remaining colors. Add more sprinkles in different colors if you’d like some extra variety!

Enjoy!! :D

Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below! And thanks for reading! :)

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11 thoughts on “Neon Tie-Dye Cupcakes!

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    • Hi! I used Wilton dyes for these cupcakes; the link is in the text. But you can use any gel dye brand, including Wilton and Ateco. For baking time, it depends on your recipe, which is usually 18-22 minutes for cupcakes. :)

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