Tye Dye Cupcakes

These colorful cupcakes were made for one of the most colorful people I know!  Theresa is bright, friendly, and has more energy than any adult I’ve come across. Special cupcakes for a special lady!  And I don’t mean that in any sort of sarcastic teacher font.  There are few people in this world that deserve bright and funky Tie Dye cupcakes for their birthday, and Theresa is one of them!

The cake itself is moist, soft, and delicious.  I’ve used this recipe several times now and the masses love it, I love it too!  It’s really a perfect and simple vanilla cake recipe.  Dying the batter fun colors made the cupcake new and different and really pop.  Ever since I’ve seen the idea from Andie at Can You Stay for Dinner, I’ve been wanting to try this technique, I was just waiting for the perfect birthday!

The frosting is amazing!  The third floor lunch crowd loved it.  I think I’ve made roux-based frosting before, but I can’t remember.  This frosting is not as sweet as a typical buttercream, but it is still light and fluffy.  The original recipe called for more granulated sugar, but I ran out.  Luckily, the frosting tastes spectacular with less sugar.  It’s almost like I’m creating health food over here!  The simple white frosting is a perfect compliment to wild and wacky colorful cupcake on the bottom!

Print the Recipe!

Tie Dye Vanilla Cupcake
adapted Cupcake Project
Yield 17 cupcakes

1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. baking soda
1/2 tea. salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream (I used non-fat Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk
Gel food color paste in neon yellow, orange, green, & pink

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Add the sugar to a small bowl. Split open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife.  Smush the vanilla seeds in the sugar and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer add the flour, powder, soda, and salt, mix slowly with the paddle attachment.  Add the vanilla sugar and mix together.  Add the butter and beat for several minutes until the mixture becomes nice and crumbly.
  4. While the mixer is mixing, whisk together the sour cream, oil, and vanilla.  Pour this in the mixer and combine.
  5. Slowly add the milk in and turn on high for a few seconds.
  6. Divide the batter between 4 small bowls and add a squirt of food coloring to each.  
  7. Mix the color in and then add tablespoon dollops to the cupcake liners.  I varied the order of color so all the cupcakes would look different. 
  8. If you have batter left over, just add it to cupcake liners that look a little empty.  This is a messy process, but totally worth it!
  9. Bake 14-17 minutes until a toothpick in a center cupcake comes out clean.  Cool on cooling rack.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting
Adapted from Can you Stay for Dinner
Yield – enough to generously decorate 17 cupcakes + extra

1 1/2 cups whole milk
7 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (you can substitute extract, but you won’t get the little, adorable and delicious vanilla bean seeds)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, NOT powdered!

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour.  Keep whisking until the mixture becomes smooth and thick resembling pancake batter.
  2. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla bean paste, and allow to cool completely.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – the mixture will stay grainy, it’ll be ok, I was worried at first, too, but it really turns out wonderfully!
  4. Add in the cooled flour/milk mixture and beat until the entire frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. Add to a piping bag with a large round tip, pipe, add some sprinkles, and enjoy!


That’s all that’s left!


Filed under Cupcakes

20 responses to “Tye Dye Cupcakes

  1. Irene

    I’m making health food here people! So funny, you are really finding you blogging voice and I couldn’t be prouder!

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  8. I feel like the colors in your cupcakes are so much prettier and more lively than mine, and I love them! Great job, my friend!


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