My first concert that I went to was in the eighth grade and it was a Grateful Dead concert at the old Rich Stadium in Buffalo, NY, only a couple years before Jerry Garcia died. I've always been a fan of both 60-/70s music, and also 90s music (which was kind of a throwback in many ways), so I'm still a big fan of the Dead. I am now digressing quite a bit from cooking, you are probably thinking. But, it was the Grateful Dead that inspired my latest cupcake design. These aren't dancing bear cupcakes, but they are tie dye vanilla cupcakes, that were inspired by the psychedelic look of the Dead. I added a peace sign on some of them for good measure. The recipe makes a dozen, and I probably should add, that they are Grateful Dead cupcakes in look only, as they are really just vanilla cupcakes.
Sasha's Tie Dye Grateful Dead Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup skim milk
4 gel food coloring colors in pink, green blue and yellow
Sasha's Vanilla Buttercream
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 small box confectioner's sugar
2 T of heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
drop of pink food coloring
To make the cupcakes, beat the butter and sugar in the basin of the mixer on high until blended, about three minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and alternate adding the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) with the milk. Divide the batter into four bowls and color each deeply with the food coloring. Fill each cupcake liner with a little under a tablespoon of each color, layered on top, and swirl gently using a toothpick. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (this varies from oven to oven) until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To frost the cupcakes, beat the butter and confectioners sugar, with the cream until smooth (you really can't beat it too long). Then add food coloring and vanilla. Frost using a frosting bag with a flared tip. The peace sign, I drew on top using a tube of sparkly Wilton food coloring.
I leave you with the music to one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs, China Cat Sunflower.