Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tie-Dyed Cupcakes - Peace, Love and Janis

This gorgeous design is by our friend Marina

I made these cupcakes for a surprise birthday party for my über-talented singer friend Erin. Among her many vocal projects, Erin has a tribute show called Kosmic Blues where she performs the songs of Janis Joplin. It's amaaaazing.

Erin Perry as Janis Joplin

So in tribute to her tribute show, I baked these Kosmic Blues cupcakes for her.

Sadly, she never got to eat one. It was the surprise birthday party that wasn't. Seven of us, all Erin's closest girlfriends, planned to surprise her with a little girls only soiree. I had spent three days shopping for ingredients to cook a Mexican fiesta. As expats, this is a big treat as we so miss good Mexican food. Erin and I both moved to Germany from California, a.k.a. Mexican food heaven only to find not one good Mexican restaurant in Munich.  In addition, In order to prepare Mexican food here in Germany, there is always a mad scramble to several markets to get the ingredients together. You can't imagine what we go through to find one damn fresh jalapeño.

Since it was Oktoberfest in Munich, Erin was booked solid singing almost every evening at different venues until the wee hours of the morning. The Oktoberfest closes about 10PM but the after parties in clubs and restaurants around the city go on all night. Because of this, three of us agreed with her to take her out to a nice dinner one of her rare off evenings in between gigs. But, of course, we had this other fabulous plan for a small girls only, Erin's closest friends surprise party.

On the afternoon of the party I was busy cooking when she called could barely speak. So sick she was, my poor friend Erin. Since she had a serious responsibility to keep the after wiesn' party going the following week, she had to cancel dinner with the girls.

I had no choice but to tell her  she wasn't canceling "dinner with the girls" but her own surprise party. Nevertheless, she needed rest and we told her to stay in bed as the next day was the start of three more late night singing gigs for her.

However, there was no way we were going to let those homemade nachos, chicken fajitas, guacamole, salsa and margaritas go to waste, let alone the cupcakes and a gorgeous German chocolate cake made by another guest. So the three of us got on the phone, invited some more girls and we had the party without her. We feasted, drank, toasted Erin, called her from the party and promised her a do over next year.

For the cupcakes, I used a vanilla cupcake recipe from the Joy of Baking and the Magnolia Bakery's vanilla buttercream recipe.

To get the tie-dye effect, once mixed, I separated the batter into five equal parts and using gel food color tinted each a different shade.  For these I used Wilton's gel colors Violet, Sky blue, Buttercup Yellow, Orange and Leaf Green.

Then I used a tablespoon to spoon in equal amounts of each color into the cupcake liners.

In retrospect, I should have taken a toothpick and swirled the colors together a bit to get more of a tie-dyed effect because the result was more like blocks of color than tie-dyed.

For the frosting, I did the same method dividing the buttercream into five different bowls and colored each using the same shades. Then I scooped it all into a disposable pastry bag (with no tip), laying the colors side by side and frosted the cupcakes. This produced the color swirl effect.

All gone!

I wasn't able to see Erin again until three days later. By that time, the cupcakes were practically rocks so she will have to settle for the pictures for now. Oh well, until we do the "do over"...

Peace out!


  1. OMG! Looks amazing...I think I can do this...

  2. Oh, it's too bad she missed it! Those cupcakes are perfect for the occasion!

  3. BEAUTIFUL!!! Danke Schon!
    Will certainly try this recipe.
    Btw, this was my first year at Oktoberfest. I had a blast! And you look great in your dirndle.
    -- raz.

  4. Grooooovy.

    Seriously, these look fantastic. I can't stop staring at that iridescent purple's mesmerizing.

    Such a good friend you are :D

  5. These look AMAZING! I love your blog:):) I just started one myself, :) I actually found you through MacTweets from your Ballerina Macs! love love love!!

  6. Wow, I love the colors of these cupcakes! So cool!

  7. I can totally sympathize with the lack of good Mexican eats. The UK is great for Indian food but not so much for the Mexican. Sigh. Your party sounds fab and your cupcakes are positively toxic (in a very GOOD way). Also wanted to shout out another huge THANK YOU for your Foodies Sans Frontieres donation. Awesome. :-)


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