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I typically don't go in for cutesy desserts, or anything overly thematic...and yet the Lucky Peanut Butter Crispy Treats were such a hit that I decided to make one more St. Patties Day themed dessert.

These cupcakes use a box mix, since the assembly adds additional time, but they don't take so long that the outcome isn't worth it. Also, you can certainly make rainbow cupcakes year-round, skipping the pot of gold on the top in favor of something else, or nothing at all. These cupcakes are yummy smile-makers, enjoy!

"I always use almond extract in my buttercream instead of vanilla. For one, it doesn't tint the frosting like vanilla extract does, and two, the flavor helps to cut the cloying sweetness better."

Notes: Butter is unsalted. Oil is grape seed.


Ingredients: 1 box yellow cake mix, 3 eggs at room temperature, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup neutral oil, 1/4 cup sour cream, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup softened butter, 1/2 almond extract, 2-4 tbsp. milk, gel food coloring: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, 24 Rolos chocolate candies, gold edible sprinkles.

Makes about 22 cupcakes.

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and spritz with cooking spray.

2. Combine cake mix, eggs, milk, oil and sour cream in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed for two minutes.

3. Separate batter into 6 bowls. Tint the batter in each bowl with gel food coloring to make the rainbow.

4. Beginning with the red batter, spoon a scant tablespoon of the batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Follow by layering orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Do not overfill! You want the cupcakes 3/4 full. Bake according to box instructions, remove to cool completely.

5. Make frosting: Whip butter, powdered sugar and almond extract until combined, but stiff. Add milk to loosen the frosting to soft yet firm consistency. Remove 2 tbsp. of frosting to a small bowl and set aside.

6. Spoon into a piping bag or large zip baggie (snipping the tip of one corner of baggie). Squeeze frosting onto cupcakes to form a 'cloud' in whatever way you like.

7. Tint the reserved frosting into a golden color, a mix of orange and yellow and a tiny hint of purple works well. (I use a toothpick.) Spread a tiny amount of frosting on the wide end of a Rolo chocolate, then dip the end into gold sprinkles. A pot of gold! Place a pot on top of each cupcake.

#St. Patties Day #Cupcakes #Rolos #potofgold #rainbow


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