These cupcakes are infused with grape Kool-Aid and topped with Kool-Aid frosting and Nerds candy. Enjoy the sugar high!
One thing I have learned about being a short female in society is that people are generally not very intimidated by me.
Also, they call me “honey” and “sweetie” and nicknames like that a lot, which I really don’t mind so much. It makes me feel all loved and mothered.
But the bad thing about not being intimidating is that people approach me a lot. To ask for directions (worst idea EVER, people…I’m the one who has physically reenact the route so I can figure out right from left), to ask me where the grocery store keeps the Velveeta…I am a walking encylopedia helper person.
And truly, I don’t mind helping people. Mostly, it’s men that are between the ages of like 17-55 that I wish would be a little afraid of me. I guess I’ve watched too many episodes of Dateline and 48 Hour Mystery, because if you are a man who isn’t related to me and you are between those ages, I assume you are probably a kidnapper/murderer person. And the whole time you are talking to me, I am busy figuring out an escape route, trying to make eye contact with someone who looks stronger than you, and inconspicuously pulling out a few of my hairs and dropping them on the floor.
DNA always wins, duh.
So strong is my fear of being approached by strange men, that I hesitate to do things like eat alone. The other day I was at the mall and found myself craving a cinnamon sugar pretzel. No big deal, except for that those things are so darn messy, there is no respectable way to eat one on the go.
Obviously, this would require sitting down.
At the mall.
Where there are lots of people walking by.
Torn between my love of cinnamon-sugar and my fear of being approached by strange men, I called my husband to weigh the pros and cons.
And you know, I almost wish I hadn’t called my husband because it was so confusing. You’d think that he would be GLAD that I was trying to be safe and avoid strange men, but he spent the whole conversation half-listening and then trying to convince me that it isn’t possible to sharpen a knife and eat a cinnamon- sugar pretzel at the same time.
Which I beg to differ.
Not only is it probably possible, but it would guarantee my safety. Um yeah…pretty sure women with sharp knives don’t ever get stolen. Especially if they are scowling while they sharpen said knife.
So instead, I sat and ate my cinnamon sugar pretzel while smiling and looking all short and vulnerable and child-like. Not scary at all.
It’s a miracle I’m still alive, really.
So I guess the point of all this is to tell you that these cupcakes almost didn’t get made. But thankfully, I made it out of the Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Incident alive (no thanks to you, HUSBAND), and here they are.
Which is a good thing because OMG how have any of us lived without Rainbow Nerd Cupcakes in our life?
These need to happen for you. It’s like sugar and color and all the good happy things of the land baked into a cupcake liner.
I flavored part of the batter with instant grape Kool-Aid (the kind with sugar in it) and swirled it in. You could totally skip this step, but I thought it added a fun twist. I also flavored the frosting three different flavors, but if you don’t have the time or inclination, just triple the amount of one of the Kool-Aids and flavor the whole batch.
- White cake mix, (or your favorite white cake recipe) plus ingredients to prepare
- 4 Tablespoons instant grape (sweetened) Kool-Aid mix
- 1 cup of rainbow Nerds
- 4 sticks of butter, softened
- 7 cups powdered sugar
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 2 Tablespoons each of instant grape, orange, and fruit punch Kool-Aid (or 6 Tablespoons of one)
- Red, orange, and purple gel color
- Additional Nerds for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin tins with liners.
- Prepare cake batter as directed on box or recipe. Set aside 1 cup of batter and mix in the grape Kool-Aid Mix. Mix the cup of Nerds in the white batter. Spoon white batter into liners, filling about 1/2 full or a little less. Top with a spoonful of grape batter and swirl with a sharp knife. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.
- Remove to a cooling rack and let sit until completely cool.
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, milk and lemon extract on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium high and beat for two minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Divide frosting into three bowls and add 2 Tablespoons of Kool-Aid powder to each. Add corresponding coloring to each until desired color is reached. Frost or pipe onto cupcakes using a large open star tip. Garnish wish additional Nerds.
If you buy 2 large $1 boxes of Rainbow Nerds, you will have plenty for this recipe.
I hope you enjoy!! Have a wonderful Monday!!