I don't think I have ever mentioned this on the blog, but aside from my lovies I have another "little sister". Late last fall, Mark and I decided to both become volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters. It's been a wonderful experience so far and I would highly recommend it to anyone. If you want to give back, but are struggling to figure out how, I would love to talk to you more about this fantastic organization. I got paired with the sweetest 10 year old girl and we have play dates about twice a month. It's been so much fun to make memories and provide a constant presence in this little girl's life that she will hopefully look back on in the future and smile. If just one action or one thing I say makes a positive impact on her, I will have made a difference.
I have to admit, it's fun having a 10 year old around. I am always looking for excuses to act like a kid so having an accomplice is a win in my book! We sing Justin Bieber at the top of our lungs in the car and don't care if we are putting on a show for our neighboring drivers at stoplights. Sometimes we do homework, but mostly we play. Our time together is supposed to be fun and spent doing something we can enjoy together. Like making friendship bracelets or Watching Glee in 3-D.
And making rainbow cupcakes.
Vanilla Rainbow Cupcakes with Marshmallow Almond Buttercream Frosting
1 cup all purpose flour (I used pastry flour)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
food coloring (red, yellow, green & blue)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together sugar, eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour in dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.
Divide cupcake batter into 5 bowls. Each bowl should have about 1/3 cup of batter. Using about 1/2 tsp. of food coloring, color each bowl, making red, orange, yellow, green and blue batter. Add more coloring for brighter, richer color.
Start with the blue batter, and add a small spoonful (a little over a teaspoon) to each cup. Continue with the rest of the colors in this order; green, yellow, orange red. Spoon each color on top of the other. Do not try to spread the layers, just let them be where they drop.
Bake for 15 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out dry. Allow cupcakes to cool before frosting.
NOTE: this recipe makes 10 cupcakes. We doubled it, making 22 cupcakes.
1 cup room temperature butter
7 ounces marshmallow fluff
1 tsp. almond extract
Cream the butter until it's light and fluffy. Add the marshmallow fluff and almond extract. Whip for two minutes.