What do you get when you draw inspiration from florescent-colored rainbow cupcakes, but you dismiss all recommendations for things like *boxed cake mix* and *neon food dyes*, for a made-from-scratch recipe with non-toxic dyes made from vegetables?
I like to call them *Hippie Cakes*.
I was so looking forward to ditching all my bright food colorings for some India Tree brand dyes made from concentrated vegetable colorants. I heard that the coloring was quite good so I had high hopes for discovering the next big thing in green living. But after working with them, while I feel they are 'good enough', they just don't compare to the vibrancy of the popular brands readily available at every grocery store in America. Nevertheless, I did grow to love their more muted shades as I filled-up 24 liners and fantasized about the mania I could have created selling these at Dead shows in the '90s.
At first I thought the green looked like algae, but as I poured little teaspoons of the green on top of the blue and purple, my mind moved away from swamp slime and onto little green leprechauns.
At this point, I was really enjoying the colors and seeing the cakes come together.
So there you have it. Not the colors I was expecting but there is obviously a trade-off worth making for some desserts that call for dyes. This did, however, inspire me to do one with conventional dyes for St. Patrick's Day. I'm thinking a vibrant rainbow interior with green icing...and some gold wrapped chocolate coins thrown in there somewhere.