Psychedelic Vanilla Cupcakes (Prep. time about 1 hour. Makes 18 cupcakes)

Your own white cake recipe, box mix or:

1 C. granulated sugar

½ C. softened butter

2 eggs,

1 Tb. vanilla

1 ½ C flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ C. milk

Pinch salt

½ C butter

Butter cream frosting from a can or a mix of 1 stick soft butter, 10X sugar, about a tsp. vanilla extract and enough milk to bring to stiff peak

Red, green, blue, yellow food color (get intense gel or other intense color if you can)

Sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 or per box instructions.  Mix cake per instructions on the box or, if using the basic recipe above, cream together the sugar and butter,  beat the eggs and mix in along with vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and add into the wet ingredients about a third of a time until almost incorporated.  Stir in the milk to get a proper batter consistency.  Line muffin pans with cupcake papers or grease and flour (not as good as papers) .  Divide the cake batter into quarters.  Color each portion with red, green or blue.  I find with the gel color it takes about 7 or 8 drops of red and about 6 drops of the other colors for a nice, deep hue. Spoon a little of one color in the bottom of the cupcake papers, followed by a little of the next color and the next and the next, filling the cups about 2/3 to the top.  Gently swirl the colors in each portion with a chop stick or skewer.  Do not over-mix or you will have one, ugly brown color instead of a wild tie-dye swirl.  Bake for about 20-30 minutes (turn the pans and change places on the oven shelves during baking) until the cupcakes spring back when touched and a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted in the center.  Prepare the icing while the baked cupcakes cool on a rack.  Once completely cooled, ice each cupcake and top with sprinkles if desired.