How to Color Sugar, A Recipe Fail for Cupcakes

It’s time again to bake from another blog for the Secret Recipe Club and I stopped looking when I saw Margarita Cupcakes, which led me to learning how to color sugar. It’s just as easy as coloring coconut.

The Secret Recipe Club works like this. Each month we get an assigned blog and it’s up to us to decide which recipe to choose. I was assigned  the Pajama Chef and I wanted to make sure I had something fun and fairly easy, because I just returned from a two week training in Denver for a food-related job. Wishing I had a real margarita, but so much to do, the Margarita Cupcakes  were the perfect choice.

I love how Sarah decorated them.  I went in a different direction using jars and rimming the glasses with colored sugar. The sugar turned out just the color I wanted it, but unlike Sarah’s,  my cupcakes failed.

Epic Recipe Fail

I know I did something wrong or I misinterpreted the recipe. It didn’t work for me. The cake was gooey and it never rose.  The recipe called for a can of frozen lime margarita mix and maybe I had the wrong size, as it was a lot of liquid for the amount of the flour.  Sarah’s margarita cupcakes look way better than mine, so if you need the recipe, you can find it over at her blog. I’m going to take full responsibility for doing something wrong, which I have to figure out.

How to Color Sugar by Angela Roberts

All is not lost as I figured out how to color sugar to decorate with, and I learned something. Instinctively I knew the batter wasn’t right, and I failed to make the adjustments. I will come back here with a new recipe for Margarita cupcakes, hopefully very soon.

I was out of town for two weeks and only had one day to prepare my recipe for the Secret Recipe Club. Had I had more time, I would have chosen another recipe. Now I really need a Margarita. Sarah, I’m sorry, I goofed your recipe up, but I did learn how to color sugar and I have a brand new idea for cupcakes in a jar.

So tell me, what kitchen failure do you most remember, and do you drink your margarita on the rocks (like me) or frozen?

How to Color Sugar and a Cupcake Failure by Angela Roberts

5.0 from 1 reviews
How to Color Sugar with Food Coloring
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Coloring sugar when you need a little bit for fun or decorating.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-2 drops neon food coloring
  • plastic baggie
  1. Put food coloring into baggie and add sugar.
  2. Fold bag to close getting all the air out.
  3. Using hands, smoosh the sugar all around until it has the color you want.
  4. Lay it out on a plate. It will dry right away.
  5. I used neon food coloring for this shade of green. Experiment to see what you like.


  1. says

    Angela, I have kitchen flops all the time…and I even have a “flop” label for my posts. I searched this morning and re-lived the nightmare of agrodolce black radishes, cranberry pudding, and caramels that never set. Oh, well. They all challenged me to give it another shot. And thanks for the instructions on coloring my sugar. Perfect timing as we head into the holiday season.

  2. says

    i’m so sorry that these cupcakes didn’t work for you, angela! :( i’ll go digging and try to find out what size that margarita mix was. i have no idea why i didn’t list it, my only explanation was that it was in the beginning of my blogging days and i didn’t know any better. if i figure it out i will be sure to let you know!! and thanks for the tip about coloring sugar…will keep that in mind for cupcakes in the future!

  3. says

    Oh no! I hate it when a recipe doesn’t work out, especially because more often than not, it’s because I totally goofed on something basic (like leaving out the sugar, or some other total no-brainer).
    I’m glad you got some lovely coloured sugar out of the deal, though. Better to share something simple than to leave your buddy high and dry on reveal day! :)

  4. says

    I had a biscuits fail recently. Too much liquid (I think I spaced and added buttermilk twice). They came out more like cookies. Delicious but a fail nontheless. GREG

  5. says

    Angela, I am intrigued about your food job training? I love this tip and have had to do it many times to make a sugar rimmer or cupcake topping or a sugar sprinkle look a certain color for a photo shoot. Isn’t it fun to do? To watch the color change from plain white to your lovely limey green? Really pretty. So all was not lost…the cupcakes did not work as you wanted, but the sugar trick did! Just like life sometimes?

  6. says

    I absolutely love the idea of colored sugar. I see myself whipping up a couple of batches for Christmas, maybe even sooner, who knows. This post is perfect for those of us already thinking about holiday baking. :)

  7. Elaine says

    Hey Angela love your food colouring of sugar time the boys and I (It was St. Patricks day) put food colouring in the milk and turned it green…haha should have seen the funny looks when people were pouring out the milk. (Ours comes in bags in Canada.)

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