rainbow cupcakes

These rainbow cupcakes are so much fun. I saw the idea on Family Fun last year and I’ve been waiting to make it until now. St. Patrick’s Day is a wonderful excuse to make rainbow cupcakes, don’t you think? It’s a little extra work, dividing up the batter and colouring it, but totally worth it. These little babies are gorgeous – and taste great too! Here’s how to make them:


White cake mix
Food coloring (red, blue, green, and yellow)
Baking cups
Whipped cream or white frosting


Prepare your favorite white cake mix, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color. Follow directons on back of food colouring box to get orange and purple shades.

Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.

Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove the paper wrapping, and if you like, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream or white frosting cloud.

Even the empty wrapper is pretty!

Idea from Family Fun

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24 thoughts on “rainbow cupcakes

  1. ~Jamie Kubeczka~

    I have so been wanting to try these too! They look so pretty and fun. I just made cupcake ice cream cones for my sisters diaper party this weekend and that was fun. The kiddos loved them!

  2. Erin

    I have been baking these little rainbow cupcakes for years – each of my three children has requested a version of them for every birthday party we’ve hosted.
    The recipe works great for a “tie dye” layer cake, too. I have found that gel food coloring makes for more vivid colors, and that 1/4 cup of mayo into the batter makes for a moister cupcake out of the box.

  3. Abby

    how crazy! i have these bookmarked to make this week. dont think im copying you! :) love the pictures. oh and i found them in a family fun magazine too.

  4. Jill

    Thanks ladies!

    Abby – I can’t wait to see yours!
    Erin – thanks for the tips!
    Jamie – I’ve been wanting to try those ice cream cone cupcakes too!

  5. Christy

    This is the second year I wanted to do these and did not. My daughter’s birthday is right after St. Patrick’s Day so I never want to make these right before we are going to have cake and other birthday fare. I’ll have to plan a rainbow day sometime during the year and make these because they just look so pretty. We did make rainbow toast today though.

  6. The Hancock Family

    I tried these out for the first time this afternoon…such a success!! I couldn’t wait to cut into the middle to see the perfect rainbow displayed! Thank you for the cutest idea! :) These will definitely be a hit every year!

  7. sinika

    Very cute! I’ve seen the bigger cake idea, but these seem a little easier. These will work perfectly for my little boy’s 2nd birthday this week! Thanks for posting. :)

  8. Beverly Jones

    You can also put the batter into small ziplock bags – that way you don’t have to use the back of a spoon. I made them one year and what a pain to smooth out each layer with a spoon! With the ziplock, you can control where the batter goes.


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