How to… Make Rainbow Cupcakes

Cakes come in so many flavors, but what about colors?  Coloring cake batter is an easy way to add some extra fun and surprise to your cake.  And kids love it!

Today we’re tackling how to make rainbow cupcakes.  I made these last week for my daughter’s 9th birthday.

Rainbow Cupcakes Inside

You can start out by making your favorite cake recipe (whether it be a mix or scratch) for WHITE cake.  Be sure to use egg whites as specified on the back of the box and NOT whole eggs.  The yolk gives a yellow tint and it will be harder to get nice, true colors.  If you are baking from scratch, be sure your recipe makes enough batter for the number of cupcakes you need.  My measurements are based off of making 24 cupcakes.

After you have your batter mixed up, split up the batter evenly into 6 different dishes.  I got somewhere close to 3/4 cup worth of batter into each color.  But mixes do vary some.

Then take your food coloring (I prefer Americolor) and add a few drops and mix the color in.  You can see how dark my colors are once mixed.  If you do them lighter, they will bake up lighter.  But these baked up nice and bright as is…


Now we’re going to start filling our prepared cupcake liners.  Starting with purple, put about 1 tsp of cake batter into each liner.  I then kind of spread the purple out to cover the whole bottom nicely.  You can see below, the bottom row I spread out but the other rows I hadn’t yet.

Then follow up with the next color (blue).  Add 1 tsp of blue on top of each purple layer.  Note I did NOT spread the blue out like I did the purple.  If you do too much spreading it will start to blend the colors.   I just kept putting one color on top of the other.  As I would dump each one in I would try to get it “spread” out as I dumped.  But I didn’t go back and spread it to the sides.  As they cooked, the batter spread out on its own…you can see that end result above.

And continue on with the remaining colors (remember to continue to work backwards).  Here they are finished & ready for the oven. (I almost forgot to take a pic!)


Bake them in the oven as specified on the box/recipe.  And when they are done…. yay! Rainbows! 🙂

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21 thoughts on “How to… Make Rainbow Cupcakes”

  1. It’s hard to impress my 17 year old these days, but these cupcakes did!! Will be making them again and again! Thanks!

  2. These look awesome! i make cupcakes very often, and my family loves them, so i can’t wait to make these and show my family! Thanks for the great instructions.
    (p.s- i love ur website!)

  3. What kind of batter did you use? I used one from the box and it looked a little more liquid-y than yours! The cupcakes came out like rainbows, but the colors weren’t stacked like in the pictures :/

  4. Shirley Wilson

    Exactly what I was looking for, thanks so much for posting a step by step. I am definitely going to make these for a cupcake order on the 16th.

  5. look fantastic so i will make the rainbow cupcake next weekend bec my hub@s birthday also my goddaughters would love it …looking forward it

  6. OMG these cupcakes look sooooo good but i bet you im gonna mess something up, and i make my cupcakes from scratch and i don’t use eggs I use apple cider vinegar and the batter is liquidy what can i do to thicken it up (please don’t say dry pudding mix or something like corn starch. i need something that almost everybody has in there pantry.)oh yeah and i forgot the batter is also a little yellowish tint what else can i do for that?

  7. Mia ~ I am not sure what to tell you as I’ve never heard of replacing eggs with vinegar. Usually if a cake turns out yellowy, its due to the egg yolks. But maybe its from the color of the vinegar in your case? You could look at substituting a flax egg for the eggs instead of vinegar. Is this a recipe you made up or found somewhere?

  8. Aaliyah ~ Just bake them for whatever your recipe says for cupcakes. If you use a box mix, its normally around 18 min or so. I bake until they spring back when touched on top. 🙂

  9. I’m going to try to make these today. My 7 year old daughter is going to help. She likes baking. I hope they come out right!!!

  10. No, the pudding does not change anything with the prep/cooking. It does add flavor and thickens up the batter a bit. But overall, no major cook time difference. Hope this helps!

  11. Shirley Wilson

    I did finally make my cupcakes using your tutorial and they turned out SO cute! Thanks very much for sharing.

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