These Rainbow Cupcakes Are Exploding With Color

rainbow cupcakes

You don’t have to be a kid to love all things rainbows, especially when they look this sweet. Whether you go full-out with a colorful buttercream or just stick to the surprise-inside batter, these rainbow cupcakes are sure to be a hit.

Rainbow Cupcakes

Level: Easy

What You Need

  • Vanilla cupcake batter (use your favorite recipe)
  • Food gel color
  • Buttercream (Swiss meringue or American buttercream work well)
  • Cupcake pan
  • Cupcake liners
  • Piping bag
  • Piping tip (we used a star tip)
  • Spoons
  • Instructions

    1. Mix Your Batter

    Mix your vanilla batter according to your recipe’s instructions, but don’t bake yet.

    2. Add a Little Color

    colorful batter in spoons

    Separate the batter into bowls and add different food coloring to each. We stuck with a simple palette of four bright colors, but you can go crazy with ROYGBIV if you’re feeling it. Try not to add an overabundance of colors, as that could cause them to meld together and turn a murky brown.

    Pro Tip: Choose your colors wisely and try to pick hues that are different from each other. You might love pink, red and orange, but they’re so similar they could all blend together when baked.

    3. Fill the Liners

    rainbow cupcake batter

    Place liners in your cupcake pan. Add a dollop of the tinted batters to each cupcake liner, alternating colors as you add. Fill each liner about ⅔ high so the sweets have room to rise as they bake.

    4. Bake and Pipe

    frosted rainbow cupcake

    Bake your cupcakes according to your recipe’s instructions.

    Once they’re baked and completely cool, spoon buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake.

    5. Add the “Sprinkles”

    rainbow cupcake with sprinkles

    Spoiler alert: those aren’t sprinkles — they’re colorful bits of cupcake!

    Top off each cupcake by mashing an extra one by hand and sprinkling the crumbs over your buttercream. It’ll give your cupcakes a bold, bright finish.

    Pro Tip: It’s important to crumble your cupcakes by hand. If you use a food processor, you’ll risk overdoing it and end up with a muddy brown color.

    detail rainbow cupcake

    Now you have a batch of colorful cupcakes just waiting to be eaten!

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