Rainbow Cupcakes

I’ve been devoting all morning to these. They are totally not worth the effort, by the way (but let’s hope the third graders in Arabella’s class appreciate them.)


In case you’re super insane and want to make these, here is the easiest way to do it:

–make a white cake mix (I usually substitute melted butter for the oil just so it tastes better, but taste isn’t exactly the most important thing here. Especially if these are for kids.) These make about 16-18 cupcakes. So if you need these for a larger group, please double the recipe.

–Separate the cake mix into five bowls. You need to decide what colors you’ll want. I chose pink instead of red since that’s my daughter’s favorite color, but you can pick whatever you like. As tempting as this might be, don’t use more than five colors. These are cupcakes; they can’t hold too much batter.

–Color the batter with gel or paste colors (using the Wilton and Americolor brands you can find at craft stores). You can probably use that cheapo food coloring from the grocery store but they will be more pastel. I used my hand mixer, colored one bowl, rinsed the beaters under running water, then moved on to the next color.


–Put a heaping teaspoonful of each color of batter in each cupcake paper. The first time I made these I was very careful to spread the batter into a nice even layer. And guess what? It didn’t matter! The batter bubbles and swirls all over the place no matter what you do. So don’t bother with the extra effort of trying to get them all nice and even. This may sound harder, but it actually is a timesaver: put each color of cake batter in its own ziplock, then snip off a small corner. Squiggle a thin layer in each cupcake.

–These should be about 1/2-1 inch from the top of the cupcake liner. Any fuller than that and they’ll spread all over the muffin tin. You might want to practice filling a couple first to get a feel for how much of each color to put in.

–Bake according to the directions.


–I think the frosting should be kept simple. Unlike most cupcakes the cake is the star. I just made a simple buttercream and topped it with colored sugar. Feel free to use whipped cream or whatever you’re in the mood for.

–Then have fun cleaning all those bowls and the mess of colored batter all over your counters.

| Filed under Baking, Good Things, Recipes, Yum

15 thoughts on “Rainbow Cupcakes

  1. How absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I know that as a third-grader I would have been enchanted out of my mind with such a glorious cupcake, and would never-ever have forgotten it!

    And all the other class mothers will hate your guts if they see it.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELLA! (What!? no history of Bella thru photos?)

  2. I think they look awesome! I bet they are the talk among the kids and their parents tonight over dinner. Not to mention the next time their Moms try to serve them a plain ol' cupcake!!

  3. Hold the phone–those are AMAZING!

    Btw, I don't know what it means to hold the phone, but I like saying it.

  4. They look good, at least. Sometimes (when the effort totally outways the outcome) I just think, my kids knowing I'll put all the extra umph in for them IS worth the effort. Even if it takes them 20 years to realize it.

  5. Wow – I have NEVER seen anything like that!

    I want one (dozen)!!!

    Really – HOW did you do that?!?!!?!!

    You'll tell me at the retreat, right?!

  6. The third grade girls will think they are amazing. The boys will say 'cool' if they happen to eat the cupcake in two bites instead of one.

    They turned out great.

  7. They look totally worth to me, but I'm into thing like that. Nice job, Jennie! Those are the cutest cupcakes!

  8. OK, those are pretty freaking awesome. I've never seen any like that ever. I'm sure every kid who ever eats one will die of how cool they are. Nice job!

  9. These are so much fun! Just looking at them makes me feel five again. I love how you feature the cake over the icing (as you point out) — that is truly neat!

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