Introduction: How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes

Picture of How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes

I kept seeing these pictures of amazing multicolored cupcakes online and wanted to try them out myself.  They were surprisingly easy, tasted delicious and looked awesome!

UPDATE: I've changed this a bit.   I have a few 3 month promemberships for getting featured on the homepage.  Since I already have a pro membership, I am giving TWO away to the first two people who make these cupcakes and post pictures in the comments!

UPDATE: both 3 month pro memberships have been won.  Congrats!

Also, if you like this instructable, please vote for it in the DIY Wedding contest!

Step 1: Collect Ingredients

Picture of Collect Ingredients

For this recipe, you will need:
-One 18.25 oz box of white or yellow cake mix
-4 eggs (instead of what is calls for on the box)
-1 cup butter milk (instead of water that is called for on the box)
-Vegetable oil (amount called for on the box)
-food coloring

Other stuff you will need:
Cupcake tin (this makes about 24 cupcakes)
1 can of frosting
cupcake papers
sprinkles, or anything else you want to use to decorate

Step 2: Make Batter

Picture of Make Batter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Mix with a hand mixer on low for 30 seconds until all ingredients are mixed, then mix on high for 2 minutes.
Separate batter into smaller bowls, one for each color that you want in your cup cakes.  I had 5 smaller bowls for red, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Step 3: Color the Batter

Picture of Color the Batter

Read the directions on the food coloring and color the batters accordingly.  Make sure they are thoroughly mixed and there are no clumps of food coloring left in the batters. 

Step 4: Layer the Batter

Picture of Layer the Batter

Put the cup cake papers in the cup cake tin.  I used foil papers so that you couldn't see the layers of color until you opened it up!
Start with the color you want at the bottom of the cupcake, in my case, that was purple.  Continue layering up until you get to the color you want on top.  Make sure not to fill the cup cake papers over two thirds full, otherwise, the tops of the cupcakes will overflow and stick to the baking tin.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit  for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 
Take them out of the oven and let them cool before moving on to the next step (I know!  This is the most difficult part!)

Step 5: Decorate

Picture of Decorate

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them using the icing of your choice (I used vanilla, from a can) and decorate however you want.  I covered the tops completely so that you couldn't tell how colorful they were until you took the paper off.

Step 6: Amaze Your Friends! Eat Your Cupcakes!

Picture of Amaze Your Friends! Eat Your Cupcakes!

The most fun part of these cupcakes was watching peoples' reaction when they took the paper off and bit into them!  Not only were they delicious, but they were also awesome!

These would be so fun for bake sales, parties, or even a fun alternative to a pricey wedding cake.  Whenever you make them, they will be sure to grab attention!


19kevers (author)2015-12-22

I love

cindydaniel made it! (author)2015-07-02

I love this and so easy too - thank you!

kikak (author)2014-11-19

awesome from mansor the best in the world

kikak (author)2014-11-19


kikak (author)2014-11-19

i like it awesome from mansor

Rynnal made it! (author)2014-07-27

Thanks for the recipe, these tasted pretty good! :) Should have started with the red on the bottom, I think, and I still have to ice them! But they look so good inside!

They still look awesome! Great job!

Kona-chan (author)2013-11-21

you, you are a DAMNE GENIUS

emory09 made it! (author)2010-10-03

i made mine alittle different... i love chocolate so topped it with that, and also bought confetti white cake it made 18 cupcakes i filled mine alittle more

jasminegill123 (author)emory092012-06-11

these are good. and how did you made that. :(

canida (author)emory092010-10-13


emory09 (author)canida2010-10-13

thanx i actually want some more i just made the kisses choc cupcakes but these were better.

those looks awesome!

jasminegill123 (author)2012-06-11

they are awesome!! :( :( :(

AlphaEtOmega made it! (author)2010-10-08

These turned out awesome!
This was the first test cupcake to make sure the colors turned out nice and vibrant. The rest turned out better, but I didn't get a chance to photograph them.

arhoades (author)AlphaEtOmega2011-11-02

how did you make the icing purple?

vferrer (author)arhoades2011-12-02

You can actually mix red and blue food coloring!

321minimoo (author)AlphaEtOmega2011-01-23

thoes look yummmmy! these cupcakes are the ones you can never have a cupcakef fight with! that just would be horrible!

those look awesome!

lovepugs (author)2011-10-21

I saw a similar instructable but they used jars instead of the cupcake papers. does it ending up colouring the papers? what do you think is better to use?

Doublespeak made it! (author)2011-10-16

My cupcakes!

Doublespeak made it! (author)Doublespeak2011-10-17

Also, the inside of the cupcakes-

Doublespeak (author)2011-10-16

I used water because I didn't have buttermilk, but I think they turned out nicely! I made these for my college Diversity Alliance's anti-bullying rally. Thanks so much for the great idea! =^.^=

slutty_for_nut3lla (author)2011-10-16

I'm just about to make these with my mom. The last time I made these I brought them to my little sister's school for valentines day once, and the kids loved it! I recommend this recipe. :)

Cuppycup (author)2011-07-14

Hey can I use a regular butter cake recipe instate of a instant white cake mix??? Will the co ours still turn out nice an vibrant? :)

I've made these with both instant and from-scratch recipes and had great colors both times. What I think matters the most is really the amount of food coloring you use. I would say use a little more than you think you'll need. I'd love to see pictures of the finished product!

tee1000 (author)2011-07-04

This is so awesome! I've had a craving for cupcakes all week, and I (hopefully) will be making these tomorrow! They're so pretty and colourful, can't wait! :D Thanks so much!
I'll be using milk instead though, as we don't have buttermilk and I'm on a tight budget :P

Awesome! I'd love to see pictures when you're done! And they work with milk also, I have tried the recipe using milk instead of buttermilk since writing this Instructable and it works just fine :)

tee1000 made it! (author)Danger is my middle name2011-07-06

Made them yesterday, and they're so cool!
Not the best picture, it looks a bit more brighter than the picture shows, but I'll be making these again sometime!

Oh they look awesome!

jennfuqua29 made it! (author)2011-06-04

i made there cupcakes and my kids love them and i put them in the order i wanted them to go into and they was a good thing to make for anyone and i love it so much next time i am going make them different color of them so there more different colors and i use a can of iceing and made the icing the color i wanted

Those look awesome! Thanks for sharing your pictures!

Underwater Chef (author)2011-03-17

Really Cool! ^^ This would be great for a children's party!

kids of all ages (including inner children, haha) love them :)

mary candy (author)2011-04-13

Gay Party here on Saturday will be wild.
Cool cakes.

Shany120 (author)2011-01-28

Yummy!!!!! :)

saruchagrand made it! (author)2011-01-14

I made ones yesterday! take a look!
I love cupcakes!

ilikepie22 (author)2010-11-30

These cupcakes look so delicious! I am seriously craving a rainbow cupcake right now!!

They were super good! You should make them!

homestuck (author)2010-11-04

Today is my sister's birthday which gives me a excuse to make these

awesome! Post a picture!

Gardsvision made it! (author)2010-11-02

Awesome ide! Ive made them two times now, took pictures this time

They look great!!

starrymirth (author)2010-10-23

These are VERY Awesome, I've been commissioned to bake cupcakes for my friends 21st next month, and she's allergic to chocolate, so will have to make a white sponge cake (I normally always bake chocolate cake), and so the rainbow will show up nicely. The theme is purple and green - I've yet to decide whether I should just do an alternation of those two colours, or a whole rainbow with purple and green icing.

Will post pics when they're made!

That sounds awesome! Definitely post pictures!

whygreen (author)2010-09-23

Ok, Who came up with it first? You, or Family Magizine from like back in Feburary.?? Everything old is new again...

Ok, I don't read Family Magazine and I haven't seen that article, and I'm not trying to take credit for this idea. As I said in the description, I just saw pictures online on blogs and stuff and wanted to try it and thought other people might want to know how to make them. I just think they are awesome and there were no other instructables on it, so I posted this guide to show other people how to make them also :)

I guess I owe you a reply... I tend to miss the instructables in all the junk mail. Maybe I should find an instructable for cleaning spam out of my Inbox? :)

Anyways, I'm not saying you took credit for it. I guess lots of ideas are common sense and some folks publish it in paper, some online. I'll admit they are fun to make, but I'm more of a modified Rice-crispy-treat maker myself, but the kids love the rainbow color and its better than them just eating the icing and leaving the cupcake for me eat. -- OK, maybe I don't mind that last part TOOO much. :P

Good job, keep them coming!

canida (author)whygreen2010-10-13

This is a classic! As you say, everything old is new again.
And a good explanation is priceless.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm just a lady who likes making stuff. I got my degree in engineering but also enjoy cooking, sewing, knitting, gardening and backpacking, among ... More »
More by Danger is my middle name:Restored Vintage Quilt Holder11 Epic Outdoor StructuresBubble Unicorn Speaker
Add instructable to: