Try this sweet and colorful Rainbow Cupcakes recipe for a special birthday treat!

Make these fun pull apart, edible works of art. Kids love their pastel colors, and they definitely love to eat them!  These bright and colorful cupcakes are sure to impress your guests with their sweet stripes. These are super easy, and the raves you’ll receive are sure to make you smile!

group of rainbow coloured cupcakes 

Rainbow Cupcakes


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Why We Love this Recipe

  • Ready-made cake and (optional) frosting will save on time and clean up!
  • It’s a sweet surprise every time! Experiment with different food coloring ideas and frostings.
  • Celebrate birthdays, weddings, baby showers, game-day team colors, or the holidays!
  • Rainbow cupcakes are a party-perfect activity! They’re the newest sweet-treat addiction in any kitchen!

process of adding different colours to cupcake batter

Ingredients and Variations

CAKE MIX: No need to get a name-brand cake mix. Generic white cake mix will make for brighter colors in the finished product, but yellow or red will bake up fun, multi-colored results, too!

FOOD COLORING: Experiment with different colors or combinations. Food gel is concentrated so a little bit goes a long way!

OPTIONAL FROSTING: Again, no need for brand names. Frost rainbow cupcakes with plain white frosting, or mix in some food coloring. Top with sprinkles, confetti, or a cherry!

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes

Fun and pretty rainbow layered cupcakes aren’t hard to make:

  1. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Prepare a cake mix & scoop equal amounts of cake batter in a bowl for each color. Leave one bowl of uncolored cake batter.
  3. Mix food coloring into the separate bowls until the color is smooth.
  4. Place a bit of plain batter into each muffin tin. Alternate batter layers (per the recipe below).
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 

rainbow coloured batter in a muffin pan

Rainbow Cupcake Recipe Tips

  • Using large eggs in the cake mix makes the cupcakes extra fluffy and rich tasting!
  • Make rainbow cookies or cookie bars preparing cake mix with 2 large eggs and ½ cup of vegetable oil. Separate dough in bowls and color them. Press different colored bits of dough together into balls. Flatten with the back of a fork and bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 350°F. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Store cupcakes (or cookies) in an airtight zippered bag or container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Time Saving Tips

Use paper cups instead of a bowl to make clean-up a breeze! Make mini-cupcakes and freeze them in a zippered bag for up to 4 weeks. Pop one or two out for a fun, afterschool snack or for a last-minute group decorating sesh!

group of rainbow coloured cupcakes on a cutting board

Fun & Easy Party Food

group of rainbow coloured cupcakes
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Rainbow Cupcakes

This easy Rainbow Cupcakes recipe is made with a simple white cake mix and food coloring in a rainbow of colors.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
Author Holly


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • food coloring


  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line muffin tin with parchment liners.
  • Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box.
  • Separate cake batter into individual bowls, one for each color you want. Add food coloring to each bowl until desired colors are achieved, blending well.
  • Place ½ teaspoon of white batter in the middle of each muffin cup. Add ½ teaspoon of colored batter onto the center of the white batter.
  • Repeat with each color, dropping it carefully into the middle of each previous puddle of batter. Continue until muffin wrappers are ½ full.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out dry.


Recipe note: add food coloring a drop at a time until desired brightness is achieved.
Cupcakes can be frosted and decorated as desired. Try rainbow sprinkles on top! 
5 from 2 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 125mg | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 13mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine American

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stack of rainbow coloured cupcakes with text

group of rainbow coloured cupcakes with text
group of rainbow coloured cupcakes with text and rainbow coloured batter in muffin tray


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