Taste the rainbow…

April 12, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 94 Comments
Tags: , ,

Sometimes I struggle with what I want to bake and bring to parties.

There are so many things that factor into my decision: portability, travel-bility, allergies, in/formality of event, age group of dessert eaters etc etc. But this time I knew exactly what I wanted to make. So I threw caution to the wind. I didn’t even think twice about it.

Maybe it’s me but rainbows and Easter just seem to go together. Dontcha think?

Hoppy Easter readers.

Hope the Easter bunny brought you all the peeps and cadbury creme eggs you can eat! (I know I am gonna regret all the ones I’ve already eaten later BUT it was SO worth it! *licking chocolate off fingers*

Taste The Rainbow Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

Print this recipe

Makes about 18 cupcakes


For cupcakes
2-1/2 cups AP flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cup sugar
12 tbsp (1-1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 large egg + 2 egg white, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used Lorann butter-vanilla emulsion instead)
1 cup milk (I used half-and-half instead)
food coloring: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple (I used Ateco coloring gel)
garnish (skittles, peeps, sprinkles)

cream cheese frosting (favorite recipe or canned)

[NOTES: You could substitute a white cake mix for the cupcake recipe too but the quantity and consistency of the cupcakes will be slightly different.]


To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with flat beater, beat the sugar and butter until well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and egg whites, one at a time, beating on low.

Then add vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter into 6 different bowls. Add food coloring per bowl and mix to combine until you get the vibrant color you want. Add batter color by color, about 1 tbsp of each color until all the colors fill the cupcake liner about 1/2-2/3 full.

Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

Pipe cream cheese frosting on cupcake with Wilton 1M star tip and garnish with rainbow sprinkles, peeps or skittles! (Or all 3 like me. I’m such a party animal! LOL)


Husband rating: A
He will pretty much give a high rating for any cupcake that has cream cheese frosting. He’s an easy critic. HAHA

Wifey rating: A
I absolutely LOVE how colorful these cupcakes are. This vanilla cupcake batter is thick so the colors don’t mix together easily and kept their great layers. Surprisingly the skittles were such a yummy flavor addition to the cupcakes too. It probably helps that skittles are one of my favorite candies. The chocolate mousse flavored peep bunny wasn’t bad either. *wink*

Other rating: A+
Nothing but ooohs and aahhhhs for all the pretty colors. More than one person asked me for the recipe. Just something about rainbows… it’s hypnotic.



  1. I love the rainbow (happy Easter) it reminds me of the Rainbow shop from the 80’s

  2. These are so beautiful!

  3. Yum! Thats the second time I have seen this rainbow cake idea, it looks so good, I just need an excuse to make it!

  4. I love how bright and happy these cupcakes are! If I hadn’t inhaled enough food to feed a family of 4 today, I might try to come up with a reason to make them… Instead I’ll be in the gym for a month. But seriously I’m bookmarking these for next time I make cupcakes! :)

  5. Lovely bright Easter cupcakes! Wishing you a safe and happy Easter holiday! :)

  6. These look great! So perfect for Easter!

  7. These cupcakes are awesome! What a perfect Easter cupcake. I’m sure everyone was thrilled. Who doesn’t love a rainbow-colored treat?

  8. rainbow cupcakes!!!
    It’s such a great idea!
    Really pretty~~~

  9. so pretty! :)

  10. I’ve seen rainbow cupcakes and cakes before but I LOVE how they are always different. I need to make these bad boys!

  11. Whoa….trippy! Very creative.

  12. I am such a fan of the rainbow!


  13. Love these–they have a very “Hippie” Easter–appropriate I guess since the Easter bunny “hippity hoppitys-very cute!! thanks for sharing

  14. Those. look. AWESOME! Love the colors! I would like a bite….of each color, please! ;)

  15. Those are just too cute!

  16. Umm… they sell CHOCOLATE peeps over there? *jealous* Also can’t wait to try out the rainbow cake one day!

  17. Might be showing my age but… What’s Rainbow shop?

  18. Thank you!

  19. Same here. Been seeing the rainbow cake all over the blogosphere and just had to make them. They just make me smile.

  20. Oooh yeah. I can sympathize. I probably won’t eat for a week. I hope after you come down from your food coma you’ll bake up this cupcakes. Can’t wait to see!

  21. Thanks for Happy Easter wishes!

  22. Thanks!

  23. I thought the rainbow seemed to compliment Easter too. I can’t imagine anyone that doesn’t like rainbows.

  24. Thanky!

  25. Thanks J!

  26. I notice the same thing. They are all different! Probably depends on the vanilla cupcake recipe you use too. Mine was a little thicker but I know cake mix would probably be thinner and produce even layers better.

  27. Psychedelic right? ;)

  28. Thankyou!

  29. LOL @ hippity. So true!

  30. Funny you should say that! Hubs’ little cousin made a game out of doing that: just eating it color at a time. Cracked me up!

  31. Thanks H!

  32. Honestly this is the first year I’ve ever seen them! I won’t lie. They were yummy ;) Love to see your version of the rainbow cupcake. Let me know if you make them!

  33. my son just saw these (home on spring break) and went nuts! my oreo cupcakes have been cast aside and skittles are numero uno on his list to bring to school for his birthday on monday! thanks for the ideas cb, you rock!

  34. […] goodness Batman, these rainbow cupcakes from I <3 cuppycakes look absolutely amazing! Now I know what’s next on my to-bake […]

  35. Too cute. Thanks for the tutorial for the rainbow cupcake. I will try it the next time I make cupcakes.

  36. How cute! So glad rainbow cupcakes scored higher than oreo. haha. I’d love to see pictures of your son’s birthday cupcakes :)

  37. Definitely give them a try. A little time consuming but worth the final colorful product ;)

  38. This are so cute I could not wait to make them and when I say couldn’t wait I mean it. They were baked and ready to frost at 8:00 am! I love cupcakes. thank you for this idea my son loved them and said I bet a cake would be cool that will be next on my to due list. I’d post a picture but I have no clue how. I did not use skittles just sprinkles.

  39. I just got finished the cupcakes. They’re in the oven right now. I can’t wait to try them! Even though they’re for a friend, she won’t notice a few missing. ;)

  40. Wow, these look fantastic! I’ll have to make these for my sons, they will absolutely love these.
    Good job :)

  41. How funny! Glad you and your son loved them :) I’d love to see pictures. You can email me? iheartcuppycakesATgmailDOTcom

  42. You are such a good friend! I am sure she won’t mind if a 1 (or 2?) are missing ;)

  43. I am sure your sons will love them. It’s hard to resist a cupcake. Let me know what you and your sons think after you bake them, k? :)

  44. I love these rainbow cupcakes! The kids would love them, but they would love the skittles more! Happy belated Easter!

  45. I’ve made two batches of these already. The first from scratch and the second with a mix. Both ways worked great and everyone was totally impressed (until i told them how easy it was!). My nephew is turning seven on Saturday and his entire first grade class and our huge family is invited to a pool party. The kids are going to love these! Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  46. Kids definitely love them but all of my over 25 friends loved them too. It was pretty cute. Rainbows bring out smiles in ppl of any age. Happy (belated) Easter!

  47. 2 batches! Awesome! So glad it worked out using the cake mix too. I haven’t done the cake mix version but glad to hear it worked for you. Happy birthday to your nephew!

  48. Wow. Those are so freakin’ awesome. I am in awe of you. ;)

  49. The cupcakes were a hit! There were a lot of “Oooooos” and “Ahhhhs”. Everybody was in wonder to how I got all the different colors in there. Well, that will just be our little secret. ;) (And everyone else’s secret that reads your blog, too!)

  50. Soooo pretty! Who wouldn’t smile when they took a bite of one of these?

  51. Aaawww thanks! *blush*

  52. The colors do have that affect on taste testers. It’s hard not to smile. :)

  53. Have you heard of Skittles vodka?? http://www.instructables.com/id/Shoot-the-Rainbow-Skittles-Vodka/

  54. What??? That’s awesome! I totally wanna try this now. I am thinking a skittle vodka buttercream is in my future. ;)

  55. Waaaaaaaay too cool for school.

  56. I know. J/K! How you been stranger??

  57. I love all your cupcakes! I re posted this in both my blogs giving you credit. I just want you to be aware and hope that you don’t mind. I had to use your picture because it is too cute not to attach along with the recipe. Thanks for all the ideas!!!!

  58. Thank you for your sweet compliments! ::off to check out your blog::

  59. i made these the other day for a gathering, well, i specifically made them for my friend’s 3 year old daughter who LOVED them! she ate them layer by layer. also, when i was delivering some of them to my favorite coffee shop lady, one of my gay friends saw them and LOVED them. so these cupcakes are awesome…not only do they impress toddlers but also my pride friends. and they tasted great…i topped them with a plain vanilla cream cheese frosting. thanks for the recipe!

  60. Your daughter ate them layer-by-layer? That is so stinkin’ cute! So glad my rainbow cupcakes impressed 3 year olds and gay friends alike :)

  61. I made these for my son who finished 3rd grade 1 month early! He loved them. “Aunt” Johnny loved them too (our family gay friend).

    You have to help me with an idea now for his birthday. My son wants a Star Wars lego party. I was thinking of somehow making lego cupcakes or decorations, or … something… please help!

  62. Whoa? Stars Wars + Lego? Are you sure that your son and my godson aren’t the same boy? When’s your son’s birthday? I’ve been brainstorming the same thing for my godson. Maybe a light saber cupcake cake. I think I saw it doing a google search…

  63. I saw that image too, but I would really like to incorporate the lego shape. My son’s b-day is June 8th (party is on the 6th). I really don’t want to mess with fondant. Wasn’t there a lego shaped candy in the 80’s or so?…hummm…

    I have total confidence we could think of something awesome! :-)

  64. No way?! My little brother’s bday is June 8th too. Small world. I tried to click the above link but it just takes me to google’s home page. What is the picture of?

  65. It was an idea to cut marshmallows in half to create the lego “pegs,” but they had them on sheet cakes.

    I love finding similarities in life! Are you making cupcakes for your little brother? If so, what kind?

  66. just gorgeous!

  67. Thank you very much!

  68. Thanks for the inspiration on these! They inspired the patriotic cuppys i brought to a party today. I used white cake and then did a big old dollop of blue in the middle-ish, which looked SO cool when you bit into them! (also made some killah trifle! yummo!)xo

  69. Patriotic cupcakes! What a cute idea. Did you post on your blog? I’d love to see pictures!

  70. I have been waiting and waiting to make these… so I got my chance about 2 weeks ago. I just had the time to post now, but I wanted to share and thank you! I did a full cake variation, but I’m looking forward to cuppycakes in the future!


  71. Definitely try the cupcakes! I love how the colors came out in cupcake form. It’s like biting in to a rainbow :) Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  72. These look amazing thanks for the recipe were gonna use these for pride night for our schools GSA!!!

  73. Awesome! Take pics!

  74. HI i was just looking these up and i was wondering are they good? Do they turn your mouth a color? And are they easy to make? And are they great in the summer? thxs holly :)

  75. Oh hahah and could you do this with cakes?

  76. I think these cupcakes are very tasty! I don’t remember it making my mouth change color. I’d say they are easy but time consuming b/c you have to put all 6 colors into each cupcake. Definitely can make it into a cake but I’m guessing that since this recipe makes 18 cupcakes maybe an 8×8 cake? Don’t quote me though. Hope that helps!

  77. […] I have many different favorites.  And they change all the time.  But right now I’m a fan of Shelly Kaldunski’s Vanilla Cupcakes, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cupcakes and Elisa Straus’ Red Velvet Cupcakes.  I tend to use these […]

  78. My sister in law and my niece made these and they looked awesome so I am going to try and make them for Mothers Day which I also share with my son for his birthday! Can’t wait to see the result!

  79. Oh man! These look like so much fun. I think my daughter would have a blast making and eating them with me.. so I’ll definitely have to try them. They are so pretty at the end. YUM!

  80. […] with a better recipe so I whipped out my blackberry and I stalked C over at I <3 Cuppycakes and found this recipe.  I knew it was perfect because, due to their inability to plan for storage, timing and transport, […]

  81. hi just wondering if u could tell me what is the ap flour that u used?

  82. I’m not sure I understand your question. AP flour = all purpose flour. Sometimes I use the store brand unbleached all purpose flour or sometimes I use King Arthur. Hope that helps!

  83. yum, I’m working on a triple batch of these for our church picnic tomorrow, in red, white and blue. seems to be going great. thanks, you blog has some great ideas.

  84. I’m the Tina way above, April 2009, that made the cupcakes a while back and sent a picture to you. My son loves these and is leaving to go to college, my 6 ft size 15 shoe baby is leaving and asked if I would make a cake instead of cupcakes to move in with. He is going to be rooming in the science section and thinks it will be cool. I love your recipe so I know the cupcakes work but for the cake I didn’t seen anyone who had used your recipe so I wanted to ask if you had made a cake with this recipe? I know I could use a box but I don’t want to. I want to make sure there is enough batter for an 8 inch pan two layers. If anyone could answer or help I would be very grateful. If not should I just google a recipe for a white cake made with buttermilk? I think those tend to be the best and most cakes the ones made with buttermilk? If I can’t figure it out and I’m unsure I will make the cupcakes because I know they work, we love the cake and I’ve made them many times. My kids are 18 & 19 and this is their favorite recipe so thank you again

  85. […] from http://iheartcuppycakes.com/2009/04/12/taste-the-rainbow/ However, I didn’t add food coloring this time. I wanted to avoid using this recipe because it […]

  86. […] learned them from my friend Clara at I Heart Cuppycakes. She’s since stopped making cupcakes. But her instructions are fabulous. Its where I got […]

  87. i love love love this recipe. i’ve been scouring the interweb for a simple yet delicious rainbow cup cake recipe and i found it!!! i made another one today and epic fail doesn’t begin to describe the dense, lemony rocks i served my family for dessert. my sister-in-law is due any day now so i have an excuse to make a double batch of these!!thx again :D

  88. I am so sorry I didn’t see this until now! I haven’t used this recipe for a cake but I don’t see why not. I usually estimate that 24 cupcakes = 2-8″ round cakes. Maybe you could double the recipe above to make 2-8″ round cakes and have leftover batter for ~12 cupcakes too. Hope your son is enjoying college!

  89. Hurray! So glad you enjoy the cupcakes. Congrats to your SIL!

  90. my 3 year old daughter jsut saw these and went nuts thanks now i will have to make these today off to the store sooo cute !!!

  91. […] at the same time, it just happened to work out that way.I really like the colorful cupcakes at i heart cuppycakes…the rainbow cupcakes, but since this was a red and white team I stuck with just the 2 […]

  92. […] Recipe: Taste The Rainbow Cupcakes […]

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