My Mom is a really creative woman. I didn’t realize it until I grew up and became a mother myself. Now that I look back on the birthday parties she threw and the incredible cakes she created, I’m really amazed at the things she came up with back in the day when you couldn’t run to Target or Walmart and basically buy a party in a bag. Halloween costumes were no exception. We never, ever had store-bought costumes growing up. My Mom was a great seamstress and her creativity had no boundaries. I look at old family pictures and I love how she took simple ideas and turned them into something fun. Take me for example, around age 5:


That my friends, is a rainbow. And I thought it was the coolest costume ever. I was obsessed with this chick, and if you look at every picture I ever created out of any sort of art media between the ages of 3 and 9, it undoubtedly included 3 things: hearts, flowers, and rainbows. To this day, I still get a little bit giddy inside when I see all of those colors together. Something about rainbows just makes me happy.

So it’s no wonder these cupcakes make me smile.  Every time :)

Gel food colors work especially well for this. Gel color adds a ton of color with a small amount of dye. You can find gel colors at craft stores like Michaels and Roberts, and in the cake decorating isle of Walmart. If using red, make sure to get the one that says “No Taste”

Divide your batter and tint each one

Then layer it by color into the cupcake papers.  (See my tips in the recipe for easy layering).  Sometimes I do red on top and sometimes I do the reverse so blue is on top.

Bake them up

And cool them on a rack before frosting.

Then you can frost and decorate to your heart’s desire!

The best part comes when you peel off that paper.  Use white liners to show off the colors, or foil or dark liners to make it a surprise!

Even better is taking the first bite and seeing the inside:

Try them with the color of your favorite sports team, or your kids’ school colors.  They’re sure to be a hit!

 

 

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271comments

  1. 1
    Kate says:

    Those are so amazing. I may just have to try them for Meredith’s birthday next month…

  2. 2
    Kara says:

    Those are so darn cute! The bright colors are just amazing.

  3. 3
    Carolyn says:

    Love it! So cute.

  4. 4
    The Cookie Girl says:

    These are so much fun! I now have an idea for my daughters birthday.

  5. 5
    michelle says:

    LOVE the version in cupcakes! I actually made the rainbow cake (cinco de mayo version!) last week! So great!

  6. 6
    Steph says:

    Tie-dyed cupcakes…how fun!

  7. 7
    jenimur says:

    Way cute!

  8. 8
    Maria says:

    How fun!

  9. 9
    Britanie says:

    I never said you were a snob, I just said that there were definitely some foods that you preferred to avoid! I’m the same way, just ask my in-laws I NEVER eat the desserts they make because they are so foreign to my palate. Ella is in love with these, and I’m betting we make these for FHE today, ’cause she lacks patience just like me and wants them NOW. I heart you too!

  10. 10
    Emily says:

    So, so fun! I can’t wait to make these. I love the last one with the heart. Very cool!

  11. 11
    Ozge says:

    Woohoo psychedelicupcakes!

  12. 12
    alice says:

    So creative! what an adorable birthday party, thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try these.

  13. 13
    Erin says:

    Wow, these cupcakes are so fun!

  14. 14
    Ariana says:

    Those are so flippin’ fun. I love how bright the colors turned out. I’ve never used gel food colors but now I see that I’ve been missing out! lol

  15. 15
    Darci says:

    I love the old picture of you. What a cutie! This rainbow idea is great. We’ll make them for sure.

  16. 16
    Crystal says:

    I made some of these for the 4th of July last year. Red, white and blue. They were super cute. And everyone ooh and aahed over them.

  17. 17
    kim says:

    Even though Isabel’s birthday was last month, when she saw these cupcakes she promptly insisted that I make those for her birthday! Very cute!

  18. 18
    Tricia says:

    My son is turning 8 in a little over a week and I have had a hard time figuring out what to do. But this post rocks, Paker loves BSU,so blue and orange cupcakes here we come!! Thanks Sara!

  19. 19
    HoneyB says:

    Looks like you mom passed her creativity on to you! The cupcakes are awesome!

  20. 20
    Erika says:

    Ha, ha. That outfit is great. I loved rainbow bright, too. Those cupcakes are so fun!

  21. 21
    redkimo says:

    Oh my goodness! Those look so fun! My girls would love to have these for their birthdays! Thanks for sharing this colorful recipe.

  22. 22
    John, Kara, Andrew and Grant says:

    Those are fun! Love the bright colors.

  23. 23
    Victoria says:

    GORGEOUS! But we just had two birthdays this weekend… I may have to try making them for a non-birthday. Hmmm.

  24. 24
    Candy says:

    WOW! Those are so cute and fun! They look a little time consuming, but maybe I’ll get ambitious. They look great!

  25. 25
    The Siple Family says:

    Sara, I love this, as I was reading this I was trying to think of the next something that I could make them for. The first time I ever saw anything like this was my friend colleen made a cake like this and posted it on her blog. I am a cupcake girl and I never though of doing that. Dough! I LOVE IT! Your halloween picture is the best. What a cute little girl. Thanks for the great ideals.

  26. 26
    Bunny says:

    These cuppies are so cute!! I love those candles and the sprinkles,,I love it all!!

  27. 27
    rockriverstitches says:

    Very cool cupcakes!! I would have never thought to make them look like that! When my girls were little I did the special birthday cakes and parties too. And every year I made their halloween costumes. Those were some fun years.

    Tammy

  28. 28
    OREGON SOUTHWORTHS says:

    Hmmm… I’m in charge of refreshments for a stk YW leadership training and I’m thinking Value colors… though that new gold Virtue is throwing me off a little! ;)
    Either way, these look very fun and I can’t wait to make some!
    -Jennifer

  29. 29
    Kate says:

    Jennifer–What about gold frosting? Maybe you could get some of that edible glitter stuff in the cake decorating section of Hobby Lobby or Michaels. That was my first thought, at least…. :)

  30. 30
    Laura says:

    What fun and colorful cupcakes!

  31. 31
    Jayme Duke says:

    I absolutely love rainbow cupcakes of any kind! Your colors turned out GREAT!

    I can’t wait to try this idea out for my kids, they’ll love it.

    Gorgeous cupcakes, well done!

  32. 32
    Crafty P says:

    as I am a HUGE cupcake fan, I will definitely try these out sometime! thanks for the recipe

  33. 33
    Nicole says:

    So cool!! my kids are alergic to food coloring, but I can always order natural foods coloring and still do this! So cute!!!

  34. 34
    The Wifey says:

    I think I love your Rainbow Brite costume most of all!

  35. 35
    Katie Tyler says:

    Thanks for solving my “what to do for Blake’s Bday, since he is #2″ dilema!! lovin it!

  36. 36
    Becky says:

    These look so cute!! Thank you for sharing!

  37. 37
    Melissa says:

    Wow! Fantastic!!

  38. 38
    The Crew says:

    I think that perhaps, you are a genius! These are awesome, and something I could possibly do with 2 children 2 and under! Baby #2, who says you have to miss out! Thanks!

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Birdie, we have a tracker, so we’ve been following that bbc thread :) We found it quite amusing at first when a cute little cupcake could cause such debate! I’m glad the drama subsided and so many people over there are trying them and liking them. Are you a poster there? If so, make sure to thank all the ladies over there for the crazy traffic you’ve sent our way! lol

  41. 41
    Miranda says:

    Jen- What about just using gold liners?

    By the way these are awesome! Thanks for all the creative ideas.

  42. 42
    lisalyn says:

    Wow!! Amazing! Thanks for sharing. I might have to try these…they are just so cute. :)

  43. 43
    dawn says:

    Did you use sour cream because the cake mix box had it in the recipe, or because it is what is needed for this specific recipe for the colorburst cupcakes?
    My White Cake mix does not say to use sour cream, so I just wanted to check.
    Do I follow the box directions, or yours?
    Thanks!!!!!

  44. 44
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Oh sorry if I wasn’t clear on that Dawn. You *can* just use a normal white cake mix and follow the directions on the back if you want. Any regular ol’ cake mix will do. My recipe is just a way to doctor it up a bit. So if you use my recipe with the sour cream and the other ingredients I listed, then just ignore the directions on the cake box. Does that make sense?

  45. 45
    D.I.M. Incorporated says:

    These cupcakes are awesome! And so is that sweet Rainbow Brite costume!

  46. 46
    dawn says:

    THanks!
    That makes total sense!
    I am making these tomorrow, and am really excited!

  47. 47
    Jane says:

    So adorable! I have to make these for my class next year.

  48. 48
    Haylee says:

    Wow, these are cute!! I’m a new reader here from Tip Junkie and love your site already! But please tell me, I have been trying to find the tool that makes the BIG star pattern in the frosting. I always see that type of design on bakery cupcakes and such and I want to do it at home, but don’t know where to find the tool…where did you get yours?!

  49. 49
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Haylee, welcome to our blog! The tip I use is the Wilton 1M. I actually bought this cupcake decorating set which comes with several tips, including one for piping filling to the insides.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Piece-Cupcake-Decorating-Set/dp/B000NBNHT2

    Because the 1M is oversized you’ll need a larger coupler as well (the plastic thingy that screws on to secure the tip to the bag) You should be able to find everything at a well stocked baking or craft store. I got my things at Michael’s Crafts.

    Hope that helps!

  50. 50
    Haylee says:

    Thanks, Sara! I’m so excited to get one now that I know where I can!

  51. 51
  52. 52
    momy4him says:

    yum! thanks for the recipe!

  53. 53
    Mandy says:

    This is so great! I'm thinking red, white, and blue cupcakes are in the near future for us!! Thank you!

  54. 54
    Hennergy Hand & Foot Spa says:

    These cupcakes look fabulous so wonderfully bright. I featured them in my hippie party menu along with two of your other recipes.

    http://spicyspaparty.blogspot.com/2009/06/hippie-luxe-eats.html

  55. 55
    Hennergy Hand & Foot Spa says:

    These cupcakes look fabulous so wonderfully bright. I featured them in my hippie party menu along with two of your other recipes.

    http://spicyspaparty.blogspot.com/2009/06/hippie-luxe-eats.html

  56. 56
    Becky says:

    I **LOVE** them! I found your site a while ago and I have looked at the recipe many times!

    Making them tomorrow!

  57. 57
    ifyrnice2me says:

    WOW!! My son's preschool teacher is leaving and I made these for her going away party with the kids. They are SO awesome…and terrific color! Thank you so much for such great recipes and terrific tips!!!

  58. 58
    lovemypaper says:

    Love it!

  59. 59
    Bethany says:

    I made a red white and blue cake for my daughter's birthday using your techinique! Thanks!!

    http://thegoodshiplollipop.blogspot.com/2009/07/happy-birthday-idgie.html

  60. 60
    Kimberly says:

    I made these yesterday for my daughter's 3rd birthday party. They were a huge hit. I put big swirly frosting tops on some for the grown-ups, but left the kids' unfrosted and let them frost their own. It was fun!

  61. 61
    Julie L. says:

    these are gorgeous! thanks so much for the idea.

  62. 62
    Karyn says:

    We made these yesterday & they were a huge hit with the kids. They loved helping me make them, too.

  63. 63
    sammyn says:

    nicole you can also use koolaid instead of food coloring then nothing special to buy but if use koolaid use sugar free and when u seperate to equal parts #depends on how many colors u want use one pack of sugar free koolaid and 3TBSP sugar to each color and u can use a reg white cake mix per directions on the mix if ur kids like sour things use less sugar gives a lil kick but still very good just another idea

  64. 64
    Not just a Mommy! says:

    A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!

    I can't wait to share this recipe with my readers.

  65. 65
    Dorothy says:

    I made jumbo versions of these for a bake sale, and they were a hit! They sold faaaast! Thanks :)

    http://fuzzykoalacakecompany.blogspot.com/2009/08/bake-sale-tip-colorful-items-sell.html

  66. 66
    Tory says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I…er, my kids were so giddy with excitement when they saw what I was doing. The hardest part is that we are holding out on frosting and eating them for another couple of days. I included it in a recent post, my pics are nowhere near the gorgeousness of yours, neither were the cupcakes. Thanks again!
    http://champagnewishesandcoupondreams.blogspot.com/2009/08/cupcakes-menus.html

  67. 67
    Stacia says:

    I want to make these for my daughters 3rd birthday in a month, but I can't find those sprinkles or cupcake liners, or food coloring gel anywhere! Can you tell me where you got that stuff? I absolutely LOVE how these look, and I'd like to get my to look as close as I can to what you did. Thanks!

  68. 68
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Stacia- you should actually be able to find most of that stuff in the baking isle of a normal grocery store. Grocery stores don't usually carry Wilton gel colors, but there's another brand (betty crocker I think?) that makes a small pack sold at grocery stores. I found these specific cupcake liners, candles, and sprinkles at Walmart. If you're having trouble finding stuff, check a craft store that carries baking supplies. Good luck!

  69. 69
    Stacia says:

    Thank you! I already went out and got everything! I can't wait to make them… we are having a huge carnival party, and these are going to go perfectly with everything!

  70. 70
    Eldredge's says:

    Just made these cupcakes today and they were wonderful. I like how the sour cream makes them really moist. And I made the frosting and it was sooo good! Love your website!

  71. 71
    leslie the licorice stick lady says:

    You should send this idea to Family Fun Magazine! Your blog is seriously so DELICIOUS! I've spent over an hour on here tonight just pouring over different things. The photography is simply stunning too. You two should be paid! If you are, that's great! I love these cupcakes-truly brilliant and gorgeous!

  72. 72
    Heather says:

    I made these for my daughter to share with her friends for a birthday and she loved them. She insisted we make them for her little brother too. I found that you need to use a top quality food coloring paste/gel if you want vibrant colors. I used the little generic tubes for my sons and the colors were really disappointing.

  73. 73
    Richelle says:

    I am making these right now. Just waiting on them to cool so I can frost. Mmmm. Usually I don't get that excited about cupcakes, but I think you may have changed my mind. These are sooo cute. I am addicted to your site I might add! Oops have to run my timer just went off for the second pan :)

  74. 74
    scrapnbear says:

    Thanks for the great idea. My 18 yr old is really going to like this one. I plan to make them for her 19th birthday coming up in a few months.

  75. 75
    K. Marcotte says:

    I really like the idea of this; the only thing I wonder about is if they will make my guests as uncomfortable with the rainbow/homosexual connection as you appeared to be in this post. Thank you, however, for avoiding the easy "I'm not gay, but…" leader usually used. And, thank goodness baking, cooking, and kitchens in general tend to not discriminate!

    I do love your site and recipes, I just wished this one didn't come with awkward declarations of sexuality in general.

  76. 76
    Meghan Huntsman says:

    Okay, I totally want to make these for my daughters first birthday next weekend! I'm SO excited! I'm thinking pink, yellow, and green! So Fun!!! I can't wait to try that frosting too! I do have a question though. Is it just me or do others cupcake liners always stick to the cupcake and end up leaving me with only about 1/2 of the actual cake part? It's frustrating. Any tips?

  77. 77
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Meghan, try giving your cupcake liners a quick spritz of non-stick spray before putting in the batter.

    Your color scheme sounds adorable!

  78. 78
    engelsflugel says:

    Just got done baking these for my daughter's 2year birthday party later today. I did a test run earlier this week, so I already know that these taste great, and she loved them. (not to mention her daddy ;) ) But I do have a few questions…

    I used the Betty Crocker gels and they didn't turn out as vibrant as yours and some of the others I've seen posted. I'm just wondering if this is because you used Wiltons? I remember my mom always having them and being awesome, but I couldn't find them for this.

    I did have some browning on the bottom, but from reading through some other treads I see that it seems to be a chance thing so far.

    I was wondering about the frosting. The one you posted looks great, but I think it might be a little too much for us right now. So I was wondering if I don't do the high tops and do just a single batch should I still try piping it on or just use my frosting knife? Cuase I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how I'd pip it on an not have it be a lot.

    Excuse my rambling, I always do it when I have a big day ahead of me. And don't worry if you don't get back to me in time for the party, I'll come up with something and have what ever advice is given for next time. :)

    Cheers, Callie

  79. 79
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Callie-

    The only gel color I've ever used is Wilton, so I can't weigh in about other brands. But with any gel color, you just have to keep adding it to get a more intense color.

    I've never had a browning problem, so it might be the pan you used.

    As for the tops- ya that would be a lot of frosting for little kids (I know because the ones pictured were for my one year old's birthday!) You can still pipe it on, just do a single swirl on top and not a big ol' pile like I did. Or you could just spread some on with a knife. A single batch should be just enough for that.

    Hope that helps and have a fun party!

  80. 80
    The Simmons Bunch says:

    I just made these last week for YW in Excellence and New Beginnings! They were a hit! Even the Dad's were asking for the recipe and how I did it! LOVE IT!

  81. 81
    Olly says:

    ever thought of putting a mini marshmallow into the cupcake and baking it? ..just wondering if anyone has ever tried it!

  82. 82
    Nik says:

    Hi There!

    I have been so excited to make these for my sons first birthday. I have been waiting about a month and now the day is here and I am a little nervous. I am not really the baking or cooking type but since my son has been eating table foods I have developed a real love for it actually. Anyway, that being said I need some advice. I would like to make these tonight for his party tomorrow. Yeah, I'm a little late on the nervousness…probably should have figured this out a while ago. : ) I am going to make the recipe as it is on the box and I am making both regular size and minis using the Wilton Gel Color. Probably 12 regular and then however many left in minis. My questions are, what is the best way to do these in advance? Is there a best way to store them? Should I make the frosting the night before? Should I frost the night before? :D
    Sorry for all the questions….I just really want it to turn out well. Any advice would be so appreciated.
    Also I have to say, I love this site. I have found so many fun things I would like to try!
    Thanks so much in advance!
    Oh, and I am going to use the frosting you put on them too. I've been looking for a light frosting that is like my local cupcake bakery without having to spend a fortune. :D

  83. 83
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Nik, you can bake and frost them tonight, just store at room temp and you should be good to go!

  84. 84
    Nik says:

    Oh wow…Thank you so much! You've really helped me out!

  85. 85
    Crystal says:

    Cupcakes are my thing!! Love these! Might be just what I do for for littest ones first b-day later this month!

  86. 86
    Pam says:

    I love this idea. This is so simple but SO impressive!

  87. 87
    Renee says:

    I made these but with neon food dye… they turned out amazingly epic! I ended up bringing these around to a couple bars and people LOVED them! Best birthday cupcakes ever!

  88. 88
    Morgan says:

    Gorgeous cupcakes! I saw this on family fun too, but I think I will try your cupcake recipe instead of just a regular box mix. The swirls you put on top look great! Thanks for sharing this!

  89. 89
    Minyo says:

    We made these today to celebrate St. Patty's day. These represented the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow :) Thanks for sharing.

  90. 90
    Barefoot in Portland says:

    I am SO glad I found these cupcakes! My daughter will love this. I am going to try it with one large cupcake cake pan for her birthday in May!! Thank you for sharing!

  91. 91
    ificould says:

    These were such a hit at a birthday party last weekend. I had to feature them on my blog http://ificould-ificould.blogspot.com/2010/03/colorburst-cupcakes.html

    Thanks for another great recipe!

  92. 92
    hplott73 says:

    If I double the cake mix receipe, could I make a cake (in 2 round pans) instead of cupcakes?

  93. 93
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    you could probably get 2 8" rounds out of just one box mix, just check the box for instructions. But yes, you could double it as well for a larger cake.

  94. 94
    Meghan says:

    Dumb question (I'm a newbie to this baking thing!), but how do you get your frosting in that pretty swirl? It kind of looks like soft server ice cream! What tip do you use to get that effect?

  95. 95
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Not dumb at all Meghan! I use a Wilton 1M tip for my cupcake swirls. And you can even see a video of the method Kate uses in this link:

    http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/10/tutorial-how-to-frost-cupcakes-plus.html

  96. 96
    Meliha says:

    Awesome idea…I love it!

    –Meliha
    http://straddling-continents-cultures.blogspot.com/

  97. 97
    Heather and Spencer says:

    Would that "Doctored up" cake mix work with other boxed cake mixes too…like chocolate cake and yellow cake? (obviously not the colors, but the sour cream) Also do you have or know of chocolate frosting recipe that would pipe as nicely as the white frosting you have in this post? I am doing 2 cakes this weekend and need something easy but that looks nice!

  98. 98
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Heather- yes it should work fine with other flavors of cake as well. You can always google "doctored ___ cake mix" and get one specific for certain flavors. And yes, I do have a chocolate frosting for you- I'll email you!

  99. 99
    Kim Z. says:

    Made these for my son's birthday party at his preschool. I think they turned out great. See the link for a photo:)

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3967155&l=9445342fdd&id=529225269

  100. 100
    .:Bree:. says:

    I am making these with my kids on tuesday for my oldest childs preschool class on wednesday! They are so very excited! Thank you for the recipe! :D

  101. 101
    Neha says:

    Hi! these r so vibrant i want to make them for my sons 2nd birthday and 1st birthday party! i think its a great idea cause there is nothing that matters more than colours and looks! i did a trial run today along with ur frosting. My question here is why is my colouring pattern not like urs? i do not get 1 colour on the top i got a mix and on the outer walls were all blue so it did not look super exciting unless i cut it. Also why r my cupcakes not flat on top its like a moutain peak that too on a side not centre. i really hav to get these right when i bake them for my guests. please help!

  102. 102
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Neha- try using a small spoon sprayed with cooking spray, or your finger dipped in water to spread and flatten each batter layer a bit. It takes extra time, but in the end you'll get better layers of color. The more even your batter is, the more even it will cook up.

  103. 103
    amy c. says:

    love this idea. did a two color batch for my daughter's birthday. everyone loved them, especially the frosting. thanks for the idea.
    i've shared your website with all my friends and they, like me, are enjoying your tasty recipes. thanks for your great postings!

  104. 104
    Jen says:

    I love your blog! I made these 4th of July cupcakes today and used the frosting you suggested. My husband and I actually prefer a powdered sugar recipe we have, but it was still good!!!! Thanks for your adorable blog and sharing your delicious recipes! :) PS – Here's the cupcakes I made today –> http://thealonsos.blogspot.com/2010/07/im-so-cool.html

  105. 105
    Lindsie says:

    Ok, so when I make these for some reason they shrink/shrivel….what am I doing wrong? They are still delicious, but not the size I intended them to be. I make according to your recipe. Please help! Thanks

  106. 106
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    I have no idea Lindsie! I would probably try a different brand of cake mix and see if that helps.

  107. 107
    miss lazy daisy says:

    ok so i love how cute they are its just that i think if you put sourcream in cake it wont taste good please help me out! thanks!

  108. 108
    Kate @ Our Best Bites says:

    miss lazy daisy–Sour cream is AWESOME in cakes! :) Think buttermilk pancakes. The acid in the sour cream makes cakes tender and moist, but you can't taste the sour cream at all.

  109. 109
    Overwegs says:

    I LOVE these cupcakes. I found this recipe a year ago and can't stop making them. In fact I think that my kids get sick of me making them. :) They just make me feel happy when I bake the bright vibrant colors.

  110. 110
    Leesa says:

    I made these today, came out great :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wildvizionz/4917829054/

    Thanks!

  111. 111
    THE Stephanie says:

    Ok, I know this is an old post, but I was searching today b/c I'll be making cupcakes tonight for my sons party tomorrow.

    Can you tell me how you get the tops of the cupcakes so perfect? Am I overfilling my pan? How full do you make them?

    Thanks!!

  112. 112
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Stephanie- I don't know, I just fill them about 3/4 full! If yours are spilling over, then just try a little less. Good luck!

  113. 113
    RetroMom says:

    I made these for my daughter's class for her 6th birthday (with the frosting) and they were a big hit!! The kids all 'oohed' and 'aahed' when they open the cupcakes and the teachers are after me for the recipe! They tasted great and looked beautiful!! A++!!!

  114. 114
    RhodeyGirl says:

    I've been obsessed with rainbow cakes ever since I saw Omnomicon's post awhile ago.

    And now I'm obsessed with rainbow cupcakes!

  115. 115
    Denise aka wererich says:

    My mother used to make rainbow cakes when I was a kid but she used jello for the coloring and used cool whip for the icing! They were my favorite. I am now taking a cake decorating class and I have to bring in cupcakes this week. I am SOOOOO making these to take in. Thanks!

  116. 116
    Rach1195 says:

    I found a picture of your rainbow cake along with these cupcakes. I was disappointed to not find the recipe for the cake on here. Is it a family recipe? If not, would you mind posting it on here please? :)

  117. 117
    Molly says:

    i LOVE this idea. note: the mini cupcake baker is GENIUS. nothing like easybake– it tastes delicious. takes 5 minutes to bake 7 cupcakes! best purchase i ever made (cupcake wise). i suggest it to every baker out there. :)

  118. 118
    Maria says:

    I want to make these for a baby shower I'm throwing, but because I have to cook and bake so many things for the party, I was wondering how far in advance I could bake them. And if I am able to do them ahead of time, should I freeze them or store them at room temperature? Thanks for all of the great recipes!

  119. 119
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Maria, cupcakes freeze beautifully! Just let them cool completely after baking. Once they are at room temperature place them in an airtight storage container in the freezer. When ready to use, just let them thaw at room temp.

  120. 120
    Jaimie says:

    I can't wait to try these cupcakes for my daughter's second birthday party–a princess theme, so pink and purple cupcakes! How would I get the colors to be more of a pastel than such a vibrant color? Can I just use regular food coloring?
    -Jaimie

  121. 121
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Jaime- yes if you want them pastel either use less gel or a few drops of liquid. The cake will look pretty much like the batter does so just judge it that way

  122. 122
    Brandy says:

    Made these last night… AMAZING! Food coloring or not, I will always make my cupcakes using this recipe, it added sooo much to the cupcake. I was out of yogurt and scared of adding the sour cream, but it was perfect!!! Thank you!! PS: Can't wait to get your cookbook!!

  123. 123
    Breein says:

    I just made them for Sophie's 2nd birthday! Pink, purple and blue! Thanks Sarah. I'm so happy you started this! Say Hi to your Dad for me

  124. 124
    Kari says:

    I've also done this in Bundt pan – lots of oohs and ahhs!

  125. 125
    EzzySparkle says:

    I love this recipe. But, I made it with yellow cake, and I didn't add any yogurt or anything, and they came out Tie-Dye! Pretty sweet!

  126. 126
    Kara says:

    I made a practice run of these. Going to make them for my son's birthday party next month (Noah's Ark theme). Everyone that I had try them said they liked them, I wasn't crazy about them though. I used a vanilla cake mix – white might turn out better, not sure. But my question is (to anyone who might have an opinion) do you think yellow cake mix would work with the food coloring? I love yellow cake, not so big on the plain white and want something fun and good for the party… any thoughts? Thinking if I add sour cream or vanilla yogurt to the yellow might not be quite so yellow… not sure though! Might just have to make another practice run. I'm sure my family members won't mind!

  127. 127
    Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Kara- yellow cake mix is fine. Just use whole egg equivalents instead of egg whites. Colors are altered a bit but it works just fine.

  128. 128
    Julie says:

    I made these in Mardi Gras colors for my 30th (mardi gras themed) birthday party! They were awesome and soooo easy!

  129. 129
    Renita says:

    I made these for my son on his first birthday, And they were amazing! Thanks so much! I have told everyone I know about these cupcakes and also told them about your site! :]

  130. 130
    Christina Vertefeuille says:

    Hello,
    Amazing!!! Amazing!!!!What a great job you did on these cupcakes. I wish that I could make something like that. My son would love those!!!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Christina

  131. 131

    I have to make these for my kids’ birthday party. Maybe not in rainbow (cause my kids are afterall, boys…..) but in school colors or in their favorite colors.

    wow, getting lots of inspiration for their birthday party next month! :)

  132. 132
    Patti S says:

    I’m making these for St. Patricks day with a little shamrock cookie and gold chocolate coin stuck in the top :)

  133. 133
  134. 134
    kara says:

    This just makes me happy. SImply and happy. Is it so wrong that I want to make these for MY birthday in a few days? That little girl could have been me.

  135. 135
    lauren says:

    WOW oh my goodness! i LOVE these sooooo much! you have inspired me to do a crazy cake like this!

  136. 136
    Rose Plated says:

    Those cup cakes are so cute. I missed my childhood and it made me want to make your cup cakes. My kids will surely love this too.

  137. 137
    Hannah S says:

    I LOVE these. I have finally made theme and I used your frosting technique with a rainbow of colors. You can see the effect here.

    http://shopbonnenouvelle.blogspot.com/2011/03/rainbow-cupcakes.html

  138. 138
    Kristi says:

    These are really cute! My daughter loves rainbows so we did two different kinds of cake; a six tier rainbow cake on her birthday, and a rainbow-shaped rainbow cake (similar to these cupcakes) for her party. My oldest daughter made a video of the 6 tiered cake that can be seen here http://technolady.blogspot.com/2010/06/over-rainbow.html.

    I love your great ideas!

  139. 139

    Being a child is really so fun. I missed being like that. I think even adults can eat rainbow cupcakes on a kid birthday party, right?

  140. 140
    Jamie says:

    beyond genius and sooooooo happy!

  141. 141
    Eloise says:

    im sure you have heard this counless times,but I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!
    im new to all this blogging stuff, and recently found this blog. im hooked, and just purchased your book. these cupcakes look great, and i cant wait to make and sell them at my next bake sale. you guys are awesome!

  142. 142
    Hollye says:

    Thank you for the recipe and inspiration for these beautiful cupcakes!! I made them with my daughter for a rainbow-themed playdate we had a few days ago and the cupcakes were a big hit. They received lots of oohs and aahs. :O)
    http://mamaclucks.blogspot.com/2011/03/rainbow-cupcakes.html

  143. 143
    Andrea says:

    We do these as “tye-dyed” cupcakes… We do four colors, plus add lemon flavoring (1/8t) to the yellow and strawberry flavoring to the red or pink (1/8t) and then swirl them with tooth picks. Our kids BEG to make these! (Also, we put the batter into ziplock bags, clip a corner and squirt into each liner, SO easy and no drips!)

  144. 144
    Shannon says:

    I made these this morning with my youngest daughter. We are bringing them to her daycare class tomorrow to celebrate her birthday. She picked four colors. By the end, I had the amount measured out better. It takes some practice and time, but I think it is worth it. The gel food colorings are intense! I was hoping for a light pink, but we got more of a hot pink. My daughter didn’t seem to mind though!

  145. 145
    Marie says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing your wonderful recipe with us! You made me a rock star at my daughter’s school today–these rainbow cupcakes made a huge impression on all of the adults AND the kids gobbled them all up! Your page is going on my homescreen for future reference! :)

  146. 146
    Alyssa Baumann says:

    I just found your wonderful website in the last few weeks and you guys are amazing!! I made the color burst cupcakes this weekend for a baby shower and a house warming present and they were huge hits. Can you also use the same recipe to make a cake out of it? I was thinking of making it to take home for Easter for my family and using Easter colors. Any help would be appreciated!! =)

  147. 147
    Kelly says:

    Just finished making these today for my son’s 1st b-day. Love them but I have an idea…

    I found these to be “time-consuming” because I’m a perfectionist. To hasten the process, one could put the batters into a quart-sized baggie (with one bottom corner snipped off) after being tinted and then squeeze them into the baking cups. This way you could also spread the batter out evenly and hopefully it would be a little less messier than using your finger.

    No, you couldn’t perfectly measure the amounts out but you could more accurately even the layers out. Probably one of those “pick your poison” deals.

    Thanks for the great ideas (food and crafts) and can’t wait to see more!

  148. 148
    Melanie Raabe says:

    OMGosh, again, I am so amazed! Fantastic. I don’t give my kids much in the way of artificial food coloring. I’m going to try to figure this out using something natural. Thanks for the idea.

  149. 149
    amber says:

    awesome food taste out of this world

  150. 150
    Amanda says:

    The cucpcakes are AMAZING i used vanilla yogurt and they were so moist. Our daughter loved them as well as the kids at her daycare.

  151. 151
    Amanda says:

    Amazing and moist when made with yogurt

  152. 152
    stephanie says:

    just got done making these for my daughters 1st birthday but i used the whole ROYGBIV scale when making them, 6 colors ^_^ uber pretty, ty for inspiring me!

  153. 153
    Jess says:

    Can plain yogurt be used instead of fruit flavored? Also, is there a certain type of milk needed to be used?

  154. 154
    Amber says:

    AMAZINGLY cute. Made them for my own birthday (the cupcake baker in me wouldn’t let anyone else make my birthday cupcakes….). A lot of people were impressed and thought they were adorable…tasted great as well. Can’t wait to play around and make more with different colors!

    http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/189949_521684868159_97800024_30781437_5771198_n.jpg

  155. 155
    Sarah B. says:

    I just wanted to pop in here to tell you that these cupcakes are indeed awesome! I baked them for my 4 y/o’s Mario Bros. party and they were a big hit. I’ve read through some of the comments and wanted to say that I found my Wilton colors at JoAnn’s and was able to use one of their coupons which made them around $5 for a set of 8. I also put the batter in sandwich bags and snipped the corner which gave me cleaner layers than trying to do it with my finger. I stopped making boxed cakes a couple of years ago, but I’ll be making these again.

    You ladies are so clever in the kitchen! I try at least one recipe weekly from your site! Thanks for all of the inspiration.

    • 155.1
      Jenie says:

      I wish I would of seen your post while I was making mine this morning. I could of used the tip on the batter in the bags. I will try this next time for sure.

  156. 156
    Jenie says:

    So, I have been wanting to create these cute little” bundle of happiness”, for my kids and I did this morning. I had a small problem with my cupcake liners not wanting to stay still. They kept spinning around and then folding on the sides when I tried to smooth the cake batter. Very frustrating. Any tips?

  157. 157
    Kristen Tivadar says:

    i have a question…the picture with the liners shows colored liners, but you mention white liners? do i just buy plain white liners (i want the colors to show through). thanks!

  158. 158
    Kristen Tivadar says:

    perfect, thanks for the quick response! i can’t wait to make these for my son’s baseball team.

  159. 159
    Amy says:

    I have never seen anyone do this with cupcakes, great idea my kids love them.

  160. 160
    Mike says:

    These were great…I made them for my daughter’s painting party for her 7th birthday they were a hit! I also made them for this past year’s Super Bowl…2 different batches and tinted them with the colors of the teams that were in the game…they definitely don’t last long!

  161. 161
    Katie says:

    I would love to see a tutorial on using gel colors….

  162. 162
    Emilie says:

    Hi! I really love those cupcakes, and i would really like to make them, but i don’t have all the igrediens. I live in Denmark and we dosen’t have the same shops, and ingrediens, and some of the things in this recipy i don’t know what is. Can you compare your ingrediens to some other? Cous i’m confused :/
    Lovin your cupcakes! <3

  163. 163
    Emilie says:

    Like that “1 white cake mix” I have no clue of what that is :)
    Please help :)

    • 163.1
      sara says:

      Emilie, in the US you can buy a box at the store called a “cake mix”. It’s just a short-cut to a cake where you just have to add eggs and water. You can use any homemade cake recipe you like for these cupcakes and just color them as I’ve shown. Enjoy!

  164. 164
    Jill C. says:

    These are amazing…I also made it as a layer cake using four colors, two colors in each pan and used the frosting/filling recipe you posted with just a touch of lemon extract it was to DIE for! I am SOOO glad I found this blog! You guys ROCK!

  165. 165
    Sara T. says:

    So, I know this is an older post, but I am going to make these for my friends 24th birthday! I just need to hide the rainbow colors so it’s a surprise. He is going to kill me, it;s going to be great!

  166. 166
    Kyla says:

    Great post. I think you could probably save a lot of time and trouble by putting the colors into piping bags with say a #12 tip and filling the cups that way. That would allow you to fill it in in a spiral and not have to worry about spreading it with your fingers.

  167. 167
    Alexis =) says:

    I have tried your recipe and it turned out great they were so delicious!!!! The cupcake were so colorful i used 7 colors!!! HEHE THANKS!!

  168. 168
    Nadine :)) says:

    awww, those cupcakes are soooo awesome *____*
    and they’re so delicious :))
    great idea !

  169. 169
    Joe smith says:

    for an extra hint of color, use white icing, put it on the cupcae, then add a drop of food coloring on top of the icing. finally use a tooth pick to spread the food coloring around in swirls. =)

  170. 170
    Alison says:

    Thanks for the awesome idea for my daughter’s birthday party. They were a hit!!

  171. 171
    Annie says:

    Just made these for my little boy’s first birthday! http://lecaque.blogspot.com/2011/06/rainbow-cupcakes.html
    Thanks so much for the great idea!

  172. 172
    Susie says:

    I LOVE this soo much… i made this yesterday for my daughters 3rd birthday and everything worked out GREAT! i used your version of the recipe and used vanilla yogurt and they taste AWESOME! and your tips works so well! i had a friend come and help me make them because i had a lot to make! it was a lot of fun also i felt like a kid myself when making the cupcakes. i felt like i was finger painting it was so much fun. and my daughter loves all the colors! Thanks for the amazing idea and recipe! :)

  173. 173
  174. 174
    Tomena says:

    Rainbow Brite! I knew you the minute I saw you. Awesome looking cupcakes.

  175. 175
    Taylor Wallace says:

    my friend made these cupcakes and i died! we all thought it was the coolest thing and took photos-it was a huge hit at school

  176. 176
    Me :) says:

    Hi,
    I LOVE that costume!
    I’m sure your mother is really creative.
    Those cupcakes are so cute!
    Did you know you can bake a rainbow pie too?
    It’s awesome :)
    Xx

  177. 177
    Maya says:

    what will happen if we use red gell food coloring that has taste?

  178. 178
  179. 179
    Kathy Enders says:

    I made these red, white and blue for the 4th of July, topped with white frosting and red, white & blue sprinkles. A big hit at the family BBQ!

  180. 180

    How much does the flavor of the yogurt impact the flavor of the cupcakes? And what about sour cream vs. yogurt? Just wondering about a preference for my first attempt. THANKS!!! (I am planning on trying more than one option, eventually…)

    • 180.1
      sara says:

      Honestly, I use all different flavors of yogurt. It doesn’t matter at all. Any fruit flavored yogurt actually tastes really good, and it doesn’t make the cake taste overly fruity at all, it’s just a different level of sweetness with a hint of flavor. Just use one that’s very light colored or it could change the outcome of the cupcake. Sour cream works great too!

  181. 181
    Erin says:

    Can I use the Pillsbury moist supreme. Classic white cake mix? It says it has 1 cup pudding in the mix???

  182. 182
    Mykel Severson says:

    Whoa! They’re gorgeous but it must have taken a VERY long time to make them.

  183. 183
    Jacqui says:

    I loved these! They were the first cupcakes ive ever attempted and they turned out great. :)

  184. 184
    Michelle says:

    Love this recipe, I used it to re-enforce colors with my toddler boys. It is such a moist cake. Def going to get your cookbook!!

  185. 185
    Emily says:

    I am now obsessed with colored cakes for my kids’ birthdays! My son had the whole rainbow cake, and for my daughter’s birthday it is half pink and half purples…love it! The best part is, this cake tastes amazing, too! Love the added yogurt and the fluffiness after you beat it for two minutes :) You have made me a much cooler mom :) Thanks!

  186. 186
    Michelle Taylor says:

    My 3 year old son saw a picture of these cupcakes, and insisted that I make them for his birthday party. Leading up to his birthday, if anyone asked what he wanted for his birthday, he would answer “Rainbow Cupcakes.” It was his only request. He was so happy when I made them for his party and everybody loved them. Thanks for the great recipe!

  187. 187
    Courtney says:

    Can you use food coloring instead of the gels, or will it not turn out the same? These are adorable!

  188. 188

    Do I have to use all the extra ingredients like the yogurt veg.oil etc.?? Or can I just use the white cake mix?? or also is it possible to us a diff cake mix besides white???

    • 188.1
      sara says:

      No, you can certainly make any cake recipe you want. Just make sure it’s light colored so it doesn’t affect the colors!

  189. 189
    Kelly says:

    Thank you, thank you for this awesome recipe! I used it for my daughter’s 5th rainbow-themed birthday party and made an entire cake (as opposed to cupcakes) – it turned out amazing! Make sure to serve it on simple white plates so that the colors look especially cool :).

  190. 190
    ashley g says:

    Where did you get the sprinkles??? I have been looking for those. Thank you.

  191. 191
    Holly E says:

    These cubcakes are so cute!
    My kids can’t have artificial food dye (and I avoid it for me too) so I want to attempt something with natural colors. I have used natural food dye in the past, but I’m out right now and can’t buy more at the moment. I don’t want to experiment too much with different foods for the colors because I don’t want to ruin it, so I’m just going to do yellow and purple for my first attempt for my daughter’s 5th birthday party tomorrow.

    I think I will just use a lemon cake mix for the yellow (it gets the color from the egg yolks) but the purple will be a little trickier to figure out.
    I will use some blueberry juice for purple (I’m using a vanilla cake mix for that one) but I don’t want the batter to be too runny and get messed up. Should I use less milk if I’m adding blueberry juice? I won’t add tons, just enough to get some nice color. I’ve also heard that if you boil the plant based juice you want to use for coloring, it concentrates it so it’s more color for less liquid than it would be using straight juice. I’m going to try that. Also, I plan to use yogurt, is there much of a difference in flavor between plain and vanilla?

    I’ll leave a link with pictures after I make them! Thanks so much!

  192. 192
    Tamara says:

    Question for you. I bought an organic white cake mix to do something similar that I saw on another site (rainbow in a jar http://runwithglitter.blogspot.com/2011/07/jar-of-happiness-for-my-birthday.html). I like the idea of doctoring up the mix; however, I need to get my batter into a 1 pint canning jar. Since this is so think I’m wondering what I can do to improve the batter so it’s more homemade-ish but not thicken too much? Maybe just add an extra egg, a couple drops of vanilla and use milk instead of water? Just curious what you think.

    For those of you wondering, you can actually BAKE your cupcakes IN the canning jars. I’ve done lots of reading on this the past couple of days. You bake right in the jar, filling about a third of the jar. I’m making Chanukah gifts so my colors will be yellow, blue, and maybe a layer of plain mix not colored so I have the Chanukah colors. Then I will personalize the jars with a paint pen, add a piece of fabric on the lid, ribbons.

    Thanks for the suggestions in advance.

  193. 193
    Tamara says:

    Maybe this mix doesn’t need doctoring as it uses 3 eggs already and milk and oil, not water (3 eggs, 2/3 cups milk and oil (forget how much)

    • 193.1
      sara says:

      Yes, we bake lots of cupcakes in jars around here!

      It doesn’t really matter how much you add to your mix because you can always just make more jars, so just add what you like. We often add sour cream or pudding to doctor up our mixes. Good luck!

  194. 194
    Tamara says:

    wait, it’s got to matter what I add. I mean, I would only add if there was a benefit but this mix seems to have the same ingredients others substitute. I think I better stick with the box as I have limited time and one shot :). I like your initial idea but am afraid it will be too thick to get neatly in the jars.

  195. 195
    Lynn Chernin says:

    These look amazing! I am assuming that the yogurt is for moistness – is that ( or sour cream) a must ingredient?

  196. 196
    Kristen says:

    Have you ever baked this as a cake?

  197. 197
    Skye says:

    I made cupcakes like this that were red white and blue for 4th of july

  198. 198

    Amazing idea, my daughters 6th birthday is coming up in March and she would love these. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

  199. 199
    Kara says:

    These are adorable! I plan on making these for my girls, however I will be using a gluten free cake mix (Betty Crocker) due to their allergies. The gluten free mix calls for different ingredient add ins than a normal cake mix. Is it safe to assume that I can just follow the cake recipe on the box and use the same assembling steps in this recipe?
    Sorry for the simplicity of my question. I am very new to baking and even newer to gluten free baking. :)

  200. 200
    Ellie says:

    I wanted to have some sort of rainbow food for my GSA booth at my schools involvement fair next week… these look perfect! Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks so much!

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