Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbows and spring go hand in hand, celebrating new life and growth. So it’s no surprise that rainbows are a popular symbol in Easter celebrations and St. Patrick’s Day parties. To make your holiday celebration more colorful, I’m sharing my easy rainbow cupcakes recipe with you!

Celebrate this special time of the year with these cute rainbow cupcakes! With our easy-to-follow recipe and the right baking supplies, you’ll have a beautiful dessert for any spring event.

Why We Love These Rainbow Cupcakes

The colors of a rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) not only make up the colors of the decorative rainbow candy strips, but the cupcakes! The colorful rainbow swirl cupcakes add a special touch that everyone will love.

Using a boxed cake mix helps save time, making the cupcakes a quick homemade dessert that’s perfect year round. They look so cute, they’ll be a bit hit at bake sales, class parties, or even for a unicorn birthday party. No Pinterest fails here!

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes

To make the perfect cupcakes there are a few things you need to know to make sure they come out just right. Making the cupcakes are easy with a boxed mix and gel food coloring.

Rainbow Cupcakes

To get the perfect rainbow cupcakes, you’ll separate out the batter into little bowls and add each of the gel food coloring colors to the bowl. To get a vibrant color, you’ll add more gel but if your goal is pastel rainbow cupcakes, use less.

When you spoon the colors into the cupcake liners, make sure you don’t swirl the batter. The colors look best when they aren’t mixed. If you swirl them, you’ll risk having brown cupcakes.

Buttercream Icing

If your buttercream is too thick to comfortably squeeze the piping bag, no worries, just add a bit more milk or heavy whipping cream to thin the icing.

Rainbow Candy

Finding rainbow candy can be harder, but rainbow airhead strips, sour strips (I got mine at Target), or any other rainbow colored candy works. You can also grab these on Amazon for no stress baking.

Ways to Use Rainbow Cupcakes Recipe

There are so many opportunities to serve these super cute rainbow cupcakes. They are the perfect treat for St. Patty’s Day, Easter, a unicorn themed party. Here are a few more creative ideas:

  • Homeschool weather lesson cupcakes
  • Over the Rainbow dessert (The Wizard of Oz, anyone?)
  • LGBTQAI+ Pride cupcakes
  • Muppet’s Kermit “Rainbow Connection” cupcakes
  • Rainbow birthday party
  • Wicked (Broadway musical) cupcakes

Rainbow cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or any other special occasion. These colorful and festive treats are easy to make and sure to please a crowd.

Whether you’re looking for an over-the-top dessert for your next party or something simple that will sell like crazy at the next fundraiser, these impressive cupcakes have you covered!

More Rainbow Ideas

Pot of Gold Craft

St. Patrick’s Day Sign Craft

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes



  • 1 box of wḧïẗe or vanilla cake mix
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Rainbow colors of gel food coloring


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or milk
  • 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Airhead rainbow candy or rainbow strip candy


  1. Make cake mix according to instructions
  2. Split the batter into 6 bowls
  3. Make the following colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue & Purple
  4. Add a tsp of each color to the baking cups, making sure you don't swirl them.
  5. Bake for 13-15 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean
  6. Let the cupcakes cool completely
  7. Make buttercream frosting by adding the heavy cream or milk, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and unsalted butter to a medium mixing bowl.
  8. Mix on medium until the frosting is slightly stiff but not too thick to squeeze in a piping bag
  9. Cut the candy strips into 2-3 rainbows for each strip.
  10. Cut off the tip off the piping bag and pipe the clouds in a dot shape
  11. Immediately add the candy rainbow while the icing is still soft.


If your rainbows won’t stand up, it's possible you need to trim the rainbow strip a bit. If the strip is the perfect size you may need to just add a little bit of frosting to the outside of the rainbow to make it stand.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Pin it for Later or Share it with a Friend

Rainbow Cupcakes by Then It Dawned On Me

Similar Posts