Rainbow Cupcakes With Rainbow Swirl Frosting

By Aug 8, 20165 Comments

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Rainbow food is everywhere. It is no longer just for children’s birthdays, it has made itself into bagels, donuts, grilled cheese. The thing about rainbow food is, it makes you instantly happy. What could be better than combining cupcakes and rainbow colors… nothing! It is absolute perfection! We love eating rainbow cupcakes. The best part about this recipe is the rainbow swirl cupcake frosting. The trick to make beautifully swirled rainbow cupcakes is much easier than you think!

How to make Rainbow Cupcakes. This cupcake recipe includes the secret for getting the perfect rainbow swirled frosting on every cupcake.

Rainbow Cupcakes

For this cupcake recipe, we will be teaching you how to make rainbow cupcakes and the secret for rainbow swirled cupcake frosting. Here are the basic tools you will need (this post contains affiliate links):


Rainbow Cupcake Recipe

Rainbow Cupcake Ingredients:

  • White or Yellow boxed cake mix
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3.9 oz of Vanilla Pudding Mix (the small box)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk
  • Gel Food Coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, put the cake mix and pudding into the mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract and eggs. Start the mixer on low and add the vegetable oil. Slowly pour the milk in as it mixes. Let the ingredients mix together until they are no longer lumpy.

The mixture will be on the thicker side, which is absolutely perfect for the next step. Separate the batter into 3 bowls. Add whatever food coloring colors that you chose to each of their respective bowls. I chose orange, pink, and blue! I prefer to use gel food coloring, because it produces a richer color. Mix the colors into the batter so there is no more white batter.

These swirled colors look amazing!

Next, take each color of batter and pour it into a disposable pastry bag.

Tip: It is easier if you rest the disposable bag in a tall cup in order to fill it in the most mess free way possible!

Snip off the top of each bag, and you are ready to swirl! Chose your first color and swirl it into the bottom of the cupcake liner. Take the next bag and do the same thing. Repeat the process until the liners are about 3/4th the way filled. Once you have filled all the cupcake liners, you are ready to bake them! Bake your cupcakes according to the time on the back of the cake mix box. Allow them to cool before frosting.

How to make Rainbow Cupcakes. This cupcake recipe includes the secret for getting the perfect rainbow swirled frosting every on every cupcake.

Cupcake Frosting Recipe

Cupcake Frosting Ingredients:

To make the frosting you will start by combining the butter and crisco in an electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Let them beat together for about 3 minutes.  Slowly add the clear vanilla extract to the mixture and continue beating on low. In one swift move add ALL of the powdered sugar. Start the mixer on slow.

Tip: Make sure you start the mixer on slow, or the powdered sugar will fly everywhere!

Once the sugar is mixed into the butter mixture it will be a thick paste and appear lumpy. Heat your milk for about 20 seconds in the microwave and slowly begin adding the warm milk. Combine one tablespoon at a time. Allow the mixture to completely combine before you add the next tablespoon. The lumps will start to disappear and smooth out. Stop adding the milk when your frosting is the texture of toothpaste.

Separate the frosting into 3 different bowls. Add your food coloring to each of the 3 bowls. I matched my frosting colors to the cake batter colors, but you can use any color you like. Stir the frosting in the bowls until they are all combined.  Add each color frosting to its own disposable pastry bag.

Combine all the bags together to get a beautifully swirled cupcake!

This last step is the key to getting perfect swirled cupcake frosting. Snip the top of each disposable bag and add all three bags to the large silicone pastry bag. All the bags should have the tip snipped and positioned towards the metal tip. Squeeze the frosting out until you see all three colors coming out at once.

How To Pipe Rainbow Swirled Cupcake Frosting

Pipe a circle of frosting on the top of the cupcake. Next pull the bag up immediately and pipe another circle on top, then push down and pull up to create a peak! The key to making your swirls match is to make a base circle for the rest of the frosting to sit on!

It really is that easy! Continue frosting all the cupcakes using the same technique. You can even add edible glitter if you want an extra shimmer!

Learn the key to perfect frosting!

We used this same frosting technique to make patriotic cupcakes over the summer. If you want to see a quick and easy demonstration of the cupcake frosting piping, check out the video in our patriotic cupcakes post. It’s less than a minute long!

These cupcakes will be the best at any 4th of July block party!

What are YOUR favorite colors for rainbow cupcakes? 

About Leah Leatherby

Hi! My name is Leah Leatherby. I graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Textiles Marketing and Science. Since then, I have had four little ones – three boys and a girl. My life now consists of planning parties, baking cookies, and watching my kids. My husband has 75 first cousins alone, so we pretty much have an event every weekend! It keeps us busy, and lets me get my creative juices flowing.