How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

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Celebrate your favorite rainbow-colored holidays with these delicious rainbow cupcakes. These cupcakes are made from a boxed mix, but they’re topped off with buttercream frosting that’s tinted in all the colors of the rainbow!

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Rainbow Cupcakes: The perfect treat for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Pride Month!

Why do I mention Pride Month?

Here is the story…in 2019, my kiddo was in 6th grade and her best friend tried to kill themself. At 12-years-old they were a female-to-male transgender, and he was having a really hard time with everything.

That is when my daughter decided that there should be a GSA at their school, so it would provide support for people like him as well as educate others about what it means to be LGBTQ+ and things like that.

She went through a LOT of work, hoops, meetings, and more to make that club happen so there would be a safe space. I was SO proud of all her hard work and it helped her earn her Girls Scout Silver Award. You can read more about that all here on Sarah Lyn Gay’s Site but these are the very cupcakes I made to help them celebrate that first meeting – where over FORTY kids showed up.

I am SO proud of her for creating something to help others in a world full of hate and violence.

rainbow cupcakes

What makes us see the colors of the rainbow?

The light that shines on the water droplets.

And when we see those colors, we feel happy and loved because it means the world is a beautiful place where everyone can exist in peace!

We have to show this rainbow love every day by being kinder to others and remembering what’s really important: kindness over cruelty, acceptance over exclusion, equality over superiority.

This world doesn’t need more of anything…except LOVE!

rainbow cupcakes

The Rainbow and the Bible.

From Genesis to the Book of Revelations, the bible is mentioned several times in the bible. Basically, in this sinful world, God promises to protect you from the evil one. Even when sufferings happen remember God promises to help you and you will overcome. Whenever you see a rainbow think about God’s awesomeness, remember He’s always near, and trust and have faith in the Lord…

Pretty cool, huh? From preschool on up, we are led to believe that – from the promise to Noah after the flood waters had receded – that the rainbow is such a great promise of God’s love.

I don’t know about you, but it always brings a smile to MY face.

rainbow cupcakes

How do you store Rainbow Cupcakes?

Here is the thing – with the more futzy designs, I like to make them in advance of an event or get-together. The best way to usually store your finished creations? Room Temperature.

Granted, they aren’t going to be around that long – my family of three could easily take them out in two to three days. If you are using canned frosting instead of buttercream frosting or fondant, they should be fine for five to six days…but the marshmallows will get harder as time goes on – sucking the moisture from the frosting.

You can learn more about that in our article How To Frost A Cupcake.

White Cupcake Batter Ingredients:

My recipe starts with a white cupcake batter that has been divided up and had food coloring added. You CAN use a boxed mix but my scratch recipe is soooo much yummier.

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 baking soda
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Beat butter on high for 30 seconds.

Add sugar and vanilla extract to the butter until well combined. Add egg whites, one at a time, mixing after each. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each.

Add 1/3 C flour mixture to the wet mixture followed by adding 1/3 C of the buttermilk; add 1/3 C flour mixture again, then add 1/3 C buttermilk.

Mix on low speed, add 1/3 C of flour, and add the rest of 1/3 C of buttermilk mix in low speed until thoroughly blended.

rainbow cupcakes

The Best Rainbow Cupcakes

These can be made with or without coloring the cupcake bases themselves. I think they add a ton of color to the finish product for that “wow” factor – but you can easily just use a white or yellow cupcake base and use our decoration inspiration for the tops.

Either way, you will have a fun treat that brings a smile to people’s faces.

Rainbow Cupcake Ingredients:

Rainbow Cupcake Ingredients:
  • White cake mix recipe – you can use a boxed cake mix or use our recipe above for a cake batter.
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple food coloring – this is the order for the rainbow!
  • White frosting
  • Sour strip candy
  • Mini marshmallows

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes:

Prepare cake batter per recipe and divide it into 6 small bowls.

Add 3 drops of food coloring in each bowl for the each color of the rainbow

Drop a small amount of each color into cake liner

Bake and cool completely

Pipe a small amount of white frosting onto cupcake

Cut sour candy strips in half and place each end of one piece into the center of the cupcake

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes:

To each end of the rainbow and around the top, add marshmallows to represent clouds.

How to Make Rainbow Cupcakes:

This is where I like to add rainbow sprinkles too – I know – it is kind of over-the-top but it really makes them stand out! What do you think?

Other cupcake recipes you may find fun:

rainbow cupcakes