Rainbow Cupcakes {With Cake Mix}

Easy rainbow cupcakes recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Starts off with cake mix. Tie dye batter is baked and decorated with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles. Super light and fluffy cupcakes, perfect for birthday parties or St.Patrick’s Day.

Rainbow parties and dessert tables have been very popular for a few years now and today’s dessert would be perfect for that theme. Be sure to have a look at this Colorful Shapes Birthday Party for even more ideas and if you are still stuck, check out this collection of Rainbow Desserts, Recipes, Ideas for even more inspiration.

Easy Homemade Rainbow Cupcakes with Whipped Cream- Cupcake Liner Removed

How to make rainbow cupcakes?

  1. Prepare cake batter– By mixing together eggs, butter, milk, water, cake mix.
  2. Divide batter– Into 6 separate bowls.
  3. Color batter– Use a different color in each bowl.
  4. Fill liners– Halfway full is best.
  5. Bake– Until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool– Until they are room temperature.
  7. Ice cupcakes– With whipped cream.
  8. Enjoy– Toss on some sprinkles and enjoy!
Tie Dye Cupcakes with White Icing and Colorful Sprinkles on White Background

Rainbow icing cupcakes

Since the cupcakes are already so vibrant, I paired it with white whipped cream and decorated with colored sprinkles. The white icing really makes the cupcake colors pop! Another white icing option is White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting or this classic American Buttercream Frosting.

How to make rainbow frosting? Divide the buttercream into six small bowls, add a different color in each bowl. Then, take a sheet of saran wrap and spread each colored butter cream in a straight line next to each other. Next, roll the saran wrap and place it into a piping bag with a large star tip (Tip 1M) and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake.

Filing ideas

Similar to these Birthday Cupcakes (Pinata Cupcakes), fill today’s treats with sprinkles too. It’s a fun surprise as you take your first bite.

You can also fill with jams or preserves, frostings, pie fillings, caramel sauce, dulce de leche, peanut butter, Nutella, ganache.

You can also fill them with truffles. Try these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles or these Chocolate Truffles.

Unfrosted Rainbow Cupcakes on White Background with Sprinkles

Variations for colorful cupcakes

Rainbow unicorn cupcakes– Frost cupcakes in multi colored frosting. Then, decorated with a fondant golden horn, eyes and lips

Rainbow cupcake cake/ Pull apart cake- Group all the cupcakes together into a semi circle and frost rows of individual colors on top. Place lots of marshmallows on both ends to represent clouds. They are fun to serve at birthday parties, just likes these Pull Apart Watermelon Cupcakes and these Football Pull Apart Cupcakes.

Make a cake tower- Stack all the iced cupcakes on top of another in a pyramid formation, similar to this Mother’s Day Cake Tower.

Add cupcake toppers– Such as cute cardboard cut outs or decorative toys, small candles or even small candies.

Use pastel colors– Add less food coloring or use pastel food colors for lighter colored cupcakes. These are perfect for Easter parties.

Tips and Techniques

How to color batter? Use liquid food coloring or gel food colors.

Gel colors vs. Liquid food coloring– Either can be used. Gel food coloring is more concentrated than liquid food coloring. It gives a more vibrant color and you don’t need to use a large quantity. There is also a variety of shades to choose from.

Do not frost warm cupcakes- Because this will cause the frosting to melt and create a huge sticky mess. Let the cupcakes cool completely before piping.

Can you freeze cupcakes with icing? No. Whipped cream is made with dairy and does not thaw well. You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes and then ice them upon thawing.

Cake mix vs. Scratch recipe– Using cake mix is easy and convenient. However, you can use a scratch recipe, if you like. It will take a little more time. Try these soft and fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes. Divide the batter and color it and then, bake.

Why did my cupcakes turn brown? They have been baked for too long. When cupcakes are over-baked, the tops become brown and hard.

How to know cupcakes are done? Insert a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, they are ready.

Make a bigger batch- Just double all the ingredients and this will be perfect for a big party.

Partially Eaten Colorful Cupcake on White Background


Refrigerate- In a sealed container for up to 3-5 days.

Freeze- Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen in a sealed container for up to 1 month. When you are ready to enjoy them, let them thaw in the fridge overnight or allow them to thaw at room temperature for 40 minutes. Then, pipe icing and decorate with sprinkles.

Another idea

Another approach to these colorful cupcakes is to decorate with fondant, as seen below. The flowers were made with Homemade Marshmallow Fondant. They cupcakes were frosted in Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. There is also video tutorial so that you can follow along. Prepare to be surprised by this super easy cake decorating technique!

Colorful Fondant Flowers on Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

More Rainbow Desserts

Easy Rainbow Cupcakes With Cake Mix Decorated with Whipped Cream and Colorful Sprinkles
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Rainbow Cupcakes (With Cake Mix)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Decorating time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Easy rainbow cupcakes recipe with cake mix, homemade with simple ingredients. Tie dye batter is baked and decorated with whipped cream & colorful sprinkles.
Yield: 24 Cupcakes


  • 3 Eggs, Large
  • 1/3 cup Butter, Melted, Unsalted
  • 1/2 cup Milk, Whole or 2%
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 box White cake mix, Or yellow cake mix
  • Rainbow food coloring, Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple
  • 6 cups Homemade whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup Rainbow sprinkles


  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together eggs, butter, milk, water until smooth.
  • Add cake mix and mix until just combined.
  • Divide batter into 6 separate bowls.
  • Add a different color in each bowl and mix each batter until color is evenly distributed. 
  • Use a small spoon to drop a little bit of each color of batter in cupcake liners until they are halfway full. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 16-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean. 
  • Let the cupcakes cool.
  • While they are cooling, prepare frosting.
  • Fill a piping bag with icing and attach a big round tip.
  • Pipe frosting on top of each cupcake. 
  • Toss some rainbow sprinkles. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to  3 days.


Calories: 278kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 251mg, Potassium: 40mg, Sugar: 34g, Vitamin A: 115IU, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 0.6mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 278
Author: Abeer Rizvi

6 comments on “Rainbow Cupcakes {With Cake Mix}”

  1. LOOKS SO GOOD. OMG I need to bake these.5 stars

  2. OH MY GOSH!!! I love all the cupcake recipe and I love every single cupcake in the world but these are so so cute!! 5 stars

  3. These are so beautiful! I can’t wait to do this! Thank you for sharing how easy it is to do it with little ones as well!5 stars

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