Easy Rainbow Cupcakes

05/08/2013. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

So this week marks my baby girl’s 4th birthday.  Somehow I managed to escape yet another Princess party (2 little divas = about 8 birthdays with variations  Princess themes = please, please no more Princess parties) and we are doing a Cowgirl party this year.  (Yeah!)

There was quite a bit of back and forth on whether Cowgirl was going to be the theme or a rainbow party.  Fortunately Cowgirl won out because I have been having a lot of fun with planning this party.

As a compromise I decided to surprise my little girl with Rainbow cupcakes for her class party.  That way she gets a little of both for her birthday.

I am not a professional baker by any means but I found these cupcakes really easy to put together and they are so cute in person!

They are bright and cheerful and are perfect for a birthday!

I am pretty sure I originally saw this idea when I was looking at parties from Tom Kat Studio.  These cupcakes were part of a display that looked so pretty and now I can’t find the darn picture to show you how these can look if you are a more talented baker then I am.

But really this just takes a few simple steps.

The first thing is you need to track down this Airheads Xtremes Rainbow candy.

This can be found in the candy section of most stores- I found this great big one for $1.99 at Joann’s Crafts of all places.  This one pack was enough for about 24 cupcakes (plus you can use a 40% off coupon if you want- so pretty cheap.)

Next you want to bake your cupcakes and make your frosting.  I am not a fan of box mixes and tubs of frosting but I did use a funfetti box mix for these cupcakes (it has been in the pantry for ages).  I made a quick buttercream frosting- if you have a mixer this comes together so fast probably faster then digging out a frosting tub from the cupboard and wrestling off that darn seal.  Plus it will taste so much better.

I used the Classic Buttercream Frosting recipe from Savory Sweet Life.    It was a tiny buttery for my taste but I only added 3 cups of powered sugar so maybe try a little more powdered sugar.

Anyway that recipe was enough for 24 cupcakes.

Once the buttercream was made, I set aside about 1/4 of the frosting in a small bowl.  To my mixer, I added a few drops of food coloring to get the blue color for the sky.

Next I simply frosted the cupcakes with the blue frosting.  (I tend to be light with frosting because this was for little ones.)

Once they were all frosted I put the remaining white frosting in a piping bag and just dalloped on those little clouds.  The piping bag made it really easy- if you don’t have one you might be able to make it work by putting the frosting in a Ziploc and cutting the corner off.

One important note is that you want a somewhat thick frosting so it can hold up to the candy rainbow.  The buttercream I made was no problem at all holding it up.


Once I had all my clouds done, I just sliced the rainbow strips of candy into about 4 pieces.  Next I positioned one side of the rainbow into a cloud and sort of curved the other side to sit in the second cloud.

I found that putting the candy on right after the frosting worked out the best.  The frosting was soft enough to allow the candy to sink in.

Once the candy was positioned I put these in the fridge and brought them out this morning to take to school!

It really didn’t take that long to do and the Airheads candy sort of shimmers in the sunlight so these are really pretty in person.



If you have a little one that loves bright colors, rainbows or maybe even Care Bears these are really fun cupcakes.

When Maya came home today I asked if everyone liked the cupcakes and she said “Yes and my teacher had TWO of them but I only got one.”  :D  So I guess they went over well.

If you want a drink idea to go with your cupcakes this Peach Lemonade is really delicious. 


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara May 8, 2013 at 4:07 PM

So cute! Both my girls 3 and 6 just saw this post! They both just said they want these for their birthdays so thanks for the idea!!!!

Nicole Walker May 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM

These are so cute Charlene. I am pinning this one for my oldest daughters 5th birthday in September. She will love them!!

Katie May 9, 2013 at 5:34 AM

I made those for my daughter’s 3rd Birthday. I think yours came out better though: http://www.disabledmom.com/2012/09/rainbow-cupcakes.html

Charlene May 9, 2013 at 8:10 AM

LOL- I hate when things have “gone viral” and I have no idea they are viral ;). I thought this was an original idea from Tom Kat :D

cathy May 9, 2013 at 1:10 PM

those cupcakes looks so cute! i have also seen person make basic cake batter, separate into 5 bowls, put different food coloring in each bowl, stir separately, then put spoonful of each space of the cupcake pan.

Charlene May 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Cathy, I know just what you are talking about and those are really cute! I just feel guilty about the food coloring :). I was feeling guilty about the 4 drops I used for frosting :). But those cupcakes do look beautiful.

christina June 11, 2013 at 1:04 PM

approx. how long are the peices of rainbow each? 2 inches?

Charlene June 12, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Christina, I didn’t measure actually but that sounds about right :).

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