These Rainbow Cupcakes have layers of rainbow cake topped with a magical cloud and rainbow on top.

Rainbow Cupcakes…because life isn’t always rainbows and skittles BUT some days it can be.

Rainbow Cupcakes - Gorgeous layers of the rainbow in a cupcake.
Dang. I should write Halmark cards.


A year and a half ago I was at a pretty low point in my life. My sister had passed away unexpectedly and my dad and my mother-in-law had both been diagnosed with cancer. Overall I think I’m an optimistic person but I found myself in an unfamiliar place filled with cynicism and doubt that life was nothing more that hurt and trials.

Rainbow Cupcakes - Gorgeous layers of the rainbow in a cupcake.


Rainbow Cupcakes - Easy and the kids love them!

Time heals all things…most things. Today my dad and mother-in-law are both cancer free and realizing that my sister is gone is…well… bearable. I know I will see her again. It’s just that it feels like forever before I will. I am in a much better place.

I have healthy kids, a husband with a job, and right now I think that’s more than anyone could ask for. Life is good.

My son Austin’s 5th birthday is this week. I made these for his preschool. They are so cheery to look at. They took a little time but his preschool teacher said the kids were amazed when they took off the wrappers and saw the rainbows.


Rainbow Cupcakes - Easy and the kids love them! the-girl-who-ate-everything.comRainbow Cupcakes - Gorgeous layers of the rainbow in a cupcake.

You could make a white cake mix according to the directions and add the dye but I followed OurBestBites additions of milk and sour cream which made for incredibly moist cupcakes.

If you love these Rainbow Cupcakes, you’ll love this Unicorn Ice Cream Cake.

Rainbow Cupcakes - Gorgeous layers of the rainbow in a cupcake.
4.5 from 4 votes

Rainbow Cupcakes

These Rainbow Cupcakes have layers of rainbow cake topped with a magical cloud and rainbow on top.


  • 1 white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 sticks butter (1 ½ cups, room temperature)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (or just use all vanilla extract)
  • Dash of salt


  1. For the Cupcakes: Combine all ingredients until incorporated (about 30 seconds). Scrape sides of bowl and then beat on med-high speed for 3 minutes.
  2. Divide batter according to how many colors you are using. I used 5 colors and it worked out to a little over 1 cup for each color.
  3. Use food coloring to color batter to desired intensity. Wilton brand gel colors have the brightest colors and wont thin your batter. They can be found at Walmart or Michaels.
  4. To get a layered stripe like I used, you'll want to put a spoonful of each color in the cupcake one at a time. The batter is thick, so it won't spread on it's own. A great tip is to set out a little bowl of water where you're working. Dip your finger in the water and then gently spread the batter out. The water will make it so the batter doesn't stick to your fingers.
  5. Another tip is to use a measuring spoon and some water to measure out how many teaspoons/tablespoons are going to fit in your cupcake. Then divide that by how many colors you have so you know how much of each color to use for each cupcake. For my 5 colors, it worked out perfectly with 2 t of each color in each cupcake. So I put in 2 t of blue in the bottom of each cupcake and spread it out with my finger. Then I put in 2 t of green on top of that, then yellow, etc.
  6. Bake them according to the package directions, until a toothpick comes out dry. Makes around 15 cupcakes.
  7. Frost with your favorite frosting. Fancy it up by putting the frosting in a ziplock bag. Cut of the corner of the side of the bag and you have an instant frosting decorating bag.
  8. For the frosting: Add butter and powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  9. Add the coconut extract, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until combined.
  10. Gradually add milk (you may not need all of it) and beat for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
  11. Frost cooled cupcakes. Add rainbow colored sprinkles if desired.
  12. For Double Rainbow cupcakes: Reserve about 1/3 cup of white frosting and dye the rest blue. Frost cupcakes. Place white frosting in a resealable bag and pipe clouds on top of the blue frosting. Cut an Airhead Extremes in half and place in the clouds.

Recipe Notes

Airhead Extremes can be found at most stores (walmart, target, and Amazon).
cupcakes from Our Best Bites; frosting from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Rainbow Cupcakes
Easy Rainbow Cupcakes - the kids love these.