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Single rainbow cupcake with buttercream and a lit candle on top. Plate of cupcakes in background and blue material
55Total Time
30Prep Time
25Bake Time

Rainbow Cupcakes

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About the bake

Add a burst of colour to your baking with these Rainbow Cupcakes. Vibrant rainbow cake sponge topped with creamy vanilla buttercream, this bake is ideal for a rainbow birthday party or just to brighten up a rainy day. Pipe a rainbow on top and add sprinkles for an extra magical touch. 

55Total Time
30Prep Time
25Bake Time


  1. Step 1:

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C, gas mark 4). Line a cupcake tray with 8 cases.

  2. Step 2:

    Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.

  3. Step 3:

    Add the milk and vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the flour and mix well.

  4. Step 4:

    Divide the mixture into equal portions - add food colouring to each portion and mix well. Try using a  plastic bag which saves washing up and helps with piping the batter into the cases.

  5. Step 5:

    Cut the end of each piping bag, creating a small hole. Pipe a thin layer of the first colour (purple) into all the cases smoothing down and spreading evenly with the back of a teaspoon. Repeat the process with the other colours in the order of blue, green, yellow and red until all the batter has been used. It is important not to fill the cupcake cases more than ¾ full as they will spill over when baked, so try to keep each layer of batter thin.

  6. Step 6:

    Bake for 20-25 minutes until brown and cooked throughout. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

  7. Step 7:

    To make the buttercream, whisk the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy.

  8. Step 8:

    Divide the buttercream in half. Put half to the side and colour the other half light blue.

  9. Step 9:

    Spread the blue buttercream across the top of each cupcake.

  10. Step 10:

    Divide the remaining buttercream in 3 or more seperate pots and colour this with a selection of rainbow colours. Keep a small amount of buttercream plain to make the clouds.

  11. Step 11:

    Spread out a large strip of cling film and line the coloured buttercream in strips (see image) then roll up into a sausage shape. Snip off the end and place the cling film parcel into a piping bag with a nozzle.

  12. Step 12:

    Pipe a strip of coloured buttercream around half of the cupcake to make a rainbow shape. 

  13. Step 13:

    For the cloud, dot a tiny amount of white buttercream at the end of each rainbow, or alternatively if you have forgotten to leave some buttercream plain you could use white mini marshmallows.


  • For the cupcakes

    • 250g Butter (unsalted)
    • 250g Allinson's self-raising flour
    • 250g Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
    • 4 Egg(s) (free range)
    • 2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
    • 2 tsp Milk (whole)
    •  Pink food colouring
    •  Yellow food colouring
    •  Green food colouring
    •  Blue food colouring
    •  Purple food colouring
  • For the decoration

    • 500g Silver Spoon Icing Sugar
    • 160g Butter (unsalted)
    • 35ml Milk (whole)
    • 1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract

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