Rainbow cupcakes

Rainbow cupcakes



  • 2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Food colouring

  • red
  • yellow
  • pink
  • green
  • orange
  • purple
  • blue

Buttercream icing

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced. Line 2 x 12 cup cupcake tins with liners and set aside.

To make the cake batter, place the flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl. Using a mixer, beat in the milk, vanilla, butter and eggs until combined. Beat for 4 minutes.

Divide the mixture evenly between seven bowls. Using the food colouring, tint each bowl of mixture the colours of the rainbow.

Starting with red, drop 1 teaspoon of mixture into each liner. Repeat with each colour until the trays are full.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until centre of cakes bounce back after being touched lightly.

Remove from tins and cool on a wire rack until ready to frost.


With an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the vanilla and icing mixture, half a cup at a time. Beat in the milk at the end until well incorporated.

Frost each cupcake with the icing. I used a fancy nozzle and an icing bag but a nice thick coating will look just as good.


  • This is a no-fuss cake mix. You can flavour it with any essences that you have on hand. I like to use strawberry flavour.
  • Food colouring and amounts are up to your own discretion. You can use liquid or gel colouring for this recipe. Just add a little at a time and mix until you have the colour that you want. I used red and blue to make purple batter and red and yellow to make orange batter.
  • Drop each measure of batter directly into the centre of the cupcake liners to create the layers.
  • Avoid giving these cupcakes to anyone with sensitivity to food colouring. You can try using natural food colouring but you won’t get the same vibrant end result.
  • If you want chocolate icing instead of buttercream icing just add 1/3 cup of sifted cocoa powder to the mixture an omit the vanilla.
  • This recipe was created by Jennifer Cheung for Kidspot, New Zealand’s best recipe finder.

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