How to Make Rainbow Sparkle Cupcakes
Updated: Jul 27
My daughter had her 5th birthday party recently and had a Gabby’s Dollhouse Theme. She requested Gabby Rainbow Sparkle Cupcakes.
I’m not a professional by any means, but I decided to tackle these fun cupcakes.
I searched the internet for ideas to make easy rainbow cupcakes, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
I saw many suggestions to use a spatula to wipe different colors into the piping bag for a colorful cupcake. I knew my daughter wanted more of the rainbow look with bright colors, so I decided against this method.
I had every color to the end of the rainbow of food coloring gels, but I didn’t want to have to add every color, so I used the color wheel to my advantage.
Check out the best way to make Rainbow Sparkle cupcakes for your child’s next birthday party.
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- Prepared Rainbow Cupcake Recipe
The most important ingredient is the cupcakes. You can prepare any cupcake recipes you want. I went with Funfetti to stick with the Rainbow theme, but a white cake mix mixed with extra sprinkles would work just as well. Funfetti is a great option because the cupcake batter is vanilla cupcakes filled with rainbow sprinkles, which goes with the rainbow theme.
- White Buttercream Frosting
White frosting will dye the best from the gel food coloring instead of going with vanilla buttercream since vanilla has an off-white color. I go with buttercream for the best results because it will last longer sitting out and I find it has a thicker consistency for piping.
- Gel Food Coloring
The gel food coloring is the best to use over liquid food coloring. Liquid food coloring can make your frosting runny, and it will lose the thickness you need. I also like the vibrant color and brightness gel food colouring has.
The gel food coloring I use is Wilton Gel Food Coloring from Amazon.
- Edible Glitter
There are so many colors to choose from for edible glitter. It also has many names, including edible glitter and edible dust. I opted to use silver so it wouldn’t add more color to the cupcakes and take away from the rainbow look.
You can purchase The Sugar Art - DiamonDust Edible Glitter Here on Amazon.
- 3 Ziploc Sandwich Bags
It is important to use Ziploc bags, so make sure to have at least 3 on hand. Large bags will work fine, but I wouldn’t go smaller than a sandwich bag.
I like to use Ziploc brand because the double zipper holds up the best. I use These Ziploc Sandwich Bags from Amazon.
- 1 Piping Bag
I have used reusable piping bags and disposable and they both work the same. It is important to start with a clean and dry bag. If the bag is wet, it can cause the inside to be tacky and make the process harder.
For this project, I used These Disposable Piping Bags from Amazon.
If you prefer not to have disposable piping bags, the Reusable Piping bags I own are These from Amazon.
- 1 Open Star Decorating Tip
My daughter was looking for the ice cream cone look. The open star tip will give the frosting that look. You can use any tip, but it will give the frosting a much different look.
It’s more cost effective to purchase sets of Decorating Tips, so I own This Decorating Kit off Amazon. This set also comes with extra piping bags as well.
- Piping Bag Clip
I never knew how important piping bag clips were until I bought one. They will stop the frosting from squeezing out of the wrong end of the bag. I would hate to lose frosting or cause the colors to mix where they’re not supposed to.
Make sure to grab one of These Piping Bag Clips from Amazon to help with your decorating.
- Plastic Wrap / Cling Wrap
You will use Plastic wrap to create the rainbow effect. Make sure to use plastic wrap only for this step. Any other material will not work.
If you’re not sure what plastic wrap to use, I use Saran Wrap, which you can find on Amazon.
Step 1: Bake the Cupcakes
You will want your cupcakes to be cool or at room temperature when you frost them. If they are too warm, the frosting will start to melt.
I needed 48 cupcakes for 2 birthday parties on the same day. I made 24 Vanilla Funfetti Cupcakes and 24 Strawberry Funfetti Cupcakes.
Prepare your confetti cupcakes batter in a mixing bowl or a large bowl and mix all your dry ingredients and wet ingredients on medium speed with a hand mixer.
Place your cupcake liners or muffin cups in a muffin tin or cupcake pan and divide batter mixture evenly into each cup.
Follow the package directions to finish baking your cupcakes and let them fully cool before you begin to frost.
I let the cupcakes cool for about 2 hours before I started preparing the frosting.
Step 2: Mix the Frosting
I purchased 4 cans of white frosting to decorate the cupcakes. You can find many recipes on the internet for frosting, but I needed more time for food prep and frosting cupcakes.
Make sure to leave the frosting on the counter so the frosting is easier to add gel food coloring and pipe onto cupcakes.
I started with 3 cans of frosting, and I left the fourth as a backup in case I needed more frosting for any of the colors.
Add 1 color to each frosting can. I added pink gel food coloring to one can, yellow gel food coloring to one can, and blue gel food coloring to one can. The great part about using pink, yellow, and blue is the colors will combine to create orange, green, and purple for you!
Stir the frosting until the color is even and you do not see white frosting anymore.
Step 3: Scoop Frosting into Ziploc Bags
Use a knife or spatula to scoop the frosting into Ziploc bags.
Give each color their own Ziploc bag and zip the bag shut.
Make sure to keep the colors separate still! Do not mix the colors together!
Cut a small tip off one of the bag corners so you can pipe the colors out.
Step 4: Pipe Colors onto Plastic Wrap
Cup a piece of plastic wrap into a square and lay it flat on the counter. Smooth out any bends or folds.
Pipe colors from the Ziploc bags onto the plastic wrap. Make the lines thicker and add to them if you need to a couple times. Try not to mix colors.
If you are looking to create the rainbow, put them in order by pink, yellow, blue.
Repeat piping the colors 2 more times, so you have 3 lines of each color and 9 lines total.
*Use a new piece of plastic wrap every time you need to repeat this step
Step 5: Roll Your Plastic Wrap
Grab the top of the plastic wrap and slowly pull it down so the colors start to roll onto each other, forming a circle.
Once the colors are in a circle, fold the plastic wrap over and spin the plastic wrap holding the 2 ends so it spins.
The plastic wrap will act as a casing for the frosting.
Step 6: Insert into Piping Bag
Cut one of the ends of the plastic wrap off. Make sure to only cut one end of the plastic wrap.
Insert the rolled frosting into a prepared piping bag with the cut end down. Don’t push the frosting down into the piping bag too hard or you can mix your colors.
Add your piping bag clip to the end of your piping bag to prevent the icing from squeezing out the wrong end.
Step 7: Pipe Your Frosting
Gently squeeze the bag and pipe the frosting on top of your cupcake from the outside of your cupcake and finish in the middle of the cupcake.
This will give your cupcake the ice cream cone look.
Frost as many cupcakes as you can.
Step 8: Repeat for All Cupcakes
Repeat from Step 3 as many times as you need to until all cupcakes are frosted.
You can reuse your piping bag, just pull the plastic wrap out from it and dispose of it.
Step 9: Dust with Glitter
The edible glitter I purchased came in a nice shaker bottle, so I was able to tap the side and lightly sprinkle the cupcakes.
Don’t tip the shaker too fast or shake the glitter out because it comes out very fast.
Step 10: Add Any Decorations to Your Cupcakes
Since my daughter wanted Gabby Rainbow Sparkle Cupcakes, I was able to get cupcake toppers with her decorations I ordered for her.
I added 1 cupcake topper to each cupcake.
There you have it, beautiful and delicious Gabby Rainbow Sparkle Cupcakes.
My daughter absolutely loved her cupcakes when she saw them for her birthday party.
It was great to be able to make the cupcakes my daughter wanted.
Have you made rainbow cupcakes or tried this tutorial?
Let us know in the comments below!