RETURN of the RAINBOW CUPCAKE

29 Oct

Rainbow cupcake no wrapper

Rainbow Cupcakes are back this week. The photo above is my Cream Cheese Buttercream Cocoa Cupcake.

I had the honor of baking these cupcakes for a very special birthday girl. She was celebrating her birthday with a scary movie party. Exciting!

I’m by no means the inventor of the rainbow cupcake but I am proud of my technique. There are multiple paths to the rainbow-frosted cupcake, which I’ve outlined below.

Decadent Dragon’s Technique 
I riffed on Option #3 below.  First, I made a large batch of butter cream frosting, then separated it into five (5) bowls.  Next, I colored each bowl of icing with gel food coloring.

Once all bowls were colored to my liking, I prepared a single pastry bag fitted with a 1M Wilton tip.  Instead of layering the frosting colors one on top of the other, I layered them side by side into the pastry bag.  This created more separation between the colors when swirled than the layered technique, which I prefer.

Here is my super-official diagram on filling your pastry bag – viewing the bag from above.  (And yes, this was created in Microsoft Paint.)

But note that this technique can be challenging.  It may be difficult to get all colors equally situated in the bag.  I found it easiest to hold the bag at an angle to the ground (nearly perpendicular) and then spoon the colors in, rotating the bag between colors.  You may need to use your spoon to force some colors of icing down into the bottom of the bag.  Ideally, all colors will meet near the bottom of the bag.  And luckily, rainbow icing is forgiving!

Here are some of the other Rainbow frosting techniques floating around online –

Bag & Re-bag Technique
This technique yields clean lines and looks great for a multi-colored icing.  With this technique, you individually color your icings, place them separately in pastry bags and then place those filled pastry bags in a larger empty bag fitted with your tip.  For a rainbow icing, my personal belief is that it’s too wasteful of bags.  However, I’m sure it looks great.

Paint the Bag Technique” A simplified version.  Paint the inside of a large pastry bag with your  food coloring.  Then, fill the bag with white icing and pipe.  Very straightforward.  But it does produce a different icing effect.  Up to you whether you like it.

Individually Color & Layer Technique” With this, you divide your white frosting into multiple bowls and color them separately with food dye.  Then, you take one large pastry bag and individually layer the icing on top in layers (like geological strata??).  This yields a beautiful true rainbow result.


Whether you choose any of the listed techniques, or create your own, just remember to have fun!  And send me photos – I’d love to see what you create.

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2 Responses to “RETURN of the RAINBOW CUPCAKE”

  1. Alison October 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    They are so pretty! And look really professional. I don’t know how you spooned the multi-color icing into a single pastry bag so consistently! Verrrry nice. You should experiment with those other techniques too! And post photos 🙂

  2. jeremycwagner October 31, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    I really love the way these turned out! They look like tie-dyed cupcakes! So cute!

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