Colorburst Cupcakes

My Mom is a really creative woman. I didn’t realize it until I grew up and became a mother myself. Now that I look back on the birthday parties she threw and the incredible cakes she created, I’m really amazed at the things she came up with back in the day when you couldn’t run to Target or Walmart and basically buy a party in a bag. Halloween costumes were no exception. We never, ever had store-bought costumes growing up. My Mom was a great seamstress and her creativity had no boundaries. I look at old family pictures and I love how she took simple ideas and turned them into something fun. Take me for example, around age 5:

That my friends, is a rainbow. And I thought it was the coolest costume ever. I was obsessed with this chick, and if you look at every picture I ever created out of any sort of art media between the ages of 3 and 9, it undoubtedly included 3 things: hearts, flowers, and rainbows. To this day, I still get a little bit giddy inside when I see all of those colors together. Something about rainbows just makes me happy.

So it’s no wonder these cupcakes make me smile.  Every time 🙂

Gel food colors work especially well for this. Gel color adds a ton of color with a small amount of dye. You can find gel colors at craft stores like Michaels and Roberts, and in the cake decorating isle of Walmart. If using red, make sure to get the one that says “No Taste”

Divide your batter and tint each one

Then layer it by color into the cupcake papers.  (See my tips in the recipe for easy layering).  Sometimes I do red on top and sometimes I do the reverse so blue is on top.

Bake them up

And cool them on a rack before frosting.

Then you can frost and decorate to your heart’s desire!

The best part comes when you peel off that paper.  Use white liners to show off the colors, or foil or dark liners to make it a surprise!

Even better is taking the first bite and seeing the inside:

Try them with the color of your favorite sports team, or your kids’ school colors.  They’re sure to be a hit!



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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Jennifer–What about gold frosting? Maybe you could get some of that edible glitter stuff in the cake decorating section of Hobby Lobby or Michaels. That was my first thought, at least…. 🙂

  2. Hmmm… I’m in charge of refreshments for a stk YW leadership training and I’m thinking Value colors… though that new gold Virtue is throwing me off a little! 😉
    Either way, these look very fun and I can’t wait to make some!

  3. Very cool cupcakes!! I would have never thought to make them look like that! When my girls were little I did the special birthday cakes and parties too. And every year I made their halloween costumes. Those were some fun years.


  4. Sara, I love this, as I was reading this I was trying to think of the next something that I could make them for. The first time I ever saw anything like this was my friend colleen made a cake like this and posted it on her blog. I am a cupcake girl and I never though of doing that. Dough! I LOVE IT! Your halloween picture is the best. What a cute little girl. Thanks for the great ideals.

  5. WOW! Those are so cute and fun! They look a little time consuming, but maybe I’ll get ambitious. They look great!

  6. GORGEOUS! But we just had two birthdays this weekend… I may have to try making them for a non-birthday. Hmmm.

  7. Oh my goodness! Those look so fun! My girls would love to have these for their birthdays! Thanks for sharing this colorful recipe.

  8. My son is turning 8 in a little over a week and I have had a hard time figuring out what to do. But this post rocks, Paker loves BSU,so blue and orange cupcakes here we come!! Thanks Sara!

  9. Even though Isabel’s birthday was last month, when she saw these cupcakes she promptly insisted that I make those for her birthday! Very cute!

  10. I made some of these for the 4th of July last year. Red, white and blue. They were super cute. And everyone ooh and aahed over them.

  11. I love the old picture of you. What a cutie! This rainbow idea is great. We’ll make them for sure.

  12. Those are so flippin’ fun. I love how bright the colors turned out. I’ve never used gel food colors but now I see that I’ve been missing out! lol

  13. So creative! what an adorable birthday party, thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try these.

  14. So, so fun! I can’t wait to make these. I love the last one with the heart. Very cool!

  15. I never said you were a snob, I just said that there were definitely some foods that you preferred to avoid! I’m the same way, just ask my in-laws I NEVER eat the desserts they make because they are so foreign to my palate. Ella is in love with these, and I’m betting we make these for FHE today, ’cause she lacks patience just like me and wants them NOW. I heart you too!

  16. LOVE the version in cupcakes! I actually made the rainbow cake (cinco de mayo version!) last week! So great!

  17. Those are so amazing. I may just have to try them for Meredith’s birthday next month…