Cupcake Topped Rainbow Cupcakes

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cupcake topped rainbow cupcakes

Kind of a mouthful for a title, isn’t it?

cupcake topped rainbow cupcakes

Will you indulge me while I wax poetic for a moment?

My daughter turned seven yesterday. Seven. As in, three years from being double digits. Halfway to being in High School. Just over ten years from now? I’ll be kissing her good-bye as she leaves for college (unless I can convince her to live at home forever and allow me to still put pigtails in her hair and dress her in separates from Carter’s).

Seven years ago I was given a precious gift. One I cherish every single day. I know I bitch about her a lot because, in all fairness, she does drive me crazy, but I still can’t believe I get to be her mom. She’s truly our little miracle (and boy, does she know it).

I get a little sad thinking about how fast it all goes. How fast I want it to go when I’m in the middle of it, because ohmygodIcan’tstanditonemoresecond. But then I blinked and she’s a kid. How did that happen?

So, Happy Birthday to my sweet baby. ‘Cuz no matter how much you scream at me “I AM NOT A BABY!!!” you still are, to me.

Okay, let me clear my throat, wipe my eyes, and we can move on.  Let’s talk cupcakes, shall we?

This cupcake topper idea comes from one of my favorite blogs to stalk read, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  She used  Reese’s. I wanted rainbow colors. And I was going to do just solid candy, but Jordan had other ideas. She wanted cake balls.

I used my candy cup mold (from Michael’s). I wanted them to be somewhat flat, so I only used about 1/4 teaspoon of cake ball. This is a great way to use up some of those cupcakes stored in your freezer. Fill the candy mold with a little candy, top with a cake ball, and then add more candy. Level it off, tap to settle, and freeze until hardened. Repeat to get all the rainbow colors. (I used some colored candy melts, some white candy melts and Wilton candy color. You can use whatever you have.)

I’m sure you’ve seen these cupcakes before. They were in Family Fun Magazine a few years ago for St. Patrick’s Day. They take a lot of steps, but are totally cool.

You start with cake mix (I used two). Divide it equally into 6 bowls and color each with food coloring.

Then layer them into your cupcake liners. I used quart-sized Ziploc bags to make the piping and clean-up easier. FYI, one cake mix will not make 24 cupcakes using this method, as it normally does. It’ll make about 18 or so.

I frosted the cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting. Place your mini cupcake cake ball on top and frost it with more frosting. A cupcake topper for a cupcake!

I had a little left over of each color, so I took my silicone muffin pan and made one of each color (see bottom right picture). That will get turned into the cake.

The finished cupcakes are brilliant in color. If you don’t mind the whole eating food coloring thing. No one at this party seemed to mind, which was good. Because everything had food coloring in it.

cupcake topped rainbow cupcakes

With those extra cupcakes, I made Jordan her own “little” cake. The “7” is a fruit roll-up, cut with a cookie cutter.  And the inside of the cake?

cupcake topped rainbow cupcakes

A rainbow! I surprised her with the cake and she loved it. (I had to use a lollipop stick as a dowel.)

These cupcakes (and the cake, too) would be great for St. Patrick’s day. I love how that day is not just green, but all things rainbow.

Thanks for reading!

Did you make this recipe?

Cupcake Topped Rainbow Cupcakes


For the Rainbow Cupcakes

2 boxes white cake mix, prepared with eggs, oil, and water called for

Food coloring: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple (you can use the regular grocery store kind and mix the colors, but gel food coloring works best for vibrant colors)

A double batch of Marshmallow Frosting, or your favorite white frosting

For the Cupcake Toppers

Candy Melts in rainbow colors OR white candy melts with candy coloring

Cake pop mixture (I used a few cupcakes I had in the freezer and some canned icing)

Candy Cup Mold


Make the Cupcakes

Mix the cake batter according to the recipe or box directions. Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners. (Recipe makes 32-36 cupcakes.)

Divide your batter evenly among six bowls, about 1 1/2 cups of batter per bowl. Add food coloring to each bowl, one for each color of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple). Stir to combine.

You are going to layer the cupcakes into the liners in a reverse rainbow, so the purple is on the bottom and the red is on the top. To make this easier to do, place each color in a separate quart-sized Ziploc bag. Seal the bag almost all the way, leaving about 1/2" open for air to escape. Snip off a tiny corner and place a small amount in each cupcake liner, starting with purple (use just enough to cover the bottom of the liner). Repeat with the remaining colors in this order: blue, green, yellow, orange, red.

Bake according to recipe directions. Let cool completely. Frost with white frosting, to resemble clouds.

Note: if you want to make a mini rainbow cake, you can do it by baking separate colors in muffin tins. Place about 1/2" of batter in each muffin tin hole (one for each color). Stack up like a rainbow, frosting in between each layer. A 4" lollipop stick makes a good dowel.

Make the Cupcake Toppers

Melt your candy melts according to package directions. Fill the candy cup mold about ½ full with one color. Place about ¼ teaspoon of cake ball mixture on top and cover with more candy. Tap to release air bubbles and freeze until hardened, about 5 minutes. Remove from mold and continue until all the colors you want are finished.

Alternately, you could make these pure candy, no cake ball inside. Or, fill with anything: peanut butter, chocolate, just plain frosting, whatever you can dream of!

All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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  3. these look lovely. pinned it and will surely try them soon.

  4. What a fun idea! And I agree, they grow up too fast (and not fast enough, sometimes…). My older daughter is going to be six in about two months, and I’m having a hard time coming to terms with that!

  5. These are too fun. I’m such a cupcake girl…and topping one with another just makes me smile. 🙂

  6. Dorothy,
    Love the toppers! So cute! 🙂 I’ve made these cupcakes for a few years and love them! 🙂

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