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How to Make Tye Dye Cupcakes

Updated on March 28, 2014
Rainbow Cupcake
Rainbow Cupcake

I originally posted this on a blog I was keeping, but since I've decided to shut it down, I thought I'd share it here.

My sister and I made these for my birthday a couple of years ago. I love pretty pastel colours so I was pretty content with the results.

This is a beginner friendly baking project that can be used to teach children how to mix colours. It makes for a cheerful activity on boring rainy days, too!

For you visual learners:

Things You'll Need

  • Cupcake/Muffin Tin
  • Liners
  • Food Colouring
  • Whatever you need for your favorite cake mix (or just a a box of cake mix)
  • Time

Food Dye
Food Dye
Rainbow Cake Mix
Rainbow Cake Mix

Step 1: Cake Mix and Colour

  1. First start by making your cake batter. This works best with white cake or a light coloured batter. If your batter has a yellow tint to it, it will tint your colours slightly as well. To avoid this, use a white cake mix and only use egg whites.
  2. Next, divide your batter into separate bowls--use as many bowls as you want colours.
  3. Add your food colouring! For bold colours, add lots of food dye. For pastel colours, just add a couple drops. Keep in mind that the colour will be lighter than the batter after it has baked. Have fun mixing your colours! This is the best part, next to eating them.
  4. Alternatively, you can go for a monochromatic look by using one dye colour and varying the amount of food colouring you put in each bowl.

Pour one colour after the other for tye-dye layered effect.
Pour one colour after the other for tye-dye layered effect.

Step 2: Pour!

  1. Once you're happy with your colours, pour the batter--one colour at a time--into the liners in the cupcake tin. Try to hit dead center when pouring, so the outside of the cupcake looks layered. The middle will look tye dye.
  2. Alternatively, if you pour two colours at the same time you will have half one colour, half the other colour, right down the center. (It helps to have a partner in this case)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pastel cupcakesOur decorating was messy because at that point we just wanted to gobble them up!
Pastel cupcakes
Pastel cupcakes
Our decorating was messy because at that point we just wanted to gobble them up!
Our decorating was messy because at that point we just wanted to gobble them up!

Cupcake Icing Techniques

Step 3: Bake & Decorate!

  1. Pretty self-explanatory. Bake as you normally would, or follow the directions on the box.
  2. Let the cupcakes cool then decorate them however you please.

Decoration Suggestions:

Stumped? Here are some decorations I find adorable!

  • Pearl Sprinkles
  • Gummy Bears/Worms
  • Pulverized Fruit Loops
  • Rainbow Sprinkles
  • Star Sprinkles and Confetti Hearts
  • Edible Glitter
  • Animal Sprinkles
  • Candy Hearts

You can also ice your cupcakes and make or buy cute cupcake toppers for whatever theme you like. Check out this great Pinterest board, completely dedicated to downloadable cupcake toppers!


rainbow layers of cupcake
rainbow layers of cupcake
Interior of tye dye cupcake
Interior of tye dye cupcake
Pink/Purple Cupcake made by pouring the two batters at the same time.
Pink/Purple Cupcake made by pouring the two batters at the same time.

More Rainbow Recipes!

Here are some more rainbow food ideas that may be fun to try.

GIANT Rainbow Layered Cupcake


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    Post Comment

    • Kosmetic Keeley profile image


      4 years ago from Great Britain

      Aww these look so cute~ Definitely going to try these!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      They look so good. I haven't had a cupcake in awhile so now I'm thinking I will make these this weekend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for sharing this recipe for tye dye cup cakes. The pictures look appetizing. I'm sure that kids and grownups alike will love them.

    • profile image

      Stephanie Fay 

      4 years ago

      I remember my mom making me rainbow cakes for many of my birthdays as a little kid:)


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