Rainbow Chocolate Cupcakes

These Rainbow Chocolate Cupcakes are fun and easy to make. They are topped with Tie-dye Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Below are some tips and the recipe!

To make these cupcakes, you will need mixing bowls, an electric mixer, a large mixing spoon, cupcake tins, and cupcake liners. Other supplies you will need for the frosting are piping bags, piping tip, butter knife or paint brush, and a tall cup to hold the piping bag.

Before starting the recipe, it is important to allow the dairy ingredients to reach room temperature or soften. According to Sally’s Baking Addiction, dairy ingredients trap air at room temperature which then causes the ingredients to expand in the oven. This makes your baked goods extra fluffy. So leave the butter out for an hour before starting the recipe. You can leave the milk and eggs out 30 minutes before starting the recipe so they reach room temperature.

This recipe requires 3 tablespoons of coffee. It is important that the coffee is not hot when adding it to the wet ingredients. I made instant coffee and used 2 teaspoons of coffee for 1 cup of hot water. I let it sit for about ah hour before starting the recipe to make sure it wasn’t too hot. If the coffee is too hot, it will ruin the consistency of the cake batter.

After all your ingredients have been prepped and reached room temperature, you can start making the recipe. The first steps are always to add the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix them well. The dry ingredients include: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. These ingredients should be added in at the end after all the wet ingredients have been combined.

Next, steps are to combine all the wet ingredients. All of the wet ingredients will be combined with an electric mixer. The wet ingredients include: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, coffee, and milk. To start you will mix the butter until it becomes a creamy and smooth texture. Then add the sugar to combine with the butter. After you will add the whole egg, egg whites, vanilla, coffee, and milk. After adding each ingredient, it is important to mix the ingredient in before adding the next one. This will help mix all the ingredients well.

After, you will add in the dry ingredients and combine it with the wet ingredients using a large mixing spoon. I like to mix the dry ingredients by adding it in three separate chunks to add in. It doesn’t have to even, but adding in a little at a time is helpful when mixing the ingredients.

If you want to make the cupcakes black, you will need to add the black gel food coloring in after all the ingredients have been mixed together. Since the cupcakes are already brown, it should not take much gel food coloring to change the color. This step is completely optional. If you do decide to color your cupcakes, I highly recommend gel food coloring since it does not make the batter wetter. Other water-base food colors will.

Line the cupcake tins and add about 2-2 1/2 tablespoons of batter in the cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly at 350 F. I like to bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes then check them to see if they need more time. It is a helpful step and keeps you from over baking them.

When the cupcakes are done, let them cool thoroughly before frosting!

Before starting the frosting, allow the butter to soften for an hour at room temperature. This will make it easier to mix. The butter and powdered sugar should be divided into 2 cups. One cup of butter should be mixed with an electric mixer until smooth. Then a cup of powdered sugar should be mixed well with the butter. Repeat these steps for the second cup of butter and powdered sugar. After you will add the vanilla extract and heavy cream.

After the buttercream frosting is prepared, take a piping bag with desired tip in it and place it in a tall cup to where the opening is facing up. I used a 1M Wilton tip for this recipe. Take one gel food color and place a butter knife or paint brush in the color. You will then scrape one side of the with the color from bottom (where the tip is located) to close to the top of the bag. A line of color should form on the bag. Wilton has a great video on how to stripe a piping bag if you need visual guidance!

After you have lined your bag with food coloring, add the frosting and begin frosting your cooled cupcakes!

This recipe is not only delicious but super fun to make. I enjoyed playing around with the colors and learning how to get such a great colorful effect without completely coloring my frosting. Let me know how your rainbow chocolate cupcakes turn out below!

Rainbow Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Servings: 26-28
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

These rainbow cupcakes are full of chocolate flavor and topped with vanilla buttercream icing.

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 large whole egg, room temperature
  • 3 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp prepared instant coffee, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Black gel food coloring (optional)

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
  • Pink, Blue and Green gel food coloring

Cupcake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Take a larger mixing bowl and add butter. Mix with a electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add sugar to butter and mix with electric mixer for about 3-4 minutes or until all the sugar is combined.
  5. After, add in the large egg and mix until combined completely with butter and sugar mixer.
  6. Next, add in the egg whites and combine well with butter and sugar mixture.
  7. Add in vanilla extract and mix well.
  8. Next add in the already prepared instant coffee and mix well until combined. (Prepare instant coffee as directions state. Make sure coffee has cooled to room temperature).
  9. After, add in the milk and mix well.
  10. After, add in the flour ingredients to the wet ingredient mixture one-third at a time. Mixing each third in well with a mixing spoon.
  11. If you are adding the black gel food coloring to cupcake batter, add it once the cake batter has been mixed thoroughly.
  12. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  13. Add about 2- 2 1/2 tbsp of batter to each liner.
  14. After all the liners have been filled, bake in over for 15-20 minutes. Be careful not to over bake.
  15. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add one cup of butter (2 sticks) and mix with electric mixer for 3-4 minutes until it is a smooth, creamy texture.
  2. Next add one cup of powdered sugar and mix well with butter until combined and forms a smooth texture.
  3. Add in the second cup of butter and mix well with electric mixture until a smooth texture.
  4. After, add in the second cup of powdered sugar and mix well until combined and forms a smooth creamy frosting.
  5. Then you will add in the vanilla extract and mix well with ingredients.
  6. Finally add in the heavy cream and mix well until all the ingredients are combined.
  7. To frost the cupcakes, place a 1 M Wilton tip in a piping bag and place it standing up in a large cup.
  8. To get a tie-dye rainbow effect, take a small paint brush or butter knife and dip in pink food coloring.
  9. Paint a line of pink coloring on the inside the the pipping bag with food coloring. Make sure to paint from the tip up.
  10. Repeat process for other colors. You should have three vertical lines of color around the inside of the bag.
  11. After add in the butter cream frosting and pipe onto the cupcakes. You may need to pipe a little extra on the side until the desired effect comes out.

Enjoy these fun cupcakes! Refrigerate with not serving!


Per Serving: 269 calories; 17.4 g fat; 27.3 g carbohydrates; 2.4 g protein; 52 mg cholesterol; 218 mg sodium; 17.2 g sugar.

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