Lucky Rainbow Cupcakes


Gold at the end of a rainbow sounds awesome, but frosting sounds even better. Imagine following that bright spectrum of colors to its end to find that it was perched upon a cloud of vanilla all along. What would you do? Would you nap in it? Would you snack on it? Would you nap in it and then snack on it?

Okay, so according to science, none of that would ever be feasible. Plus, rainbows aren’t tangible, so you couldn’t actually run to their ends.  That may be the case for rainbows in the sky, but the rainbows on my Lucky Rainbow Cupcakes are 100 percent edible. Rather than being capped by a pot of gold, they feature a heap of frosting.

I think you could capture as many Leprechauns as you want with these cupcakes. Heck , if the Lucky Charms cereal dude will chase after marshmallows, just imagine what he’d do for these. Anyone would follow miles and miles of rainbow if they were promised cute cupcakes. Side note: you can have a whole rainbow made out of cupcakes here.


I chose to do a green and white marble with the cake itself, which was easy and festive. However, you can go the route of all white or all green instead. If you choose to go for boxed mix, just promise me you’ll at least do homemade frosting. It’s incredibly simple, and it makes a world of difference.

The execution here is easier than you’d think. All you have to do is frost the cupcakes, squeeze on two little clouds, and attach the rainbow candy in an arch shape. They stand up on their own with no problem. Whether you eat the candy or the cupcake first is up to you. It’s your cupcake, and there are no rules.

It doesn’t take luck to make the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat. All you need is this recipe, and maybe a leprechaun sous chef, if you like. Although, I’d get the feeling they’d just play jokes the entire time. Hire a leprechaun sous chef at your own risk.


A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. To achieve the shade of green I have, I mixed a classic green food dye with neon green food dye.
  2. I couldn’t find the rainbow candy at my grocery store, but I did find it at Walgreens. So, if you don’t find it at the first place you try, don’t lose hope. It’s not a rare candy.
  3. For an added rainbow surprise, try hollowing out the center of the cupcakes and filling with Skittles.
  4. The key to a moist cake is not over-baking it. Try removing them from the oven 1 minute before you actually think they’re done.

Lucky Rainbow Cupcakes
By The Smart Cookie Cook


For the cake
Adapted from My Baking Addiction

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional: green food dye

For the frosting

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • Green food dye
  • Betty Crocker vanilla Cupcake Icing (comes in a can with different tips)
  • 1 pack Air Head Extremes Rainbow Berry Candy (make sure it’s the long strips, not the little pieces)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together all cake ingredients on low speed until they start to combine. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1 minute. If you’re adding green dye, do it now. If you plan to marble, first separate finished batter in half then add green dye to one half of batter.
  3. Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full. If you are marbling, make it half white and half green in each tin. Then use a butter knife to swirl together gently.
  4. Bake for 18 minutes or until puffed and set. A toothpick inserted in the centermost cupcake should come out with just a bit of crumb on it. Let cool completely.
  5. To make frosting, place butter in a standing mixer with 2 cups sugar. Beat on low until they start to combine, then increase speed until evenly mixed in. Continue like this, adding 2 cups at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated.
  6. Mix in the vanilla then add the cream and green dye. Beat on high until fluffy, about 1 minute. Spread onto cooled cupcakes in an even layer.
  7. Separate rainbow candy strips and cut into thirds.
  8. Use the Cupcake Icing with the round tip to pipe on two small clouds in the center of each cupcake, about 3/4-inch apart.
  9. Take a rainbow strip, bending it gently into an arch, and place one end into each frosting cloud, making sure it’s secure.
  10. Store cupcakes in fridge in an air-tight container.


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Colleen Bierstine


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