Rainbow Swirl Buttercream Frosting (with Video)
For my son’s birthday this year I wanted to do something fun and colorful so I got out some food coloring and made some simple chocolate cupcakes with a colorful Rainbow Swirl Buttercream.
These rainbow cupcakes were a hit with his pre-school class and the best part? They’re super easy to make!
Rainbow Swirl Buttercream
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I absolutely love this buttercream. It’s so easy to put together, as it’s a simple buttercream frosting recipe, but the easy additions of the food coloring make it pop and adds some flair to any occasion, even if that occasion is a stay at home Saturday night.
For this particular occasion, it was my son’s fourth birthday (oh my gosh how did that happen already?).
My son’s birthday was in the middle of our moving timeline. Since we were moving out of our tiny (inbetweener) rental and into our new home, after much guilt and being hard on myself I decided that we were not going to have a big birthday party this year.
That decision was difficult to make, and I felt like a terrible mom. He’s four, he didn’t care, but I wanted to make it up to him. Even updating this post a year later, I still feel bad.
That night we had a nice meal, did presents and celebrated as a family but during the day, I made rainbow cupcakes for him to celebrate with his friends at pre-school.
Naturally, because it was sugar, chocolate, and looked like fairy unicorn cupcakes, they were a hit.
I love the outcome of this rainbow swirl buttercream! I’m really proud of how they turned out and the fact that every cupcake is unique and has its own look is the icing on the cupcake 😉 Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
How to Make Frosting
I’m often asked how to make a basic buttercream frosting.
So I put together a video to show you just how easy it is to make homeade icing for cakes, cupcakes, and whoopie pies!
Rainbow Buttercream Frosting
The rainbow swirl buttercream frosting is really easy to achieve. The first step is to choose your food coloring, I used pink, blue and yellow. I used the Wilton Gels, you can get them at Bulk Barn, Michaels, Walmart or Amazon.
I divided the frosting into four bowls: 3 for the colored and 1 for the original.
I have seen a lot of people using multiple piping bags in one piping bag or buying a special piping bag. I’m far too lazy for that. I simply tossed it all in the bag (focusing on the sides) and it turned out well.
That’s it. It’s really simple to do.
I mixed a few colored sugars and sprinkled them on top.
To top off the rainbow swirl buttercream, I used Wilton’s Candy Melts and wrote out the number 4 on parchment paper.
It hardened up quick and they stayed put. I have done this before with just chocolate but once it got to room temperature they would melt. I suggest using candy melts for that reason.
I love the way that this rainbow frosting looks! I call it rainbow, some people call it tie dye icing – what you call it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the end result (and how it tastes of course).
Supplies I used for these cupcakes:
An optional alternative to the tie dye cupcake effect:
How to Make Rainbow Buttercream Frosting
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You can make this buttercream frosting in more colors, it doesn’t jus thave to be rainbow!
You can do a tie dye color wheel, black and red, or even a Christmas buttercream frosting!
What colors will you use to make this swirl frosting?
Rainbow Swirl Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup butter unsalted and softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar depending on the humidity/heat that day sometimes I have to add about 1/2 - 1 cup more, play around with it until you reach the consistency you desire
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pink food coloring
- 1 blue food coloring
- 1 yellow food coloring
- In your mixer add the butter and slowly begin to beat it on a medium setting. Once it's soft, add the sugar.
- On a slow speed mix until incorporated (and to prevent sugar going everywhere) and then beat until fluffy. This takes a few minutes.
- Scrape the bowl, add the cream and vanilla.
- Turn the beater to high and let it whip up for about five minutes. You may need to pause and scrape the bowl a few times.
- Divide the frosting into four bowls: leave one the original color and then color the three with the colors your chose.
- Spoon the colors into a piping bag, focusing on the sides more so the colors come out at once and pipe!