If you are looking for an adorable dessert for a celebration, these Rainbow Party Chocolate Cupcakes are a perfect choice! Rich, decadent chocolate cupcakes are topped with a rainbow, classic buttercream frosting that is out of this world. This dessert is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, whether you are baking for a party or family and friends.
Rainbow Party Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
I have spoken a couple of times about having a base recipe for those popular dishes you might make often. A base recipe is a life-saver and works great for a basic start to other recipes. While, other times, it is just a recipe you go to often because it works in multiple ways. For example, these rainbow party chocolate cupcakes can be turned into regular cupcakes and topped with various flavors and gel food colors of frosting to fit any occasion.
The chocolate cupcake recipe used to make these fun party cupcakes was my perfect chocolate cupcakes recipe. If you enjoy chocolate, they really are the perfect cupcake. You might prefer a white cupcake, pink cupcake, cotton candy cupcake, or a vegan or keto cupcake if it suits your diet.
The rainbow colors used in this colorful frosting make it a crowd-pleasing favorite. Not only does the frosting taste great, but it also captures everyone’s attention! Make it using my favorite frosting; the classic vanilla buttercream frosting recipe or my Swiss meringue buttercream frosting recipe. I split to make three colors, you can make as many colors as you like. You can use my How to Color Buttercream Frosting guide in order to make the perfect color combination for your frosting. Note: you can use food color instead of food gel but the colors will not be as vibrant.
These rainbow party chocolate cupcakes are a fun way to dress up the cake tower or dessert table at birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, or for a gender reveal party with various blue frosting colors for a boy, pink layered frosting colors for a girl. During the holidays, use green colors for St. Patrick’s day cupcakes, red and green for Christmas cupcakes, purple, gold, and black for Mardi Gras cupcakes… the color combinations are endless!
Make certain you update your sprinkles to match your frosting colors. Colorful sprinkles used in conjunction with this colorful swirled frosting are a terrific combination. Basic color combinations such as white, red, and pink would work well for Valentine’s Day sprinkle base. Various greens for St. Patrick’s day or Christmas work, use orange, black, and purple for Halloween, or the colors as is for Easter cupcake decorating.
How to Make Rainbow Party Chocolate Cupcakes
1. Prep – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a cupcake tin.
2. Make the batter – In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar, add eggs and extracts, and then slowly add in the dry mixture and milk, mixing as you go.
3. Bake – Fill the cupcake tin ⅔ full and bake. Cool on a wire rack.
4. Make your frosting – Follow my Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe, set aside one cup of white frosting, and then add the food gel coloring as desired for as many colors as you choose with the rest.
5. Frost the cupcakes, add some sprinkles, and using a frosting bag, add the frosting to the top of the cupcakes and enjoy!
Tips and variations for making these rainbow party chocolate cupcakes:
● Use room temperature butter: In order to get the best outcome for your cupcakes, use butter that is room temperature and not chilled.
● For my UK and Australian friends: confectioners’ sugar is icing sugar (powdered sugar, 10x).
● Use the colors you want: You can use as many or as few colors as you wish. You can make any color you like by mixing and matching food coloring. What color you use is up to you and the coloring you have available. The gel colors used to make this frosting were pink, yellow, blue, and Indigo
● Change the cupcake flavor: Instead of chocolate cupcakes, make white or strawberry; whatever your family’s favorite cupcake flavor is.
● Change the frosting flavor: While vanilla frosting was used, you can also use extracts to change the frosting flavor. Simply substitute the same amount of flavored extract for the vanilla extract.
● Cupcakes will differ: When making rainbow frosting, you have to know that each cupcake may look slightly different than the last. That is the fun of rainbow frosting!
● Storage: Store the cupcakes in a cake keeper, covered, in a cool, dry place. You can also store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. They will keep in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Do not store with frosting on them. Store the frosting separately, if possible.
● Reheating: You can reheat the cupcakes without the frosting applied in the microwave. Let them cool thoroughly before adding the frosting or it will melt.
Common Questions About Rainbow Party Chocolate Cupcakes
What Makes a Cupcake Moist?
Usually, the perfect amount of liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, along with the appropriate baking time determines the moistness level of a cupcake. Eggs and oil are vital for a cupcake to retain moisture. Further, ensuring you don’t overcook your cupcakes will keep them just right, texture-wise.
What is the Difference Between a Muffin and a Cupcake?
Cupcakes are softer and less dense than muffins. Further, cupcakes are topped with frosting, and muffins are consumed plain. The mixing process is mainly what separates the two as cupcakes have a creaming process while muffins usually don’t. However, it’s ok to feel that they’re very similar as they definitely are, for the most part.
Why Do Cupcakes Crack on Top?
When a cupcake cracks, this usually means it rose and was heated too quickly. A simple lowering of the oven temperature for a slower heating process will do the trick. If your cupcakes are too dry, they may also crack on the top as well. Follow the tips mentioned above to ensure you have a nice and moist cupcake for optimal results.
Rainbow Party Chocolate Cupcakes Ingredients
For the chocolate cupcakes:
● 1½ cups Flour
● ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
● 2 tsp Baking Powder
● 10 TBSP Butter
● 1¼ cups Sugar
● 4 Eggs
● ½ tsp Almond Extract
● 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
● ¾ cup Milk
For the rainbow frosting:
● ½ cup unsalted Butter, softened
● 2½ cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
● 2 TBSP Milk
● 1 tsp Vanilla
● Gel Food Coloring, colors as desired
● 1 cup Rainbow Sprinkles
Rainbow Party Chocolate Cupcakes Mise en Place:
● Measuring Cup
● Measuring Spoon
● Stand Mixer, bowl and beaters.
● Cupcake Pans – enough to make 24 individual, regular-sized cupcakes.
● 24 Cupcake Liners
● Food Gel
● Piping Bag
● Plastic Wrap
● Star Tip
● Frosting Knife
Rainbow Party Chocolate Cupcakes Directions:
● Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
● Line cupcake pans for 24 individual cupcakes; set aside.
● Shift together flour, cocoa, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
● Using a stand mixer, in the stand mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
● At a low-speed beat eggs, almond extract, and vanilla into the butter and sugar mixture, mix well.
● Stir in the dry ingredients flour mixture and milk into the batter, alternating each with 1/3 of their mixture (so add 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/3 milk, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/3 milk until all are combined). Blend well.
● Spoon the cake batter into the prepared baking cups, filling them ¾ of the way full.
● Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes.
● Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
To make the frosting:
● Using a stand-up mixer, beat butter until creamy on medium speed.
● Gradually add half of the confectioners’ sugar; beat until well mixed.
● Add 1 tablespoon of milk; beat until well mixed.
● Gradually add the rest of your confectioners’ sugar; beat until well mixed.
● Add vanilla extract, and remaining milk.
● Beat for 2 minutes.
● Remove one cup of frosting, set it aside.
● Divide the remaining buttercream frosting between 4 small bowls and color each bowl with a drop of food gel coloring. To make two different shades of blue and more gel color to one of the bowls.
● Snip off the end of a piping bag (if using plastic) and insert a large star tip.
● Layout a sheet of plastic wrap and pipe out lines of frosting in rows.
● Roll up the plastic wrap into a sausage shape then snip one of the ends off with scissors.
● Drop the cut end of the plastic wrap into the piping bag that was fitted with an open star piping nozzle.
● Frost the top of each cupcake with a little of the white frosting you set aside earlier.
● On a small plate, pour out a ¼ cup of colored sprinkles. (You will add more as needed.)
● Dip the edges of the frosting into the colored sprinkles on the plate.
● Pipe a rainbow swirl onto the center of each cupcake or edge of your cake.
● Place the frosted rainbow party chocolate cupcakes on a wire rack to dry.
- For the chocolate cupcakes:
- 1½ cups Flour
- ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 10 TBSP Butter
- 1¼ cups Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- ½ tsp Almond Extract
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup Milk
- For the rainbow frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted Butter, softened
- 2½ cups Confectioners Sugar, sifted
- 2 TBSP Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- Gel Food Coloring, colors as desired
- 1 cup Rainbow Sprinkles
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Line cupcake pans for 24 individual cupcakes; set aside.
- Shift together flour, cocoa, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, in the stand mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- At a low-speed beat eggs, almond extract, and vanilla into the butter and sugar mixture, mix well.
- Stir in the dry ingredients flour mixture and milk into the batter, alternating each with 1/3 of their mixture (so add 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/3 milk, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/3 milk until all are combined). Blend well.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared baking cups, filling them ¾ of the way full.
- Bake in the preheated 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes.
- Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting:
- Using a stand-up mixer, beat butter until creamy at a medium speed.
- Gradually add half of the confectioners' sugar; beat until well mixed.
- Add 1 tablespoon of milk; beat until well mixed.
- Gradually add the rest of your confectioners' sugar; beat until well mixed.
- Add vanilla extract, and remaining milk.
- Beat for 2 minutes.
- Remove one cup of frosting, set it aside.
- Divide the remaining buttercream frosting between 4 small bowls and color each bowl with a drop of food gel coloring. To make two different shades of blue and more gel color to one of the bowls.
- Snip off the end of a piping bag (if using plastic) and insert a large star tip.
- Layout a sheet of plastic wrap and pipe out lines of frosting in rows.
- Roll up the plastic wrap into a sausage shape then snip one of the ends off with scissors.
- Drop the cut end of the plastic wrap into the piping bag that was fitted with an open star piping nozzle.
- Frost the top of each cupcake with a little of the white frosting you set aside earlier.
- On a small plate, pour out a ¼ cup of colored sprinkles. (You will add more as needed.)
- Dip the edges of the frosting into the colored sprinkles on the plate.
- Pipe a rainbow swirl onto the center of each cupcake or edge of your cake.
- Place the frosted rainbow party chocolate cupcakes on a wire rack to dry.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g
Note: for exact nutritional information, consult your dietitian. All nutritional information provided is simply a guideline.
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