Monday, October 3, 2011

Rainbow Cake Pops

I've wanted to try making rainbow cake pops for awhile.  My son's preschool teacher is having a birthday tomorrow, so I decided that I would make a rainbow cake pop batch just for her.  And lucky you, I took photos along the way to show you how to make these!

Let me begin by warning you that these are labor intensive.  Other cake pop designs seem to take a lot less time for me.  If you know of a faster way of making these, please let me know.  So you think you've got the time to make these?  Okay, cool, let's go!

I used a basic 'white' cake mix.  I suppose that you could use a yellow cake mix, but I didn't want the colors to get distorted with the yellow base.

You need to bake five different colors of cake.  Some people use small loaf pans, and that would work great.  I only had cupcake pans available, so that's what I used.

I like using gel food coloring.  You don't need a lot of it, and the colors are intense.  Here I've prepped five bowls with blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.

No need to show you what white cake batter looks like.  The colors are MUCH more interesting, don't you think?  They all look so yummy!

Try your best to divide your cake batter into equal amounts so you don't end up with too much of one color.  Easier said than done, right?

First batch poured into the cupcake tins and ready for the oven.  So pretty!  I think I might color cupcakes more often.  I ended up making two boxes of cake mix just so I could have an ample amount of each color.

Baked rainbow of cupcakes waiting to be crumbled.  I had a great time just looking at the colors.  When crumbling your cakes, you will need to wash your hands well to remove crumbs from each color batch.  You don't want to mix your colors yet!

I added a heaping teaspoonful of cream cheese frosting to each bowl.  Remember to use one spoon per bowl so you don't end up with a mix of crumb colors.  And keep each bowl away from the others when mixing to keep the colored crumbs from flying into other bowls.

The whole idea behind making nice looking rainbow cake balls is that your colors should be roughly evenly represented in the ball.  So you want to aim for 20% yellow, 20% red, etc.  In order to do this, you will need to have lots of smaller "20%" balls already made.  I made a really big ball from the crumb/frosting mixture, then pinched off smaller pieces to make into smaller balls.  They were about the size of a marble.  I mention this because it's a pain in the butt to make tiny balls out of your crumb mixture.  Much easier to make a really big cake ball then pinch off what you need.  Don't believe me?  Try making tiny balls from your cake crumbs!  The crumbs just don't stick together well when you're making little balls, and you will waste a lot of time mashing little bits of crumbs together.  Trust me.

Here's what I ended up with after working through all the colors.  I made about 45 marble-sized cake balls of each color.  Like I said, labor-intensive!

Okay, so now you've got your marble-sized colored cake balls.  I placed one of each color in a pentagon-shaped formation.

Then I smushed them together.

I will note here that I am a huge fan of the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  As I was making these, I was whisked to the scene about the Everlasting Gobstoppers.  They looked quite similar to what's in the photo to the left!  Okay, back to the cake pops...

I gently kept working them together until....

Until I got this!  A rainbow cake ball!

Working with all these colors reminded me of working with play-dough.  That's the kind of consistency you should have.

I dipped them in white candy coating (I use Wilton's Candy Melts with paramount crystals), and covered them in non-pareils of different colors.

Remember that these are going to be for a birthday gift, so they had to be bright and festive!
 I decided to choose the blue sprinkled one to test for a bite.

Oooh!  What a fun surprise!

Another pop, another bite....

Same pop, another angle.  I was really happy about how these turned out!

This last photo was of a pop that my 3 year old daughter was eating.  She was thrilled at all the colors inside this cake pop.

Not only are these rainbow cake pops visually stunning, but they taste amazing!  I strongly encourage you to give these a try.  They're worth the effort.  What a great way to bring a sweet rainbow into someone's day!


  1. Hi, I am so glade I found your blog.
    I can't wait to try this.I want to make cake pops for my baby-shower, and I will use your method.
    an you share the exact measurements for this? I am not that good in cooking.
    Please send me a reply on

    Thanks - Rachana

    1. Hi Rachana,

      A baby shower! How exciting! Congrats to you and your upcoming arrival!

      So you want exact measurements, huh? Hahaha... I rarely do anything with exact measurements when it comes to baking (except for French macarons, but that's an entirely different beast!).

      I made another tutorial of rainbow cake pops recently here:

      It has better photos of how I put everything together.

      The best I can suggest to you is to estimate fifths. I would make two boxes of white cake mix. Then divide your batter into five relatively equal portions. If you want to be exact on it, use a kitchen scale and measure your batter weights for each bowl, adjusting where needed.

      Tint each bowl whatever color you want, and pour into your cupcake tins (or loaf pans, or whatever you're using). When everything is baked, you should have roughly five equal amounts of different color.

      Make one huge cake/frosting ball from each color- you should have five balls. Pinch off small pieces from each huge ball and make MARBLE-sized balls. I'm guessing that each tiny ball is about 1 cm. You will end up with about 100 of them for each color if you used two boxes of cake mix. From there, you smush the different colors together into one ball to make a rainbow cake ball. The finished cake ball should be between 1.25" and 1.5" in diameter.

      I hope this helps! Good luck for your upcoming baby shower!


  2. Can you please share the brand name of the dye you used and the color names for the ones shown in this blog? I just love how vibrant tthey came out.

    1. I used the Americolor Soft Gel Pastes. I can't remember exactly which colors I used, but using any of their colors will give you vibrant results. I got mine through Amazon here:

      If you have access to a cake supply store, you will probably be able to find them there, too.

  3. Great Thanks so much! I was looking into that brand, just wasn't sure if you used regular colors like royal blue & lemon yellow or the electric colors.

    1. I just used the regular colors on these. They were quite vibrant!

      I used the electric colors on the cake pops here:

      I don't think the colors turned out as 'electric' as I had hoped, though!

  4. My daughter wants rainbow cake pops for her fourth birthday. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make them until I ended up here. We are so excited to try these. Thanks for sharing!