Whether it’s a special birthday, Pride month, or just a dreary Tuesday that you need to brighten up, these rainbow desserts are sure to put a smile on your face.
No matter the occasion, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a batch of colorful cookies or a slice of rainbow cake.
Before you start, be sure to stock up on gel food coloring.
It’s more concentrated than the liquid kind, and it won’t negatively affect the consistency of your food.
As for the baking, you can turn almost anything into a rainbow if you try hard enough!
Don’t believe me?
This list of 25 rainbow desserts may have some familiar faces (what’s a dessert list without cookies and cakes?), but it also has a few surprises.
Rainbow grilled cheese, anyone?
1. Easy Rainbow Cake
You might look at this and wonder, “How is that easy?” But I swear, it’s so doable.
You won’t even need fancy equipment. Just a few extra bowls will do.
It all starts with a boxed cake mix, and then you’ll go on to split the batter into five bowls, which get colored.
You could make this as many layers as you want, truth be told, but I think five is plenty.
Once the cakes are baked, cooled, stacked, and frosted, you’ll just need to roll the whole thing in a tray full of sprinkles.
2. Italian Rainbow Cookies
If you live in the tri-state area, you probably grew up eating these tasty rainbow cookies. But if you didn’t, you’re in for a real treat.
I know they’re called cookies, but they’re more like little cakes. (Three layers of almond-flavored cake, to be exact.)
Like the recipe above, it has one cake batter that gets split into three and colored.
Instead of frosting, the layers are sandwiched together with raspberry jam, and then the whole thing gets a top layer of chocolate.
3. Rainbow Cupcakes with Vanilla Cloud Frosting
If making a whole rainbow cake seems like too much, this cupcake recipe is the next best thing.
The key to getting those distinct layers is to only add a little of each color and pipe the batter.
You can do this with Ziploc bags if that’s all you have, but it will allow you to gently cover the layers evenly without mixing them up with a spoon.
They’ll look even better in these rainbow cupcake liners.
4. Layered Rainbow Jell-O
As fantastic as this looks, I need to warn you that it takes some time to make.
To get those perfect layers, you need to make one color of Jell-O and pour it into the dish.
That layer needs to set almost entirely before you add the next layer, or it will bleed together.
The white layer makes the colors pop and adds some nice creamy flavor to the mix.
5. Cosmic Brownies
These were always such a treat as a kid, and even now, I grab a box when I get that craving.
They’re super fudgy and chocolatey, and I love the rainbow chips on top!
For the best texture ever, be sure you don’t over-mix the batter, folding everything gently until it’s just incorporated.
Also, keep a close eye on them as they bake and pull them from the oven when they’re slightly uncooked.
6. Rainbow Rice Krispie Treats
These Rice Krispie Treats are thick, sweet, chewy, and a little fruity, thanks to the Fruity Pebbles.
Adding cereal to the mix is a genius way to provide both a bit of extra flavor and some fun color.
The recipe also calls for another bag of mini-marshmallows, which won’t melt completely.
So, if you can find colored mini-marshmallows, like this unicorn poop candy, you can add even more color.
7. Best Rainbow Popcorn Recipe
I remember seeing this as a kid and thinking it was magic! How did they get the individual popcorns colorful?
Now, I know it’s just a matter of adding Jell-O.
Again, this might take a little time since you need to make a candy syrup using butter, sugar, Jell-O, corn syrup, and water. You’ll have to repeat this for each color.
But when you mix it all up in the end, it’s more than worth it.
8. Unicorn Milkshakes
It’s impossible not to smile when you see these crazy, over-the-top milkshakes.
First of all, the mini-marshmallows inside the glass are so clever. Just cut them in half and stick them to the glass. Boom! Tasty polka dots.
As for the milkshake itself, I think the pink (strawberry) flavor works so well with all that extra stuff on top.
That said, you could always make an array of flavors and arrange them in a rainbow.
For example, one lemon, one blueberry, one peach, one mint… you get the idea.
9. Rainbow Donuts
Baked donuts are my go-to, last-minute sweet treat. I adore the look of them, and you can make all kinds of fun flavors.
In fact, I think these would look fantastic if you colored the batter in the same way as the cupcakes from above.
Still, the rainbow glaze is super cute.
10. Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
If you’re gearing up for some fun summer BBQs, keep this recipe in mind. It’s so easy, fresh, bright, and transports like a dream!
To get that rainbow look, you’ll need pineapple, mango, strawberries, apples, blueberries, and probably kiwi too.
Of course, you can mix and match with this, depending on what’s in season.
11. Rainbow Cake Trifle
A trifle is essentially a layered dessert made with cake and cream, and sometimes fruit custard.
I’ve seen it done with brownies and caramel, peaches and cream, and even red velvet cakes and hot fudge sauce.
But this rainbow version is my new favorite.
Rather than making one cake with all the colors, I ended up making individual colored cakes, like the first recipe on the list.
Then, I layered the colors in the same way as the Jell-O recipe, using whipped cream to split them up.
12. Rainbow Fruity Frozen Yogurt Bark
I love the idea for this recipe, but it does melt pretty fast. So, if you make it, only get it out if you’re going to eat it right away.
Another option would be to make it with white chocolate and dried fruits. That way, it can sit out easily without ruining.
13. Rainbow Fruit Parfaits
These are excellent for a simple but effective dessert or even as a breakfast treat.
If you want these as dessert, sweetened whipped cream would be the best option. Or you could use whipped coconut cream if you want it to be vegan.
For breakfast, a dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey would be perfect.
14. Rainbow Bit Cake Mix Cookies
If you’re in a rush, cake mix cookies are such a lifesaver!
They’re ready so fast, and the most you need to do is mix a few ingredients and scoop.
You can make these with Rainbow Bit, Funfetti, or white cake mix. Just add extra sprinkles to the latter to get the rainbow colors.
Or, instead of sprinkles, you could add rainbow candy-coated chocolate chips.
15. Rainbow Cake Truffles Recipe
Making cake truffles is as easy as mixing leftover cake with frosting. Then you’ll just roll them up and coat them with chocolate.
They’re one of my favorite gift-giving treats, and I make them year-round!
Now, the chances of you having rainbow cake leftover are slim, so you may need to make a fresh batch just for these.
An easy way to see the colored layers is to gently press/roll each colored mix (cake and frosting) into flats (like you’re rolling out cookie dough) and stack them on top of each other.
Next, chill the whole thing and then cut it into portions. Finally, roll them into balls and coat with the white chocolate.
16. Rainbow Fudge
This fudge is a simple blend of white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and butter.
It’s super creamy and doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to make.
Once everything is mixed and melted, you’ll need to divide it up and color it in rainbow colors.
Like with the Jell-O recipe, you have the let each layer set before adding the next.
Here’s an easy way to keep the fudge warm while you make the layers: weigh the empty pot first and then weigh it again with the fudge.
Then, take the weight of the pot away, and you will see how much fudge you have.
From there, you can divide that weight by however many colors you have and just take out the right amount for each new layer, keeping the bulk of the fudge warm in the pot.
17. Rainbow Puppy Chow
Puppy chow has never looked so good. I thought I like it with dark chocolate and peanut butter, but nobody can resist this!
To make these colorful treats, you’ll need to buy candy melts.
As tempting as it may be to just color white chocolate, I promise, you’ll regret that decision fast.
White chocolate is temperamental, and it doesn’t melt properly at the best of times.
Add food coloring to the mix, and you’ll be left with a lumpy mess.
18. Rainbow Fruit Pizza
This dessert pizza keeps things simple. All you’ll need is fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, and crescent roll dough.
You won’t need to cut the dough if you’d rather have more, but the rainbow does look cute, right?
Another great option would be to use sugar cookie dough, which you can also buy from the store to speed things up.
That would be best with a vanilla frosting, though.
19. Chocolate Rainbow Bars
These magical bars are equal parts crumbly, fudgy, chocolatey, and delicious!
I only just found out you could buy chocolate condensed milk recently, and this was a great first recipe to try it.
Although, this would be just as tasty if you used regular condensed milk.
If you need it nut-free, go ahead and skip the chopped pecans, and the same goes for the coconut.
I threw on some Reese’s pieces, too, for extra nutty goodness.
20. Candy Rainbow Bark
How cute is this rainbow bark? It’s so adorable; you’ll have to make enough for the grown-ups, too!
The rainbow belts are a must for this, but from there, you can easily make this your own.
If you like it sour, try throwing over some Nerds, and if you don’t like the crunch of the rainbow nonpareils, these confetti sprinkles will look terrific.
21. Unicorn Dip
I’ve talked (at length) about my love for sweet dips before, but I just had to include this recipe!
Sure, guacamole is delicious, but just imagine a big bowl of sweet and creamy faux-cheesecake with an array of treats to dip.
This dip is “unicorn” colored, meaning it’s mostly pink, purple, and blue. I like the look of it, but you could easily add in some green or yellow.
That said, it does look better when the colors are pastel rather than bright and loud.
22. Rainbow Ice Cream Cake
This recipe is pretty easy to whip up, using heavy cream, condensed milk, and lots of food coloring.
Layer it in a loaf pan, and it will be a hit!
Or, you could go the extra mile and make some Momofuku birthday cake crumbs, layer everything in a round baking pan, and cover it with cream cheese whipped cream.
23. Amazing Rainbow Poke Cake
As much as I love frosting, I prefer custard/pudding. That’s why I love poke cakes so much.
I can have my cake and frosting, plus some incredible pockets of creamy pudding, too.
When all that is wrapped up in a funky tie-dye cake, all the better.
Since this is more tie-dye than rainbow, you won’t need to worry about layers.
Instead, you can spoon the batter in at random, letting it bleed here and there.
24. Easy Rainbow Palmiers
Palmiers might just be the easiest little cookie you’ve ever made. That is, as long as you buy frozen puff pastry and don’t make it yourself.
I prefer to use puff pastry for the layers, but feel free to use crescent rolls, too.
All you’ll need to do to make these is unroll the dough (let the puff pastry thaw if that’s what you’re using) and sprinkle over the sugar.
Of course, these will need colored sugar to make the rainbow and try not to add too much, or it will bleed as you roll the pastry.
25. Rainbow Grilled Cheese
Here’s the one you’ve been waiting for!
This recipe really is the work of magic, as only a wizard would think to color cheese.
To ensure you get the best ever, most Insta-worthy cheese pull of your life, you’ll have to use mozzarella cheese.
I know it doesn’t have the most flavor, but it will give you the best pictures/slow-mo videos.
If you want added flavor, go ahead and mix in some strong cheddar.
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