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PRIDE Rainbow Cupcakes

Typically I have made a large cake for Pride in the past, this year I thought I would try my hand at cupcakes. Continuing the inclusion of the additional brown and black stripes from the Philadelphia Pride Flag I've come up with a recipe which I hope isn't too complicated but certainly impresses. Cupcakes are great if you are having a picnic for Pride with your friends or if you are holding an event at work, perhaps for fundraising. There are many ways you can get people talking about the LGBTQ+ community and this a great way of engaging with food for thought.

Many of us in the community appreciate, and I will paraphrase Hannah Gadsby here, the sound of a teacup finding its place on a saucer. And if you're going to make a cup or coffee or tea, you might as well have some cake to go with it.

Makes 12

Hands-on Time 1 1/2 hours (plus cooling)

Baking Time 15 minutes


125g Unsalted butter (softened)

175g Caster sugar

2 Eggs, large

3/4 tsp Vanilla extract

175g Self-raising flour

1/8 tsp Fine salt

150ml Full-fat milk

Food colouring (liquid gel is recommended) in at least the colours: Red, Blue, Yellow, Black

2 tbsp plus 2 tsp Cocoa powder


12 hole Cupcake pan

Paper cupcake cases

Large mixing bowl

Electric whisk or wooden spoon


8 Small bowls

1/8 Teaspoon



Wire rack

Palette knife (optional)

Re-useable piping bag and nozzle (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.

Line the cupcake tin with the paper cases.

In a large bowl beat together the caster sugar and butter until a light creamy pale yellow.

Continue beating, add the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla extract until fully combined.

Fold in the flour and salt using a spatula.

Finally, add the milk and gently stir until combined.

Evenly divide the batter between the 8 small bowls.

This is where you need to add the colouring to 6 of the 8 bowls. It’s best to start with your primary colours first (Yellow, Red, Blue).

Add 1/8 teaspoon of each colouring to each bowl ensuring you wash the measure each time so you don’t cross contaminate.

If you have ready-mixed Green, Purple, and Orange, add these to the other 3 bowls. If you don’t and are unsure how to get the desired colours, here is what you need to combine:

Red + Yellow = Orange

Blue + Yellow = Green

Red + Blue = Purple

I appreciate if you’re mixing these 3 it can be quite a faff.

For the remaining two bowls add 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder to each.

Stir each of these to combine, cleaning your spatula between bowls.

Finally, add black food dye to one of the chocolate cake mixes and give one last stir.

Spoon a teaspoon of each mix into the paper cases in this order.









You don’t need to smooth the mixes out in the cases.

Pop the tin into the oven onto a middle shelf and bake for 16-18 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

When the time is up remove the tin and leave to cool. When the cakes have cooled enough so you can handle them, remove the cakes, still in their cases, and place them on a wire rack.

Once the cakes have completely cooled you can get on the decorating.

It’s up to you how you decorate, you can spread the buttercream over their tops using a palette knife or try your hand at piping.

I like to add a rather lot of black food colouring along with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to my buttercream to achieve a silvery grey effect.

Either way it’s up to you!


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