Brilliant baking idea: Tie-dye cupcakes

by Cece Arnold (Madewell)

Alright, I admit it: I love anything tie-dyed—and I always have. Growing up, my friends and I would constantly tie-dye shirts, dresses, shoes—pretty much anything we could get our hands on.

This past week, I put these skills to the test when I needed a fun spring-inspired dessert to bring to a party. Though I had no real clue how to make tie-dye cupcakes, the process ended up being super easy (and the results were psychedelic and delicious). Here’s how to make your own.

What you’ll need:

1 box white cake mix
Vegetable oil
Food coloring
Cupcake papers
Cupcake pan
6-7 bowls


1. Mix your cake batter according to the directions on the box (be sure to preheat the oven), then separate it evenly into different bowls for each color you want to use.

2. Add food coloring to each bowl (the more the better). (Note: Food coloring usually comes in a four-pack of primary colors, but I like to mix my own to create additional shades.)

3. Spoon small amounts of different-colored batter into each cupcake paper until it’s about two-thirds full.

4. Before popping them in the oven, give the cupcakes a final swirl with a toothpick.

5. Bake as directed on the box, frost ’em and enjoy! (Psst: They won’t look spectacular from the outside, but take a bite and you’ll see the magic happen.)