Rainbow Baked Doughnuts | #BakeARainbow with Dr Oetker

Showing my support for the NHS and Key Workers on the front line with the Dr Oetker #BakeARainbow campaign. These fluffy baked rainbow doughnuts are the perfect way to have fun in the kitchen while staying at home and showing our appreciation for those working so hard every day to save lives!

Today marks 7 weeks since of staying home to protect the world and the ones that I love. It’s gone so fast yet yet so much has happened.

I watch the news in absolute awe of the hard work, selflessness and dedication of our NHS and key workers and what they are doing 24 hours a day 7 days a week for our country. The Clap for Carers campaign is the highlight of most of our weeks and with every clap it gets more emotional.

If this situation has achieved anything positive, it’s been that it’s brought us all so much closer in our communities and as a nation.

I’m no stranger to baking rainbows so I’m thrilled to be partnering with Dr Oetker on their #BakeARainbow campaign for the NHS. With rainbows being such a synonymous symbol of hope now for the NHS, the campaign is the perfect opportunity to spread some cheer and encourage as many households as possible to bake in colour and show their support!

I’ve kicked off my support of the campaign with these Baked Rainbow Doughnuts but before we head to the recipe here are my top 5 tips for baking with colour!

5 top tips to baking a rainbows

Selecting the best food colouring

Theres are many different kinds of food colours that you can use from liquid, gel to powder.

Liquid food colouring

The most inexpensive is liquid and is best used when you only want a light tint as it’s already quite heavily diluted. If you’re looking for a more vibrant effect then it would take a good few bottles of liquid food colouring to get the colour you want, and then you’re risking the consistency of your cake, so for this gel food colouring is best.

Gel Food colouring and paste

Gel and pastes are much more concentrated so a little goes a long way meaning you can build the colour up nicely in your bakes or create various shades of the same colour for ombre effects. Gel food colouring generally comes in tubes like the Extra Strong Range I used in this bake from Dr Oetker. Paste gels usually come in small tubs and are so concentrated and thick you’ll need a small toothpick to scoop out the colour 1 drop at a time.

Powdered food colouring

Powdered colours are completely dry and are best used in recipes that are sensitive to added water like macarons. To use them you simply dust the colour into the dry mixture but don’t be fooled by their delicate look as they can go very dark very quickly so use sparingly. Another great use for powdered colouring is that they can be dusted across cakes or mixed in with alcohol to create a paint for colouring in fondant cake or biscuits.

One drop at a time

As mentioned above there are many different types of food colouring, all of which will require varying amounts to provide the shade you are after. Most of us however will be familiar with gel or liquid food colouring. Generally liquid food colouring will be more diluted so you can afford to add a little more to the mixture however with a gel or paste which are concentrated a little goes a long way.

The colour also builds as it develops in the mixture so it’s best to add a drop at a time until you have your desired shade. However, be aware that if you are adding the coloured mixture to flour it will lighten up, plus the shade always gets a little lighter during the baking process so you can afford to go a shade darker just to be safe.

It’s all in the timing

With lots of recipes asking for the mixture not be to over mixed it can be easy for anyone adding food colouring too end up with a tough cake batter or collapsed meringue. The best time to add food colouring is when you’re mixing the wet ingredients together as it’s usually when the dry and wet are combined that you need to be gentle. For example with cake mixtures add the food colouring to beaten eggs, mix it in with a tbsp of milk or to the creamed butter and sugar.

Remember your primary and secondary colours

If there’s one thing Art taught us at school it was primary and secondary colours. As tempting as it is to buy the full rainbow range of food colourings and bake yourself a lavender, sage green and rose petal cake, remember that you only need to invest in the 4 prime colours plus white and black really and every colour in the world is yours.

Have Fun

Finally, it goes without saying but baking rainbows should be nothing but fun so be as creative as you want. Pile that cupcake high with buttercream, cover it in sprinkles and enjoy the process and get that baking feeling!!

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4.50 from 2 votes

Rainbow Baked Doughnuts

Fluffy, soft and full of fun, these baked rainbow doughnuts are a joy to bake and eat the perfect bake to show our appreciation for the NHS!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Snack
Keyword: doughnuts
Servings: 8 doughnuts


For the doughnuts

  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 200 ml milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 drop yellow, blue, red food colouring (each)

For the decoration

  • 400 g Icing sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 150 g butter
  • 1 drop yellow, blue, red food colouring (each)
  • 100 g fondant icing sugar


For the doughnuts

  • Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a doughnut tin with butter
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and set aside. 
  • In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar then add the eggs, vanilla and milk and whisk together until fully combined
  • Make a well in the large dry ingredients bowl and pour in the wet ingredients then gently fold the two together until just combined. 
  • Split the mixture between 4 bowls and colour one yellow, one pink, one pale blue and one purple
  • Add a teaspoon of each coloured mixture to the doughnut tins until all the spaces are 3/4 full and you have multicoloured rings.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out clean and you can see them peeling away from the tin. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the decoration

  • Mix the 100g icing sugar and 50g water into a small bowl until you have a thick yet pourable consistency. 
  • Dip half the doughnut rings into the bowl and leave on a wire rack to set for 20 minutes. Once set dip them again into the icing and leave to set completely. 
  • To make the buttercream rainbows mix the butter and remaining icing sugar into a bowl and beat until well combined and fluffy.
  • Split the mixture between 5 bowls and colour each bowl a different colour (yellow, blue, purple, pink, orange)
  • Spoon out the buttercream into a line on a piece of cling film then roll it together into a sausage twisting the ends of the cling film to secure. Cut the end and then transfer the cling film into a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle. Pipe the rainbows onto the opposite side of the dipped baked doughnut. 
  • To make the clouds, roll out 3 balls of varying shapes to position either end of the rainbow for each doughnut.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mykitchendrawer or tag #mykitchendrawer!

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