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frosting a cupcake

How to Make Baked by Melissa’s Tie-Dye Cupcakes

Whip up a batch of colorful cupcakes with tips from the queen of tie-dye treats.

2 min read

There’s nothing quite like rolling up to a party or holiday gathering and presenting a batch of tantalizing tie-dye cupcakes. With their distinctly retro, psychedelic hues, they’re guaranteed to be the only thing like it on the dessert table. Tie-dye cupcakes are also the signature dessert for Melissa Ben-Ishay, co-founder of Baked by Melissa(Opens in a new window) and OXO’s Chef in Residence. These treats are perhaps the most popular item sold from her New York-based bakery.

“They’re fun and they make people happy,” says Ben-Ishay. Color combos are customizable to any occasion and it’s not that hard to whip up a batch in your own kitchen with just a few baking tools, she adds. Follow Baked by Melissa’s recipe and tips to prepare the perfect party pleaser. 

cupcake batter in mixing bowl

Pro Tips for the Perfect Tie-Dye Cupcake

Before you begin baking, gather your ingredients. Let anything usually stored in the fridge come to room temperature before you begin combining ingredients. You’ll need a 12 Cup Muffin Pan and Silicone Baking Cups. These BPA-free cups have a handy tab to help remove them from the pan and they’re non-stick so they will release your cupcakes easily.

colorful batter in mixing bowls

Then select your colors. Ben-Ishay loves the full rainbow spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple) but you can choose as few as two hues to fit a holiday theme or celebrate your favorite sports team. Grab a bowl for each color you plan on using.

colorful cupcake batter in silicone cups in muffin trays

You’ll also want a small cookie scoop (if you’re using lots of colors) or a medium cookie scoop (if you’re using two or three) to ensure you’re dishing out the same amount of each color, says Ben-Ishay. And don’t forget your silicone spatula to get every last drop out of the bowls.

colorful cupcake batter in muffin pan and silicone cups

Baked by Melissa Tie-Dye Cupcake Recipe


Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line two 12-cup muffin pans with silicone baking cups.
With your hand-mixer or electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the butter on high speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then add sugar. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
Add in the vanilla extract. Mix at medium-low speed and add eggs one at a time.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, sea salt and baking powder.
Use the lowest speed setting to combine half the flour mixture. Add half the milk and then the rest of your wet and dry ingredients. Mix until you have a smooth batter.
Divide the batter into 3-4 bowls, depending on how many colors you want to use.
Add 2-3 drops of food coloring in each one. Stir well until no streaks of color remain.
In the lined cupcake pan, spoon about a teaspoon of your first colored batter into each section or use a small cookie scoop. Repeat with the next colors and layer in alternating colors until your cups are a little more than half full.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake springs back when you touch it. Remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool completely before frosting.
Make the icing. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the butter on high speed for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and whip just to incorporate.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the sugar mixture 1 cup at a time, until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions. Whip on high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Ice your cupcakes using a piping bag.
cupcakes next to mixing bowl

Thrilled with your party treats? Silicone baking cups aren’t just for cupcakes: Check out these other fun ideas.


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