There’s something super satisfying about rainbow food. Yes, a rainbow bagel is technically just a plain bagel, but that doesn’t matter when you’re biting into a stellar swirl of colors.

Kneading the colors into the dough does take a long time—and it gets to be quite the workout—but don’t give up. The end results are stunning, and you will feel like a princess fairy goddess when you get to gift the world with your magical rainbow bagels.

For extra whimsy joy, top these bad boys with cream cheese and rainbow sprinkles. I guarantee you and anyone you give them to will feel instantly happy. I personally could not stop smiling for a week.

Make these bagels because let’s face it; you’d already be super impressive just making homemade bagels. But making homemade RAINBOW bagels? You might as well drop out of school and call yourself a professional baker.

Rainbow Bagels

  • Prep Time:3 hrs
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:3 hrs 15 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Hard


  • 2 cup warm water
  • 1 packet approx 2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 cup all-purpose flour may need up to a cup extra
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil plus more for greasing the bowl
  • Red yellow green & blue food coloring
doughnut, cake, sweet, chocolate, candy
Leah Valenti
  • Step 1

    Mix warm water and sugar in a large bowl.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 2

    Add yeast to the sugar water and let stand until it bubbles and foams (about 10 minutes).

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 3

    Add flour, oil, and salt to the mixture.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 4

    Mix with a wooden spoon until too thick to mix.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 5

    Remove dough from bowl and knead by hand for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth (not at all sticky) dough. If dough is still sticky, sprinkle with flour and knead until no longer sticky.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 6

    Place the dough in a large bowl greased with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 60 minutes until it has doubled in size.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 7

    After dough has risen, punch it down and then divide it into 6 portions.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 8

    Dye each portion with food coloring (use yellow and red to make orange and blue and red to make purple). Each piece will have to be kneaded for about 10 minutes to get a uniform color throughout the dough. Keep dough you aren’t using covered so it doesn’t dry out!

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 9

    Flatten each ball into a small rectangle and stack in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 10

    Twist the stack together to make a rainbow log. Divide the log into 8 even pieces.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 11

    Make a hole in the center of each piece, shaping the dough into bagel form.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 12

    Set bagels aside and let rise for 10 minutes, covered.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 13

    While bagels are rising, preheat your oven to 450° F and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once bagels have risen, drop 3 at a time into the boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds on each side. Let bagels dry on a cooling rack.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 14

    Bake them for 15 minutes on a parchment paper lined cooking sheet.

    GIF by Leah Valenti
  • Step 15


    GIF by Leah Valenti