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Rainbow Bagel Recipe: How to Make Colorful and Delicious Bagels at Home

Rainbow Bagel

Are you looking to add a burst of color to your breakfast routine? Look no further than the vibrant and visually stunning Rainbow Bagel! These delightful treats have taken the culinary world by storm with their eye-catching appearance and delicious flavor. In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating your own Rainbow Bagels right in the comfort of your own kitchen. So put on your apron, gather your ingredients, and let’s dive into the colorful world of Rainbow Bagels!



The history of Rainbow Bagels traces back to the vibrant streets of Brooklyn, New York. These colorful creations first gained popularity at a small bagel shop called The Bagel Store, owned by Scot Rossillo. It was here that the visionary baker set out to transform the traditional plain bagel into a work of art.

The Rainbow Bagel was introduced to the world in the early 2010s, and it quickly became an overnight sensation. The bagel’s mesmerizing swirls of bright colors captured the attention of social media users, leading to a viral sensation. Suddenly, people from all corners of the globe were captivated by these technicolor delights.

Scot Rossillo’s inspiration for the Rainbow Bagel came from his desire to break free from the mundane and create something extraordinary. He wanted to inject a sense of fun and playfulness into the world of bagels, turning a simple breakfast staple into a vibrant experience.

The process of creating Rainbow Bagels is a labor of love. It involves skillful dough manipulation, food coloring, and a touch of creativity. The dough is carefully mixed and shaped, then infused with an array of vibrant colors. Each bagel is handcrafted, ensuring that no two are exactly alike. The dough is then baked to perfection, resulting in a beautiful rainbow pattern that is both visually stunning and delicious.

With the rise of social media, Rainbow Bagels gained immense popularity and became a sought-after food trend. People flocked to The Bagel Store from near and far to experience these delightful creations firsthand. The vibrant colors and whimsical appearance made Rainbow Bagels a hit among food enthusiasts, influencers, and anyone seeking a truly Instagram-worthy breakfast.

Today, Rainbow Bagels continue to enchant food lovers around the world. Numerous bakeries and cafes have started offering their own versions of this colorful treat, allowing people to enjoy the magic of Rainbow Bagels in different corners of the globe.

The legacy of the Rainbow Bagel is a testament to the power of creativity and the joy that can be found in even the simplest of foods. It reminds us to embrace our imagination and think outside the box. So the next time you’re looking to brighten up your breakfast routine, give Rainbow Bagels a try and embark on a colorful journey of flavors and fun.


Preparing the Dough30 minutes
Coloring the Dough45 minutes
Shaping the Bagels20 minutes
Resting the Dough1 hour
Boiling the Bagels10 minutes
Baking the Bagels25 minutes
Cooling and Enjoying15 minutes

Please note that these times are approximate and may vary depending on individual techniques and kitchen equipment. It’s always a good idea to read through the complete recipe and prepare all ingredients beforehand to streamline the process.


All-purpose flour2 cups
Active dry yeast2 teaspoons
Sugar2 tablespoons
Salt1 teaspoon
Vegetable oil2 tablespoons
Warm water1 cup
Gel food coloringAssorted colors
Non-stick cooking sprayAs needed
Cornmeal or semolina flourAs needed
Assorted cream cheeseFor spreading
Sprinkles or toppingsFor decoration

Please note that these quantities are approximate and can be adjusted according to personal preferences.


Step 1: Preparing the Dough

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and active dry yeast. Mix well.
  2. Gradually add warm water to the dry ingredients while stirring. Continue mixing until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Step 2: Coloring the Dough

  1. Divide the risen dough into several equal portions, depending on the number of colors you want to use.
  2. Take each portion and flatten it out on a clean surface. Add a few drops of gel food coloring to each portion and knead until the color is evenly distributed. Repeat this process for each portion and create a vibrant array of colored dough.
  3. Once the dough is fully colored, roll each portion into a long rope shape, approximately 12 inches in length.
  4. Take two different colored ropes and twist them together gently. Repeat this process with the remaining ropes until you have a beautiful rainbow-colored rope.

Step 3: Shaping the Bagels

  1. Take the rainbow-colored rope and form it into a circle, overlapping the ends slightly. Press the ends together to seal.
  2. Place the shaped bagels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat the process with the remaining dough portions, leaving enough space between each bagel.
  3. Cover the bagels with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for about 20 minutes to allow them to rise slightly.

Step 4: Boiling the Bagels

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt to the boiling water.
  3. Carefully lower the bagels, one or two at a time, into the boiling water. Boil them for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove the boiled bagels from the water using a slotted spoon and place them back on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 5: Baking the Bagels

  1. Once all the bagels are boiled, place the baking sheet in the preheated oven.
  2. Bake the bagels for approximately 20-25 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
  3. Remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.

Step 6: Cooling and Enjoying

  1. Once the bagels have cooled slightly, you can slice them in half.
  2. Spread your favorite cream cheese or toppings on each rainbow bagel half.
  3. Optionally, sprinkle colorful sprinkles or additional toppings on top for added flair and flavor.
  4. Serve and enjoy your homemade Rainbow Bagels!

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition InformationAmount per Serving
Serving Size1 Rainbow Bagel
Total Fat3g
Saturated Fat0.5g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrate56g
Dietary Fiber2g
Vitamin D0%

Please note that these values are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and brands used. It’s always a good idea to consult the packaging of the ingredients you use for accurate nutrition information.


  • Follow the measurements: It’s important to measure the ingredients accurately to ensure the right consistency and texture of the bagel dough.
  • Knead the dough properly: Take your time to knead the dough thoroughly until it becomes smooth and elastic. This helps to activate the gluten and gives the bagels their characteristic chewiness.
  • Use gel food coloring: Gel food coloring is recommended as it provides vibrant and intense colors to the dough. Use a toothpick or a small skewer to add the gel food coloring gradually until you achieve the desired color intensity.
  • Rest the dough properly: Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. This step is crucial for achieving light and fluffy bagels.
  • Boil the bagels briefly: Boiling the bagels in water before baking gives them a chewy texture and a shiny crust. Be careful not to over-boil them, as they may become too dense.
  • Experiment with flavors: While the recipe focuses on creating rainbow-colored bagels, you can also add flavor extracts such as vanilla, almond, or citrus to the dough for an extra burst of taste.

Pros & Cons

✅ Eye-catching and visually appealing❌ Time-consuming preparation
✅ Fun and creative breakfast option❌ Requires some baking skills
✅ Great for special occasions❌ Limited shelf life
✅ Customizable with various toppings❌ Higher calorie content compared to plain bagels
✅ Can be made in different flavors❌ Potential mess during coloring process


In conclusion, Rainbow Bagels offer a delightful and colorful twist to your breakfast routine. With their mesmerizing swirls of vibrant colors, these bagels are not only visually appealing but also incredibly delicious. The journey of creating Rainbow Bagels is an opportunity to unleash your creativity in the kitchen and impress your family and friends.

While the process may require some time and effort, the end result is truly worth it. The joy of biting into a freshly baked Rainbow Bagel, with its chewy texture and burst of flavors, is an experience like no other. Plus, the ability to customize the colors and experiment with different toppings and fillings adds an extra level of excitement and personalization to each bite.

Whether you’re hosting a brunch, celebrating a special occasion, or simply want to brighten up your breakfast table, Rainbow Bagels are sure to make a memorable impression. So why not grab your apron, gather the ingredients, and embark on this colorful culinary adventure? Get ready to amaze your taste buds and create a visual feast that will leave everyone in awe.

Don’t hesitate to let your imagination run wild and explore different flavors, fillings, and toppings. The possibilities are endless, and the joy of sharing your homemade Rainbow Bagels with loved ones is truly priceless.

So go ahead, give this recipe a try. Embrace the colors, embrace the flavors, and let Rainbow Bagels bring a smile to your face and a burst of happiness to your mornings. Enjoy the process, and savor the delicious results of your own edible masterpiece!


  • Fact 1: 🌈 The Bagel That Broke the Internet
    • Did you know that Rainbow Bagels became an internet sensation, captivating food lovers worldwide with their vibrant colors? 📱💥 These visually stunning bagels took social media by storm, turning breakfast into a work of art!
  • Fact 2: 🎨 A Colorful Culinary Canvas
    • Rainbow Bagels are not just tasty; they’re a canvas for creativity! 🎨✨ You can unleash your inner artist by experimenting with different color combinations, creating unique swirls and patterns that make each bagel a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
  • Fact 3: 🌐 From Brooklyn to the World
    • Rainbow Bagels had humble beginnings in a small bagel shop in Brooklyn, New York 🗽🥯. But thanks to their viral popularity, these technicolor treats quickly spread across the globe, inspiring bakers and delighting taste buds worldwide!
  • Fact 4: 📸 The Perfect Instagram-Worthy Breakfast
    • Rainbow Bagels are a favorite among food photographers and Instagrammers 📸🌈. Their photogenic appearance and captivating colors make them an irresistible subject for foodie photos, garnering likes and comments from food enthusiasts everywhere.
  • Fact 5: 🍩 A Bagel’s Sweet Cousin
    • While traditionally bagels are known for their savory nature, Rainbow Bagels have a touch of sweetness to complement their colorful character 🍩💕. The subtle sweetness adds an extra layer of deliciousness, making these bagels a delightful treat for any time of the day.


Can I make Rainbow Bagels without a stand mixer?

Absolutely! While a stand mixer can make the process easier, you can knead the dough by hand until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Can I freeze Rainbow Bagels?

Yes, you can freeze Rainbow Bagels. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw and reheat as needed.

Can I use liquid food coloring instead of gel food coloring?

Yes, you can use liquid food coloring, but be aware that it may affect the consistency of the dough. Gel food coloring is recommended for more vibrant colors.

Can I make mini Rainbow Bagels instead of full-sized ones?

Absolutely! Simply divide the dough into smaller portions and adjust the baking time accordingly for mini Rainbow Bagels.

How long do Rainbow Bagels stay fresh?

Rainbow Bagels are best enjoyed fresh on the same day they are baked. However, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?

Yes, you can use whole wheat flour, but be aware that it will result in denser bagels with a slightly different texture and taste.

Can I make Rainbow Bagels without yeast?

Yeast is essential for achieving the characteristic texture of bagels. However, you can explore yeast-free alternatives like baking powder bagel recipes for a different result.

Can I use natural food coloring instead of artificial food coloring?

Yes, natural food coloring options like beetroot powder, spinach powder, or turmeric can be used to achieve natural hues in Rainbow Bagels.

Can I make Rainbow Bagels ahead of time for a special occasion?

Yes, you can prepare the dough and shape the bagels the night before. Refrigerate them overnight and boil and bake them fresh in the morning for the best results.

Can I use a bread machine to make Rainbow Bagels?

While a bread machine can assist with the dough-making process, it may not be suitable for shaping and coloring the dough. Manual shaping and coloring are recommended for Rainbow Bagels.