Rainbow Bagels

I don’t like bagels but when they’re good enough for unicorns, I just can’t help myself.


Rainbow bagels = unicorn food, right? Sprinkles and rainbows make everything better. Trust me.

Rainbow bagels became the hot food trend when photos of them started appearing everywhere online. They’re the brainchild of Scot Rossillo, owner of The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, NY, who’s been making them for 20 years. See the video here for how they’re made in-house. You will be amazed. 

When I saw that Brandi Milloy, POPSUGAR’s Lifestyle TV Host and Food Reporter, shared the recipe for rainbow bagels, I knew that I had to make them. She shares how she recreates the hottest food trends on POPSUGAR Food, where I’m guilty of spending WAAAAYYYY too much time on.

I only made one batch of the recipe below instead of making it 6 times for 6 colored batches. I didn’t need 3 dozen bagels in the house. Plus, I made mini bagels so I still got about 22 bagels in total.

Anyways, back to the bagels, which aren’t hard to make at all. They start with the basic bread dough of yeast, water, sugar, and flour.


Color is added to each batch of dough and proofed for some time.


The doughs are rolled out into rectangles and layered on top of each other. They are proofed for a second time to allow the layers to mesh together.

Then they’re sliced and rolled into bagels and proofed a third time before boiled in a water bath to create the distinct bagel crust.


Once boiled, they’re placed in a 400 degree F oven for 17-23 minutes. While the bagels are cooling, prepare the funfetti cream cheese that they are so famously served with.


Rainbow Bagels

adapted from POPSUGAR


For each batch of colored dough:

  • 1 cup warm water, 110º F
  • 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon gel paste color
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

For boiling bagels:

  • A pot of water
  • 1/4 cup honey

For confetti cream cheese:

  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles, plus more for garnish


  1. Combine the water, 1 packet of yeast, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 2 cups of flour, salt, and gel paste color. Mix until the mixture comes together. Add the rest of the flour and knead until it forms a stiff dough. You can also mix dough in a stand mixer with the dough hook.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, adding flour as needed.
  3. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Knead color into each piece. I used yellow, orange, pink, green, blue, and purple.
  4. Grease 6 bowls with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and place each dough into the bowl, turning to coat. Let rest for 30 minutes
  5. Punch down the dough and reroll into balls and then flatten into 1-inch-thick rectangles. Stack the colored dough on a lightly greased baking sheet. Let dough proof for another 30 minutes, until the layers meld together.
  6. Flip the dough onto a cutting board and slice 1-inch-by-3-inch-thick strips. Twist dough to create a spiral and join the ends. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rise until almost doubled in a draft-free spot, approximately 20-30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease a baking sheet with oil.
  8. In a large pot, bring a pot of water and 1/4 cup of honey to a boil. In batches of 3, boil the bagels for 30 seconds to 1 minute, turning once. Place boiled bagels onto prepared sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes. Turn bagels over and bake for an additional 12-18 minutes. They will color slightly but not brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  9. To make funfetti cream cheese: With a hand mixer, whip together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add butter flavoring and continue to mix. Gently fold in rainbow sprinkles
  10. To serve: Allow bagels to come to room temperature before cutting in half width-wise with a serrated knife and serving with funfetti cream cheese.

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