Rainbow Bagels with Strawberry Funfetti Cream Cheese Recipe

I am a grown woman who loves Instagram. There, I said it.

I love Instagram for the community I’ve been able to build—a community of extraordinary men and women of every background imaginable who love food, their families, creativity and positivity. I also love Instagram because it has brought me inspiration and things like rainbow bagels and other unimaginable goodies.

I don’t remember what account first brought me face-to-face with the rainbow bagel but as far back as my second baby’s simchat bat (which was almost a year ago, ahh!), I remember thinking, “Are these kosher and can I get them delivered to LA without spending gobs and gobs of money?”

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So turns out the answer was ‘no’ to both questions and so the idea formed that I would have a rainbow bagel-making day with my oldest daughter in preparation for her 4th birthday party. It may have seemed like a daunting task, but we tackled it successfully, resulting in both a delicious, colorful end product.

Despite the fact that they are a bit of patchke to make, we had fun and they were worth it. This recipe is inspired by this recipe from Popsugar.com.


Ingredients for dough (1 color):

1 cup warm water, 110º F

1/4-oz packet active dry yeast

1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp gel paste color

1 tsp vegetable oil

12 cups water

Strawberry Funfetti Cream Cheese

1 cup of hulled strawberries

8 oz plus 2 Tbsp of whipped cream cheese

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles (or more…probably more)


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To make each layer of color dough:
Combine the water, 1 packet of yeast, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with a dough hook. 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 slowly until it forms a stiff dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, adding flour as needed.

Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and place the dough into the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let slowly proof in the refrigerator as you continue to work on each batch.

Repeat with as many colors as you want to use. When done with the final color, bring the bowls of dough out of the refrigerator and let come to room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.

Punch down the dough and re-roll each batch into a ball. Then flatten into 1-inch-thick rectangles.

Stack the colored dough on a lightly greased baking sheet. Let dough proof for another 45 minutes, until the layers meld together.

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Flip the dough onto a cutting board and slice 1-inch-by-6-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.

Preheat oven to 400ºF and grease a baking sheet with oil.

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In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil. In batches, 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 8 – 12 minutes for mini bagels (15 – 18 for larger bagels). They will color slightly but not brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Strawberry Funfetti Cream Cheese:
Mix the whipped cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar and set aside. Puree strawberries in a food processor or with a immersion blender.  Mix about 3/4 cup puree into cream cheese mixture until combined. Next, add the sprinkles and stir. If you feel the cream cheese mixture is too runny, add one of your additional tablespoons of whipped cream cheese and stir until desired consistency.

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