5 from 1 vote
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Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes with Patriotic Frosting

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Whether you need cupcakes for the Fourth of July celebration, Labor Day, or Memorial Day, these red, white, and blue cupcakes are the perfect treat for any patriotic celebration. We often refer to them as firecracker cupcakes, but you can call them whatever you’d like!

Patriotic themed cupcake sitting on a white countertop with sprinkles scattered.

When it comes to enjoying a frosting cupcake (or two!), there’s no denying the flavor of these fun patriotic cupcakes. When you pile this fun dessert high with tons of buttercream frosting, you know that every bite is going to be great!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • They’re the perfect addition to any Independence Day celebrations
  • Everyone will love chowing down on the fun cupcakes with a fun patriotic look
  • These delicious cupcakes are certain to stand out on the dessert table

Ingredients For Red, White, And Blue Cupcakes

  • French vanilla cake mix: This simple and convenient ingredient will serve as the base of our cupcake batter, allowing us to focus on the fun of customizing our patriotic treats without fretting over perfecting a cake recipe from scratch.
  • Eggs: A staple in baking, eggs play a crucial role in binding our ingredients together to form a cohesive and delicious batter.
  • Unsalted sweet cream butter: It is essential to have this softened before adding it to the mixture, as it contributes to the rich, creamy consistency and flavor of our cupcakes.
  • Whole milk: I prefer using whole milk in this recipe due to its extra fat content, which adds to the moistness and rich texture of our cupcakes.
  • Powdered sugar: This ingredient is used in both the cupcakes and the frosting, lending a delicate sweetness and helping to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Vanilla extract: Opting for real vanilla extract ensures the most authentic and robust flavor in our patriotic cupcakes.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Heavy cream is a vital ingredient for making our white frosting lusciously creamy and smooth.
  • Red and Sky Blue gel food coloring: These bring the patriotic spirit to our cupcakes, allowing us to visually represent the red, white, and blue theme in a fun and appetizing way.
  • Sweet Tooth Fairy Stars and Stripes Icing decorations: These charming decorations elevate the festive look of our cupcakes, making them the perfect finishing touch.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Use a box of white cake mix – Actually, you can use any type of box cake mix that you want! You can even make chocolate cupcakes if you’d like!
  • Change up the frosting – If you don’t want to make your own frosting, don’t! You can easily top your frosted cupcake with powdered sugar or any flavor you want.

How To Make Red, White, And Blue Cupcakes

Collage of putting blue, then white, then red frosting on a cupcake.
  1. Fill cupcake liners in a muffin tin 3/4 full with batter. 
  2. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool. (Photo 1) Make frosting while the cupcakes cool.
  4. Smoothly beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and whipping cream and mix until it forms small peaks.
  5. Split frosting into three separate bowls.
  6. Add red food coloring to one bowl, then put in a large piping bag. Add blue food coloring to another bowl, then put in a different piping bag. Put the remaining white frosting into a third piping bag.
  7. Pipe blue frosting around the edge of the unfrosted cupcakes. (Photo 2)
  8. Pipe a smaller white frosting ring on top of the blue, then a smaller red frosting ring on top of the white in the center of the cupcake. (Photo 3)
  9. Top cupcakes with stars and stripes topping or patriotic sprinkles. (Photo 4)
Vanilla cupcakes with red, white, and blue frosting topped with star decoration.

Expert Tips 

  • Softening Butter: Ensure that your butter is properly softened before adding it to your batter. This will help it to mix in smoothly and prevent clumps.
  • Color Intensity: If you want a deeper color for your frosting, add a few more drops of food coloring. Keep in mind that adding too much can change the taste of your frosting.
  • Cupcake Liners: Do not overfill your cupcake liners. They should be filled about 2/3 to 3/4 full to ensure the cupcakes rise evenly and do not spill over.
  • Piping Frosting: Practice piping on a piece of parchment paper before you start on the cupcakes if you’re new to it. This will help you get a feel for how much pressure to apply.
  • Decorations: Feel free to be creative with your decorations. You can try different types of sprinkles or candy stars for a fun and festive look.
  • Testing Doneness: To check if your cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, your cupcakes are ready.
  • Cooling: Allow your cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. If the cupcakes are still warm, the frosting may melt.

Storing Tips 

The best way to store these cupcakes is to keep them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. This will keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible.

These cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. To prevent freezer burn, wrap them individually in cling wrap and then place them in an airtight container.

What To Serve With Red, White, And Blue Cupcakes

These Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes are a showstopper on their own, but pair them with other treats for a full-blown celebration. For a refreshing beverage, consider Watermelon Lemonade, a perfect balance of tart and sweet that complements the cupcakes. 

If you’re looking for a hearty side, Egg Pasta Salad is a delicious option. And to round it all off, why not offer some Patriotic Fudge? Its smooth, creamy texture and festive colors make it a fitting companion to our cupcakes.

Cupcake with blue, white, and red frosting sitting on a countertop.

FAQs

How do you know when cupcakes are done baking?

The tops of the cupcakes will be golden-brown, indicating that they’re done baking. You can also stick a clean toothpick in the middle to check their doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.

What is the secret to super moist cupcakes?

The secret is different depending on who you ask! Some people swear that using olive oil in place of butter makes the cupcakes moist. I also think that adding in a tiny bit of unflavored Greek yogurt adds moisture, too!

Can I use low-fat milk instead of whole milk?

Yes, you can, although the texture of the cupcakes might be slightly less rich and moist. Whole milk is preferred for its higher fat content, which contributes to the texture of the baked goods.

Can I substitute the butter with margarine?

While it’s possible, butter is recommended for its superior flavor and texture. Margarine, especially the spreadable kind found in tubs, often contains water, which can affect the consistency of your cupcakes.

Is it necessary to use food coloring for the frosting?

No, it’s not a requirement. The food coloring is mainly for aesthetic purposes to align with the patriotic theme. If you prefer not to use it, your cupcakes will still be delicious!

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Cupcake with jimmies.
5 from 1 vote

Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes with Patriotic Frosting


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields 14 cupcakes
Whether you need cupcakes for the Fourth of July celebration, Labor Day, or Memorial Day, these red, white, and blue cupcakes are the perfect treat for any patriotic celebration. 

Ingredients 

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 box French Vanilla cake mix
  • 3 eggs large
  • ½ cup (113 ½ g) Unsalted sweet cream butter softened
  • 1 cup (236 ⅗ ml) milk whole

For the homemade frosting:

  • 2 cups (454 g) unsalted sweet cream butter softened
  • cups (540 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp (4 tbsp) heavy whipping cream
  • gel food coloring red and blue
  • icing decorations stars and stripes

Instructions

  • Fill cupcake liners in a muffin tin 3/4 full with batter.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool. Make frosting while the cupcakes cool.
  • Smoothly beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and whipping cream, mix until it forms small peaks.
  • Split frosting into three separate bowls.
  • Add red food coloring to one bowl, then put in a large piping bag. Add blue food coloring to another bowl, then put in a different piping bag. Put the remaining white frosting into a third piping bag.
  • Pipe blue frosting around the edge of the unfrosted cupcakes.
  • Pipe a smaller white frosting ring on top of the blue, then a smaller red frosting ring on top of the white in the center of the cupcake.
  • Top cupcakes with stars and stripes topping or patriotic sprinkles.

Notes

  • Softening Butter: Ensure that your butter is properly softened before adding it to your batter. This will help it to mix in smoothly and prevent clumps.
  • Color Intensity: If you want a deeper color for your frosting, add a few more drops of food coloring. Keep in mind that adding too much can change the taste of your frosting.
  • Cupcake Liners: Do not overfill your cupcake liners. They should be filled about 2/3 to 3/4 full to ensure the cupcakes rise evenly and do not spill over.
  • Piping Frosting: Practice piping on a piece of parchment paper before you start on the cupcakes if you’re new to it. This will help you get a feel for how much pressure to apply.
  • Decorations: Feel free to be creative with your decorations. You can try different types of sprinkles or candy stars for a fun and festive look.
  • Testing Doneness: To check if your cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, your cupcakes are ready.
  • Cooling: Allow your cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. If the cupcakes are still warm, the frosting may melt.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 619kcal (31%) Carbohydrates: 70g (23%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 37g (57%) Saturated Fat: 23g (144%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 129mg (43%) Sodium: 282mg (12%) Potassium: 78mg (2%) Fiber: 0.4g (2%) Sugar: 54g (60%) Vitamin A: 1155IU (23%) Vitamin C: 0.03mg Vitamin D: 1µg (7%) Calcium: 121mg (12%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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