Make Red White and Blue Cupcakes for a fun and festive treat. These patriotic cupcakes are perfect for 4th of July, Memorial Day and more.

Close up photo of red white and blue cupcake in half.
Want to save this recipe?

This is one of our favorite cupcake recipes. The kids have a blast helping and they look so festive for fourth of July, the Best Memorial Day Desserts and more. We make these every year for a fun family tradition.

If you are looking for an easy but patriotic dessert, these 4th of July cupcakes will be a showstopper. You can make an assortment of treats and also make Patriotic Whoopie Pies, Patriotic Crockpot Peanut Clusters and Patriotic Star Rice Krispie Treats.

Why We Love This Recipe

Once you bite into the cupcake, the stunning red, white and blue layers are visible. Friends and family will love these fun cupcakes.

They are bakery quality without the work or expense. Everyone will be super impressed that you made these for the Best Memorial Day Dessert Ideas.

The recipe starts with a cake mix making the dessert effortless. It is really easy to make. Not only does it taste great, but it looks gorgeous.

Ingredients

Ingredients for red white and blue cupcakes - white cake mix, red and blue gel food coloring, butter, clear vanilla extract, milk, sprinkles.

Cupcakes

  • White Cake Mix. Plus, ingredients to prepare cupcakes based on the box mix.
  • Red and Blue Gel Food Coloring. Gel food coloring is more vibrant.

Icing

  • Butter. Softened at room temperature before using.
  • Clear Vanilla Extract. Make sure to use clear or the color will not turn out the same.
  • Confectioners Sugar. Sift the powdered sugar for the smoothest results.
  • Milk. Whole milk will result in the richest icing.
  • Red and Blue Gel Food Coloring. You will already have this on hand from the cupcakes.
  • Red, White and Blue Sprinkles. Grab any festive sprinkles you love to top the buttercream frosting.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and get the entire ingredients and recipe.

Step by Step Instructions

  • Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake liners.
Mixing bowl with cake batter ingredients combined together.

Step 2. Mix the cake batter. Follow the instructions on the box cake mix to make the cupcake batter.

Batter combined in a bowl.

Step 3. Do not overmix the cake batter and mix until just combined. This will make the cupcakes soft and light. Overmixing will cause them to be heavy and dense.

3 mixing bowls of red, white and blue batter.

Step 4. Divide the batter evenly into 3 small bowls. Use the gel food coloring to dye one bowl red and one bowl blue.  Finally, leave one bowl plain so that the batter will be white.  

Cupcake batter in muffin pans.

Step 5. Place the batter into the cupcake pan. Start by spooning the batter into the muffin cups layering each color as you go. Start with the red batter, then the white and the blue.  

Cupcakes baked and cooling in pan.

Step 6. Bake the cupcakes for 15 -18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.

Cupcake topped with frosting and sprinkles.

Step 7. Pipe the frosting on each cupcake. Then top with sprinkles and enjoy.

How to make vanilla frosting

  • Step 1. Cream the butter. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter until smooth.
  • Step 2. Add the confectioners’ sugar gradually. This should be added one cup at a time on low speed until well combined.
  • Step 3. Next, add the vanilla and milk.  Combine this until thoroughly mixed and fluffy with soft peaks using medium speed.
  • Step 4. Divide the frosting. Use 3 bowls to evenly distribute the frosting.  Use the gel food coloring to dye one bowl red and one bowl blue food color.  Leave the other bowl plain so that the batter will be white. 
  • Step 5. Get out a piping bag. Use the same decorating bag and put each color of the icing into the same with a Wilton 1M tip. Pipe the icing onto the top of the cupcakes giving each one a swirl effect with the red, white, and blue colors.  
  • Step 6. Top with the sprinkles. Add the sprinkles to the cupcakes and enjoy. They look great and taste yummy.
Close up photo of red white and blue cupcakes.

Pro Tips

  • Clear Vanilla – Make sure to use a clear vanilla extract so that it does not change the color of the icing. It will not be pure white if you don’t use clear extract.
  • Gel Food Coloring – You will need to use gel food coloring to get the vibrant red and blue colors on these cupcakes.  The color is so rich and vibrant with gel food coloring. You really can’t achieve this color without the gel type of food coloring.
  • Cookie Scoop – I like to use a cookie scoop to fill the muffin tins with batter. It makes it so easy and mess-free.
  • Toppers – It is optional but I think American Flag picks would be pretty as toppers in the cupcakes.
  • Filling the liners – Don’t overfill the cupcake liners. You do not want them to overflow and turn into a mess.
  • Piping the frosting – If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a Ziploc bag. Just put the icing inside, seal, and cut off the corner. You can gradually enlarge the size of the hole if needed.
Close up photo of red white and blue cupcakes.

FAQS

How to store?

Frosted cupcakes need to be stored inside an airtight container. They can be left at room temperature up to one week.

I do not suggest storing them in the fridge as this dries the cupcakes out quicker. However, if you live in a warmer climate or it is hot in your house, I suggest storing them in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze?

You can freeze these. I recommend freezing the cupcakes unfrosted.

Simply wrap them individually with plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag.

This is so convenient if you need to make them ahead of time for a party. You can just make the icing that day and have one less thing to do.

How to thaw?

Unwrap each cupcake and let them sit on the counter to thaw. Make sure to unwrap them so it prevents condensation from forming and making them soggy.

More red white and blue desserts

Make these today and start a yearly traditional. They are amazing. Once you make them, leave a comment and star rating please.

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes

5 from 3 votes
Make Red White and Blue Cupcakes for a fun and festive treat. These patriotic cupcakes are perfect for 4th of July and more.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 12
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 396

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CUPCAKES:
  • 1 box White Cake Mix
  • *Ingredients to prepare cupcakes based on the box mix
  • Red and Blue Gel Food Coloring
  • FOR THE ICING:
  • 1 cup Butter softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Clear Vanilla Extract
  • 4 cups sifted Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • Red and Blue Gel Food Coloring
  • Red, White and Blue Sprinkles
Want to save this?
Just enter your email and I’ll send it right to you, plus great new recipes weekly!

Instructions

  • FOR THE CUPCAKES:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake liners.
  • Make the cupcake batter based on the instructions on the back of the cake mix.
  • Then divide the batter evenly into 3 small bowls.  Use the gel food coloring to dye one bowl red and one bowl blue.  Then leave the other bowl plain so that the batter will be white.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin cups layering the batter on top of each other.  Start with the red batter, then the white and the blue.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Then allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
  • FOR THE ICING:
  • In a large bowl cream the butter until smooth.
  • Beat in the confectioners sugar (one cup at a time) on low speed until well combined.
  • Stir in vanilla and milk.  Whip until thoroughly mixed and fluffy on a medium-high setting.
  • Divide the frosting into 3 bowls.   Use the gel food coloring to dye one bowl red and one bowl blue.  Then leave the other bowl plain so that the batter will be white.
  • Then put each color of the icing into the same piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip and pipe the icing onto the top of the cupcakes.  This will give the icing a swirl effect with the red, white and blue colors.
  • Top with the sprinkles and then the cupcakes are ready to enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Make Red White and Blue Cupcakes for a fun and festive treat. These patriotic cupcakes are perfect for 4th of July and more.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 396kcal, Carbohydrates 36g, Protein 7g, Fat 25g, Saturated Fat 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat 4g, Monounsaturated Fat 7g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 192mg, Sodium 479mg, Potassium 91mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 18g, Vitamin A 695IU, Calcium 125mg, Iron 2mg

Pin This Now to Remember It Later

Pin Recipe

Try these other recipes

Share this recipe!

PinYummly

About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

Leave A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating