These Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes are festive vanilla frosted cupcakes that are perfect for your next Patriotic celebration, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or all summer long.
These red, white, and blue cupcakes are perfect for any Fourth of July celebration. They are beautiful with their swirls of red, white, and blue cake batter, and patriotic swirled frosting on top. They are a great patriotic dessert that I think everyone will love.
Made with an easy homemade vanilla cupcake batter, these cupcakes are soft, moist, and have a nice light flavor and texture in every bites. They have a great classic flavor that is sure to take your backyard bbq, or potluck to the next level.
The vanilla cupcake batter is separated into three sections and one section is colored red, and one blue with some gel food coloring. And the same for the buttercream frosting.
These cupcakes are so fun for the dessert table at your next Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or Labor Day party. They are perfect for a summer party, for a fun patriotic dessert that everyone will love!
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Red White and Blue Cupcake Recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
How to make 4th of July Cupcakes?
- Make the cupcake batter. Pre heat oven, and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake liners. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium bowl and stir them together.
- Add the butter, and granulated sugar to a large bowl (the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment works great, but another bowl with an electric mixer works too) and beat them together until they are light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes.
- Then add in the egg whites, and sour cream, mixing until just combined, then add in the vanilla extract. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you’re mixing them.
- Add half the dry ingredients the the batter until mostly combined. Then add in the buttermilk and mix until it is combined. Then add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth, but do not overmix the batter.
- Color the cake batter. Separate the cupcake batter into three bowls. Leave one as is for the white color. Add red gel food coloring to one for the red batter, and blue food coloring to another. Fold the batters gently to mix the color in without overmixing.
- Add 1/2 Tablespoon of each color at a time as you fill each cupcake liner to be about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes until the tops are lightly golden and set and a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. Remove the swirl cupcakes from the oven and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the homemade buttercream frosting. Add the butter to a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it until it is smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and mix it into the butter. Then add in the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and mix until the frosting is combined. Continue mixing to make the frosting fluffy.
- Color the frosting. Divide the cake batter to three separate bowls. Leave one color as is for the white batter. Then add red food coloring to another for the red frosting , and blue color to another for the blue frosting. Fold the color into the frosting until combined. Add the three frostings to separate bags and then snip the corner off of each. Spread out a piece of plastic wrap and pipe a row of each frosting color onto the plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap onto itself and wrap it into a long. Twist one end closed and trim the other open.
- Frost the cupcakes. Put the frosting log into a large piping bag with a 1M piping tip with the open end down. Pipe swirls of frosting onto each of the cupcakes. Top with patriotic sprinkles if desired.
Tips and Tricks:
- Let your ingredients sit at room temperature to warm up before using, eggs, butter, and buttermilk for the best results. This will help your ingredients mix together smoothly.
- Properly measure the flour using the spoon and sweep method to prevent over measuring, which could lead to dry cupcakes.
- Only mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients until just combined. Over mixing could lead to dense cupcakes.
- If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute whole milk, or make your own buttermilk substitute by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to 1/2 cup of milk.
- This recipe makes just 12 cupcakes. The recipe can be easily doubled if you need a bigger batch for an event.
How to store leftover cupcakes?
These cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be stored frosted or unfrosted. You can also store them in the fridge. The cupcakes will stay their best for about 3 days.
This Fourth of July cupcakes are so fun and festive. They’re also moist and delicious! I hope you love them for your next Patriotic celebration.
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Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (can sub for any milk)
- red and blue gel food coloring
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 3-4 TBS heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 dash salt
- red and blue gel food coloring
For the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard muffin pan with muffin liners, set the pan aside.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a medium sized bowl and whisk them together. Set them aside.
- In a large bowl (the bowl of a stand mixer works well), add the granulated sugar, and butter and mix them together with the stand mixer, or a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the egg whites, sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix them in until they are just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in half the dry ingredients, and mix until mostly combined.
- Add in the buttermilk and mix until combined. The batter may look curdled, but that's okay.
- Add in the remaining dry ingredients, and mix until combined.
- Divide the batter into 3 bowls. Leave one bowl as is, add red gel coloring to another bowl, and blue to the third. Gently fold the batter to combine and mix the color into the batter.
- Add 1/2 Tablespoon at a time of each of the colors until you fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Fill all 12 of the cupcake liners evenly.
- Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.
- Let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- Add the butter to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer. Beat it for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on low speed until each cup is mixed in completely. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the heavy cream (start with 3 TBS), vanilla extract, and salt and mix on medium speed until everything is well combined.
- Mix the frosting for another 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. Add a little more powdered sugar, or heavy cream as needed to get the right consistency.
- Separate the frosting into three bowls. Leave one bowl as is for the white, add red gel coloring to another bowl, and blue to the third. Gently fold the batter to combine and mix the color into the frosting.
- Scoop each color of frosting into a ziplock bag. Trim off one of the corners.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap, and pipe a thick row of each of the frosting colors along the plastic wrap.
- Fold the plastic wrap onto itself and wrap it into a log, twist one end closed and leave the other open.
- Transfer the log into a piping bag with your favorite star tip. (I used a 1M tip).
- Pipe the frosting into swirls onto the cupcakes. Top with sprinkles if desired, and serve.