Prepare the cupcake batter according to the mix instructions. Bake as directed.
After baking, cool cupcakes for 5 minutes in the pan then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting
While the cupcakes are cooling prepare the frosting.In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer) beat the butter until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla. Beat to mix in.
Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating to completely combine.
Add in the heavy whipping cream. NOTE: If the frosting is too thick add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time.
Once all ingredients are combined, mix on high speed for 4-5 minutes.
Preparing the Piping Bag & Frosting the Cupcakes
Using a food-safe brush or dining spoon, spread some red gel food coloring along one side of the piping bag.
Repeat with blue gel food coloring on the opposite side leaving clean space in between (refer to photo in the blog post).Add in the white buttercream into the prepared piping bag.
Test pipe some frosting onto a paper towel until the red and blue color come through on the frosting.
Pipe a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake in a spiral. Top with sprinkles if desired.
Cake mix noteGluten-free white cake mix can be difficult to find. Bob's Red Mill YELLOW cake mix has instructions for making a white cake that works great.VariationsMake different flavors. Extracts can be added to the cake mix to make different flavors of cake.Make funfetti cupcakes. Use a box mix or our homemade funfetti cake with red and blue sprinkles.Red velvet cake mix. For patriotic red cupcakes, red velvet cake mix can be used for red velvet cupcakes.Add a sparkler on top. This should only be done where sparklers are legal and for presentation as monitored by an adult. Extinguish the sparklers before serving the colorful cupcakes.How to StoreStore in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Allow to warm slightly before serving.