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4th of July cupcakes on cake pedestal.

4th of July Cupcakes

These red white and blue frosted cupcakes are a win every time. A simple trick makes them SO EASY to make you'll never believe it! Can be adapted with different colors for other occasions.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling and frosting time (estimated) 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 265kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • 1 box white cake mix with ingredients on box for preparation; regular or gluten-free mix
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) Unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Red and blue gel food coloring
  • Piping bag with a star tip a plastic zipper bag can be substituted
  • Sprinkles optional


Baking the Cupcakes

  • Add cupcake liners to a muffin pan.
  • 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 note
Gluten-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.
Make 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 Store
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Allow to warm slightly before serving.


Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.4mg