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The Red White and Blue Cupcakes Recipe

Red White and Blue Cupcakes are perfectly festive, fun and patriotic for 4th of July and summer parties.
Red White and Blue Cupcakes
If you’re looking for a very festive cupcake recipe for 4th of July, you might consider this one.  It’s so pretty with red, white and blue swirled throughout the cupcake and swirled into the buttercream frosting too.
These are so fun to display on the dessert table at your summer party.  They’ll be the standout dessert, and everyone will wonder if you bought them at a bakery.  But you get to tell them that you baked them yourself!
Making Red White and Blue Cupcakes

How to make Red, White and Blue Cupcakes:

Begin by making a simple white cake batter.  This recipe is for a homemade white cake, but you can certainly substitute a boxed cake mix if you prefer. Then you’ll divide the batter evenly between three bowls.  Next you’ll add a little color to each bowl of white batter… a little red, a little white and a little blue.  Then you’ll put a spoonful of all three colors into each muffin cup, and use a toothpick or skewer to swirl them together.  They’ll bake up all swirly and pretty!
frosting Red White and Blue Cupcakes

How to frost cupcakes:

You’ll be doing the same thing with the frosting.  Divide the frosting between three bowls, and add color to each frosting.  Then you can put all three frostings side by side in a large piping bag with a 1M tip from Wilton.  When you squeeze the bag to frost the cupcakes, the three colors kind of blend together and create a swirled look.
Red White and Blue Cupcakes

What kind of food color should be used for these cupcakes?

I recommend using gel paste for the color.  Don’t use liquid food coloring.  The paste is rather dry, and it won’t add any unnecessary liquid to the frosting.  Plus, the color is very easy to control using paste.  Look for gel paste at your local craft (Michael’s) or baking supply store in the cake decorating supplies aisle.  You want bright red, royal blue and pure white gel paste.
Red White and Blue Cupcakes with wrapper peeled back

More decor ideas for Red, White and Blue Cupcakes:

Adorn these cuties with festive 4th of July sprinkles.  They’d also be cute with toothpick flags stuck in there too.  Look for these goodies and more at a party supply store just before 4th of July.
Red White and Blue Cupcakes opened up to see the middle

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes


Festive cupcakes for your patriotic summer parties!

CUPCAKES:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, (at room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • red, white and blue gel paste

ICING:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy or regular whipping cream

PREPARE THE CUPCAKES:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Split the batter evenly into three small bowls. Add red, white and blue gel paste until you achieve the colors that are desired. (The white won't turn completely white, but a squirt or two will lighten up the batter a little bit.) Spoon the batter into the muffin cups- a spoonful of red, white and blue in each cup. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the batter in each cup.
  5. Bake 16 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (the center should puff up slightly and not feel gooey– and it should feel springy to touch when done). Cool completely before icing.

PREPARE THE ICING:

  1. In a large bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter on low speed. Mix until well blended. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more.  Add more cream if needed for desired spreading/piping consistency.  

FROST THE CUPCAKES:

  1. Divide the frosting into 3 bowls and color red/blue. Put red/white/blue icing in the SAME piping bag, and you'll get a nice swirl effect with all three colors. The Wilton 1M tip is a good one for creating the look in the photos.
  • *Use clear vanilla extract to get a whiter cupcake.
  • *Gel paste can be found in baking supply stores. You can also use the Wilton brand that is found in craft stores like Michaels.
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