Perfectly Patriotic Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes

Is your mouth watering with these red, white, and blue cupcakes? You will look like an absolute PRO using this delicious recipe and easy cupcake decorating technique.

Easy? Yes. I assure you, this is an easy style to master when decorating cupcakes and it won’t melt off in the summer sun when you use a nice, thick buttercream recipe like this one.

Red white and blue cupcakes on cutting board with patriotic background.
This red, white, and blue cupcake with delicious buttercream frosting is a 4th of July firecracker!

Be sure to check out my 4th of July Cake Pops Recipe as well because you can never have too many delicious fourth of July treats!

4th of July Cupcakes

Here at Ruffles and Rain Boots, I love putting together some themed food and desserts for Independence Day. We usually have a BBQ, some chilled appetizers, and cooling drinks along with a few dessert options.

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And though this looks complicated, those frosting layers and this cupcake decorating style is actually one any home baker can do. If you need some practice, this recipe makes enough for 14 cupcakes. Use one and wipe it off for a bit of practice.

Did I mention that these cupcakes are homemade, super moist and fluffy, and LOADED with frosting? You can double this recipe (or use my very popular vanilla cupcake recipe below and triple it).

Related Reading: Firecracker Rice Krispies

No Time to Make This Now? Save or Share This

Are you in the ‘gathering ideas’ or ‘gathering ingredients’ phase? Save this cupcake recipe and decorating idea to your favorite desserts pin board or recipe group on Facebook. It just makes it easy to find when you’re ready to begin.

Vertical image of a red white and blue cupcake with layered frosting and star cupcake decorations.
This 4th of July cupcakes is an easy way to make it look like you bought the cupcakes…

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RELATED READING: Firecracker Popcorn Recipe – PopRock Popcorn is AMAZING

Tips for Making This Independence Day Dessert

  • As mentioned above, you can use my very popular lazy girl’s easy vanilla cupcakes – the recipe is SO easy and they come out perfectly every time.
  • The below recipe calls for a boxed cake mix (vanilla or French vanilla, not white cake mix) because that is what a reader requested.
  • Making homemade frosting adds an amazing flavor, but don’t stress yourself out if you don’t have time. Get multiple tubs (3) of whipped white store bought frosting to save time.
  • Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely. Make them the day before and store in an air tight container on the counter.
  • To turn these into firecracker cupcakes, pipe red, white, and blue candy melts onto parchment in thin lines. Once they have solidified, add a star to the end of each with a little frosting and put into the top center of the frosted cupcake.
  • Make ahead instructions: prepare the cupcakes, let cool, and store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days; prepare the frosting (leave it white) a day ahead; pipe the cupcakes and add decorations the day of the party.

Related Reading: Patriotic Flag Donuts for July 4th Breakfast

Square close up image of 4th of July cupcakes with red white and blue frosting and stars.
This patriotic cupcake is so easy – the trick is in the tips you choose for the piping bag.

More 4th of July Ideas, Recipes, and Crafts

Please Save or Share This 4th of July Dessert Idea

Your shares are how this site grows and I am sincerely grateful. Please save this to an Independence Day pin board or share it on Facebook.

Close up image of a 4th of July cupcake idea with text which reads red white and blue cupcakes easy to decorate.
These red, white, and blue cupcakes taste great and look amazing. The best part is you can make everything ahead of time.

Red, White, and Blue Cupcake Recipe

These grab-and-go cupcakes are perfect for an outdoor BBQ, a summer gathering, or a carry-in meal. They keep their shape well but buttercream will melt in extreme heat and direct sunlight, so keep these out of the way until it’s time for dessert.

For the ultimate sweet treat, serve these with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add some fresh fruit (blueberries and strawberries) for garnish with a sprig of mint and whew – instant hit!

Yield: 14

Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes

Square close up image of 4th of July cupcakes with red white and blue frosting and stars.

This 4th of July dessert is perfect for Independence Day. Learn how to pipe these red, white, and blue cupcakes and look like a pro!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Frosting

  • 2 cups softened unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 4½ cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • red and blue gel food coloring
  • 3 piping bags with star tips
  • 2 packs of Sweet Tooth Fairy Stars and Stripes Icing decorations (Michael's craft store) or other sprinkles


To Make Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the liners to the cupcake pan.
  2. Mix the boxed cake mix, milk, eggs, and butter in a bowl.
  3. Put the batter in the liners, 3/4 the way full.
  4. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove and let cool. Unfrosted vanilla cupcake cooling with a gnome holding a red white and blue bomb pop.

To Make Buttercream

  1. Mix the butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Slowly mix in the vanilla, powdered sugar, and whipping cream.
  3. Divide the frosting mixture between 2 bowls and then add the red food coloring to one and mix.
  4. Put the red frosting into the piping bag.
  5. Add a big scoop of white frosting into the other piping bag.
  6. In the second bowl of frosting, add the blue food coloring. Add to a piping bag.

To Frost the Cupcakes

  1. With the blue frosting, pipe on the outside edge on the top of the cupcake. Vanilla cupcake with one layer of blue buttercream frosting with a patriotic gnome in the background.
  2. With the white frosting, add a tall dollop of frosting in the center of the blue frosting. On top of the blue, pipe a slightly smaller ring of white frosting. Vertical image of a two layer cupcake made with a stiff white and blue buttercream frosting recipe.
  3. With the red frosting, add a small dollop of frosting on top of the white dollop. Pipe a red ring of frosting just slightly smaller than the white. Vertical image of three layers of buttercream frosting piped in red white and blue swirls.
  4. Pipe a tiny dollop of frosting in the center of the red ring / on top of the dollop. Place star decorations on top and the red, white, and blue cupcakes are ready to serve.


The buttercream frosting should be firm for this towering cupcake decoration.

Do not refrigerate these cupcakes after being frosted. Colors can blend.

Make ahead instructions: prepare the cupcakes, let cool, and store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days; prepare the frosting (leave it white) a day ahead; color the frosting and pipe the cupcakes and add decorations the day of the party.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 628Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 563mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 0gSugar: 54gProtein: 4g

All nutrition information is estimated. For accuracy, please calculate your exact brands and ingredients if accuracy is desired.

Did you make this yummy recipe?

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