★★★★★

Red White and Blue Cupcakes

These Red, White and Blue Cupcakes are made with a simple white cupcake base and filled with sprinkles! We topped these patriotic cupcakes with blue vanilla frosting!

No Independence Day celebration is complete without a few red, white and blue desserts. You can bet I’ll be making some 4th of July Meringue Cookies again this year!

White cupcakes with blue frosting for 4th of July.

Why These Patriotic Cupcakes are Best

On the outside, these 4th of July cupcakes look like regular white cupcakes with red, white and blue frosting. Then you take a bite and the center explodes like a firework made of sprinkles and mini M&Ms.

After baking, the center of each cupcake is hollowed out to make room for the “surprise inside”.

You are going to LOVE enjoying these red, white and blue cupcakes while you watch the fireworks this Independence Day weekend!

Be sure to make our easy flag cake recipe next!

Ingredient Notes

Blue frosting being piped onto vanilla cupcakes.

I use a few key ingredients to make these cupcakes stand out from the crowd.

  • Cake flour. Its lower protein content gives the cupcakes a lighter, more delicate crumb than regular all-purpose flour. Find out how to make your own cake flour so you’re never without!
  • Buttermilk. Its acidity helps makes the cupcakes more moist than regular milk. Here’s how to make buttermilk substitute that works just as well as store bought.
  • Egg whites. Separate the yolks and save them for a batch of homemade lemon curd!
  • Mini red and blue M&Ms. They add color and a perfect chocolate surprise in each vanilla flavored cupcake!
  • Sprinkles. I used a combination of red and blue jimmies, plus holiday stars like in this patriotic sprinkles blend.
  • Vanilla extract. If you want your cupcakes to be more of a pure white, you can use a clear vanilla extract instead of regular.
  • Food gel coloring. Adding red, white and blue food gel gives you the option of decorating your cupcakes to fit the theme. Gel coloring produces a brighter, neater color than the liquid dyes.

PRO TIP: You can also make these with a white cake mix and canned frosting that you tint blue. Easy peasy.

Tips and Tricks

Step by step photos showing how to fill vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles.
  • How to remove the center: I use a small sharp knife (a paring knife is perfect) to make a 1-inch circle in the middle of each cupcake. Take care to remove the cupcake top in one clean piece. You will add it back onto the cupcake before frosting.
  • Frosting colors: Separate the vanilla buttercream into three separate bowls. Add a few drops of red food gel to one bowl, blue gel to another and white to the final bowl.
  • Piping: A frosting bag fitted with a star attachment is perfect for piping frosting onto the cupcakes.
  • Garnishes: Cover the frosted cupcakes with more sprinkles before serving for extra flair!
  • Serve these cupcakes with a big side of red white and blue pretzels and red white and blue rice krispie treats!
White cupcakes cut in half and filled with sprinkles.

Recipe FAQs

How do I store these cupcakes?

Store the frosted red, white and blue cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy within 3-5 days.

What can I use if I don’t have a frosting bag?

A ziploc plastic bag with the corner snipped off works perfectly in a pinch! Spoon the frosting into a bag, snip off about 1 inch of the corner and pipe away.

Can I make this without food gel?

The food gel is entirely optional in this recipe. You are welcome to leave it out and top your cupcakes with plain vanilla frosting instead. The appearance won’t be the same as the ones in my pictures but, trust me, they taste AMAZING regardless.

What it my cupcake tops don’t fit back on the cupcakes?

After you remove the center of the cupcakes, you might fight they break or refuse to neatly fit back over the center.
Don’t stress. You’re going to cover the tops with frosting so it’s 100% okay if the tops are a little bumpy or crumbly. Just do your best!

Can I freeze cupcakes?

Yes, you can. I recommend freezing the baked cupcakes before adding the sprinkle center and frosting.
Store cupcakes in the freezer in freezer safe bags. Let them thaw, then proceed with the instructions for filling and frosting.

White cupcake with sprinkles being added to center.

More Easy Holiday Desserts

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Red White and Blue Cupcakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes

These Red, White and Blue Cupcakes are made with a simple white cupcake base and filled with sprinkles! We topped these patriotic cupcakes with blue vanilla frosting!

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 5 large egg whites, room temperature
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, divided
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Sprinkles Filling

  • ¼ cup mini red and blue mini-M&M’s
  • ¼ cup red sprinkles
  • ¼ cup blue sprinkles
  • ¼ cup holiday stars

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • red, white, blue gel food coloring, optional

Instructions

For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place liners in a standard-sized cupcake tin and set aside. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites with ¼ cup of the buttermilk. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cake flour with baking powder and kosher salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with granulated sugar. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed and beat for about 2-3 minutes, until fully blended.
  5. Beat in vanilla extract.
  6. Add in the dry ingredients, slowly, just until combined. Slowly add in the egg mixture, beating until well blended (about 1 minute).
  7. Finally, beat in the remaining buttermilk.
  8. Spoon batter evenly into the prepared cupcake tin, filling about ½ full. Bake for 17-19 minutes until lightly browned and springs back when you touch it.
  9. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
  10. In a small mixing bowl mix together sprinkles, candy stars, and mini-M&M’s.
  11. After cupcakes have cooled, cut out the center of the cupcakes and fill with 1- 2 teaspoons of sprinkles candy mixture. Add cupcake top back to the cupcake to hold filling in (it's okay if it doesn't fit perfectly, you'll frost over the top).

For the Frosting

  1. For the frosting, beat butter for 3-4 minutes until pale in color.
  2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Beat an additional 3-4 minutes until fluffy and smooth!
  3. If you want to color your frosting, mix in gel food coloring of choice one drop at a time until desired color. If wanting several colors, separate the vanilla frosting into small bowls and mix in food coloring.

Notes

  • We recommend gel food coloring for brighter colors that use less food coloring.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 0gSugar: 39gProtein: 2g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Make Red, White and Blue Cupcakes a new family 4th of July tradition with this fun, easy recipe!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on June 30, 2022

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