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!
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”.
- Based on my classic vanilla cupcake recipe.
- Light, fluffy and moist.
- Sprinkles and M&Ms hidden in the center!
- An easy handheld dessert idea.
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!
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
- 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!
Store the frosted red, white and blue cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy within 3-5 days.
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.
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.
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!
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.
More Easy Holiday Desserts
- Icebox Cake
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Banana Pudding Recipe
- White Cake Recipe
- Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
- Pistachio Salad
Make Red, White and Blue Cupcakes a new family 4th of July tradition with this fun, easy recipe!