Pretty & Patriotic 4th of July Cupcakes!

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Celebrate Independence Day with these pretty and patriotic 4th of July Cupcakes! The red, white, and blue are featured throughout, starting with marbled vanilla cupcakes, a swirl of multicolored frosting, lots of festive sprinkles, and topped off with a glittery star topper!

I’ve got lots of fun and easy Cupcake Recipes for Parties and celebrations for you to try out – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!

Cupcake decorated with red, white, and blue sprinkles, multi-colored frosting and a star topper.

4th of July Cupcakes

These gorgeous cupcakes are a real salute to the red, white, and blue aren’t they? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more patriotic cupcake!

The cupcakes themselves are really quick and easy to make thanks to a box of cake mix, but if you want to bake cupcakes from scratch you can use your favorite recipe or check out the best vanilla cupcakes recipe!

The cupcake batter is divided and colored with food coloring and then mixed into the cupcake liners to create a marbled effect.

Once cooked and cooled the 4th of July cupcakes are topped with some frosting that is dipped into patriotic colored sprinkles and then topped with a swirl of multi-colored frosting. The final flourish is a glittery star cupcake topper!

These are so much fun to make and so yummy to eat!

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Ingredients Used in This Recipe

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here is a brief outline so you know what to expect from the recipe.

I highly recommend always reading a recipe all the way through before starting.

Alongside some regular baking ingredients like butter, powdered sugar, etc., you will need some more specialized ingredients which I’ve linked below to Amazon for your convenience.

Shop My Electric Cake Mixer Picks on Amazon

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Equipment used in this recipe

You are likely to have most standard cooking tools in your kitchen but I’ve added some Amazon links for your convenience should you need something more specific for this recipe.

Red, White & Blue Cupcakes for 4th of July!

Cupcake Making Tips

  • French vanilla cake is also a vanilla cake, but with a more distinct flavor. If you can’t find a French vanilla cake mix, a box of the regular vanilla will be fine to use.
  • This recipe amps up the vanilla flavor and richness even more by replacing the box’s listed ingredients with unsalted sweet cream butter (instead of oil) and milk (instead of water). It also has the addition of vanilla bean paste, but if you can’t find the paste you could use vanilla extract instead.
  • Unsalted sweet cream butter as it is known in the USA, is essentially our regular unsalted butter here in UK. Read A Guide to Different Butters on Great British Chefs.
  • The cupcake batter is divided into three, one part is colored red, the other blue, and the third is left white.
  • Food Coloring Tips: Use good quality food coloring gel or paste as the color will be more vibrant. Do not use liquid color as this will change the consistency of the cake batter, and really won’t taste good!
  • Remember that you can always add more color, but not take it away. Add a little to start with and add more to get the shade required.
  • The colored cupcake batter is added to the liners in individual spoonfuls to create a marbled effect.

Cupcake Decorating Tips

  • if you can’t get these you can easily make your own! Cut star shapes from red, white, and blue paper and attach to a wooden cocktail stick/toothpick. Use non-toxic glue and food-safe glitter to decorate the stars with if you wish.
  • Frosting the cupcakes: These cupcakes are topped with a three-color frosting. You can do this in three different ways: Scoop one-third side of the piping bag with red frosting, another third with blue frosting, and the final third with white, then squeeze some frosting out until the three colors mix together.
  • Use a triple piping bag by putting a piping bag of each color into another piping bag fitted with the tip and frosting as usual. Wilton has a great demonstration video on YouTube that I highly recommend. It’s actually for a double-bag but would work for triple too.
  • Or why not invest in the Wilton 3-Color Coupler Set which will make piping a breeze even for novices!
  • If you are not confident with your piping skills you can practice on some parchment paper first and scoop the frosting back into the bag – just make sure you practice with ONE color and not the two mixed together!

How Do You Make 4th of July Cupcakes?

Just follow the recipe in the card below! You can print the recipe card out too – the images won’t print (to save your ink!).

4th of July Cupcakes

4th of July Cupcakes

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

These gorgeous 4th of July Cupcakes are a salute to the red, white, and blue!


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 box of french vanilla cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup softened unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1Tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Sky Blue gel food coloring

For the Frosting

  • 3 cups unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-5 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Sky Blue gel food coloring
  • 3 cups red, white, and blue sprinkles

For Decoration

  • 24 red, white, and blue glitter star cupcake toppers


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and place 24 cupcake liners into cupcake pans.
  2. To make the cupcakes use a stand or handheld mixer. Place the cake mix, eggs, ½ cup of butter, milk, and vanilla bean paste into a bowl and mix on medium speed until combined.
  3. Divide the cupcake batter between 3 bowls.
  4. Add red gel food coloring to one bowl and mix it to the desired shade.
  5. Add sky blue gel food coloring to one bowl and mix it to the desired shade.
  6. Leave the third bowl of batter as is.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of red batter to each cupcake liner, followed by 1 tablespoon of sky blue, and 1 tablespoon of white.
  8. Repeat adding a tablespoon of each color again so cupcake liners are about three-quarters full.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
  11. red white and blue marbled cupcake
  12. To make the frosting use a stand or handheld mixer. Place the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream into a bowl and mix on medium speed until you get creamy stiff peaks.
  13. If your frosting starts looking like powdery rocks, add another tablespoon of cream.
  14. Scoop one-quarter cup of frosting into 3 bowls.
  15. Add red gel food coloring to one bowl and mix it to the desired shade.
  16. Add sky blue gel food coloring to another bowl and mix it to the desired shade.
  17. Leave the third bowl of frosting white.
  18. Fit a medium star tip to a large piping bag and place inside a large cup, pulling the bag over the cup's edge.
  19. Spoon the red icing down one-third side of the piping bag.
  20. Spoon the blue icing down another one-third side of the piping bag.
  21. Spoon the quarter cup of white icing down the final one-third side of the piping bag.
  22. Twist the top of the piping bag and squeeze the frosting down to the tip. Set aside.
  23. Use an ice-cream scoop to add a scoopful of the remaining white icing onto each of the cupcakes.
  24. Flatten the top and smooth out - remove any excess if you feel necessary.
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  26. Pour the sprinkles into a bowl and dip the frosted cupcake in the sprinkles to cover the top and sides.
  27. Red White and Blue Cupcake Sprinkles
  28. Pipe a small swirl of the multi-colored frosting on top the sprinkle covered frosting.
  29. Multi Colored Frosting
  30. Add a star topper to each cupcake and enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 0gSugar: 64gProtein: 2g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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4th of July Cupcakes - step by step photos of the cupcakes being decorated with an image of a baked cupcake, followed by one with frosting added, then one with sprinkles, then with colored frosting, then finally the finished cupcake with a star topper on the top.

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