It’s time to break out the red, white, and blue in ALL the desserts, starting with these amazing Patriotic Disney Ears Cupcakes! Yummy red velvet cupcakes are topped with two layers of frosting, tons of sprinkles, and finished off with stars and stripes fondant Mickey Ears and a red fondant Minnie bow! Perfect for the 4th of July!
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Patriotic Disney Ears Cupcakes
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
I’ve got another awesome batch of Disney cupcakes for you to try for the 4th of July and if you love making themed desserts for the holidays, you simply must make these Patriotic Disney Ears Cupcakes!
If you’re celebrating Independence Day at home with family and friends, or with a picnic in the park, or somewhere else entirely, you will be everyone’s favorite person when you bring out a tray of these red, white, and blue cupcakes!
Mickey’s ears and Minnie’s bow are made using fondant (also known as sugarpaste), which might look tricky, but it’s not as difficult as you might think.
If you’re an experienced cake maker you can probably jump straight to the recipe at the end of this post and get baking! But if not, please read through the steps as I’ve got lots of tips and suggestions along the way!
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may have some baking ingredients in your kitchen already – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed to make these cupcakes have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.
Cupcakes & Frosting Ingredients
- Box of Red Velvet Cake Mix – the usual additional ingredients are changed to butter, milk, and eggs to enrich the cake mix.
- Powdered Sugar – also known as Icing Sugar and Confectioner’s Sugar.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – always buy good vanilla as it really does make a flavor difference.
- Wilton Fondant – these come in 4.4oz packages and just the right size for these cupcakes, but you can use any brand you like.
- Patriotic Sprinkles – you can use any sprinkles that you like! Make a mix of your own with different single sprinkle types, or buy a ready-made mix. Whatever you use, you will want about 2 cups to decorate the cupcakes. You will need red, blue, and silver (or white) sprinkles for these patriotic cupcakes.
- Silver Color Mist/Edible Cake Spray – to spray stars onto the fondant ears.
- Red Color Mist/Edible Cake Spray – to spray stripes onto the fondant ears.
Cupcake Decorating Equipment
- Round Cookie Cutter – to cut out Mickey’s Ears you will need a 2″/5cm cutter.
- Fondant Rolling Pin – these have a smooth surface and won’t leave a texture on your fondant when rolling out.
- Wilton Fondant Bow Mold – this one from Wilton is the one used to make the bow you see in the photos in this post. However, for some reason, it’s not available on Amazon, which is super annoying as I use Amazon for everything! Ultimately, use whichever bow mold you can to make a 2″/5cm bow.
- Large Piping Bag – you can use disposable or reuseable, your choice.
- Large Star Tip – for example, Wilton 1M
- Stars & Stripes Stencil – for the fondant ears.
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog! I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
Disney Ears Cupcakes Recipe Tips
Some elements of these cupcakes are made with fondant (also known as sugarpaste): Mickey’s Ears and Minnie’s Bow.
Fondant needs time to dry before using as cake decorations, so allow up to 24 hours to get the pieces made before making and decorating your cupcakes.
If you have never worked with fondant before, don’t panic – it is really easy to use, follow my tips and you’ll be just fine!
- Line a cookie sheet(s) or tray(s)with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat to place the fondant pieces on to dry.
- Dust your work surface with powdered sugar (icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar) or cornstarch (cornflour) so that the fondant doesn’t stick. Think of it like the way you use flour when rolling dough.
- Rub a little powdered sugar/cornstarch into your hands and knead a handful of the fondant to make it more pliable before rolling, rather than using straight from the package.
- Dust your rolling pin too, and roll fondant to about ¼” thick. Some fondant rolling pins have guides you can use. You don’t want it too thick as it will take ages to dry, and you don’t want it too thin as it will become more tricky to work with.
- Cutting the Ears: Pour a little pile of powdered sugar onto your surface and dip the cookie cutter into it before cutting the ears – again, this is to prevent sticking.
- Using a Silicone Mold: Dust with powdered sugar before pressing some fondant into the cavity and leveling off, before gently popping out and leaving to dry.
- If there is excess powdered sugar on the pieces, you can gently brush away with a pastry brush, or an unused, clean paintbrush.
- Alternatively, you can use a vodka spray. Pour some vodka into a mini spray bottle and gently mist the fondant wings. Vodka dries quicker than water which is why it is usually used when handling fondant.
- Always make extra pieces – that way if some break or you have another mishap, you have got backups that you can use.
- Leave the cut fondant pieces to harden in a cool, dry place – do not place in the fridge.
- The fondant pieces should be solid enough to handle and insert into the cupcakes after 3 – 6 hours. I personally like to leave fondant pieces to dry for around 24 hours. How long this takes, however, is based on the size and thickness of the fondant, and how humid your house is, so you will need to judge if they will hold up as they need to in the cupcakes.
- If you need to paint or draw onto fondant, make sure the pieces have had time to dry first so that the edible ink or paint doesn’t bleed. Unless that is the look you are going for or the recipe says otherwise. You can spray onto dried or “wet” fondant with edible color mist/cake spray.
- When making cakes or cupcakes that use fondant decorations I like to make them a few days ahead of time which allows for drying without stress. Fondant that isn’t dry enough can mean disappointing end results.
- After using fondant the surface will be super sticky (it always is in my experience!) so you will probably have to wipe away the sugar first, then give it a soapy hot wash over, and then another clean over! You can always buy a fondant rolling mat for easier cleanup.
- Always keep fondant covered when making decorations to prevent it from drying out. And when you’ve finished, wrap up any remaining fondant very well – I double wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. This keeps it fresh and you are able to use it for future cake making.
Cupcake Making Tips
- These cupcakes are made using a box of cake mix – the flavor is enriched by using butter, milk, and eggs, instead of the usual oil, water, and eggs.
- Use your choice of cupcake liners – themed to the cupcakes, plain white or black, or a complimentary color.
- Use an ice cream scoop to equally divide the cupcake mixture between the cupcake liners. Fill them about three-quarters full.
- The cupcakes should be ready in about 20 minutes – test their doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cakes. It should come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked all the way through. Bake for an extra 2 minutes and check again.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cupcake Frosting Tips
- When making the frosting you want the end result to be creamy, smooth, and to hold a stiff peak. You may have to adjust the amount of powdered sugar and cream slightly to achieve the consistency you need.
- These cupcakes are double-frosting, the first layer is flattened and rounded off a bit to create the base for lots of sprinkles, and then there is a swirl of two-tone frosting on top of that. Put an ice cream scoop to good use again for the first frosting layer and use a knife or angled spatula to level it off.
- SPRINKLES! Following the color theme provided in the recipe, you can use any type you like such as nonpareils, jimmies, stars, confetti, pearls, or shapes – you’ll need about 2 cups of them in total to cover the cupcakes.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip to pipe the swirl on top of the sprinkle layer.
- If you feel like you are going to be making a lot of cakes and cupcakes in your future, I think it is worth investing in a set of piping tips so that you know you always have the right ones on hand for a recipe.
- Do not overfill the piping bag with frosting, and make sure you squeeze the frosting down the bag to expel any air bubbles.
- 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 to use on the cupcakes.
More 4th of July Cupcake Recipes
Looking for more cupcakes to make for 4th of July? Check these recipes out next:
- Amazing Brownie Cupcakes for the 4th of July!
- Pretty & Patriotic 4th of July Cupcakes!
- American Flag Cupcakes For 4th Of July!
How Do I Make Patriotic Disney Ears Cupcakes Cupcakes?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, and instructions. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink).
For the Fondant Ears & Bow
- Cornstarch (cornflour), for dusting
- 1 (4.4oz) package of White Fondant
- 1 (4.4oz) package of Blue Fondant
- 1 (4.4oz) package of Red Fondant
- 1 can Silver Wilton Color Mist/Edible Cake Spray
- 1 can Red Wilton Color Mist/Edible Cake Spray
For the Cupcakes
- 1 box of Red Velvet cake mix
- ½ cup of softened unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 large eggs
For the Frosting
- 1½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4½ cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 5-7 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (double cream)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Patriotic Sprinkles Mix*
- Red Sprinkles
- Blue Sprinkles
- White or Silver Sprinkles
- Use cornstarch as you would flour when making dough. Dust your work surface, hands, rolling pin, and cutters. Line a cookie sheet or tray with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
- Knead the white fondant in your hands to make it soft and pliable and roll to ¼"/0.5cm thick.
- Using a 2"/5cm round cookie cutter, cut out 24 white circles
- Place the white circles onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- Knead the blue fondant in your hands to make it soft and pliable and roll to ¼"/0.5cm thick.
- Using a 2"/5cm round cookie cutter, cut out 24 white circles.
- Place the blue circles onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- Leave the circle Disney ears to dry overnight.
- To make the bows, use a silicone bow mold and dust the mold with cornstarch each time you make a fondant bow. The bows should be about 2"/5cm wide.
- Pinch off a small piece of red fondant and press into the bow mold cavity. Carefully remove from mold and set on the cookie sheet to dry overnight or for 24 hours if possible. Repeat to make 24 bows total.
TIP! Always make extra fondant decorations as backup!
- To decorate the ears after they have dried, place the star stencil on top of the blue circles and lightly spray the silver cake spray to leave a star design on the circles.
- Place the stripe stencil on top of the white circles and lightly spray the red cake spray to leave a stripe design on the circles.
- Lightly spray the dried bows with silver spray. Set all the decorations aside to dry.
- To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners and set aside.
- Using an electric handheld or stand mixer, place the cake mix, butter, milk, and eggs into a large bowl and mix until combined and smooth.
- Use an ice cream scoop to divide the cupcake batter between the liners - about three-quarters full.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- To make the frosting, use an electric stand or handheld mixer and add the butter, powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla to the bowl.
- Beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth and stiff peaks form.
- Transfer 2 cups of frosting into a large piping bag fitted with a star tip. Set aside.
- Pour the red, blue, and silver sprinkles into a bowl and stir to mix.
- Use a medium ice cream scoop to place a scoop of frosting on top of each cooled cupcake and use an angled spatula or knife to smooth and flatten slightly.
- Dip and roll the frosted cupcakes into the sprinkles to cover.
- Using the prepared frosting bag, pipe a swirl of frosting on top of the sprinkles layer.
- Place the blue stars ear on the left of the frosting swirl, and the red and white stripes ear on the right.
- Place a red fondant bow in the center of the frosting between the ears.
- Enjoy and Happy 4th of July!
*Use any shape/style of sprinkles that you like, make sure you include stars! You will need around 2 cups total of sprinkles.
Special Equipment Needed:
- Wilton Fondant Bow Mold
- Fondant Rolling Pin
- 1 (2"/5cm) Round Fondant/Cookie Cutter
- 1 Stars Stencil
- 1 Stripes Stencil
- Large Piping Bag
- 1 Open Star (#1M) Piping Tip
- 1 Medium Ice Cream Scoop
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- Red White And Blue Edible Jimmies - 4 ounces
- Wilton Rainbow Jimmies Sprinkles Dessert Decorating Set, 8-Piece
- American Flag Template
- Wilton Metallic, 1.5 oz, Silver Color Mist
- Wilton Red Color Mist
- White Cupcake Liners Standard Size
- Wilton 402-2110 1M Open Star Piping Tip
- Disposable Piping Bags -100 Pack
- Wilton Blue Decorator Preferred Fondant Pack 4.4 oz
- Wilton White Vanilla Decorator Preferred Fondant 4.4 oz
- Wilton Red Decorator Preferred Fondant 4.4 oz.
- Round Cutter Set, 12 Graduated Circle Cookie & Pastry Cutters,
- Fondant Bow Silicone Mold
- Wilton® Fondant and Gum Paste Mold, Bows & Buttons
- Fondant Rolling Pin
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 0gSugar: 33gProtein: 3g
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.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:
- Appetizer: Strawberry Caprese Skewers Appetizer
- Soup: Italian Meatball Soup Recipe
- Salad: Antipasti Pasta Salad
- Main Dish: How To Make Pizza Margherita (On A Cast-Iron Griddle)
- Beverage: Frozen Strawberry Margaritas
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!