This festive Red White and Blue Cupcakes recipe is a fun Patriotic dessert to make for July 4th or any special All-American holiday. It's a cake mix hack that makes it accessible to bakers of all skill levels.
Easy Red White and Blue Cupcakes Recipe
These layered red white and blue cupcakes begin with a cake mix. This is by design, making it easy for bakers of all levels to make. You can layer the cupcakes however you like, starting with red or blue to suit your fancy. You can also layer them as I did beginning with red and some with blue. They look especially pretty when displayed this way but it's completely up to you.
How to Make the Best Red White and Blue Cupcakes
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Red White and Blue Cupcakes: One box white cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil. vanilla or strawberry extract, egg whites and water. You'll also need red and blue food coloring gel or liquid food coloring and blue and red sanding sugar to decorate the tops.
- To make the homemade frosting you'll need: Salted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla or strawberry extract, heavy cream.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: A stand mixer or a hand mixer, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls to divide the batter, a silicone spatula or large spoon to scoop the batter, a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off or a piping bag and star tip.
- When layering the colors, use a toothpick to more easily spread the layers in the cupcake liners. Don't swirl or mix all the way through.
- You could also skip the sanding sugar and decorate the tops of these cupcakes with red white and blue sprinkles.
- Do not over bake the cupcakes, as this can make the blue tops turn green.
- Be sure to get all of the batter out of the bowl when dividing. All of the batter will be needed to create even layers.
- The listed amount of food coloring is how much I used, but add as much as you want for your desired intensity in color.
- If time is an issue, you may opt to use your favorite store bought frosting.
- You can use 3 whole eggs rather than the 4 egg whites, but please note the cake won’t be as white and the colors will be slightly altered.
- Store frosted red white and blue cupcakes in an airtight container chilled for up to 5 days or at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- This Patriotic cupcake color combination is ideal for the Fourth of July, but you can try it with other colors for theme parties and holidays.
More Southern Style Cupcakes to Make
Cupcakes are portable which only adds to their appeal. Making them in festive colors is a fun way to commemorate any special occasion. More delicious cupcake recipes you may like to try:
- Red Velvet Cupcakes are better than any bakery cupcake you'll buy.
- Banana Pudding Cupcakes are filled with an easy banana pudding filling.
- Chocolate Samoa Cupcakes are a riff on that Girl Scout cookie we love.
- Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes are so fun to make!
- Cinnamon Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes are made with iced coffee.
- Blueberry Cupcakes from Cooking Classy.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Red White and Blue Cupcakes
- 1 15.25 oz box white cake mix
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup water or milk
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract OR strawberry extract
- red and blue food coloring gel
- red and blue sanding sugar for decorating
- ½ cup salted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon clear vanilla OR strawberry extract
- 3-4 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 12 cupcake liners into the wells of a standard size cupcake pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, combine cake mix, sour cream, oil, water, egg whites, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then scrape the edges of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes longer, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically, until well combined.
- Divide the batter into 3 medium bowls (about 1 cup each). Add red food coloring to one bowl, mixing well after each drop or two, until the batter is a nice red color (about 8-9 drops total). Repeat with another bowl and the blue coloring (about 6 drops total). Do not put any food coloring into the third bowl of batter.
- If you want cupcakes with blue on top, start by spooning 1 tablespoon of red batter into the bottom of the cupcake liners;spread evenly. Next, top with 1 tablespoon of white cake batter. (Likewise, begin with red, then white and blue)
- Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting: Use an electric mixer to whip the butter for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar and and extract. Beat for 1 minute until well combined scraping the sides of the bowl periodically. Add 3 tablespoons cream beating for 1 minute or until smooth and fluffy. Add additional cream as needed 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Spread or pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar. Store chilled until serving.
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