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4th of July Cupcakes

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Say, “Happy Fourth!” with these festive little 4th of July Cupcakes. These are moist, sweet cupcakes topped with a tangy, cream cheese frosting. If you’re looking for a festive cake option to decorate your dessert table, you must also try my Flag Cake.

decorated 4th of july cupcakes

Vanilla Cake Transformed

Happy 4th of July! 

You guys, these 4th of July Cupcakes are the quite possibly the most patriotic dessert in all the land! My go-to vanilla cupcake recipe gets a makeover with food coloring, killer cream cheese frosting, and sprinkles! Nothing says summer holiday quite like sugar on sugar on sugar. Basically, every kids’ dreams come true.

I brought these to a BBQ a few nights ago and people ended up fighting over them. Like mother against daughter “give me a bite of your cupcake!!” I think they were surprised that a plain old vanilla cupcake could taste that awesome.  Moist, sweet, and tender cake with a tangy, perfectly sweet cream cheese frosting. Simplicity at its best. AND, you probably have all the ingredients on hand 🙂 Cha-ching! Money in the bank. Just be sure to NOT over-bake the cupcakes and to use Philly cream cheese.

Need more frosting options? Try my Buttercream Frosting, Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting, Vegan Chocolate Frosting, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Frosting, Easy Chocolate Frosting Recipe.

Food Coloring + Sprinkles Options

Food Coloring – The fun part about these cupcakes is dying the batter red and blue! I like using gel food colorant because a little goes a long way but liquid food coloring will work too.

Sprinkles – optional but super fun for kids! Use what you have or order special sprinkles for an event.

Can I Use Different Colors?

The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t *have* to use red and blue food coloring! All my Canadian friends could do red and white for Canada Day too! Or, you could pick out some favorite colors and turn these into birthday cupcakes, or school colors for a graduation party. Consider this a tie-dye type of recipe (kinda like these Mini Tie Dye Cheesecakes)! The possibilities are seriously endless!

red white and blue cake batter

How To Make 4th of July Cupcakes

Here you’ll find the step-by-step directions for making the cupcakes and frosting. For full complete details and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Preheat Oven + Prep Muffin Tins

Preheat oven. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.

Make Cake Batter

In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, for 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low, alternate adding in the dry ingredients with the milk until none remain. Scrape sides to ensure even mixing. Fold in whipped egg whites.

Divide + Color Batter

Divide batter between 3 different bowls. Stir red food coloring into one and blue into another one. I tried to find a balance between bright-colored cupcakes vs tastes like gross food coloring cupcakes.

Fill Cupcake Tins, Bake + Cool

Using a cookie dough scoop, spoon a scoop of each of the white, red, and blue cake batters, into prepared cupcake pans, alternating colors. Once muffin tins are filled 3/4 of the way, bake until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted. Set aside to cool completely before frosting.

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat cream cheese and butter together to combine. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Scrape sides and beat for 3 minutes until the frosting lightens in color and thickens slightly.

Frost Cupcakes + Add Sprinkles

Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles. After you pull the paper liners off, kids go NUTS for these!

decorated 4th of july cupcakes

Storing Cupcakes

Because the frosting has cream cheese in it, I would recommend storing these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Make Ahead

You can make these cupcakes a few days ahead of when you need them. Bake and cool cupcakes and store at room temperature in an airtight container or bag. For the cream cheese frosting, store in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to frost, allow to sit out on the counter to soften up. I suggest giving it a quick re-whip until it’s smooth and creamy again. You might need to add a little milk to loosen the consistency.

Can I freeze frosted cupcakes?

Yes! You will want to place frosted cupcakes in a sturdy freezer safe container that will keep the cupcakes from getting smooshed. Avoid placing plastic wrap to cover the tops, that will just make a mess. Cupcakes will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.

half of 4th of july cupcake

More Fourth of July Desserts!

Let me know if you make these this July 4th weekend!

The printable recipe card is down below 🙂

More Fourth of July Desserts!

Let me know if you make these this July 4th weekend!

The printable recipe card is down below 🙂

4th of July Cupcakes

Say, "Happy Fourth!" with these Red, White and Blue Cupcakes. These are moist, sweet cupcakes topped with a tangy, creamy frosting.
servings 18 cupcakes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients

for the cupcakes-

for the frosting-

  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature (Philadelphia brand is preferred)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • sprinkles optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
    Whipping Egg Whites
  • In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla.
    butter and sugar beaten together in a mixing bowl
  • In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Alternate stirring in the dry ingredients with the milk until none remain. Scrape sides to ensure even mixing.
    two images, one is adding dry ingredients the other is adding wet ingredients to a bowl
  • Fold in whipped egg whites.
    folding in egg whites to cake batter
  • Divide batter between 3 different bowls. Stir red food coloring into one and blue into another one.
    red white and blue cake batter
  • Alternating between the white, red, and blue cake batters, spoon into prepared cupcake pans, alternating colors. Once muffin tins are filled 3/4 of the way, bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted. Set aside to cool.
    baked cupcakes in muffin tin
  • For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together to combine. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Scrape sides and beat for 3 minutes until the frosting lightens in color and thickens slightly.
    two images, mixing ingredients to create cream cheese frosting in a bowl
  • Frost cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles.
    decorated 4th of july cupcakes

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 506IU | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red white and blue cupcakes

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7 Responses
    1. Lauren

      I bake them in cupcake tins (half red, half blue) and slice each in half and then match them up so there aren’t any leftovers.

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