Red, White and Blue Cupcakes

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Say, “Happy Fourth!” with these Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes. These are moist, sweet cupcakes topped with a tangy, creamy frosting. If you’re looking for a festive cake option to decorate your dessert table, you must try my Flag Cake.

Layered Red, White and Blue Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkles

Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes | With Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy 4th of July! 

You guys, these Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes are the bomb dot com. My go-to vanilla cupcake recipe is pimped out 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, and 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.

cake batter in a metal mixing bowl

Main Ingredients Needed

You’ll likely have everything you need in your pantry already. Here is what you’ll need for these Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes:

  • Egg Whites + Baking Powder – our leavening agents in this recipe. Leavening agents help with structure.
  • Butter – softened, used for moisture and flavor. I like to use salted but feel free to use unsalted.
  • Granulated Sugar – to sweeten and keep things light.
  • Vanilla – for flavoring.
  • All Purpose Flour – to fill out and give volume to the cupcakes
  • Salt – helps to balance out and enhance all the flavors.
  • Milk – helps with moisture and brings the dry ingredients together.
  • Food Coloring – red and blue, used to color the batter. I like using gel food colorant because a little goes a long way but liquid food coloring will work too!

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese – at room temperature. Tangy, creamy deliciousness!
  • Butter – softened, for smooth texture.
  • Powdered Sugar – to sweeten without gritty texture.
  • Vanilla – to flavor.
  • 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. Consider this a tie-dye type of recipe (kinda like these Mini Tie Dye Cheesecakes)! The possibilities are seriously endless!

Two images collaged together. The one on top is unbaked cake batter in a cupcake tin the bottom picture is baked cupcakes in a tin.

How To Make Red, White, and Blue 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.

Step 1: Preheat + Prep

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set it aside.

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: Bake + Cool

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 completely.

Step 5: Make 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 cooled cupcakes and top with sprinkles.

After you pull the paper liners off, kids go NUTS for these!

red white and blue cupcake with peeled cupcake liner all topped with frosting and sprinkles

Storing Red, White, and Blue 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!

Two images in a collage. Red, White & Blue Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. The one on the right has a bite taken out of it.

More Fourth of July Desserts!

ANYWAYS, enjoy your day! Hopefully, these will be in your near future!

The printable recipe card is down below 🙂

Red, White, and Blue 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.
    Blue Cupcake Mixture
  • 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.
    Red, White and Blue Cupcakes
  • 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.
    red white and blue cupcake with peeled cupcake liner all topped with frosting and sprinkles

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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37 Responses
  1. Kathryn

    This is such a great idea, I’m not surprised they went down so well. It’s very hard to beat a good vanilla cupcake.

  2. Meghan @ After the Ivy League

    These are the cutest cupcakes ever! Even though I’m a chocolate nut usually, these vanilla cupcakes look so moist and delicious, not to mention festive! I’m a sucker for cream cheese frosting too…

  3. Living The Sweet Life

    Forget about the kiddies, this has me jumping off the wall!! Great recipe, I’ll be makin these for Canada’s Day … minus the blue ofcourse 😉 … but then a couple days later it doesn’t hurt to add the blue and celebrate the 4th of July too!!

  4. sally @ sally's baking addiction

    Lauren, I just love these. I first made layered, tie-dye cupcakes last year. They are MUCH easier than one would expect. And fool-proof CC Frosting is definitely a recipe to save. these look wonderful Lauren, and without a doubt – the showstopper dessert at any 4th of July party.

  5. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

    Voted for your picture – good luck!

    These cupcakes are so cute! I love the colors in there. I will be saving this to try in a couple weeks. I am making cupcakes and need a killer vanilla cupcake recipe. Thanks!

  6. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    Those are the cutest and most fun cupcakes!!! I love biting into “surprise” cupcakes! And that frosting is to die for…so fluffy!!!

  7. Julia {The Roasted Root}

    The swirls are pretty and fun! My neices and nephews would love to make these with me for the fourth. Great thinking!

  8. Debbie

    I love your blog. You come up with some fun and easy recipes. I made the cupcakes and the frosting. Everything turned out great and tasted good. My only question is I have a lot of left over frosting. Just wondering how that happened. I made 18 regular size cupcakes and frosted them generously.

    1. Lauren

      I typically always use a piping bag and doing that will make me use more frosting. Crack out the graham crackers and dig in!

  9. Shut Up & Cook

    These look so fabulous…cupcakes are an undeniable weakness of mine.

    Loved meeting you at BlogHer food and sharing the Trace dinner together.

    Hope all is well in Portland…give a shout if you get back up to Seattle and we’ll grab a drink!

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  11. Mary O

    I admit…I was making a bunch of desserts for a large party, so made the cake part with (gasp!) a cake mix. Don’t usually do that, but it was a time thing. Will definitely try the cake-part of this recipe here, fairly soon though.

    I did, however, make the frosting. I’m a sucker for all things cream-cheese and just couldn’t resist. It was very simple and had fantastic flavor. My only “complaint”, which I hesitate to use that word, is that on MY mini-cupcakes, the icing was runnier than I was expecting, so it didn’t set-up as nicely as I’d hoped. Perhaps I did something wrong, because I confess, as careful as I try to be, I had several different recipes going at once, so it’s not out of the question that I could have messed up.

    Perhaps, Lauren, you will chime in and say whether or not this frosting is a tad on the runny side…and by runny, I don’t mean it was melting…just enough that I was considering adding confectioner’s sugar. Chilling it didn’t help much.

    Still, it was uber-yummy and I will make it again and play around with it to get the consistency I prefer.

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  13. Elissa

    Fun idea. I used this recipe to make cupcakes for a graduation. I used the school colors for the cupcakes which turned out fun. The cake turned out pretty tasty, but the frosting recipe could use improvement as it was runny. I’ll try again with a different frosting.

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