These red white and blue cupcakes are perfect for your patriotic celebrations - like 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Election Day, and more! These lemon cake cupcakes are tasty and moist and topped with creamy, delicious buttercream frosting.
These red, white, and blue cupcakes look professionally made, but they’re super easy to pull together! You can whip up the batter in just 15 minutes and prepare the frosting while the cupcakes bake.
Decorating these cupcakes is easy too! All it takes is a couple of basic piping bags and piping tips. And voila! You’ve made some homemade cupcakes that look bakery-made!
This red white and blue cupcake recipe is...
- ready in 1 hour
- a fun patriotic dessert
These cupcakes are perfect for celebrating - think 4th of July cookouts, Memorial Day barbecues, Election parties, and more.
How to Make Red White and Blue Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven and line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Mix together the butter sugar, eggs, and extract.
- Combine the flour and baking powder. Then add to the wet ingredients and mix.
- Finally, add the milk and blend well.
- Spoon the batter into the liners, and bake.
- To make the icing, cream the butter and sugar. Then add in the extract.
- Next, add in the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the milk and continue mixing.
- Divide the icing into three bowls. In one bowl, add blue food coloring. In another bowl, add red food coloring, and in the last bowl, leave it white.
- Fill one piping bag with the blue frosting and another with the red frosting.
- Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe them onto the top of the cupcakes.
- Lastly, put the white icing into the piping bag, and pipe a star on the top of each cupcake.
Scroll down for the full recipe with measurements and detailed instructions.
Tips & Tricks
Liquid Versus Gel Food Coloring
This recipe calls for gel food coloring because it will give you a darker, more saturated color for your frosting. (I use these Wilton Gel Colorings) Add a small amount and then slowly add more if you want a darker color.
If you don’t have gel food coloring, you can use liquid food coloring. But using liquid coloring means your colors won’t pop as much. Be careful that you don’t add too much because too much additional liquid can mess with the consistency of the frosting.
You can buy special piping bag couplers (like these) that allow you to pipe multiple colors together at the same time. But if you don’t have this special piping tip, it’s no problem. Just pipe them on separately.
You’ll just have to get a little more creative with your design. And that can be fun! Here's a great video showing some fun ways to pipe frosting onto your cupcakes.
Make it Vegan
If you want to make these cupcakes vegan, replace the eggs with ¼ cup of mashed banana, use vegan butter, and replace the milk with any non-dairy milk.
For the icing, you’ll just use vegan butter and non-dairy milk. Or use this recipe for a vegan buttercream icing and just add the red and blue food colorings.
Use Coconut Milk
If you love extra moist cupcakes, one easy variation is to replace the milk with canned coconut milk. That will add a slight coconut flavor to your batter, but not enough to be overpowering. And it will make your cupcakes super moist!
Mix up the Flavors
Get creative with the extract flavoring you add to your batter and icing.
I used a lemon extract to flavor these cupcakes, and the flavor was very light and refreshing. You can change out the lemon extract for another flavor - like almond, vanilla, banana, butterscotch, cherry, coconut, coffee, maple, orange, raspberry, or strawberry. There are so many different extract flavors that make for tasty cupcakes.
You can even mix and match, making the frosting one flavor and the batter another!
More Red, White, and Blue Desserts
If you're planning a patriotic celebration, be sure to check out these other delicious red, white, and blue desserts:
- Red, White, and Blue Ice Cream
- Patriotic Poke Cupcakes
- Red, White, and Blue Dessert Lasagna
- 4th of July Dessert Trifles
- Candy Coated Red, White, and Blue Pretzel Rods
- Patriotic Party Snack Mix
- Red, White, and Blue Poke Cake
Red White and Blue Cupcakes
- 3-Color Icing Kit, optional
- Piping Bags, optional
- stand mixer
- Cupcake Pan
- Cupcake Liners
Make the Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line cupcake pan with paper liners
- Mix together the butter and sugar until creamy
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time
- Mix in the extract
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder; add to wet ingredients and mix well.
- Add milk and blend in
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling to about ¼ inch from the top
- Bake on the center rack of oven for approx. 25 minutes. Tops should be slightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean
- When done, remove from pan and cool on a wire rack
Make the Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy
- Add extract and mix in
- Gradually add in powdered sugar, mixing well on medium speed and scraping bowl often
- Add milk and blend in
- Divide icing into three bowls. Remove and set aside approx. ¼ cups of icing from each bowl for the white stars.
- Add blue food color to one of the larger bowls and red to the other. Amount to add depends on how deep you want your color. I added approx. ¼ tsp to each bowl.
- Fill one piping bag with blue and one with red. Attach to the multi-color coupler according to instructions on package. There is a three-color option but I only used two. (link included below) Pipe the multi-color swirl. I used the 1-A tip. included.
- Place the white icing into a piping bag and add a star to the top of each cupcake. I used a 4-B tip (not included in kit.) (check out the video included for piping info.)