Fun Patriotic Cupcakes


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Surprise family and friends with this fun, unique cupcake recipe. Whether you’re celebrating July 4th, hosting a backyard gathering for Memorial Day, or welcoming a soldier home from duty these American-themed cupcakes are perfect for the occasion.

Pin Patriotic Cupcakes to make later.

A red, white, and blue cupcake with white frosting and sprinkles of a plate.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • I love that these Fourth of July decorated cupcakes start with a mix. The white cake mix is soft and tender and the colors are so vibrant. 
  • The layers are pretty impressive and look good when you bite into them. It’s really a fun treat that’s not only pretty but delicious.
  • The party guests will think you’re so clever! Go ahead and take all the credit!


If you love to bake, you probably have all of the ingredients on hand.

Three Patriotic Cupcakes on a festive patriotic plate.

Tips and Tricks for Making Patriotic Cupcakes

  • Use a white cake mix only. A yellow cake mix won’t give you bright colors.
  • Frost the cupcakes with my favorite white buttercream frosting
  • Use store-bought tub frosting for a shortcut.
  • Use equal amounts of each color batter, so you know what that means…measure the cake batter into thirds before you start coloring it.
  • Gently spoon each color into the cupcake liner. Start with either red or blue.
  • DON’T OVERFILL THE CUPCAKE LINERS! Start by adding the first layer, then go back and even the layers out. You want to use all of each color. No need to save any.
  • After adding each color to the cupcake liner, gently shake the pan to level the batter.
  • Don’t wait to add sprinkles to the cupcakes after you frost them. Frost a cupcake, and add the sprinkles. If the icing sets, the sprinkles won’t stick.

The challenge is getting each color into the cupcake liners evenly. Try to get the colors one on top of the other so they don’t bleed down the side.

If they do, don’t sweat it. They will still be red, white, and blue and taste delicious!

I got 12 cupcakes from the recipe. These festive patriotic dessert cupcakes are sure to be the hit of your 4th of July menu.

A red, white, and blue cupcake with frosting, cut in have to see the layers.

I happened to have red, white, and blue fun star sprinkles, but you could use nonpareils, sprinkles, or jimmies. See some of my favorites below in the recipe card.

You can also use patriotic cupcake liners, although I used white ones because I had them and it’s kind of fun to see the colors of the cupcake through the liner.

Another cute idea is to bake the cupcakes in white liners and then, once decorated the way you want, place them into the festive colored liners.

This keeps the patriotic liners clean and pretty for presentation purposes.

Patriotic cupcakes Pinterest image.

I made my family’s favorite easy buttercream frosting to top these cupcakes. It’s a recipe I’ve been making for years.

I piped a swirl but you can just spread it on with a knife if you prefer.

Short on time? Use store-bought tub frosting in white then add the sprinkles.

Patriotic cupcakes Twitter image.

Are you looking for more patriotic recipes?

In addition to these patriotic cupcakes, patriotic ice cream cones are a fun way to serve your favorite ice cream flavor. All-American patriotic dessert tarts are another kid-friendly dessert everyone will enjoy.

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and 5-star review on the recipe card below. If you really love this recipe, please share it on your social media!

Patriotic Cupcakes

Festive Patriotic Cupcakes for patritotic holidays.
5 from 25 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Desserts and Sweets
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12



  • 1 package white cake mix I used Duncan Hines, plus water, eggs, and vegetable oil called for on the box
  • 1/2 teaspoon blue food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1 recipe for buttercream frosting
  • Red white and blue sprinkles (jimmies, non-pariels or stars)


  • Prepare cake mix batter according to package directions for cupcakes. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1-1/3 cups batter and the blue food coloring. In another bowl, combine 1-1/3 cups batter and the red food coloring. Leave remaining batter plain.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups with evenly with the red batter, then evenly with the plain batter and finally evenly with the blue batter. Bake at 350° for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Prepare buttercream frosting and frost cooled cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles.

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  1. What fun cupcakes! The colors are so vibrant and I’m sure they would be a hit at any gathering for Memorial Day or July 4th!

  2. Thanks for the tip on where you got your red, white and blue sprinkles! Your cupcakes are so, so cute!

  3. 5 stars
    I put a batch of these cupcakes together for a neighborhood get-together and they were a hit! I loved all of your tips and they were so cute. I’ll be making these again for the 4th!

  4. These are super cute! My grandkids would absolutely love them. Those patriotic sprinkles are such a nice tip too.

  5. There’s nothing quite like a festive summer holiday dessert! The only problem? Having to find where I hid all of my food colorings the last time I used them. Why can’t I put them back in the same spot each time??? Oh well, I guess I better start looking for them…because these cupcakes look too adorable not to make!

  6. Adorable! Good tip about the white cake vs yellow cake. That would definitely screw up the colors.

  7. So cute! And I love that they are easily adaptable to our own Canada Day holiday for July 1st! Cupcakes are one of my go-to desserts for outdoor celebrations since no utensils or plates required!

  8. These are so fun! I love the colors that are in the cupcakes. I can see these being a hit at any get together!

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