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Patriotic Cupcakes

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Surprise family and friends with these fun, layered cupcakes. Whether you’re celebrating July 4th, hosting a backyard gathering for Memorial Day, or welcoming a soldier home from duty these patriotic 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.

I love that these patriotic 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.


Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Use a white cake mix only. A yellow cake mix won’t give you vibrant colors.
  • Frost the cupcakes with my favorite white buttercream frosting. 
  • Use store-bought tub frosting for a shortcut.
  • Gently spoon each color into the cupcake liner.
  • 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, 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.

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.

I made my family’s favorite buttercream to top these cupcakes. You can find the recipe below. 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 Pinterest image.

Are you looking for more patriotic recipes?

These 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.

Patriotic cupcakes Twitter image.

Celebrate America's Independence with patriotic cupcakes.
A red, white, and blue cupcake with white frosting and sprinkles of a plate.

Patriotic Cupcakes

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Patriotic Cupcakes for patritotic holidays.


  • 1 package white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • ½ teaspoon blue food coloring
  • ½ teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1 recipe for buttercream frosting, recipe below
  • Red, white and blue sprinkles (jimmies, non-pariels or stars)


  1. Prepare cake mix batter according to package directions for cupcakes. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1-⅓ cups batter and the blue food coloring. In another bowl, combine 1-⅓ cups batter and the red food coloring. Leave remaining batter plain.
  3. 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.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Prepare buttercream frosting and frost cooled cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below!

Easy buttercream frosting will be your new go-to for decorating cakes and cupcakes.

Easy Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This buttercream is perfect for cakes, cupcakes and cookies.


  • ½ cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


    1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
    2. Gradually add sugar, about one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
    3. Gradually add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.


This recipe is for stiff consistency buttercream, which is excellent for piping decorations like flowers. However, it will need to be thinned for icing cakes and borders. Add milk in small quantities until desired consistency is achieved.

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Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below!

Originally published on June 27, 2017 and updated May 28, 2021.

Amy (Savory Moments)

Saturday 29th of May 2021

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!


Saturday 29th of May 2021

Such an easy to make and fun red, white, and blue recipe!

Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious

Saturday 29th of May 2021

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

Karen @Karen's Kitchen Stories

Friday 28th of May 2021

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

Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Friday 28th of May 2021

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!

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