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4th of July Cupcakes

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This award winning red velvet recipe is the perfect base for 4th of July cupcakes! Red, white, and blue give you a festive look that is ideal for your backyard parties and festivities.

Red Velvet 4th of July Cupcakes

Recipe Features

  • Make-Ahead: You can make these cupcakes in advance which helps you be able to enjoy the day!
  • Family Favorite: THE most requested cupcake recipe for family parties.
  • MY Favorite Frosting: I’m a sucker for the tang of cream cheese. This frosting is light, perfectly sweet, and addicting!

I’m not even kidding when I say this recipe is award winning. I’ve used it as a base to many baking competitions and won. It’s easy to whip up (no mixer required) and the perfect vibrant red you need for that patriotic look. Pair it with a navy blue liner and some fun toppers for the perfect red white and blue cupcakes!

red velvet cupcakes in a baking tin

Patriotic Cupcakes Ingredients

A lot of recipes use the swirl of three colors directly in the batter. To simplify, I opted to use just one color for the batter and add the other colors with the use of a liner and frosting. BOY was this a great idea. The patriotic colors really POP and give you the most gorgeous and stunning dessert recipe. Here’s what you need for the cake:

  • Cake Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Soda and Salt
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Food Color
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla

Cake Flour Substitute

When you are all out of cake flour, or just don’t want to add another item to your pantry, you can use this substitute: Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a 1 cup measuring cup. Top with all-purpose flour.

Buttermilk Substitute

In a pinch, we substitute buttermilk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar added to a liquid measuring cup. Top off with milk to the 1 cup line. Let sit for 5 minutes, stir, and use as called for in the recipe.

4th of july cupcakes being decorated with cream cheese frosting

How To Make 4th Of July Cupcakes

From start to finish I was done with these cupcakes in an hour. The longest part is chilling the cakes so you can add a dollop of frosting. And you do NOT need a mixer for the cake (recommended for the frosting)! I whisked these by hand and got the most light and moist cake! It’s dreamy.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Shift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk the eggs, oil, food coloring, milk and vanilla until combined.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients. Use a whisk or hand mixer to stir until the ingredients have incorporated and most of the clumps have smoothed into the batter. It’s ok if there are still a few.
  5. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared liners. I find that about 1/4 cup is perfect.
  6. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the top puffs and a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the liners and allow to cool completely.

The BEST Cream Cheese Frosting

The frosting is dreamy and creamy and deserves a post all on its own. And maybe one day it will get that. But for now all I will say is that you NEED TO MAKE THIS. It is so simple and gives you a vibrant white color without the use of food coloring. Even my cream cheese haters love this recipe.

  1. Combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment.
  2. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  4. Add the cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl once halfway through.
  5. Frost your cooled cupcakes.
decorated 4th of july cupcake on a white plate

4th of July Cupcakes Tips and FAQs

  • Use room temperature ingredients. This ensures even mixing and a perfect batter. Why is this important? Overmixed batter will produce dry and crumbly cake and could also result in your cupcakes sinking in the middle.
  • Do not over mix your batter. I like to mix this cupcake batter by hand. It uses oil in place of butter which makes the process super simple.
  • Use a scoop (affiliate) for even cupcake sizes. This isn’t necessary but does make it super simple to keep your cupcakes even.
  • Olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil are the oils I stick with when making cakes. They don’t have a bold flavor which means that they will not overpower the cake like an olive oil would.
How to make a 4th of July cake

Want this to be a layer cake vs cupcakes? No problem!
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of three 8-inch cake pans with parchment and grease the sides. Set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, corn starch and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer or a large mixing bowl.
3. Using a large measuring cup, combine the oil, eggs, buttermilk, food color, extract, and vinegar. Whisk to combine.
4. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, keeping the mixer on low speed, until the batter has just come together and is smooth.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

How far in advance can you make cupcakes?

Cupcakes can be made up to two days in advance. Cover unfrosted cupcakes in plastic and keep stored at room temperature. Frost just before serving.

Can you freeze cupcakes?

Yes! You can freeze cupcakes for up to three months! It’s incredibly simple and the best method for keeping them fresh is as follows:
1. Bake and cool the cupcakes.
2. Individually wrap each cupcake in plastic wrap.
3. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
4. Place frozen cupcakes on the counter to thaw about three to four hours before ready to serve.

4th of July cupcake decorations

Decorating cupcakes could not be easier! There are so many decorating ideas for the 4th of July. Here are a few of our favorites:
Cake Toppers
Red, white, and blue candy melts drizzled on top
And Sprinkles:
Patriotic Sprinkles (the colorful ones I used on the white cookies)
Red White and Blue Star Sprinkles
White Star Sprinkles
White Nonpareils (the ones I used on the blue dipped cookies)

red velvet cupcake decorated with red white and blue sprinkles and a red star

More 4th of July Desserts

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4th of July Cupcakes

4th of July Cupcakes

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Frosting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This award winning red velvet recipe is the perfect base for 4th of July cupcakes! Red, white, and blue give you a festive look that is ideal for your backyard parties and festivities

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons red food color
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Navy Blue Cupcake Liners

For the Frosting:

  • 1-1/4 cups salted butter, cold but slightly softened
  • 6 oz cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Toppings:
  • Red White and Blue Sprinkles

Instructions

For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Shift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk the eggs, oil, food coloring, milk and vanilla until combined.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients. Use a whisk or hand mixer to stir until the ingredients have incorporated and most of the clumps have smoothed into the batter. It’s ok if there are still a few.
  5. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared liners. I find that about 1/4 cup is perfect.
  6. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until the top puffs and a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the liners and allow to cool completely.


For the Frosting:

  1. Combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment.
  2. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  4. Add the cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl once halfway through.
  5. Frost your cooled cupcakes. Top with patriotic sprinkles.

Notes

  • Use room temperature ingredients. This ensures even mixing and a perfect batter. Why is this important? Overmixed batter will produce dry and crumbly cake and could also result in your cupcakes sinking in the middle.
  • Do not over mix your batter. I like to mix this cupcake batter by hand. It uses oil in place of butter which makes the process super simple.
  • Use a scoop (affiliate) for even cupcake sizes. This isn’t necessary but does make it super simple to keep your cupcakes even.
  • Olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil are the oils I stick with when making cakes. They don’t have a bold flavor which means that they will not overpower the cake like an olive oil would.

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