Red, White and Blue Cupcakes

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: 4th of July Recipes.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Red, White and Blue Cupcakes

Fun recipe for a Memorial Day barbecue or 4th of July...


1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
red, white and blue gel paste


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. and line a 12 cupcake pan with paper liners.

2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

4. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Split the batter evenly into three small bowls. Add red, white and blue gel paste until you achieve the colors that are desired. (The white won't turn completely white, but a squirt or two will lighten up the batter a little bit.)

6. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups- a spoonful of red, white and blue in each cup. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the batter in each cup.

7. Bake 16 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Center should puff up slightly and not feel gooey. Center should feel springy to touch when finished).

8. Cool completely before icing. I used Wedding Cake Buttercream for this recipe. Prepare the recipe for Wedding Cake Buttercream, then divide the frosting into 3 bowls and color red/blue. Put red/white/blue icing in the SAME piping bag, and you'll get a nice swirl effect with all three colors.


*Use clear vanilla extract to get a whiter cupcake.
*Gel paste can be found in baking supply stores. You can also use the Wilton brand that is found in craft stores like Michaels.



  1. postedJun 29, 2010 7:40 PM

    I’m going to try these cupcakes this year- thanks for the idea

  2. postedJun 27, 2011 2:04 PM

    Really love these cupcakes. I use the same technique and expand the color selection with the cupcake mix and frosting to make rainbow cupcakes.

  3. postedJun 30, 2011 4:31 PM

    awwwwww! these are such a great treat

  4. postedJul 6, 2012 5:10 AM

    How do you do the swirls in the frosting without it mixing and looking weird?

  5. postedJul 16, 2013 12:44 PM

    LOVED these cupcakes. They were delicious and looked great for the 4th. Thanks so much for another fab recipe

  6. postedMay 21, 2014 6:25 PM

    Couldn’t you just use a box white cake mix divided into thirds, one part dyed red, the other blue?

    • postedMay 23, 2014 11:25 AM

      If that’s the way you’d like to do it!

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