Red, White and Blue Confetti Cupcakes

Hi friends! I hope everyone is having a great summer so far. It's been hotter than blazes here, so I've been doing a lot of cooking and baking at night when temperatures cool. It's been nice - mostly quiet except for the whir of the electric mixer and two lazy pugs snoring on the kitchen floor. I could get used to being a nocturnal baker. (Maybe.)

It's hard to believe that July 4th is just days away! I love celebrating this day. I'm so proud to be an American and I love my country - a place where I'm free to pursue my dreams and my own idea of happiness (which tends to involve quite a lot of baking). We celebrate in our own small way - usually with an intimate cookout, packages of sparklers (instead of fireworks) and cupcakes for dessert.

This recipe begins with a very basic - and very tasty - yellow cake recipe. It's one of my favorites. Sometimes I add sprinkles to the batter and sometimes I don't. It's a buttery blank canvas for nearly any flavor or flourish you wish to add. For this iteration, I used Betty Crocker Decorating Decors Red, White and Blue mix in the batter. These sprinkles are usually stocked in the baking aisle at the grocery store, but you could also order a similar variety here.

The starry cupcake liners can be purchased here, and the American flag picks can be found here. For the double swirl frosting technique, I suggest using 16 inch disposable piping bags, which can be found here and an extra-large closed star piping tip which can be found here. Since July 4th is fast-approaching, check your local craft store baking aisles for these supplies because there's a very good chance that patriotic supplies will be discounted!

This is a great little yellow cake recipe to know, and I feel certain you'll enjoy it. And for those celebrating with fireworks- stay safe!

Red, White and Blue Confetti Cupcakes
Yields about 2 dozen cupcakes

Use blue paper cupcake liners to give these cupcakes a patriotic appearance. For the swirled piping effect, you’ll need three large clear disposable piping bags and an extra-large closed star decorator’s piping tip (see blog post for sources). For the cake confetti, I used Betty Crocker Decorating Decors in Red, White, and Blue. These are usually available in the cake mix aisle at the grocery store. Pick up two 1.75 ounce bottles for the required 1/2 cup of sprinkles needed for this recipe.

Yellow cupcakes
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup red, white and blue sprinkles (I used Betty Crocker Jimmies)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons red gel food color
Milk or heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 22 muffin cups with paper liners.
Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Scrape the bowl down and beat again briefly. Fold in the sprinkles using a large rubber spatula

Fill prepared cups 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
Make the frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Begin on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and beat again for another minute. If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency.

Place half of the frosting in a 16-inch disposable piping bag. Close the top with a rubber band. Tint the remaining icing with the red food color. Transfer to another 16-inch disposable piping bag; close with a rubber band. Fit a third piping bag with a large star tip (just drop it in the bag no coupler needed –see this video for further instruction). Snip ends of the frosting-filled piping bags and fit their tips evenly into the piping bag fitted with the star tip. Hold the bag over the cupcakes while squeezing the bag and rotating it in a clockwise motion. Make at least two passes. Decorate with American flag picks, or as desired.

link Red, White and Blue Confetti Cupcakes By Published: Patriotic Red, White and Blue Confetti Cupcakes


  1. I love what you did w the batter and that two-tone frosting!
    Happy 4th, hon! xo

  2. Those look perfectly patriotic! Can't go wrong with classic confetti cakes :)

  3. Fantastic, so fun to eat!


  4. I've always loved to read your posts. These look perfectly patriotic, colorful and fun! Happy 4th of July :)

  5. That frosting looks amazing!

  6. So cute and fun! I love that frosting, it looks perfect!

  7. Hi Heather! I love your website, everything is so beautiful. I made this cupcakes with the icing today. The cupcakes didn't raised and they turned brown on the top, but still raw inside. I followed the recipe exactly as written by you. I used "I cannot believe its butter" at room temperature. You wrote " 2/3 cup butter, room temperature". I used 10 tablespoons of the butter, which I believe is the conversion to 2/3 cup. Please, correct me if I am wrong. I left the cupcakes 6 more minutes in the oven so the middle could cook, but then the top of the cupcakes turned to brown and crusty. The flavor of the cupcake was delicious and everybody ate them and said they were yummy, but with a cookie type crispy crust on top. And OMG!! that icing was so delicious, pipeable and stable. The flavors were perfection, but bummed out that couldn't achieve the consistency of the cupcake. Will adding baking soda help or not really? Please help! Thank you!!

  8. Hi there!

    Thanks for all the awesome feedback! It was almost certainly the substitution of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" for real butter. This particular cake recipe needs the milk solids in butter in order to bake up to perfection. The butter substitute is more like using oil instead of butter in a cake recipe. I believe this created an imbalance of the sugar to fat ratio, and that's why you ended up with brown "cookie tops"! Too much sugar! If you don't have dietary considerations, try it with real butter next time. If you do have dietary considerations, try substituting the butter with 2/3 cup applesauce. I believe it will be a much better substitute in this recipe for real butter. Applesauce is good at distributing moisture. The cake's crumb will be a little tighter, but the cake will be wonderfully moist.

    I'm glad your cupcakes were well received, though! It sounds like you did a wonderful job otherwise. So sorry you ran into a spot of trouble! Thanks for trying the recipe!


  9. Thank you so much for responding! Will try the recipe again with real butter.


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