Patriotic Cupcakes

patriotic cupcakes on a metal rack on a white background.

5 from 1 review

Patriotic Cupcakes are a fun, festive way to celebrate summer holidays! Whether it's Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day, I'm sure these star-spangled cupcakes will be a hit. Tender vanilla cakes topped with red, white, and blue frosting are easy, cute, perfect for a backyard picnic.


Units Scale

For The Cupcakes:

  • 180g all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups)
  • 110g granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 50g light brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 120g neutral flavored oil (avocado, canola, vegetable) (1/2 cup)
  • 120g whole milk- room temperature (1/2 cup)
  • 56g sour cream- room temperature (1/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs- room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 170g salted butter- room temperature (3/4 cup)
  • 320g powdered sugar- sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk
  • Red and blue gel food coloring



  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with 12 paper liners
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Next, pour the oil into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture resembles a wet paste.
  4. In a large measuring cup, or bowl with a spout, whisk together room temperature milk, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour/oil mixture and stir until you get one smooth, silky batter.
  6. Next, fill your paper liners in the prepared cupcake pan 3/4 of the way full. Bake the cupcakes for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Once the vanilla cupcakes are baked through, carefully take them out of the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.


  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on high for 2-3 minutes. It should look white in color and fluffy once done.
  2. Next, add the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Begin by mixing on low speed, and once the powdered sugar is all incorporated, turn the speed up to medium/high and mix for 1 minute. If the frosting is to thick, you can milk 1 tablespoon at a time until your get the right consistency.
  3. In two smaller mixing bowls, scoop about 1/2 cup of frosting into each. Dye one bowl blue and the other red.
  4. Next, to a piping bag fitted with your tip of choice,(I use a 2D), use an offset spatula to spread a small stripe of the blue frosting up one side of the bag. Clean the spatula and use it again to spread a stipe of red frosting opposite the blue in the piping bag.
  5. Fill the bag up with most of the remaining white buttercream, squeeze until the frosting begins to come out of the piping tip, and pipe a swirl on top of your fully cooled cupcakes.
  6. If you run out of frosting before you're done decorating, repeat steps 4-5 in a clean piping bag. Or you can mix the colors together in the same bag for a more tie-dye effect.


  • Use room temperature ingredients: When all of the ingredients are the same temperature, the batter comes together much smoother and results in a more tender cupcake.
  • Reverse creaming method: I use this method in my recipe because I really wanted a tender, moist cupcake. This is a different method than you may be used to, but trust me it's amazing.
  • Measure properly: The ingredient measurements are listed in grams so that you can bake the best treats every single time. The scale eliminates a lot of the errors and mismeasuring that can occur when you're measuring with cups.
  • Don't overfill the cupcake wells: You'll see in the recipe card below I clearly state to fill each well 2/3 of the way full. That creates a nice round top without overflowing and looking like a muffin.
  • Use an oven thermometer: Every oven heats differently and may not always be accurate. I like to use an oven thermometer so I know I'm baking at the correct temperature and that the time listed is pretty accurate.
  • Cool completely: Before piping on the frosting, allow the cupcakes to cool completely to room temperature, otherwise the buttercream will melt off.
  • Serve fresh: These patriotic cupcakes are best if served within 24 hours of baking them. I do not recommend baking them a few days in advance, or else they'll be stale by the time you need to serve them.
  • Storing: Keep leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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