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Close up photo of a 4th of July cupcakes decorated with a mini blue top hat and red star sprinkles.
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5 from 1 vote

4th of July Cupcakes

4th of July Cupcakes are deliciously light and fluffy with a patriotic candy filling and then topped with a smooth buttercream frosting! Made with a doctored-up boxed cake mix!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Cooling Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 435kcal



Candy Filling

  • ¼ cup red and blue mini M&Ms
  • ¼ cup red sprinkles
  • ¼ cup blue sprinkles
  • ¼ cup holiday stars

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar
  • red and blue gel food coloring optional

Toppings (optional)

  • Sprinkles
  • Candy holiday stars


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together, cake mix, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and salt.
    1 white cake mix, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Slowly, add in water, sour cream, egg whites, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until everything has been combined.
    1⅓ cup water, 1 cup sour cream, 4 large egg whites, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pour or spoon batter into the lined cupcake pan. Make sure to only fill about 2/3 of the cupcake liner, since the batter will rise a bit.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 22 minutes or until the center is baked.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  • In a small mixing bowl mix together sprinkles, candy stars, and mini-M&M’s.
    ¼ cup red and blue mini M&Ms, ¼ cup red sprinkles, ¼ cup holiday stars, ¼ cup blue sprinkles
  • Cut out the center of the cupcakes and fill with 1-2 teaspoons of sprinkled candy mixture. Add top back to the cupcake to hold filling in.
  • Preparing Frosting- With an electric hand mixer or a kitchen aid, cream together butter and shortening until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
    1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • Add in heavy cream and vanilla extract.
    ¼ cup heavy cream, 2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • Slowly, add in confectioners sugar a little at a time. If frosting is too thick you can add 1 teaspoon of heavy cream until you have reached the texture, you are looking for. Mix frosting for another 3 minutes.
    5-6 cups powdered sugar
  • If you are wanting to dye the frosting red or blue, do so at this time.
    red and blue gel food coloring
  • Add frosting to a piping bag and pipe cupcakes.
  • Top with sprinkles, star fondant, or candy stars.
    Candy holiday stars, Sprinkles


  • Where’s The Best Place To Find Holiday Sprinkles For This Recipe? My favorite places to check are Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Jo Ann Fabrics. I usually grab some on clearance after the holidays. This way I always have a rainbow of colors to pick from!
  • I Don’t Care For Sour Cream, Can You Taste It In This Recipe? Not at all, the sour cream just brings this recipe to the next level. It makes them richer and creamier than what you’d get in a normal box cake. Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream if desired though.
  • Can These Cupcakes Be Made Ahead Of Time? You could make these the day before you need them and they’d be just fine! 
  • Could I Use A Whole Egg In This Recipe Instead Of Just The Egg Whites? I recommend that you stick to just using egg whites. Doing so is really what makes the cake light and fluffy.
  • Which Piping Tip Works Best For These Cupcakes? For a bakery-style look, I’d suggest 2A, 1M, 6B, and 2D.
  • How Long Can I Store Leftovers Of This 4th Of July Dessert? Leftovers will remain good for up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container.
  • Variations: There are so many fun things you can do with this holiday cupcake recipe! Here are some ideas and tricks to try!
    • Colored Frosting! Do all blue frosting or all red! If you're really up for some fun, you could even make a tie-dye frosting! This is done by separating the frosting into 3 colors. Then just add a spoonful of each to each side of the pastry bag.
    • Make Them American Flag Cupcakes! Simply grab some mini American Flags from the craft store to stick into each cupcake.
    • Dye The Cupcake Batter! Use food gel to dye the color of the batter for a more patriotic look!
    • Switch Them Up For Any Holiday! Use the method of coring and filling cupcakes to make a dessert for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or even Easter! Do so easily just by grabbing holiday sprinkles that fit the occasion!


Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg