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Amazing American flag cupcakes

A recipe inspired by Sally's Baking Addiction

Why just sing “The Star Spangled Banner” when you can eat it? Show your patriotic spirit by bringing a tray of these American flag cupcakes, inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction, to the party! Here, we have not only the recipes for scrumptious cupcakes and frosting, but also the tips and tricks for arranging them to make up your favorite patriotic dessert.

American flag cupcakes make a spectacular party display

Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day — or, really, any day you’re feeling appreciative of our country — all need a dessert that dazzles with the red, white and blue. Cupcakes arranged to represent our American flag are so much easier than oft-served sheet-pan flag cakes — no slicing required! Everyone can just grab a sweet frosted cupcake without missing a minute of the celebration.

To make this the best patriotic dessert you’ve ever made, we used two special recipes from Sally’s Baking Addiction: very vanilla cupcakes and vanilla bean frosting. You’ll need a total of 50 cupcakes: 12 with blue frosting on top, 18 with red, and 20 with white. (We used colored cupcake liners, too, to play up the colored effect.)

The “flag” itself is made up of 48 cupcakes — six rows of 8 cupcakes — with two additional cupcakes that you can set alongside to represent Alaska and Hawaii.

If you’d like stars on the blue cupcakes, just pipe some on with the white frosting, or roll out some white fondant and cut out a few stars. Fifty cupcakes later, you will have an edible rendition of the American flag with a cupcake for each state!

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Whisk to combine the dry ingredients

Whisk to combine for American flag cupcakes


In another bowl, scrape the vanilla bean

In another bowl scrape vanilla bean


Add melted butter

Add melted butter


Whisk together dry ingredients and wet ingredients

Whisk together dry ingredients and wet ingredients


Scoop equal amounts of batter into lined cupcake pan to bake

Scoop equal amounts of batter into lined cupcake pan to bake


Add confectioner’s sugar to start making the frosting

Add confectioner's sugar


Pour in cream and vanilla

Pour in cream and vanilla


Beat until frosting is smooth for these American flag cupcakes

Beat until frosting is smooth for American flag cupcakes


Add blue food coloring to one bowl

Add blue food coloring to one bowl


Mix until the color is even throughout

Mix until color is even throughout


Add red food coloring to another bowl

Add red food coloring to another bowl


Combine until there are no streaks

Combine until there are no streaks


Begin piping frosting onto cooled cupcakes using an open star tip

Begin piping frosting onto cooled cupcakes using an open star tip


Pipe frosting in a circular pattern working inwards

Pipe frosting in a circular pattern working inwards for American flag cupcakes


Repeat with each color for American flag cupcakes

Repeat with each color


Pipe a white star onto the center of blue frosted cupcakes

Pipe a white star onto the center of blue frosted cupcakes


How beautiful and festive are these American flag cupcakes?

How beautiful and festive are these American flag cupcakes?


They taste as good as they look!

They taste as good as they look!


Impressive and patriotic dessert!

Impressive and patriotic dessert!


Gorgeous festive cupcakes that are easy to make & eat!

Gorgeous and easy to do!


American flag cupcakes

Yield 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt or sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla or plain almond milk, cow's milk or soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean

Vanilla bean frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4–5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
  • Salt, to taste
  • Gel or paste icing color or liquid food coloring in red and blue
  • White fondant (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In large bowl, melt butter in microwave. 
  5. Whisk sugar into butter. (Mixture will be gritty.)
  6. Whisk in egg whites, yogurt, milk and vanilla extract until combined. 
  7. Split 1 vanilla bean down middle lengthwise. Scrape seeds from half into wet ingredients. Reserve other half for frosting.
  8. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
  9. Divide batter among 12 cupcake liners.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.
  11. Set cupcakes on wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  12. Beat softened butter on medium speed with electric or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. 
  13. Add confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla extract and remaining vanilla bean seeds with mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if too thick. Add pinch of salt if too sweet.
  14. For blue or red frosting, add coloring to white frosting, beating after each small addition, until you achieve desired color. 
  15. Frost cooled cupcakes with pastry bag fitted with open star tip.
  16. Store cupcakes in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days and in refrigerator for up to 7.

 To decorate: 

  1. Using piping bag for each color of frosting, frost cupcakes: 12 blue, 18 red, 20 white.
  2. To make white stars, use star tip and white frosting, or cut them out of white fondant.
  3. Line up frosted cupcakes to form flag as follows, from left to right:
  • Top row: 4 blue starred cupcakes, following by 4 red cupcakes
  • Second row: 4 blue cupcakes, followed by 4 white cupcakes
  • Third row: 4 blue cupcakes, followed by 4 red cupcakes
  • Fourth rows: 8 white cupcakes
  • Fifth row: 8 red cupcakes
  • Sixth row: 8 white cupcakes
  • Off to left and under flag, place two red cupcakes for Alaska and Hawaii.

Notes

  • You need five batches of cupcakes and frosting for the flag.
  • If vanilla beans are unavailable, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract instead.
  • Heavy cream is recommended for thickest consistency.

Courses Desserts

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