These fun Firecracker Cupcakes have a red, white, and blue surprise inside. A licorice topper and sprinkles make these patriotic treats so fun to eat and share at summer picnics or barbecues.
(post and pictures updated June 2018)
Do you need a super easy and fun dessert for the Fourth of July??? My daughter and I had so much fun making these red, white, and blue Firecracker Cupcakes and this Red White and Blue Bundt Cake together.
These are the perfect summer cupcake to bake with your kids. We loved seeing how different each cupcake baked up depending on what color we started with on the bottom.
The cupcake recipe you use below will determine how swirled the colors will bake. One recipe will create layers, and the other recipe will create swirls.
How to make Firecracker Cupcakes:
Mix up your cake batter using a box mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, and oil. (If you want to go the easier, swirled route, just make the recipe on the back of the box.) We like to jazz up our cupcakes with a pudding mix because it gives it such a great texture and taste.
Divide the batter evenly into 3 bowls. Tint two bowls with red and blue gel colors.
Place 24 liners in a cupcake pan. Place 1 spoonful of each color in the bottom of each liner. Repeat with spoonfuls of the other two colors. You can alternate which color you start with to make each cupcake different. Bake and cool.
Swirl the vanilla frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes using an icing bag and icing tip 1M. Top with red, white, and blue sprinkles and a licorice candy fuse.
Take these Firecracker Cupcakes to all the summer picnics you are invited too. But BEWARE because once people know you can make such cute stuff, it will be expected for every 4th of July picnic you attend.
More fun red, white, and blue treats for summer picnics:
- Swirls of colors make these Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Bars a fun dessert to share at holiday parties this summer.
- Sprinkles and holiday M&M’s make these Fireworks Cookies and Cream Cookies a great summer treat for the cookie jar.
- These easy No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake Parfaits have layers of cookies and fruit and a chocolate covered strawberry.
- The swirls of color in this 4th of July Tie Dyed Fudge from Taste & Tell is so fun!
- A batch of Red, White, and Blue Stained Glass Jello Stars from Brown Eyed Baker would be perfect for holiday picnics.
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Firecracker Cupcakes recipe and video:
For the Cupcakes
- 1 vanilla cake mix (see note below)
- 1 - 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup oil
- 4 eggs
- blue and red gel food coloring
For the Frosting
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 package pull and peel licorice, cut into small pieces
- red, white, and blue sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 24 liners in a cupcake pan.
- Beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat for 1 minute on low, and 2 minutes on medium.
- Divide the batter evenly into 3 bowls. Add a little red and blue food coloring to two of the bowls.
- Fill your cupcake liners 2/3 full by alternating colors 1 Tablespoon at a time. Change it up by starting with a different color each time. Bake 20-22 minutes or until the top springs back. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat the butter, salt, and vanilla until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream until completely mixed in. Beat on high for a minute or until light and fluffy.
- Use an icing bag and icing tip 1M to swirl the frosting on the cooled cupcakes. Push a short piece of licorice into the top of each cupcake and add sprinkles on top. Store in a loosely sealed container.
*To get swirls like the pictures, just use the ingredients from the back of the box.
**Using the pudding mix recipe will give you cupcakes that look like the video. We prefer the taste and texture of this version more.