These 4th of July cupcakes are perfect for any Independence Day cookout or celebration! They have a cute fondant decoration on top of them that are perfect for people that aren't confident in their piping skills. The cupcakes are a homemade vanilla cupcake recipe that can easily be colored with gel food color too!
4th of July Cupcake Recipe
Cookouts and outdoor parties are huge on the 4th of July. It's always nice to bring a dessert to the party or some kind of dish to pass. My go-to dishes are always pasta salad because it's my favorite thing to eat or dessert.
These cupcakes will stand up to the heat as long as they aren't in the direct sunlight. Take these fourth of July cupcakes in the house or in a shady area outside otherwise the fondant might become droopy and the frosting under the fondant will probably be drippy. Let's avoid droopy and drippy, what do you say?
These can also make some pretty awesome Captain America cupcakes for those Marvel fans. Hellooo Captain America's shield! We haven't watched the new Avengers movie, but I think I remember my husband saying that there's a new shield in it though.
Things you'll need for these 4th of July Cupcakes:
How to decorate cupcakes with fondant
First, you'll want to add a layer of frosting to your cooled cupcakes. If the cupcake topper is going just on top of the frosting like these ones, feel free to add a nice amount of frosting. You can pipe it or use spread it with a spatula as long as it's level.
Next, lay down parchment paper and dust it with powdered sugar. Dust your rolling pin too. Begin rolling out the fondant and picking it up and turning it after every few rolls. This will help keep things loose and moving. If anything wants to stick, dust it with powdered sugar.
Cut out the fondant into the circles like I did. Paste each layer together with either water or frosting. The fondant will dry out so keep it covered with plastic wrap to keep it soft and pliable.
Can I use something other than powdered sugar to dust the fondant and rolling pin? Yes! You can also use cornstarch.
Can you color your own fondant instead of buying it colored? Yes! I use gel paste food color to color it but it does get sticky and harder to work with. Keep the powdered sugar or cornstarch on hand. I wouldn't recommend trying to color it with regular liquid food color though.
How to make this 4th of July cupcake recipe
4th of July Cupcakes
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 T. milk
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
- red, white, and blue fondant
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
- Combine the baking powder, salt, and flour into a small mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate all of the dry ingredients. Alternately add in the dry ingredients and milk starting and ending with flour mixing well after each addition. I added half of the dry ingredients, all of the milk, and the rest of the dry ingredients. Fill the liners with the cake batter. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Around 18 minutes, insert a toothpick into the cupcakes and if it comes out clean the cupcakes are done.
- Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool completely.
- In a mixing bowl, add in the all of the ingredients and beat on low until most of the powdered sugar is incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium, and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Set aside.
- Cupcake TopperGently roll out the red fondant to about ⅛" thick on a piece of parchment paper dusted with powdered sugar. If the fondant starts to get sticky, use a little more powdered sugar on the rolling pin and parchment paper.
- Use the largest 2.75" cookie cutter to cut out the red fondant.
- Add the frosting to the top of the cooled cupcakes making sure that the frosting is level. You can also use a piping tip and a straight tip to pipe a level swirl. Doing this after cutting out the fondant will prevent the frosting from having time to crust. Place the large red fondant circle on top.
- Roll out the white fondant and use the 2.25" cookie cutter.
- Apply a small amount of water or frosting on the back of the white fondant and stack on top of the red.
- Use the 2" cookie cutter on the red fondant, apply water or frosting to the back of the circle and stack on top of the white fondant circle.
- Roll out the blue fondant and use the smallest 1.5" cookie cutter to cut a blue fondant circle.
- Apply a small amount of water or frosting to the back of the blue fondant and stack on top of the other colors.
- Lastly, use the small star cookie cutter to cut out a white fondant star and stack on top of the cupcake.
- Repeat with all cupcakes.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)