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Red, white, and blue 4th of July Cupcakes are made with all the flavors of the classic rocket pop popsicle! With cherry, lemon, and blue raspberry frosting, this gluten free Fourth of July dessert will be a bigger hit than the fireworks at your summer barbecues and picnics!
Homemade Gluten Free 4th of July Cupcakes
It’s the season for barbecues and picnics and all things red, white, and blue. When you make your hamburgers and hot dogs and baked beans, it’s always fun to add some patriotic desserts to the menu.
Years ago, my friend Serene made these Rocket Pop Cupcakes. Based on the classic red, white, and blue popsicle, not only do they have the festive colors of that nostalgic treat, but they also were infused with the flavors, too.
The cupcakes have a hint of lemon, just like that overall sweet and tart citrusy flavor in the ice pops. But the real fun is in the frosting. The red is flavored with cherry, the white is the classic lemon, and the blue is none other than blue raspberry (thanks to the help of a box of Jello). Take a bite and you’ll be brought back to buying a frozen treat from the ice cream truck!
They were so amazing that I couldn’t let my gluten free friends (or myself) miss out on this super cute and tasty sweet treat. So now everyone can enjoy them with this 4th of July cupcake recipe,whether it is Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day. Or really any warm summer day!
For the lemon cupcakes
This recipe is ever-so-slightly adapted from my perfectly fluffy gluten free vanilla cupcakes. A little less vanilla and adding some lemon extract gives these the perfect citrusy rocket pop flavor.
- Plain Greek yogurt: This makes the cupcakes nice and moist with a perfect, tender texture. The tangy flavor also enhances the lemon.
- Oil: Be sure to use a neutral oil like vegetable or canola oil, or even avocado oil. Melted coconut oil would give a nice hint of flavor too.
- Vanilla extract: Just a little to balance the citrus.
- Lemon extract: Give the cupcakes that tangy flavor reminiscent of the rocket pop popsicles.
- Egg: You’ll need a large egg. Let it sit out a bit to come to room temperature.
- Milk: Whole milk is the best, but you could use lowfat milk or even almondmilk.
- 1:1 Gluten free flour: Be sure to use a 1-to-1 baking blend, like Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour or Cup 4 Cup.
- Sugar: Can’t have a nice, sweet cupcake without sugar.
- Baking Powder: Make sure your cupcakes rise.
- Salt: Just a little balances and enhances the sweetness.
For the red, white, and blue frosting
You’ll start with my simple vanilla buttercream frosting, but a little color and flavor is what turns basic cupcakes into 4th of July cupcakes!
- Unsalted butter: Let it soften to room temperature.
- Powdered sugar: This makes your frosting thick and sweet.
- Heavy cream: Just enough to give it a smooth texture.
- Salt: Just a little balances out the sweetness.
- Cherry extract and red gel food coloring: For the cherry red frosting. Gel food coloring give it a more intense color without thinning out the frosting too much.
- Lemon extract: For the white lemon frosting.
- Blue Raspberry Jello gelatin powder and blue gel food coloring: For the blue raspberry frosting. Again, using gel is the best option.
How to Make Patriotic Gluten Free Cupcakes
These gluten free 4th of July cupcakes are quite simple. Just like most cupcake recipes, you’ll combine the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients, then mix it all together. There is one extra step, letting the batter rest a bit. This gives the gluten free flour the chance to absorb the liquid so that your cupcakes are the right texture.
- Preparations. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12-count muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Combine the Wet Ingredients. Whisk together the yogurt, oil, vanilla extract, lemon extract, egg, and milk in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the Dry Ingredients. To the wet mixture, add the gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together until just combined.
- Let the Batter Stand. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and allow it to stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This allows the flour to absorb more liquid.
- Fill Cups, Bake, and Cool. Once the batter is ready, fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make the Frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, then blend in powdered sugar, cream, and salt until smooth and creamy. Add additional cream or powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.
- Color and Flavor the Frosting: Divide the frosting into three bowls. Add cherry extract and red food coloring to one, lemon extract to another, and the Blue Raspberry Jello mix and blue food coloring to the third. Stir each until the color and flavor is evenly distributed.
- Decorate the Cupcakes: Transfer the frosting into piping bags and pipe onto the cupcakes. I used a Wilton 2A tip for the red and white frostings, and a Wilton 1M tip for the blue frosting to give them that firecracker look. But you can get creative.
Can you make these in advance?
The cupcakes themselves will keep for up to two days at room temperature, in airtight containers. You can even freeze them in a shallow, air-tight container or zip-top bag, and store in the freezer for up to three months.
If you aren’t frosting the cupcakes right away, you can store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Allow it to come to room temperature before piping.
The finished Gluten Free 4th of July Cupcakes can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
You Might Need
- Wilton Gel Icing Colors give the vibrant red and blue you need for these patriotic cupcakes.
- Make them super festive with decorative cupcake liners.
- Cherry extract, lemon extract, and blue Jello provide the classic popsicle flavors in the frosting.
- Don’t forget the Wilton 2A and 1M tips plus pastry bags for perfect piping.
Gluten Free 4th of July Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
For the frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (2 sticks)
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract
- Red Food Coloring – recommend Wilton Red No Taste Gel Icing Color
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 Tablespoon Blue Raspberry Jello gelatin powder
- Blue Food Coloring – recommend Wilton Royal Blue Gel Icing Color
For the cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12-well cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, vanilla extract, lemon extract, egg, and milk.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Whisk together until just combined.
- Cover the mixing bowl with cling film and allow to sit for 20 minutes. This allows the gluten-free flour time to absorb more liquid.
- Once the batter is ready, fill each cupcake liner 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until cooked through. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the frosting
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, cream (starting with 4 tablespoons), and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add additional cream or powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.
- Divide the frosting into three bowls.
- In one bowl, add the cherry extract and red food coloring. Stir to combine.
- In another bowl, add the lemon extract, stir to combine.
- In the last bowl, add the blue raspberry Jello and blue food coloring. Stir to combine.
- Add the frosting to piping bags. I used a Wilton 2A tip for the red and white frostings, and a Wilton 1M tip for the blue frosting.
- Pipe the red frosting on first, folowed by the white, and blue, or as you prefer to decorate them.
- Store cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
- Hit your cupcake pan on your counter before putting it in the oven. This will bring any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface.
- These unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days at room temperature, or up to 3 months in the freezer.