These Red, White and Blueberry Cupcakes are light, fluffy, and so festive! Perfect for patriotic holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day!
Red, White and Blueberry Cupcakes Recipe
How do you feel about food coloring? I must confess… I’m not a huge fan of it. So baking for patriotic holidays can be a bit of a struggle!
But not anymore!!! Because these adorable red, white, and blueberry cupcakes are naturally festive thanks to lots and lots of fresh berries. The base of this cute recipe is a simple white cupcake. I swirled some fresh blueberries and raspberries into the batter to create our red, white, and blueberry base. Then the cupcakes are topped with a swirl of cream cheese frosting. And finally, decorated with raspberries and blueberries. Both layers feature a fun red, white, and blue color scheme without a drop of food coloring!
These are also really fun to make with kiddos! You can bake and frost them, then give them a small bowl of berries and let them do the “decorating”.
Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
What Ingredients do I need to make White Cupcakes with Berries?
- butter: this cake calls for 4 ounces of unsalted butter, but salted will work in a pinch! simply reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe by a 1/4 teaspoon.
- sugar: for snow white colored cupcakes, be sure to use ALL granulated sugar.egg whites: you’ll need 4 large egg whites. but don’t throw those egg yolks away! you can place them in a small storage container and save them for another recipe.
- lemon zest: adds a very light lemon flavor.
- flour: because we want the moistest cupcakes possible, this recipe uses cake flour, which is extra finely ground and gives baked goods an extra soft texture. In grocery stores, you’ll find cake flour in the baking aisle.
- baking powder and baking soda: our rising agents.
- salt: to balance out the flavors.
- almond extract: adds a light almond flavor that goes great with the berries!
- milk and sour cream: for moisture! be sure to use full-fat milk.
- raspberries and blueberries: fresh are best, but frozen will work in a pinch! just don’t thaw them first!
And that’s it! I don’t use vanilla in this recipe, but you can add a splash. Just be aware that unless you’re using a clear colored vanilla extract, it may alter the color of your cupcakes.
You’ll also need cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, and cream to make the frosting. You’ll beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Then add in the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, then beat in the cream. It’s that easy!!!
How to bake Red White and Blue Cupcakes:
- This might be a no-brainer, but you will need a cupcake or muffin tin for this recipe. I haven’t tested this using a different pan size so I cannot advise on how that would work. You’ll also need a stand mixer or electric hand mixer for this recipe! Unfortunately, this recipe cannot be made without an electric mixer, as the butter and sugar MUST be beaten at a high speed.
Now that you know what equipment you’ll need, let’s run through the process together:
The first thing you’ll want to do is preheat your oven to 350 and line your muffin tin with cupcake liners. After that you’ll beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Then gradually beat in the sugar, lemon zest, and almond extract and beat this mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. At this point, you’ll want to reduce your mixer speed to low and add in those egg whites, a little bit at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, and beating well after each addition. ONE QUICK AND IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE EGG WHITES: you must beat them before adding them to the batter. I go into detail on this in the recipe box below, but I just want to double stress how important this is! It only takes about 2 minutes, but it’s a crucial step in the batter coming together the right way. You want to beat them until the top is super foamy.
Finally, you’ll add in the milk and sour cream, then toss in the dry ingredients.
Toss the Berries in Flour
To avoid your berries sinking to the bottom of your cupcakes, give them a quick toss in a little flour before gently folding them into the batter.
Lastly, you’ll divide the batter evenly among the prepared pan and bake for about 22 minutes. You’ll want to bake the cupcakes until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Be sure to cool the cupcakes in the pan, placed on a cooling rack, for 15 minutes before removing them from the pans to cool completely.
For the Red, White and Blueberry Cupcakes:
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature, and *lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, if using frozen don’t thaw first
- 1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen, if using frozen don’t thaw first
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 12 ounces cream cheese, VERY soft
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, VERY soft
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, more if needed
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (tiny pinch)
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
For the Red, White and Blueberry Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a 12-mold cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add in the sugar, then toss in the lemon zest and almond extract and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low and add in the beaten egg whites, a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- On low speed, beat in the sour cream, then the milk. Turn mixer off.
- Add in 1 and 1/2 cups of the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a fork to lightly toss the dry ingredients together. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the batter, mixing just until combined. Be sure not to over mix here or your cupcakes will be dense! Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the blueberries and raspberries with the remaining cake flour and toss to coat. Gently fold the berries into the batter, stirring just until combined.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared cupcake liners.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a cupcake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs attached. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-speed until completely smooth; about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Add in cream. Once the cream has been incorporated, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until very fluffy.
- Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, spread or pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes. Decorate with fresh berries.
- Cupcakes are best served the day they are made, but will keep, in an airtight container in the fridge, for 3 days.
*Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Place the yolks in a small bowl and save for another use, or discard them. Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Using a whisk, lightly beat the whites until they look frothy and small bubbles appear on the surface. They are now ready to be added to the batter.