American Flag Cupcake Cake

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This American Flag Cake is made with cupcakes! It’s makes a perfect dessert for Memorial Day or July 4th. Learn to make this cupcake cake with this easy tutorial.

Birds eye view of decorated cupcakes laid out in the shape of a flag

This Flag Cupcake Cake is the perfect addition to your BBQ for Memorial Day or the 4th of July. Cupcakes are my preferred dessert to bring to a party, and when you turn it into a cupcake cake, it’s even better.

I made these with my vanilla cupcakes, but it would also be good with chocolate or yellow cupcakes as well. Don’t worry about making these from scratch either, using a boxed mix is just as easy. Just make sure you have at least 24 cupcakes. You’ll also need a batch of my vanilla frosting.

Why I love Cupcake Cakes

For me, cupcakes are easier and faster to decorate than a cake. They’re especially great for parties or BBQs because you don’t have to worry about serving and slicing a cake. I love the idea of the cupcake cake because it ties everything together and you can make so many different shapes.

It’s also super handy if you wanted to make different flavors of cupcakes, you can make 12 vanilla and 12 chocolate. It’s the best of both worlds.

close up of red, white and blue frosted cupcakes on a white plate

THE BEST FROSTING FOR CUPCAKES

Everybody loves my vanilla frosting recipe. My secret for making the very best frosting is to start with cold butter which allows you to more closely control the consistency of the frosting. It’s just perfect for decorating and really holds a color well.

Dyeing the frosting

These are bright and bold colors. I recommend using gel colors not food coloring. Gel colors are highly concentrated and don’t make the frosting watery once combined.

Ameri color, Chef Master or Wilton sells lots of individual colors. Wilton however only carries generic colors whereas the other brands have a wider variety of shades of color. Both can be purchased on Amazon or in craft stores such as Michales or JoAnns.

The frosting recipe make approximately 4 ½-5 cups. First dye the blue frosting and then divide the remaining frosting in half.

How much frosting You’ll need:

  • 1-1 ¼ cups of royal blue: If you have only a light blue, try adding a tiny drop of black to make the color darker.
  • 1 1/2 cups of super red: If the red is too bright for you, you can also add a tiny drop of black to darken it. I recommend using a toothpick to add it.
  • 1 1/2 cups white: undyed frosting

If you need more tips on coloring frosting, follow this helpful tutorial.

How to decorate a flag cake

Fill the piping bags: When decorating cupcakes with multiple piping tips, I use a double bag method. I have one bag filled with the frosting, and another bag for the piping tip and coupler. This allows to easily switch between piping tips without refilling bags.

For the 1M tip, you won’t need a coupler, so that you can drop straight into a piping bag and cut off the tip. For the smaller tips, use a piping bag fitted with a coupler.

If you need more help filling and using piping bags, this is a great tutorial that covers every step.

three piping bags, one filled with vanilla frosting and two bags with piping tips

Base coating of frosting (Optional step): I like to do this when I am using multiple piping tips, so if there’s any holes between the frosting, it’s less noticeable. If you choose to only cover the cupcakes with roses (1M piping tip), then you can skip this step.

Place a small dollop of frosting on each cupcake and spread evenly with an angled spatula. This does help cover the edges of the cupcakes. You don’t need a very thick layer; I’d say about a teaspoon of frosting on each one and try to spread it out to the edges with an offset spatula.

overhead view of cupcakes with a dollop of frosting, 6 of them are frosted

Pipe the roses: First use a 1M piping tip to make the large roses. I did 2-4 per color.

A vanilla cupcake frosted with a vanilla buttercream rose

Pipe the remaining cupcakes: First I made smaller roses and then filled in around it with the smaller piping tips. For these, use a small piping bags fitted with a coupler so you can easier change out the piping tips as you go. Here you can see what it looks like without a base coat of frosting.

Assemble the cake: You can lay this out on a sheet pan for easy transport or in a large cupcake box. Garnish with sprinkles.

Helpful Tools

How to store frosted cupcakes

Once frosted, cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and are best consumed within 2-3 days. If you live in a warm climate, you might need to refrigerate these cupcakes (in an airtight container), but be sure to serve at room temperature for best results.

Birds eye view 24 cupcakes frosted in red white and blue laid out like a flag with lots of sprinkles
Print
close up of red, white and blue frosted cupcakes on a white plate

American Flag Cupcake Cake

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes

Description

This American Flag Cake is made with cupcakes! It’s makes a perfect dessert for Memorial Day or July 4th. Learn to make this cupcake cake with this easy tutorial

Ingredients

  • 1 batch vanilla cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cup (339 g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 6 cups (780g) powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ (12 ml) tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the cupcakes

  • Prepare a batch of 24 cupcakes. Cool completely before frosting. 

Make the frosting:

  • Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, beating until the butter is very fluffy.
  • Alternate adding 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time with the liquid ingredients: vanilla extract & heavy cream. Ensure the powdered sugar is well combined, and whip for 1-2 minutes before adding more powdered sugar.
  • Finally, increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting. 

Color the frosting:

  • Dye 1 cup of frosting blue. Drop approximately 8 drops of gel color into the frosting and mix well. Add additional drops of gel until desired color is reach. 
  • Divide the remaining frosting in half, and color one half red (following the step listed above for blue) and leave the other half undyed. 
  • Prepare a couple of piping bags: at least 1 or 2 small piping bags fitted with couplers and one small bag without a coupler for the 1M piping tips. 

Assemble: 

  1. Set up your cupcakes in a rectangle shape, 6 across and 4 rows. For all the cupcakes you’ll be frosting, place a small dollop of frosting (appx 1 teaspoon) on each cupcake and spread evenly with an angled spatula. You’ll need 6 blue, 9 red and 9 white. 
  2. First use a 1M piping tip to make the large roses, I recommend 2-4 per frosting color. 
  3. Next, pipe smaller roses with the 1M tip and then, use the smaller piping tips, size 21 and and size 199 to fill in the gaps making rosettes. Decorate with sprinkles. 

Notes

  • These can be made up to 2 days in advance,
  • Storing frosted cupcakes: Cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and are best consumed within 2-3 days. If you live in a warm climate, you might need to refrigerate these cupcakes (in an airtight container), but be sure to serve at room temperature for best results.
Nutrition Information:
1 cupcake
400
47g
118mg
18g
58g
.4g
3g
57mg
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Flag cake, Cupcake cake, July 4th desserts

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