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These are the cutest patriotic cupcakes that are perfect for your 4th of July celebration! They are an easy surprise inside cupcake recipe the kids can make and everyone can enjoy. If you need an easy July 4th dessert you will love this easy cupcake recipe!

Fireworks surprise cupcake cut in half to show red white and blue sprinkle surprise in middle

I don’t know about you, but our 4th of July celebration is not complete without some red, white and blue cupcakes. I always look forward to coming up with a new and fun way to make them and this year it’s all about these surprise inside cupcakes!

If you’ve never had one, a surprise inside cupcake looks like a regular cupcake on the outside, but inside there’s a little surprise – in this case, patriotic sprinkles that are perfect for the holiday. Sometimes they’re called pinata cupcakes, too. They might look complicated but this recipe is so easy. It’s a great one to make with the kids!

These cupcakes are so adorable and once you learn how to make them you can easily switch up the sprinkles and frosting for any holiday or celebration. 

Make Them from Scratch or Use Shortcuts!

What I love best about this recipe is that you can make them really easy with some shortcuts. Or, you can make them totally from scratch – the choice is yours. 

Sometimes there’s just not enough time to make it all from scratch – we all need a break, right? So, feel free to make them as easy as you want – no one will even guess when you serve them. They’ll love the little surprise inside!

Close up shot of Fireworks surprise cupcakes with sprinkles on top and around

How to Make 4th of July Cupcakes

The first thing you need to do is bake 24 yellow cupcakes. You can make them from scratch or use your favorite cake mix to make it really easy.

Once they’re baked allow them to fully cool. Once cooled you can create the “surprise inside”!

  • Gently slice a round circle from the middle of each cupcake. Remove the piece you cut out and set it aside.
  • Fill the hole you made with sprinkles. I used cute patriotic sprinkles in mine.
  • Place the part you cut out back in the hole. You will only need part of it – enough to fill the top since the sprinkles are inside.

For the frosting you can make homemade vanilla frosting or buy two cans of store-bought frosting. I kept mine white, but feel free to tint it if you like.

Frost each cupcake and top each with more sprinkles.

Make Them Ahead and Storage Tips

Once you’ve filled and frosted the cupcakes, they will keep well for up to four days. Just loosely cover them so the frosting stays nice and keep them in the refrigerator. You can serve them straight from the fridge or let them warm to room temperature.

Customize Your Cupcakes for Any Holiday!

Once you know the trick in making these surprise cupcakes you can use any flavor of cupcake, frosting and sprinkles you like!

  • Red and green for Christmas
  • Orange, brown and white for Halloween
  • Pastel colors for Easter
  • Red, pink and white for Valentine’s day
Fireworks surprise cupcake with cupcake wrapper coming off

These are just a few ideas – the possibilities are endless! These July 4 cupcakes are such a fun treat –once you try them everyone will request them for every party. So, grab the sprinkles and enjoy!

Other fun 4th of July Ideas

Fireworks surprise cupcake cut in half to show red white and blue sprinkle surprise in middle

Fireworks Surprise Cupcakes Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Fun easy cupcakes with sprinkles inside for the 4th of July!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 24 cupcakes
Serving Size 1 serving


  • 24 yellow cupcakes baked and cooled (or use a box mix)
  • 2 cans vanilla frosting or from scratch
  • 1 cup red white, and blue sprinkles


  • Bake and cool cupcakes according to package directions.
  • Gently slice a round circle from the middle of the cupcake, taking out part of of the cupcake. Fill the hole with sprinkles and replace part of the piece you took out.
  • Frost cupcake and top with more sprinkles.
  • Store loosely covered in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Fireworks surprise cupcake cut in half to show red white and blue sprinkle surprise in middle with recipe title on top of image

These surprise inside pinata cupcakes are the perfect 4th of July cupcake recipe! This is an easy cupcake idea that kids can make to celebrate the American Flag!! They’re so simple and fun.

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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