Vanilla “Firecracker” Cupcakes

How to make firecracker vanilla cupcakes red marshmallow firecracker

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Home made butter flavored vanilla cupcakes feature whipped cream frosting, 4th of July sprinkles and edible marshmallow coated firecrackers. Easy recipe and garnish to make for every Patriotic holiday.



Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup water

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 teaspoons white food gel-optional

Dry Ingredients

13/4 cup all purpose flour

11/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Whipped Cream Frosting*

2 cups heavy whipping cream, well chilled

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces -4th of July Patriotic candy sprinkles

Edible Firecracker- makes 12 one for each cupcake

12 standard marshmallows

12 ounces red candy melts

1/21 teaspoon shortening

1 roll black licorice or 46 sticks of twizzlers


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake or muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Fit stand mixer with paddle attachment. In mixing bowl add all wet ingredients, beat on medium speed to blend. Add white food gel if desired for bright white cupcakes.
  3. In separate mixing bowl sift together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to wet ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy about 5 minutes.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into prepared cupcake liners filling 2/3 full.
  5. Bake cupcakes on baking tray in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until center of cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and cool before frosting. Frost cupcakes right before serving for best results. Or use canned or home made buttercream to frost ahead.
  7. Make Frosting:  In chilled mixing bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, add heavy cream and whip on high speed until soft peaks form, add confectioners sugar and vanilla, whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  8. Fit disposable piping bag with tip # 1 M and fill bag with whipped cream.  Pipe large swirl over the top of the cupcakes, sprinkle with 4th of July Patriotic sprinkles, garnish with edible firecracker.

Making Edible Firecracker

  1. In medium microwave safe bowl, melt 12 ounces of red candy melts at 30 second intervals until fully melted. If melts are too thick add 1/2 -1 teaspoon shortening to thin for dipping.
  2. Insert toothpick in center of marshmallows, dip marshmallow in center of candy melts and spoon melts over mallow to coat evenly.  Place a fork under the mallow and tap against side of bowl to remove excess melts. Place coated marshmallow on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. Allow to set up or chill until firm to touch.
  3. Cut licorice rope or twizzler in length desired for firecracker wick, insert wick into center of coated red marshmallow.
  4. Place marshmallow firecracker on top of piped whipped cream frosting.  Serve immediately.


* You can use 2 cans of purchased vanilla whipped buttercream instead of making the fresh whipped cream.  Whipped cream will provide for a lighter and not so sweet frosting.

If you are planning to serve this on a summer hot day, keep cupcakes chilled as long as possible if using whipped cream. If using buttercream, place cupcakes out of direct sun.