Firecracker Cupcakes (Patriotic Recipes)

Firecracker cupcakes are one of my favorite festive patriotic recipes to make for a 4th of July party or Memorial Day picnic. This is a fun, delicious, easy dessert recipe and great table decorating idea for any patriotic-themed party.

Patriotic recipes like these Firecracker Cupcakes from @itsyummi are SO cute! They're loaded with Pop Rocks candy for an explosion of fun!

Memorial Day is less than 2 weeks away, and summer’s not far behind. That’s why we’ve teamed up to give you ideas for your warm weather party activities. Each day this week, we’ll bring you a variety of recipes and entertaining ideas. Everything from appetizers, main dishes, and desserts, to decor and printables. We hope you enjoy all of these wonderful posts!

Today’s sponsor is World Market. I love World Market! From furniture and accessories to food and drink, they’ve got everything you need for entertaining. They have beautiful multicultural pieces that are unique and stylish (from over 50 countries!). Work Market has something for every room, every theme, every occasion, and every season – and their Gourmet groceries are fabulous! I seriously wish I could win this fabulous prize! Do you know that you can follow World Market on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter? Yup, now you do. 🙂

OK, aren’t these firecracker cupcakes adorable?!

Popping good! Firecracker cupcakes are an easy cupcake dessert with Pop Rocks candy in the middle.

Festive cupcakes, perfect for a 4th of July party, Memorial Day picnic, or any day you’re feeling patriotic and want a sweet treat!

However, I owe you a big apology – I’m so very sorry!  I’m doing a horrible thing here, breaking nearly every baking rule that I set for myself and this blog last year.  I made a vow to stop making dessert recipes with boxed cake mixes, but here I am, showing you a recipe that uses TWO of them!

I also promised not to use any more artificial food coloring, but whoops – bring on the blue!  To top it off, I said that I wouldn’t post dessert recipes that are full on, 100% junk food.  *KABOOM*  #BloggerFail  These firecracker cupcakes were made with boxed cake mixes, canned frosting, and they’re loaded with teeth rotting, mouth popping, totally fun candy inside. But I couldn’t resist, because they’re so stinkin’ cute!

Patriotic recipes like these Firecracker Cupcakes from are SO cute! They're loaded with Pop Rocks candy for an explosion of fun!

Besides, firecracker cupcakes are fun to eat, and so easy to make that your kids can help you!

After you pin or print the recipe, scroll down for more picnic-worthy, patriotic recipes!

Patriotic recipes like these Firecracker Cupcakes from are SO cute! They're loaded with Pop Rocks candy for an explosion of fun!

Firecracker Cupcakes

These firecracker cupcakes will be a hit at your Memorial Day or 4th of July party! They’re stuffed with Pop Rocks candy for a delicious explosion of fun!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 1069 kcal


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • ½ box red velvet cake mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • blue food coloring
  • 3 packages Pop Rocks candy
  • Black licorice ropes
  • White frosting (less than 1/4 cup)


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  • Make 8 ounces (1/2 box) of red velvet cake batter according to box directions, adding 1/2 cup sour cream before mixing. Be sure to use HALF of the ingredient amounts called for on the box! Set bowl aside.
  • Make white cake batter according to directions on box, adding 1/2 cup sour cream before mixing. Split cake batter into two equal amounts, adding blue food coloring to one portions until a bright blue color is achieved.
  • Coat three, 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray and lightly flour the bottoms. Add the three batters to the pans and bake at 350 degrees for 18-23 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out with a few crumbs.
  • Allow cakes to cool in pans on wire racks, then turn out from pans onto a cutting board.
  • Using a 1.5 inch round cookie cutter, cut circles from each of the baked cakes. (You should get about 8 circles from each cake.
  • Using a jumbo sized straw or an apple corer, remove the center from each of the cake circles. Be sure to save the centers from the red and blue cupcakes, as you’ll need them to plug the bottom of the blue cupcakes and the top of the red cupcakes after filling them.
  • Pipe a line of frosting around the top edge of the red and white cake circles. Stack the white cakes on top of the blue cakes and the red cakes on top of the white cakes.
  • Add Pop Rocks down the hollow centers of the stacked cakes. Put a portion of the red cake plugs back into the tops, covering the center filled with Pop Rocks.
  • Use kitchen to cut licorice rope pieces approximately 1-1/2 inches long and insert them into the centers of the red cakes.


For maximum popping potential, pour the Pop Rocks into the cake centers no earlier than one hour before serving. The moisture in the cakes will cause the Pop Rocks to snap and crackle a little bit right away. After about four hours the Pop Rocks lose most of their popping power, so plan accordingly. br]
Recipe adapted from [She Knows


Calories: 1069kcalCarbohydrates: 160gProtein: 10gFat: 52gSaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 701mgFiber: 9gSugar: 120g
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

Here are more picnic-worthy patriotic recipes that you can serve with the firecracker cupcakes.

Macaroni Egg Salad

Southern Style Mustard Potato Salad

Southern Style Mustard Potato Salad Recipe. Tender potatoes, crunchy celery, mustard, eggs, and a creamy dressing make this side dish a family favorite.

Summer Fruit with White Chocolate Dip

Patriotic Quinoa Fruit Salad

Patriotic Quinoa Fruit Salad from

Red, White and Blueberry Cups

Patriotic recipes like these Firecracker Cupcakes from @itsyummi are SO cute! Cupcakes made with boxed cake mix are stuffed with Pop Rocks candy for an explosion of fun! | easy desserts


  1. 5 stars
    WOW! These are so fun Becca! I’m totally going to make these for fourth of july this year 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    These are so cute, and the pop rocks? LOVE it. Such an inventive idea.

    And World Market? I could get lost in there for years.

    1. Thanks, Karen. Yeah, World Market is a very dangerous place for my wallet and I to hang out 🙂

  3. Holy Batman, Chef Becca! These are absolutely incredible! What a delicious and fun summer recipe….perfect for Memorial Day and July 4th and Labor Day and well, just any day. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!! (p.s. I totally loved pop rocks when I was a kid…thanks for the trip down memory lane!)

    1. Haha! Thanks so much, Dave! I hadn’t seen or eaten Pop Rocks in about 30 years, so when I stumbled over them at the dollar store, I couldn’t resist!

  4. Becca, I’m so glad you broke every rule because I’m absolutely LOVING these cupcakes!! They look so unbelievably fun.

  5. CUTE!! These were totally worth breaking a couple blogging promises 😉 I’m pinning these to my summer board.

    1. Thanks for making me feel better about my naughty rule-breaking, Andi! I’m not really very remorseful, because they were INCREDIBLY fun to make 😉

  6. Wonderful firecracker cupcakes recipe, Bec. Thx for sharing and have a great weekend. Can i post it on my blog?

    1. Thank you, Jill. I don’t allow full recipe sharing, but if you’d like to post one of my images and a link to this post on your site, you are more than welcome to do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please rate this recipe!