I hope you all had a fun 4th of July! I was looking for an easy “to go” dessert for our fireworks picnic yesterday and thought these Fourth of July cupcakes were the perfect festive treat. The cake and the frosting are swirled in red, white and blue; however, you can modify the colors for any holiday, or your favorite sports team.
Yields: 24 cupcakes
1 box white cake mix, prepared according to directions
1 package white cupcake papers
red and blue gel food coloring
1/2 cup softened butter
2 packages softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
Fourth of July Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Separate the cake mix into three separate bowls, about 1 cup per bowl. Add red gel coloring to one bowl, stirring and adding more gel until you have reached a deep shade of red and repeat in a separate bowl with the blue gel. The third bowl, the white batter, should remain uncolored.
Next, in a muffin tin that holds 12 cupcakes, add less than a tablespoon of each color into each muffin paper cup. Each muffin paper should be about half full of batter. I added white to the bottom and then the red and blue side-by-side over the white. You can also layer each color stacked on top of each other. With a toothpick, gently fold and swirl the color together until slightly mixed. If you mix the colors too much, the red and blue will turn purple. Bake for 18-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Swirl Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cream cheese frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Mix in vanilla and then slowly mix in sifted confectioners sugar.
To frost the cupcakes, fold down the top third of a frosting bag and add a large piping tip. Drip a stripe of red gel on the inside of the bag from the piping tip to the fold. Across from this stripe, add another red stripe. Between the red stripes, on opposite sides, add two blue stripes. Push frosting into the bag with a spoon, unfold the bag, twist the bag above the frosting to push it towards the tip, and frost as many cupcakes as possible. I had to refill my bag 3 times for 24 cupcakes, rinsing and adding more gel per refill so that the colors do not get too blended.
I used my own directions for the cupcakes, since I had done this before for my friend’s tie dye birthday cake, but I got the swirl frosting technique from Chica and Jo. They also have printable cupcake collars that are so fun. If I were going to display these 4th of July cupcakes on a table, I would have definitely printed out their collars; however, I didn’t go for it this time since I needed these cupcakes to fit in my cupcake caddy for a picnic.
So what do you think about these 4th of July cupcakes? Is this something you would try?