Hi friends! I hope everyone is having a great summer so far. It’s been hotter than blazes here, so I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking at night when temperatures cool. It’s been nice – mostly quiet except for the whir of the electric mixer and two lazy pugs snoring on the kitchen floor. I could get used to being a nocturnal baker. (Maybe.)
It’s hard to believe that July 4th is just days away! I love celebrating this day. I’m so proud to be an American and I love my country – a place where I’m free to pursue my dreams and my own idea of happiness (which tends to involve quite a lot of baking). We celebrate in our own small way – usually with an intimate cookout, packages of sparklers (instead of fireworks) and cupcakes for dessert.
This recipe begins with a very basic – and very tasty – yellow cake recipe. It’s one of my favorites. Sometimes I add sprinkles to the batter and sometimes I don’t. It’s a buttery blank canvas for nearly any flavor or flourish you wish to add. For this iteration, I used Betty Crocker Decorating Decors Red, White and Blue mix in the batter. These sprinkles are usually stocked in the baking aisle at the grocery store, but you could also order a similar variety here.
The starry cupcake liners can be purchased here, and the American flag picks can be found here. For the double swirl frosting technique, I suggest using 16 inch disposable piping bags, which can be found here and an extra-large closed star piping tip which can be found here. Since July 4th is fast-approaching, check your local craft store baking aisles for these supplies because there’s a very good chance that patriotic supplies will be discounted!
This is a great little yellow cake recipe to know, and I feel certain you’ll enjoy it. And for those celebrating with fireworks, stay safe!
Red, White and Blue Confetti Cupcakes
- 2/3 cup butter at room temperature
- 1-3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup red white and blue sprinkles (I used Betty Crocker Jimmies)
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons red gel food color
- Milk or heavy cream optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 22 muffin cups with paper liners.
- Make the cupcakes: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Scrape the bowl down and beat again briefly. Fold in the sprinkles using a large rubber spatula
- Fill prepared cups 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
- Make the frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Begin on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract and beat again for another minute. If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency.
- Place half of the frosting in a 16-inch disposable piping bag. Close the top with a rubber band. Tint the remaining icing with the red food color. Transfer to another 16-inch disposable piping bag; close with a rubber band. Fit a third piping bag with a large star tip (just drop it in the bag no coupler needed –see this video for further instruction). Snip ends of the frosting-filled piping bags and fit their tips evenly into the piping bag fitted with the star tip. Hold the bag over the cupcakes while squeezing the bag and rotating it in a clockwise motion. Make at least two passes. Decorate with American flag picks, or as desired.