My second favorite holiday is just around the corner. 4th of July is one of the happiest days in my year. I love BBQs and parades and fireworks. I love red, white, and blue. I love being American.
The other day I remembered a valuable lesson. I wanted to make these cupcakes for an event that I was attending and I was in a hurry and my heart wasn’t in it. But I made 3 batches of cupcakes from scratch and started to make the frosting anyway. They just didn’t look right and they tasted, well, not the taste I was going for. The word disgusting comes into mind. I opened my trash can and watched my afternoon fall into the garbage can. I knew better than to try to bake something when I was not feeling it and when it was 100+ degrees outside. I was baking out of obligation. The thing is, it was self-imposed obligation. No would care if I showed up with cupcakes or not. The lesson is this, cut yourself a break sometimes. I was depressed about my big baking fail and it set the tone for everything else that I did for the rest of the day. The next day I showed up to the event empty handed and no one noticed or even cared. Lesson learned.
So today, I decided to head back into my kitchen. Today I did something that I normally would not do. I opened a box of cake mix. Guess what, my cupcakes are delicious and they scream fun. They scream 4th of July and they scream celebration. And I love them. I take my red, white and blue seriously and do not have a subtle hand with it. If I can sparkle it, give it some patriotic colors, or stick a flag into it, so help me, I am going to do it.
You can also see my Flag Cake and some other fun patriotic Desserts over at thekitchn.com
Make 2 boxes of your favorite white cake mix. I use gel food coloring because the color is deep and true. You can get it at craft supply store or order it online. Get your batters to your desired colors. Remember though that it will bake a touch darker.
I start with blue on the bottom.
Add the white layer, then cover the top with red. I spread the red all over the top because I want people to be surprised when they bite into these.
I made a batch of cream cheese frosting. (I used 1 stick of butter, 1 brick of cream cheese, 2-3 cups powdered sugar, a teaspoon or so of vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.) You could always use a canned frosting too.
I got this great idea from tidymom.net. Take the sparkly decorating gel and draw two blue lines and two red lines on the inside of the piping bag. Fill the bag with the white frosting. When you pipe it, it gives a cool tie-dye, effect.
See? Super cute.
But I do not know how to leave a good thing alone sometimes. If you have a cabinet full of sprinkles (not that I am actually admitting that) but if I did, I say go big or go home, use them. Who doesn’t love a red, white and blue non-pareil or a candy star?
Wait, you have paper U.S. flags? Oh, by all means. Do not let those go to waste. It is America’s birthday after all.
Those look yummy.
I don’t mind if I do.