About Patriotic Cupcakes
You guys, I have a confession to make:
I can’t stop buying dessert decorations.
And by “dessert decorations” I mean that my cabinets are overflowing with sprinkles, glitters, cupcake liners, and various shades of food coloring. If it’s something you could sprinkle on a cupcake then I most likely couldn’t stop myself from buying it.
You’d think this must mean that I was a cupcake baking fiend, but as it turns out… not really. When I sat down to write this post I couldn’t even remember the last time I made cupcakes. And with curiosity getting the best of me, I did a search my own recipe archives to see when was the last time I posted one.
As it turns out, my last cupcake recipe was for these Dr Pepper Cupcakes.
And the super creepy part?
The Dr Pepper Cupcake recipe was published on 6/29/15. And then here we are today, exactly one year later, and I am publishing these brand spankin’ new Patriotic cupcakes on 6/29/15. I wish I could say I was clever enough to have planned this out but, sadly, we both know I’m not that cool.
Although, maybe this means I should play the lottery today? Or go play one of those mega winning slot machines at the casino? Because I’m totally okay with being super uncool if it means I get to be a millionaire.
But in all seriousness, I was long overdue to make some cupcakes, and I was pretty excited to make these for a couple of reasons. Not only are they totally perfect for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, but I also got to use one of my favorite sprinkles from my hoarder-like confection collection: these Wilton Edible Glitter Stars.
This is probably only one of the two times a year I can bring these cutie sprinkles out, so of course I had to take advantage. They were the perfect fit for the “vision” I had for these patriotic cupcakes.
Now, I do want to warn you: this recipe is a little food color intensive.
Anytime you make a “velvet” flavored cake (red velvet, blue velvet, purple velvet, etc) we’re already talking about at least one tablespoon of food coloring to get a rich enough color. And you might even need to use more, depending on the look you’re going for. For these cupcakes, I was able to get away with one tablespoon of blue gel coloring to get the right hue.
As for the frosting, I was really hoping not to use any food coloring, but I wanted a bold red color that the reduced strawberry puree simply couldn’t give me on its own. So the frosting includes an additional tablespoon of red food coloring to get the hue you see in the pictures. However, I made sure to make notes in the instructions so you can use less food coloring if you want to.
And as for how these cupcakes turned out? The blue velvet and the strawberry buttercream made for a very indulgent combo. They tasted even better than I imagined they would.
Which is perfect for me, because as of this moment, we have absolutely no plans for Fourth of July. That’s right – zilch. Nada. And that could easily change over the next few days, but until then? I have no shame in planning my whole day around eating these cupcakes or making cookies or sipping on vodka slushies.
Cause I mean, Independence Day is about freedom, amirite? Freedom to a sugar coma must be included in the fine print somewhere!
For the Blue Velvet Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare muffin tin(s) by adding cupcake liners, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly sift together all-purpose flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda, then set bowl aside.
- Drop mixer speed to low and add eggs; mix just enough to break yolks, about 15 seconds. Add vanilla, vinegar, and blue food coloring to bowl and mix again.
- Keeping mixer speed on low, about 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the bowl. Next, add about 1/2 of the buttermilk. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then pour in the remaining buttermilk. Finish by mixing in the remaining 1/3 of the dry ingredients and stop mixing as soon as the dry ingredients are absorbed.
- Pipe or spoon cupcake mixture into prepared muffin tin. Be careful to only fill them 2/3 full - cupcakes will rise significantly while baking.
- Bake cupcakes for 23-28 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool completely before serving.
For the Real Strawberry Buttercream
In a small saucepan, add pureed strawberries and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat so that strawberries are either simmering or heavily steaming. Let puree cook, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes or until strawberry puree is reduced by half. If you find that too much of a film is forming on the bottom of the pan, reduce heat.
- Remove strawberries from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + medium bowl), cream butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar on high speed until smooth. Add vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of cooled strawberry puree, then mix again. Add another cup of powdered sugar and another 2 tablespoons of cooled strawberry puree and mix. Finally, add all remaining strawberry puree and powdered sugar to bowl and mix. If adding red food coloring, blend in 1 teaspoon at a time until desired color is reached.
Decorate blue velvet cupcakes with strawberry buttercream as desired and sprinkle with stars (I used Wilton Edible Glitter Stars).
Blue Velvet Cupcake recipe from HGTV.