With the 4th of July approaching, you are probably itching for a festive cupcake recipe. Let your cupcakes manifest your love for the country with this three-colored red, white and blue cupcakes recipe. Red, white, and blue get swirled into not only the cupcakes but also the buttercream frosting in this incredible summer treat.
A good cupcake in my book has to be not only delicious but also aesthetically-pleasing. Of all types of bakeries, cupcake unleashes the artist in me the most. For me, a creative cupcake-coloring method is just as therapeutic as those adult coloring books.
As intricate as it looks, making red, white, and blue cupcakes is a quite simple division & merging process. After making your white cake batter, you divide it among three bowls to add one color gel paste to each bowl.
Then, you mix in one spoon from each batch into each muffin cups. Finally, you swirl the colors together to create a delicate color pattern.
The same procedure also applies to the cupcake frosting. After preparing the frosting mixture, all you need to do is to divide it into three parts to add three different colors. Then, you will use a piping bag to mix and squeeze the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
Once you get the hang of this coloring method, you can implement it in any type of cupcake, and for any occasion – be it Christmas or weddings.
- 1 box of french vanilla cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 C (1 stick) of softened unsalted sweet cream butter
- 1 C whole milk
- 1TBSP pure vanilla bean paste
- Red and Sky Blue gel food coloring
- cupcake liners
- cupcake pan
- FROSTING INGREDIENTS
- 3 C unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 5 C powder sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3-5 TBSP heavy whipping cream
- Red and blue gel food coloring
- 3 C patriotic sprinkles
- 3 bowl
- Medium star tip and pastry bag
- Large cup to put the piping bag in
- Medium ice cream scooper
- 1 package of red white and blue glitter star cupcake toppers
DIRECTIONS FOR CUPCAKES
Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with the liners
- In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, butter, milk, and vanilla bean
- paste and mix until combined
- Divide the batter into 3 bowls
- In one bowl, mix in a few drops of red food coloring
- In the second bowl mix in a few drops of blue food coloring
- Scoop 1 TBSP of each color into the cupcake liners
- Repeat step 1 more time till cupcake liners are ¾ full
- Bake in the oven for about 21 minutes
- Pull out and place on the side to cool
DIRECTIONS FOR FROSTING
- Using a standing mixer, combine all ingredients except the food
- coloring into the bowl and mix on medium speed
- If your frosting starts looking like powdery rocks, add another
- tablespoon of heavy whipping cream
- Mix until you see creamy stiff peaks
- Scoop ¼ C of frosting into each of the 3 bowls
- Add the red food dye into one bowl
- Add the blue food dye into the second bowl
- Leave the third bowl white
- Fit the star tip into the piping bag and place the bag inside the cup, pulling the bag over the edge of the cup
- Using a spoon, scoop some of the red icing and put it on 1/3 part of the piping bag
- Repeat with the blue and white frosting
- Twist the top of the piping bag and squeeze the frosting down and set aside
- Using the ice cream scooper, scoop some frosting and place onto the top of the cupcake
- Pour sprinkles into a bowl
- Dip the top of the frosting into the sprinkles
- Using the piping bag, pipe a small dollop of frosting on top
- Place a star pick into the center of the frosting
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 689Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 414mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 1gSugar: 70gProtein: 3g
The Coloring Agent
This recipe opts for the viscous gel pastes instead of liquid food dye. I think it is advantageous for two reasons. First, this dry reagent prevents excessive moisture of the cupcake. Besides, it is much easier to adjust the color intensity with these gels. They can be purchased at baking supply stores or local crafts.
As for the colors, your imagination and instincts will tell you the best trio. To obtain the bright colors you see above, you can purchase bright red, white, and royal blue pastes. Wilton and Americolor are some of the satisfactory gel paste brands.
I would recommend that you wear silicone gloves and cover the surfaces and carpets, as the coloring gels can leave permanent stains.
Tools For Swirling
Swirling can remind you of abstract art pieces of random color patterns, but it needs to be done delicately and with the right tools. For the cupcakes, a toothpick or a skewer will come in handy. For the frosting, you will need a piping bag with a 1M tip.
These piping bags are simple to work with. All you need to do is place equal amounts of your frostings side by side and squeeze. Don’t worry, the frost will come out perfectly blended. The piping tip can either be a Russian Ball tip, or a large star tip, such as the Wilton 1M tip.
You can easily embellish your red, white, and blue cupcakes using goodies available at party supply stores or the decorative supplies aisle at supermarkets. Just before the 4th of July, you can buy special 3-colored sprinkles, glitter stars, red candy, or miniature flags made of toothpicks.
To store your cupcakes, you need an airtight cupcake carrier or container. Otherwise, your cupcakes will dry out in the blink of an eye.
The Frosting Cream
In this recipe, the frosting contains unsalted sweet cream butter. I would not recommend swapping with cream cheese frosting because its texture is too soft for the piping bag.
Substitute / Add/ Remove
- You can use oil instead of butter and/or water instead of whole milk, but I believe that both are required to obtain professional bakery-style taste.
- You can always use a gluten-free boxed cake mix instead of the regular one.
- This recipe uses vanilla flavor, but you can always replace it with other flavors, such as lemon, cherry, or almond extract.
- It sounds trivial, but overbaking is a common issue with cupcakes. If you are unsure when to take the cupcakes out, have a quick check after the minimum baking time has passed. Under normal circumstances, you are not supposed to open the oven door for at least the first 15 minutes. Poke the cupcakes with a toothpick; if the toothpick is clean after the insertion, the cakes are done. If not, place it back in the oven for additional 3-5 minutes before testing again.
- Not sure what to do with your excess dry gelatin mixes? To use them in the future, dissolve the remaining gel mixes in half a cup of boiling water, followed by the addition of half a cup of cold water. Keep refrigerated and serve with thawed cool whip.
- Layering is essential to create evenly-sized cupcakes. Instead of filling each cupcake liner one by one, add each layer evenly to all cupcake liners before moving on to the next layer. This will ensure that your cupcakes are of the same size and that they all have equal amounts of the three colors.
- While you should frost your cupcakes on the same day of the baking, don’t do it immediately. Let the cakes cool down to room temperature.
- I also suggest keeping the cupcakes refrigerated for an hour before serving so that the frosting can harden slightly.
The red, white, and blue cupcakes recipe is an inventive and fun way to prepare for the Independence Day. This patriotic cupcake can be adjusted to any size and color combination. It is a strong proof that vanilla cupcakes don’t have to look and taste bland.
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