Here is my humble little try at 4th of July cupcakes...
They are really not what I planned to make this week. Originally, I was going to make a Bomb Pop cupcake but I couldn't get the flavorings I needed (why do the grocery stores here carry root beer flavoring but not cherry?). So, since I had the festive cupcake papers & sprinkles I decided to just do vanilla with the layers of colors, that might go over better with the nephews anyway.
Doing the layers of color in the cupcake was really very simple & I was happy with how that turned out. I did try adding a little blueberry flavor to the blue layer by adding some blueberry preserves but you really can't taste it.
Oh, but did I have issues with my frosting! I made a batch of Italian Buttercream yesterday that turned out beautifully creamy & smooth but despite using a whole bottle of red food coloring was still decidedly dark pink instead of red. So, I went to a store that carried cake decorating supplies & got some red paste food coloring which I figured would do the trick no problem. Today I took my frosting out of the fridge & I must have tried to re-whip it while it was still too cold because it broke into a nasty pink runny mess! I tried all the hints I could find to fix it but it was no use. Down the drain it went & I rushed to mix up another batch, at least this time I figured getting it red would be no problem. For some reason this batch of buttercream just wouldn't get as creamy & smooth as yesterday's, of course. Then even after adding the whole jar of red food coloring paste it never really got red. I decided I had to go with it because I wasn't going out for more food coloring. Then I tried to pipe the frosting on & couldn't get it to come out of the bag smoothly. That was it, I gave up, just smeared it on with a knife & added lots of sprinkles. Luckily, Matt says a lot of sprinkles can fix anything.
White & Blue Layered Cupcakes
(adapted from Martha's Stewart Coconut Cupcake)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c + 2 T sugar
1/4 t vanilla
1/2 c milk
4 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 12 - 14 muffin tins.
In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder & salt. In a large bowl cream together butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add vanilla & beat. On low speed add half the flour mixture until just blended. Add milk until blended. Add remaining flour & mix until just blended.
In another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peak appear, about 2 minutes. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg into the batter until combined. Add remaining egg & fold until combined.
Split the batter into evenly into two bowls. Fold blue food coloring (& a flavoring if you wish) into 1/2 of the batter.
Scoop approximately 2 T of blue batter into each muffin tin. Shake the pan or use a spoon to smooth the batter out. Scoop approximately 2 T of the white batter on top of the blue in each tin. Spread out with the back of a spoon (or your finger) to cover the blue.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool before frosting.
Makes 12 - 14 cupcakes
(I've had success with this recipe the past, I think it just wasn't my day. As for how to get it real red, I leave that up to you.)
2 1/2 oz egg whites
1/2 c + 2T sugar
2 1/2 T water
1/2 lb butter
Heat sugar and water to 240 degrees. Whip egg whites till almost a stiff peak then shut off. When sugar is done flip mixer on low and pour the melted sugar into bowl. Immediately turn mixer on high and whip till cool. Slowly add the butter. Flavor or add coloring to your liking.
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.