When I was growing up, it wasn't the 4th of July unless grandma made the ice cream cone cakes. I don't know why that was the case, but it was a tradition.For me, it isn't the 4th until we've busted out some festive cupcakes. This year, as I'm now a full time working mom, I've simplified my cupcakes a bit. I've also resorted to making them for a baking class so that I can officially call my cupcakes "work". Phew. It's hard...but someone has to do it. Officially...we're having lemon raspberry pound cakes with a pistachio-cream cheese butter-toffee frosting. I know...they are evil. I'm keeping it really simple.
Let's kick it off with a red candy star upon "thars"...with a blue little star upon it's belly. Just a simple little red flair of happiness.
This is just made by Wilton candy melts. This is the red coating. Melt it over a very low heat or in the chocolate pro. I rarely use the melt setting on it. Usually the warm setting will give me a good melt and then I turn it off and it stays just right for a good while. Otherwise, if you use real chocolate, you'll need to go to the Chocolate dipping 101 Post. I melt it and spread it out on a baker's mat. When it is almost set I cut it out into stars with a fancy little cookie cutter.
Use the small one the size of your thumb or the large one the size of a small apple.
My other favorite topper is just a simple "Captain America" type dot. They look a lot like a signature of "Sprinkles Cupcakes" except mine are not made of fondant and well...much easier for me to make.
Once again I'm just using the Wilton candy melts, except leaving them unmelted. Flip them over to the smooth side and fix a blue star sprinkle to the the middle of the disk with a little frosting.
The remainder of the melts were used for stripes.
With the simple addition of a candy star lolly, we have some stinkin' cute cupcakes if I do say so myself. I admit...I didn't make the candy lollies myself. I got them at the dollar store. 6 for a dollar. Sorry. If you want to make your own hard-candy lolly see my sweet tutorial here. We had fun with that one.
I really like the red stripe of frosting. It is fast...and festive.
There you go. Fun and easy July 4th cupcakes. No printable required for a fancy topper and certainly only a few minutes to make toppers that will cause some firework fun! As for my cupcake and buttercream recipe...
Chef Tess Lemon-Sour cream Pound Cake
4 1/2 c Chef Tess homemade yellow cake mix (here)
3/4 c Honeyville lemonade powder
1 c Honeyville Sour cream powder
1/2 cup Honeyville whole egg powder (4 eggs)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry cake ingredients. Mix with 2 cups water by hand 200 strokes. Grease and flour a 9 inch bundt cake pan. Pour pound cake batter into prepared pan and bake 55-65 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes before inverting. For cupcakes, yields 24 cupcakes. Bake 17-20 minutes.
My Chef Tess Favorite Buttercream Frosting Recipe
4 lb powdered sugar
2 c butter (1 lb)
1 T clear vanilla or rum extract (cheesecake, English Toffee, or Pistachio LorAnn Oils)
3/4 cup very hot, almost boiling water
Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment (or a hand held mixer would work). Put on speed 1, with a spill guard installed or you will get powdered sugar all over the floor. Whip 3-5 minutes until very smooth. Yield frosting for 2 10 inch cakes (plus layers and decorations).
There you go! Have a wonderful 4th of July!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess