Monday, June 28, 2010

Sweet and Simple Cupcakes for the 4th of July

Baking a batch of cupcakes for your 4th of July celebration is an easy way to make your holiday special! Cupcakes are easy to make and decorate, easy to transport, and look very festive on your table. They are also easy and fun to eat!

The easiest way to make cupcakes is to go to the grocery store and choose a cake mix and a couple of cans of white frosting and look for red, white, and blue decorations. You may be able to find red, white, and blue or star spangled cupcake papers, sugar cake decorations, and tiny flag spikes. You can buy blue and red sprinkles, colored sugar, jellybeans, M&Ms, Hershey’s Kisses, blueberries, maraschino cherries, strawberries, or raspberries to use for decorations. Be sure to buy some food coloring and cupcake papers if you don’t already have any. Remember, your theme is red, white, and blue.

Bake your cupcakes following the recipe on the box. (Hint: adding a teaspoon of vanilla to a store bought cake mix will make it taste more like homemade.) Use foil, plain white, or even themed cupcake papers. Cool, then frost with white frosting. Tint the remainder of the frosting blue and red and spoon into decorating bags or plastic bags with a small hole cut into one corner. Decorating ideas include: 1. Make an assortment of red striped cupcakes and blue stars. (Make stars in a x shape with an extra line drawn through it like an asterick.) 2. Red stripes with a large blue star in the center. 3. Make a huge daisy on each cupcake with a blue center and red petals. 4. Make red and blue plaid cupcakes. 5. Write USA on frosted cupcakes. 6. Make red or blue spirals. 7. Make red and blue polka dot cupcakes using blueberries and raspberries. 8. Add colored sugar, sprinkles, candy or fruit to plain white frosted cupcakes or to any of the above in any pattern you like. Arrange on a large tray or paper box. An assortment of different designs looks best. These ideas will also work if decorating sugar cookies.

You can make a flag cupcake centerpiece by arranging 24 cupcakes into 4 rows. The bottom row should be frosted red and the next row up should be frosted white. The third row should have 3 red frosted cupcakes and 3 blue with the blue ones to the left. The forth row will need to have 3 white frosted cupcakes and 3 blue. Add some frosted stars to the blue cupcakes and you will have a lovely flag decoration!

These cupcakes are a simple, delicious, decorative, easy, and inexpensive holiday treat!

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