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You know how we at Blended Kitchen feel about holidays. And celebrating. And sweets. So when Cindy spotted these cupcakes on Bakerella, we knew we’d found a fun and festive way to celebrate the 4th of July.

Cupcakes Americana adapted from Bakerella
When Cindy first saw these cupcakes, she emailed Lindsey and all she said was “Do we dare?” Lindsey’s response? “Absolutely!” We have to admit, there were times in the kitchen that we got nervous, thought we screwed up and literally laughed out loud at how silly our cupcakes were looking. The uncooked cupcakes looked more like a from Obama’s political campaign, a new Pepsi logo or a tie dyed shirt than anything 4th of July-ish. In the end, though, we think they turned out pretty darn cute.

If you look at this and think “I can’t do it”, you are 100 percent wrong! The only tricky part was getting the 3 colors of cake mix in the cupcake liner at the same time – that is the reason there are no pictures of us doing it. We needed like seven extra hands to get everything lined up correctly (and even with four hands we could barely get it right!) It was like a bad game of Twister in the kitchen. Once  you have all three colors in the liner, it’s a piece of cake… literally!

We start with these baking ingredients. We know – cake mix from scratch? Who has the time? Using just a plain white cake mix would probably work, but this cake batter was a very thick mixture that would hold up to all of the delicious sugar-coated icing that we decorated with. The from-scratch mix was definitely worth it!

Start by splitting the wet and dry ingredients into two bowls. Make sure to mix the dry ingredients really well before blending in the softened butter.

After mixing the butter into the dry ingredients, slowly add the wet ingredients. It works best if you add just a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.

The batter should be thick, which is the perfect consistency for piping into cupcake liners. If it’s too runny, the three colors will mix together and your cupcakes will turn out all discolored.

Separate the batter evenly into 3 bowls.

Squirt 40 drops of red food coloring in one bowl of batter and 40 drops of blue in another batter bowl. Keep the white batter white (duh!)

You’ll also mix three different batches of icing. Squirt only a few drops of food coloring into each to keep the colors pale, so they don’t overwhelm the sparkly sugar. These are the bags of icing that we used to pipe the top of the cupcakes. The batter bags look pretty much the same, but the batter should be brighter so that the cake is red, white and blue instead of pink, white and baby blue.

See how these resemble all sorts of red and and blue logos? This is where we got worried – for no reason at all! It looks totally fine after it bakes.

Don’t worry if the batter isn’t totally perfect. The cupcakes may not have a straight line of separation, but the icing covers it up beautifully.

Make the icing as directed. Again, separate into 3 bowls. Tint one bowl of icing pink, one blue and keep one white. Fill some ziploc baggies with the icing. Start by using the white icing bag to pipe a center line of white icing down the middle. Dip it in the white sugar.

Follow with the red icing on one side, dipping it in red sugar, then with the blue icing on the other side covered with the blue sugar.

Make sure to cover up all the icing on each part of the cupcake. This may take a few dips into the sugar to cover the whole surface.

We are loving the red, white and blue!

These cupcakes go perfectly with fireworks!

Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients:
Cake:
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 egg whites
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2/3 cup salted butter, softened
Three bowls
Red and blue liquid food coloring
Three piping bags
Twist ties
Candy cup baking papers (see note below)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and then mix together on low.

In another bowl, stir egg whites, milk and vanilla together.

Add butter to the flour mixture and mix together. As it starts to combine, slowly pour the milk mixture in and mix until completely combined.

Divide batter evenly into three bowls. Add about 40 drops of red food color to one bowl and stir together until completely blended. Repeat with the blue food color and a second bowl, leaving the last bowl white.

Stand decorator bags in tall glasses for support and spoon batter into bags. Tie off the ends of the bags with twist ties. (Note: Three bags will hold about half of the batter, so you’ll need to repeat for the full amount.)

Cut the corners of the bags off and slowly pipe batter into paper candy cups using a back and forth motion. Use your fingers to apply more pressure to the center bag if necessary.

Fill cups a little more than halfway. Bake for about 16 minutes or until done.

Remove and cool. Makes about 16 cupcakes.

Frosting:
Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 teaspoons milk
food coloring
Red, white and blue sugar crystals

Directions:
Beat butter and vanilla together.

Add sugar slowly and beat until combined.

Scrape down the sides and add milk. Mix until smooth and creamy.

Divide the frosting into three bowls and tint two of the bowls with a few drops of red and blue food color so when you cover in sugar crystals, there isn’t any white frosting showing through.

Makes enough to frost about 8 cupcakes with high domes of frosting. Double for this cupcake recipe unless you don’t plan on frosting your cupcakes this high.

To Decorate:
Pipe white frosting down the center of the cupcake, lining up somewhat with the white cake section. Then use a knife to pull the frosting down towards the edge of the cup. Make sure to leave the white rim of the cupcake paper showing completely. You can wipe off excess frosting if necessary.

Sprinkle white sugar crystals on the frosting, letting the excess fall into a bowl underneath. You can then gently press the cupcake down into the fallen crystals to fill any uncoated areas.

For the red side, just use a knife to apply the frosting. Pull downward with the edge of the knife so the frosting meets at the base of the cup. Again, make sure to keep the rim of the cup free of frosting.

Sprinkle with red sugar crystals over a separate bowl, and press red section into the bowl of crystals to fill any gaps. Repeat with the blue frosting and blue sugar crystals.

When the cupcakes are coated with sprinkles you can easily, reshape the dome if necessary by gently pressing down any areas that look uneven.

Nom. nom. nom.