Monday, July 4, 2016

Red, white, and blue tie-dye cupcakes


Working in the news industry, I spend a good portion of my day hearing about friction and animosity amongst citizens and politicians and authorities. And some days it feels like it's impossible for any of us to get along.

But one thing we can certainly all agree on is that we live in the greatest country on Earth and nothing will ever change that. And that's why Independence Day will always be one of my favorite holidays.

Now that I've got that out there, I suppose I should talk about the food considering this is, in fact, a food blog!

Like most every other family in America, my family always "grills out" for the Fourth of July. Some years it's hot dogs and brats, some years hamburgers, sometimes ribs, and some years we make all of the meats! And of course, we always have plenty of sides like baked beans, corn on the cob, and potato salad (or my favorite, grilled sweet potato salad). The dessert, on the other hand, changes from year to year. Usually we eat whatever Kylee is in the mood to bake.

A few years ago, I made these awesome M&M cookies that are super adorable when you bake them with patriotic M&Ms.

Last year, I made no-bake mason jar cheesecakes. Everyone loved the idea of getting to take home the mason jars as a party favor, and it was actually fairly healthy as far as desserts go.

This year, I spent foreverrrr trying to figure out the perfect patriotic dessert. It was so hard deciding on just one because there are so many that I want to bake. Honestly, I just wish I could spend the whole month of June baking red, white, and blue desserts. I know, I'm crazy.

Anyway, I decided to go with red, white, and blue tie-dye cupcakes. I've always wanted to try tie-dye cupcakes and this was the perfect opportunity. And even better, it was much easier that I ever imagined!

Tie-dye cupcakes are less a recipe and more a technique. So if you want to take a shortcut, you can start with a white cake box mix. However, I don't recommend taking a shortcut when it comes to the frosting. Homemade frosting is just way superior to canned frosting, and it's super easy to make.



Red, white, and blue tie-dye cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
For the cupcakes
  • 1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (208 grams) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (201 grams)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted Challenge butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the frosting
  • 1 cup  unsalted Challenge butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 5 cups powdered sugar (630 grams) 
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
Directions
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
  3. In large bowl. combine sugar with melted butter. Whisk in eggs, milk, yogurt, and vanilla until combined. 
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix.
  5. Divide batter among 3 bowls. Tint 1 bowl with red food coloring and 1 bowl with blue food coloring.
  6. Add one spoonful of red batter to each muffin cup (I use a cookie scoop for this). Layer a spoonful of blue batter and white batter on top. Liners should be about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
For the frosting
  1. Cream softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat with mixer until combined.
  3. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, and beat for about 3 minutes.
  4. If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more heavy cream (1 teaspoon). If frosting is too sweet, add more salt (1/4 teaspoon).
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes; I used a Wilton 1M open star decorating tip to achieve the results above. Start you frosting in the center of the cupcake and swirl it out and up.
  6. Store cupcakes in airtight container on countertop for 3 days or in refrigerator for 5 days. Do not store cupcakes where there will be decorate sunlight.

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction




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