Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Red White and Blue Cupcakes

     Can you believe Memorial Day is next Monday?  I know summer doesn't officially start until June 21st, but Memorial Day is like a signal of the final days before summer break.  The weather starts getting really hot and the pool finally opens.

     Sorry if I misled you, but if you guessed that these cupcakes were meant to celebrate Memorial Day, you'd be wrong because their purpose was different.  It was to celebrate my history class' hard work after we took the AP United States history test.  I felt that red white and blue cupcakes would be appropriate for the occasion.

     I was debating how to make a red white and blue cupcake without changing the cupcakes' color.  You see, I had these nice cupcake liners left over from the Fourth of July last year that I wanted to use, and if I made red velvet cupcakes or dyed cupcakes, the colors would bleed through and you wouldn't be able to see the pattern.  So I stuck with vanilla cupcakes as a base.  Then I decided to make a raspberry filling to fill the cupcakes with and some white chocolate cream cheese buttercream to balance the tartness.  White chocolate and raspberries go really well together.
You'll have some extra raspberry filling, but there'll be plenty to do with it.  You can save it to fill another cake, stir it into some muffins or make pie bars, for example.  

     Filling the cupcakes was really easy.  At stores, you can buy small contraptions which core the cupcake for you, but it's just as easy to use a plain old knife.  Just stick the tip of a small knife a bit away from the edge of the cupcake, tilt it so that the tip is is the center of the cupcake, and rotate the knife in a circle so that you remove a cone-shaped piece from the cupcake.  Take this piece out, spoon a teaspoon of filling into the cupcake, and press the cone back into the cupcake.  Then cover this with frosting so that the cupcake-eaters are surprised.
     The vanilla cupcake recipe is different from the one I usually use, but it is still good.  Instead of the white, fluffy, vanilla-bean speckled cupcakes I make for plain vanilla cupcakes, I chose to use a recipe for a simple cupcake that could hold up against the frosting.  Still, the cupcake was very soft and tasty.

     To decorate the cupcakes, I just sprinkled some red sprinkles around the edges and then piped some melted white chocolate (mixed with blue food coloring) in star shapes onto wax paper and left it to harden.

      So whether you're celebrating a U.S. history class or a national holiday, I hope you enjoy these cupcakes!

Red White and Blue Cupcakes

makes about 3 dozen cupcakes
adapted from Glorious Treats


For the Cupcake:
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 tbs vinegar/ lemon juice mixed with enough milk to make it one cup)

1 recipe raspberry cake filling
1 recipe white chocolate cream cheese frosting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs for about 10-20 seconds, until frothy.  Add the sugar and quickly beat the mixture for anther 30 seconds (you don't want to leave eggs and sugar alone together for too long).  Add the vanilla and oil and beat. 
  4. Slowly stir in some of the dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Add half of the milk and stir.  Repeat until all the ingredients are just incorporated into the batter. 
  5. Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, until golden brown and springy.  Let cool in pan for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Once the cupcakes are cool, take a knife and cut out a cone shape, as described above. Spoon 1 tsp raspberry filling into the hole, and then place the cone bake onto the cupcake.  Pipe or spread some frosting on the cupcake and decorate with sprinkles if desired.  To make the white chocolate decorations: melt white chocolate, mix it with food coloring, pipe it into star shapes onto wax paper and let harden.

Raspberry Cake Filling

makes about 2-3 cups of filling


2 cups (12 oz) frozen raspberries, thawed with juices reserved (if using unsweetened berries, mix with 1/4 cup sugar and thaw)
1/3 cup white sugar
4 tbs corn starch or 6 tbs flour
1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Pour the raspberry juice into a measuring cup and add enough water to make 1-1/4 cups.
  2. Place the water/juice, raspberries, sugar, corn starch/flour, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  
  3. Stir occasionally until the mixture boils and is thick.
  4. Cool completely.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

enough to frost 2-3 dozen cupcakes


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz (1/2 block) cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz good quality white chocolate, melted and cooled


  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese until well combined.  Then add 2 cups of confectioners sugar and mix until fluffy.  
  2. Add the salt, vanilla, and white chocolate to the butter mixture.  Beat until well combined.
  3. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until fluffy.  If the frosting is too thick, beat in some milk.

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