I have a confession. I've been busy. I've been exhausted. I've been lazy. So I cheated this week and used a box mix. But in my defense, I added milk instead of water and I dyed it myself. I also made the icing from scratch. I just didn't have it in me to measure flour and sugar. But I do like the way these turned out!
I found these adorable cupcake liners and picks as a set from Wilton at Wal-Mart for $2 about a month ago. I bought the stars and stripes sprinkles around Memorial Day in the dollar section of Target. Can you tell that I love bargain shopping?
I have been planning these for months and apparently so has everyone else in the blogosphere. I have seen so many red, white and blue cupcakes it's crazy! All of them are basically the same idea with their own little twist. I hope you enjoy my twist.
To make the cupcakes, be lazy like me and go buy a box mix. Or you can be fancy and use your favorite recipe for a basic white cake. Make according to the package directions. I used milk instead of the water but you can use whatever you prefer. Once the batter is made, divide it into three equal portions. Mine was about 1 1/3 cups per color. I then added 1/4 teaspoon of red gel food coloring to one bowl and 1/4 teaspoon blue gel food coloring to a second bowl. The third bowl I left white. After lining my muffin tins, I spooned about a tablespoon of red batter into the bottom followed by white and blue. Make sure you spread the batter all the way to the sides so that you get a striped appearance on the outside. Bake according to your directions and allow to cool completely before icing.
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 cups powdered sugar
½ cup half and half
In a large bowl, mix together shortening, salt, vanilla, almond extract and 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Add in remaining sugar, 2 cups at a time and alternate with half and half. Add more half and half to thin and more sugar to thicken the icing, if needed. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes until light and fluffy.