Sunday, July 5, 2015

Patriotic Cupcakes


Our friends Tony & Katie hosted a 4th of July potluck at their place this year, and I baked cupcakes!  The cupcakes themselves weren’t super sweet – more like a muffin – but I liked them that way since some cupcakes can be sickly sweet once you add the frosting and toppings. 

They were really easy to make, but it was a kind of chaotic morning.  I bought the ingredients a few days ago to avoid the rush of people at the grocery store that day, but realized I forgot cupcake liners (I know you don’t really need them, but they come out so much cleaner – plus my cupcake pans have so much permanent caked on food they’re pretty gross…)

I get back, only to realize that I’d left my baking pans at my parents’ place when we baked for our engagement party a few weeks ago.  So I stopped the oven from preheating again and ran by their condo to pick them up.  Then on the third try, I had all the ingredients put out, only to open the baking powder and realize it was empty.  I knew if I skipped it, I’d probably mess up the recipe.  My patience was wearing thin when a scooter going 15 miles an hour was in front of me all the way to the grocery store. 

Anyways, once I got all the ingredients, I was good to go!  I was excited for another excuse to use my KitchenAid mixer.  I topped them with blueberries, raspberries, and coconut in the shape of a flag.  While it was very pretty, it would have been nice to have mixed a few up and topped with all three toppings.  I’ve created a similar flag dessert before with blueberries and strawberries on cake (you can check out this post for a bunch of July 4th recipes!)

Patriotic Cupcakes (adapted from Good Housekeeping)

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1.5 sticks butter (12 T)
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk (I never buy buttermilk – instead, fill 1 cup almost all the way with regular milk, then add a few squirts of lemon juice.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes before using it). 
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 c. sweetened coconut flakes 


1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Line 20 cupcake pan cups with liners.   

2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. 

3. In a large bowl or with your KitchenAid mixer, beat granulated sugar and 8 T of the butter for about 5 minutes on medium speed until pale and fluffy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.    

4. Grade 3 tsp of peel from the lemon.  Reserve 1 tsp and set aside.  With the mixer on medium speed, add 2 tsp peel and beat about 1 minute. 

5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl. 

6. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, until just blended. 

7. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners.  I used a mini ice cream scooper to easily put the batter in the cups (a trick I learned from the Cupcakes & Cocktails class at the Epicurean last month).  

8. Bake 18 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  The cupcakes can be stored, well wrapped, at room temperature for 2 days, or in a freezer up to a month.  
9.  While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting.  Blend the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, remaining 4 T of butter, and remaining 1 tsp of lemon peel on low.  Increase the speed and beat 3 – 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.   

10. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes.  Top with blueberries, raspberries, and coconut.  

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