Table of Contents
- 1 The Promos
- 2 Happenings
- 3 Delicious July 4th Cupcakes with Red, White, and Blue Icing
- 4 Join the Recipe Newsletter!
So, I kinda sorta totally forgot that it was July 4th next week. This is great news for America because not only do we get a day off from work, but we also get to eat a lot of food in the name of being patriotic. This was not so great news for me because I felt obligated to do some kind of July 4th post.
I’m totally lying. Totally. I’ve been planning a July 4th post for about four weeks now, except that I didn’t quite pull it off due to laziness. (You’ll also notice that this post goes out a day late … thankfully, not a dollar short ‘cuz I need all my dollars.)
What I’m basically saying is that I spent the good part of all of yesterday in the kitchen, baking. Baking is not my strong suit, mostly because I forget that things are in the oven. And when you are baking, you cannot fudge the time. (Hahaha, get it? Fudge! Except that you don’t bake fudge …)
But I swear, if it wasn’t for the simple mathematics that I can’t do because I haven’t learned new math yet, and the fact that I made 42 cupcakes, this recipe would be totally super simple. It uses a boxed cake mix, which isn’t too bad with a few substitutions.
I also promise that I’m not turning this newsletter (and website) into a food blog. But I totally needed something for Pinterest for the 4th of July. And cupcakes are yummy.
This week, I am promoting Get Out of My Dreams by Allan J. Lewis … you can grab this book free by signing up to Lewis’s newsletter. From the page:
John and Alice discover they have been the latest victims of “The Magic Man,” a rogue hypnotist that gets into people’s dreams, makes them do his bidding, and has them reveal their darkest secrets.
Also, The Sky is Bluer by Stella Perrott … available on both the Kindle and paperback. From the page:
Three years on, the Rhodesian Bush War has intensified. Kathy and her family leave the country they love and emigrate to South Africa. She revisits the scene of her brother’s murder — then starts her own search for his killer.
Smiling While I Shiver … this is an all-genre giveaway for the funny, mystery, and suspense! I think “The Case of the Missing Monkey and other short mystery stories” by Kris Bock looks fun. Sock monkeys are totally cool.
I meant to write a short book review and synopsis for Patriot’s Act by Kenneth Eade (get it?), but I didn’t get as much reading done in NC that I wanted. But I got beach and coffee time in with a bestie. Priorities.
I will be taking next Friday off to catch up on bunches of stuff that I didn’t get done yet, which includes the aforementioned book review.
For the icing
- 4 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, plus 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons
- 3 packages of instant vanilla pudding
- red and blue gel food coloring
- icing bags and tips
For the cupcakes
- 2 packages of white cake box mix (any brand)
- carton of egg whites
- 2 cups of half and half
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- The very first step is to put the mixing bowl in the freezer. Since we have three different colors … I used three different steel bowls. (Glass is okay, too, but it doesn’t get cold like metal bowls do.) The bowls should be chilled enough by the time the cupcakes are done.
- We are going to make 42 cupcakes: 9 cupcakes with blue icing, 15 cupcakes with red icing, and 18 cupcakes with white icing. I bought a multi-pack. We can use those green cupcake liners for St. Patty’s Day. I liked to match the liners with the icing, but it doesn’t really matter.
- Preheat your oven according to the directions on the box. Mix up the first batch of the boxed cake mix. You can totally use the ingredients on the box, but I love to substitute half and half for the water, and only use egg whites. (Don’t forget about the oil.) Since I hate separating the egg whites from the egg yolk, I just bought egg whites in the carton. So much easier.
So here is the trick with cupcakes, something that I learned the hard way. Overmixing the batter makes it dense, and you want it springy and moist. So stir it just until it is mixed, even if you have some lumpy lumps in there.
- Throw those bad boys in the oven. Don’t forget to take them out of the oven, too. I used the 16 minutes to cuddle with Meow (my cat). Do up the second batch, too. More cuddle time. Make sure to dust yourself off of cat hair and wash your hands before going to the next step.
- Using one of the metal bowls that you put in the freezer, pour the heavy whipping cream in. If you are using food coloring, add it now. Make sure you like the color.
- For the blue frosting, I used 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar, 1/2 package of instant vanilla pudding, and 6 drops of blue gel. You might want more gel for a brighter frosting.
For the red frosting, I used 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, 1 package of instant vanilla pudding, and 15 drops of red gel. You might want more gel for a brighter frosting.
- You will need a high-speed mixer for this. I’ve always liked the Hamilton Beach ones because I think they are reasonably priced, and many models come with a nice metal bowl.
- Always, add the powdered sugar, and then using the lowest setting on the mixer, beat until just combined.
- Next, turn the mixer to the highest speed and run it until it gets thicker, approximately 20 to 30 seconds.
- Dump in the instant pudding, and run it on high speed again until it get stiff and frosting-like. Don’t overmix it. It will still be yummy, just harder to work with decorating.
- Put frosting in the icing bags, making sure to twist it at the end.
- I didn’t do anything fancy here. Just added a bit of swirl to each one.
For the white frosting, I used 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup of powered sugar, and 1 package of instant vanilla pudding. Several other sites said to use instant white chocolate pudding, but I couldn’t find any. I didn’t quite care for the yellow-tinge in the icing for these, but that’s what I had available. You can find it on Amazon, though.
- If you are wondering why you don’t want to use egg yolks, it’s because we really want bright, white cupcakes. The egg yolks make it kinda yellow. Which was kinda ruined because of the instant vanilla pudding instead of the instant white chocolate pudding, meh.
- The milk makes the cupcake super moist and delish.
- The Husband would like to point out that the red stripe is the top stripe in the flag
- If the red, white, and blue icing doesn’t ice the cake, try adding some sugar stars, toothpick flags, or other decorations to your cupcakes.
Amount Per Serving Calories 160Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 30mgSodium 30mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 0gSugar 5gProtein 1g
Nutritional values automatically generated.
Well, I messed up one of the blue icings, so I totally needed to make another one. Unfortunately, the blue is a little off. Whooooops.
And here is Meow, sleeping inside of a box.