Monday, June 18, 2012

Patriotic Cupcakes

I have been pinning ideas for annual Fourth of July celebration for quite some time. When we were invited to a Memorial Day party at the neighbors, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out an idea. I looked again at my Fourth of July Pin Board and didn't find anything that quite struck my fancy. I did draw a lot of inspiration though.

I decided to make an American flag out of mini cupcakes. Plus, it gave me a great chance to try out some of the cupcake icing techniques on my Sweet Treats Board. Now, I'll have you know, I'm officially NOT Martha Stewart. I went with boxed cupcake mix but made my own icing (for the most part - you'll see). I'm not convinced that making your own cupcake mix is worth it, but real buttercream icing is pretty much awesome.

First, I made the cupcakes in a mini muffin tin. I found cute red, white and blue wrappers, but totally could have used plain white or silver.

Then, I went to work making the buttercream icing. I made a batch of this recipe. (Should have made a double batch if I would have needed white. Keep reading.) Yes, you read it right, two sticks of butter per batch. It is rich. And delicious. And pipes onto the cupcakes really well.

Now, it's time to hear the reason behind the non-homemade white icing. When I was at Michael's, picking up my new frosting tip and gel dye, I noticed "white dye." I thought to myself, well, you have to be just plain stupid to buy white dye for icing. Icing is already white! Well, not when you make it with two sticks of YELLOW butter. (Sometimes I wonder how I've gotten so far in life. Who felt stupid now?) So, plain white buttercream icing will not work for this one. Some day, I may try out the white dye, but not this day. This day, I busted out the white canned frosting. I will say, it definitely doesn't pipe as well, but I put it in the fridge for a while and that helped a lot.

For the red and blue, I used Wilton dyes. They come in a concentrated gel and really make the icing bright and true. Although, again, I probably should have used the white dye on the red at least because I had to use a lot to achieve a true red and not orange.

Back to Pinterest, I tried using this technique for getting the icing into the piping bag. Personally, I thought it was more trouble than it was worth. I am never good with plastic wrap and adding in the extra bags, etc. just made more of a mess for me. I did find this great tip (can't remember where now) for getting icing into the bag that I did use and was a great way to do it. Simply put the bag into a glass and fold the edges of the bag over the lip of the glass. Add icing and you're done!

I used the Wilton 1M Open Star tip. And, I used this tutorial, also from Glorious Treats. You really do need the extra large tips (and an extra large coupler if you want to use one) to create the large swirls. For these cupcakes, I started on the outside edge and swirled in to the center.

Here are some photos of the final product. (The white icing was definitely not as good to pipe and wasn't still enough to hold up really. You can see they look as if they're "melting.")

A side shot to show just how much icing is on these suckers. Half cupcake - half icing. Yum. (I read another tutorial that said to do a whole layer on the first round on the edge of the cupcake in and then another layer on top of that to make an even larger swirl.)

Here are two I did in the reverse direction just for fun. I started on the inside and swirled to the outer edge. They look more like a rose.

Final product. Oh how I wished I had a fancier way to display. But, a cookie sheet covered in foil was the best I could do with relatively short planning.

And, enjoying the final product...

No comments:

Post a Comment