Tobins' Tastes: American Flag Cupcakes

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

American Flag Cupcakes

Hello, hello! It's good to be back. Did you miss me? I finally got back into town at 1:00 this morning and needless to say that 6am work alarm was no fun. The good news is it's a three day weekend (or at least it is for me) so this school week should fly by!

In honor of the long weekend (as well as those who have served our country), I am loving these American Flag Cupcakes. I have made them before for Memorial Day and 4th of July but this specific batch was made for my students who took the AP Government test. I figured that if they have to take a 3 hour long exam the least I can do is make them some cute brain food.

I love how simple these are to make but they look like you spent tons of time and effort on them. I am a huge failure at making straight lines with icing so when I saw Martha Stewarts's idea for using Twizzler Pull 'n' Peels for the strips in her Cupcakes Book, I couldn't wait to try it.

The cupcake itself is an awesome short cut I got from the Hello, Cupcake! Cookbook . Can you tell that I have a slight addiction to buying cupcake themed cookbooks?

I personally hate using box mixes for cupcakes. I feel like I am cheating when I use them. But there are some nights when you just have to go with the easy way out. By swapping a few ingrediants this recipe makes box cupcakes taste like they are from scratch. It is the perfect happy medium for those of you who cringe at the thought of box mixes but don't feel like dealing with the time/effort/mess that scratch cupcakes take/make.

I used a cream cheese icing from Hello, Cupcake! that was just sweet enough to pair perfectly with the buttermilk box mix cupcakes. I ended up making mine with extra large muffin top liners since I wanted a big enough space to work with in creating my flags.

Hopefully the overwhelming cuteness and the patriotism of these cupcakes motivated my students to get straight 5's on their AP tests but if nothing else they will make a great addition to your Memorial Day or 4th of July picnic or BBQ.

 Buttermilk Box Mix American Flag Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 4 eggs
4 simple ingredients.

1.) Mix together all the ingredients with an electric or handheld mixer. Beat until well combined and fluffy but not longer than 3 minutes.

 2.) Scoop into muffin liners or greased tin of your choice and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until tops are springy to the touch and starting to brown slightly.

I used muffin top liners from Ikea.
3.) Set aside to cool while you make the icing.

Icing Ingredients:
  • 8oz package of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 box of powdered sugar (16oz)
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
1.) Cream butter and cream cheese together with an electric or handheld mixer. Beat until light and fluffy.

2.) Add in milk and vanilla and then slowly add in powdered sugar until completely combined. If icing is too thick add a little more milk.

3.) Set aside half a cup of icing in a small bowl for the stars.

  • Twizzler Pull 'n' Peels
  • Blue food coloring or Wilton Gel
  • Toothpick
 1.) Ice completely cooled cupcakes with plain cream cheese frosting. Try to make the tops as smooth as possible.

2.) Cut sections of the Pull 'n' Peels into 1 1/2 inch sections. Cut some of those sections in half. I found it was easier to cut them into the right sizes before peeling them apart.

3.) Peel the individual pieces apart to make the "stripes" of the flag.

4.) Starting at the bottom of the cupcake lay three of the longer "stripes" down evenly spaced from each other. Then place three smaller "stripes" equally spaced apart on the upper right hand corner above the first three stripes.

5.) Using the icing you set aside and the blue food coloring, mix up a small batch of blue icing for your "stars". You can use a small piping bag and tip to create the stars but I have found that you can use a toothpick just as easily to make nine small dots to represent the stars.

6.) Now go out and impress people with your mind blowing cupcake decorating skills! Enjoy!

All ready for my students to enjoy during their testing break.
Make sure you stop by this week's Mealtime Monday and link up any amazing recipes you have been working on lately.

***Depending on the day this post may be linked up to any of these fabulous linky parties.***
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