Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

This past weekend I was asked to make some cupcakes with a patriotic theme in honor of Memorial Day. I have seen lots of different ideas, so I took a few of them, combined them and used ingredients that were available to me to make these cupcakes. They are quite good, not because of anything I did, but because they are strawberry-vanilla. Strawberry vanilla is one of those classic flavors. It reminds me of creamsicles, Italian sodas from the coffee shop where I worked, and strawberry shortcakes. I think its a wonderfully festive flavor for this day, because strawberries, Memorial Day, and barbecues are synonymous with the arrival of summer-there is something inside of all of us that says summer is truly here!
Maybe this recipe wasn't here for your Memorial Day celebration, but they would be great for 4th of July, Veterans Day, or Columbus Day, for that matter. Anytime you decide to make them I am sure they will be well received.
I made my own frosting, which really was a cinch, and tastes great, but if you are in a rush, by all means, buy some frosting. I also think they would look adorable if they were decorated with red licorice ropes and/or stars cut from some blue Airheads or something.

Patriotic Strawberry Vanilla Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

1 box white cake mix
1 cup water
4 egg whites
1/3 cup corn oil
1/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup strawberry jam
1 teaspoon red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cake mix, water, egg whites, corn oil, sour cream, vanilla, and salt and blend until smooth. Place in prepared cupcake liners. Microwave jam for 30 seconds. Add food coloring and mix well. Place about ¾ teaspoon of the strawberry mixture onto the center of each cupcake. Use a butter knife to gently fold the strawberry mixture into the cupcakes, being careful not to overmix. Bake for 16-21 minutes.


1 cup shortening
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
4 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoon milk

I dyed the blue frosting using a sky blue and a bit of violet. The red I achieved by adding A LOT of Christmas red, and cocoa powder.

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