4th July Cupcakes and Red White & Blue Strawberries

I love Independence Day in Mattawa! My in-laws always host a huge party at their house with great food, swimming, shooting guns, and a huge fireworks display. They know how to celebrate holidays, but 4th of July is always the biggest, and they always go all out. This year they decided to keep things more ‘low-key’ but there are still 60 people coming for dinner–so I asked if I could bring something to help out, and I was assigned CUPCAKES!

When I asked my mother in law how many she wanted, she said: “oh, just a couple of batches!” (NBD–just 50 cupcakes!) It only took me three hours!! But I was determined to make them taste good (and not do the same old boring recipe that I always do!) As well as make them look pretty and American flag themed for the occasion. Here’s how they went:

The first batch was french vanilla boxed cake mix. I added an extra egg, and substituted the cup of water for a cup of buttermilk, and they turned out great. (PS I know I cheated, but I didn’t have the time or energy to make 50 from scratch!!)

When they came out of the oven, I put them straight into the freezer to cool down quickly, and to moisten them up. Then they were easier to hollow out for the filling.

This was the first time I have ever made cupcakes with a filling, but definitely NOT the last because they were so much fun, looked so much prettier and tasted SO so much better!! I used a wilton cake device that pushed the cupcake down in the center to hollow it out… I didn’t CUT out any cupcake (because it makes them weaker and wastes cake!)

I spooned in 1 tsp of my favorite home made raspberry jam, and then 1 tsp sweetened whipped cream on top of that and piped blue-coloured vanilla butter creme on top I added cute white sprinkles and a touch of red for my American color schemeLook how CUTE they look! Red jam and heart, white cupcake and cream, and blue frosting! The second batch, I decided to mix the strawberry jam into the whipped cream, and it tasted so divine!!

The bright blue worried me a little when they first came out of the oven… but when it matched the sprinkles so perfectly, I thought it actually worked out great! I used a star tip to pipe plain white vanilla frosting, and then decorated with the same touch of red as the last ones… These are my favorite!! I love how the red, white and blue theme is a little more pastel and I LOVE, love, love the way they taste! I don’t usually eat the cupcakes I make… but I could eat these all day. And probably will. And if 50 cupcakes wasn’t enough to fill up my morning, I decided to make some 4th July themed strawberries too! I saw the idea for these on pinterest, and thought they looked SO cute and simple, that I just had to make them…. I melted white chocolate in the microwave, added a little blue food colouring and dipped them in some white hundreds and thousands I made another version too, with plain white chocolate and blue sugarThey were a little more “messy” but we’ll just call them “rustic.” Still pretty darn cute, though!I had so much fun in the kitchen this morning! But I know that it’s nothing compared to the fun we’re going to have this afternoon swimming and hanging out with friends and family and watching fireworks! I love this country, and I love how Americans always celebrate BIG! Just feeling thankful to be a part of it!

<3 Sarah