4th of July is upon us and I thought we should celebrate with cupcakes! My original plan was to make a "flag cake" which in case you have never seen one it is two sheet cakes layered on top of each other usually with a whipped cream frosting and then you use either raspberries or strawberries to create the red stripes of the american flag and blueberries to make the stars. It is an adorable festive cake that I recommend you try one day if you haven't already. However, this year I wanted to make something a little more unique and I was in the mood to experiment so I drew out a cupcake that had all the colors of the American flag only in a deconstructed way so it wasn't as literal. These are easy but still special and look like a professional cupcake. If you want you can always make the cupcake part in advance along with the raspberry drizzle and assemble when you have a little time to spend doing them carefully. Happy 4th, enjoy!
Makes about 17 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 1 package of yellow cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup of oil
- 1 1/3 cup of water
- 1 package of fresh blueberries
- 1 package of fresh raspberries
Whipped cream frosting and filling:
- 4 cups of heavy whipping cream (might need to make this in two batches, it makes a lot)
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 3 tsp of almond extract
- 1 (12 oz) package of frozen raspberries thawed and drained, juice reserved
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons of raspberry liqueur (if you have it, don't worry if you don't)
- Preheat you oven to 350 and center your rack.
- Mix the cake mix with eggs, water, and oil according to the back of the cake mix package.
- Line your cupcake tray with which ever color liners you like and fill 3/4 of the way to the top so that you get a little overlap once they bake making sure you have enough to cut off and use later for tops.
- Bake for about 15-18 min. Cool completely on a rack, once cooled carefully cut the top of each cupcake off using a serrated knife.
- While the cupcakes are cooling make your raspberry sauce. Add enough water to reserved raspberry juice to measure 1 cup (make sure you do this otherwise it will be way to thick in the end) Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a 1-quart saucepan. Stir in juice and raspberries.
- Heat to boiling over medium heat. Boil and stir 1 min; strain out the seeds and let cool completely, your done. If you want you can add the liqueur after you strain it.
- In a stand mixer fixed with the whisk attachment, whisk together your whipped cream ingredients - cream, sugar, and almond extract until stiff peaks form. About 2-3 min.
- In a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip fill with about a quarter of the whipped cream mixture and insert into the center of the cupcake bottoms to fill the centers with cream.
- In a larger pastry bag fitted with a large round tip put a layer of frosting on the top of the cut cupcakes. Place a small handful of blueberries on top of the cream layer on each cupcake.
- Put your cupcake tops back on top of the blueberry cream layer. Using the rest of the whipped cream frosting pipe a mound of whipped cream on top of it as high as you want, I feel for these they look best when there is a good amount of height to them, go all out :-)
- Drizzle with the raspberry sauce using just a spoon or you can put it in a ziplock bag and cut a tiny tip off and drizzle that way. Top each one off with a fresh raspberry and your done! Happy 4th Flag Cupcakes!
Layer of blueberries and cream
Raspberry sauce on the stove top - make sure you cool it all the way before putting it on your cupcakes