Since J has been gone (wow, I’m really acting like he has been gone for years, it’s two weeks Natasha, grow up! lol) I have been crafting so much I haven’t really taken the time to cook much of anything. Tonight baby P and I attended a BBQ at our friend’s house and in keeping with the Memorial Day holiday I wanted to whip up something cute and patriotic. Now I have previously written about my love affair with boxed cake mix but I will tell you again – I don’t bake. Meaning, if the words “baking soda”, “baking powder”, “yeast”, “stand mixer”, “rise” or any other baking lingo appear in a recipe I’m likely to pass, lol. That being said, when I do decide to bake something (usually cupcakes) I generally take the semi-homemade route by allowing my girl Betty Crocker or my homie Duncan Hines do the heavy lifting, while I take care of the decorating. This recipe was no different, so while P went down for a three hour nap (LOVE when that happens) I got down to it and ended up with the cutest little patriotic cupcakes! Keep this one in mind for the 4th, it’s as simple as making some chocolate covered strawberries and adding some food coloring to your cake mix, it only looks fancy, which is the best part! If you’re reading this while those patriotic holidays are still far out, go ahead and adapt this to any holiday – green, white and red for Christmas, orange, black and white for Halloween etc. Tie-dye cupcakes are so fun and you need not buy the special “tie-dye cupcake” boxed mix, you can easily make your own. Wishing everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend, thank you to all who have served and are currently serving (especially my very own US Marine, J!).
PATRIOTIC TIE-DYE CUPCAKES (makes 24)
- 1 Box White Cake Mix (WHITE not yellow)
- Food Coloring
- Blue and Red Crystal Sugar Sprinkles
- 1-2 Cartons Strawberries (enough to have 24 strawberries, try to go for smaller strawberries, they sit atop the cupcake much easier)
- 6 oz. White Chocolate
- 1 can Vanilla Frosting (any white frosting will do)
- Begin by melting your chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. If using a double boiler place chocolate in a glass bowl set atop a pot of simmering water, stirring until melted. For the microwave, place chocolate in a microwave safe dish, microwaving 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval until completely melted.
- Place your blue sugar sprinkles in a small container, then working one by one dip each strawberry in the white chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off before dipping in the sprinkles then place on a sheet pan or plate lined with parchment or wax paper. When you have finished, place the strawberries in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to really harden, I just left mine in there until I was done making the cupcakes.
- Prepare your cake mix according to package directions, once the batter is prepared divide the batter equally among three separate bowls. One bowl will be left as is (that will be your white portion), into the second, squeeze a few drops of red food coloring and into the third a few drops of blue. The amount of coloring you add depends on how vibrant you want your color to be. NOTE: I am usually all about dollar store everything but I learned the hard way, there is a BIG difference between name brand and dollar store brand food coloring. The tie-dye cupcakes I made for Easter were sub-par in the color department lol. Go for the good stuff, it’s worth it.
- Place your cupcake liners in your tin and beginning with your first color (doesn’t matter which) gently place a dollop of each color into your cupcake liner, aiming for off to the side (see pics). Work your portions so that you will have enough for 24 dollops, just eyeball it. Do the same with the second and third colors, the idea is to have each color showing on the top of the cupcake once they are baked.
- Bake your cupcakes for the minimum suggested time, just until the toothpick comes out clean and they are springy. If you allow them to overcook your white will become tan or brown. Once baking has finished allow the cupcakes to cool.
- Frost your cupcakes however you please, I use a large Wilton star tip and a plastic bag to pipe a small amount of icing onto the middle of each cupcake so that the red, white and blue will still be seen on top. Dash some red and blue sprinkles on top then set a strawberry on top of each cupcake. Ta-da, you’re finished, God bless America … and easy cupcake recipes!!!