Red, White & Blue Mini Trifles

trif3Before the month of July gets completely away from us, as these summer months tend to do, I wanted to put up a quick post about my mini 4th of July themed trifles! Independence Day has always been my favorite holiday, as I like holidays that are more centered around fun than presents. Well, on my first 4th of July as a parent I very quickly realized that a holiday whose activities include mainly drinking, staying up late and explosives, is not baby friendly, lol. We already knew that the fireworks show on base wasn’t in the cards for us because of P’s six o’clock bedtime, but we did manage to keep him up an extra two hours to attend a BBQ at a friend’s. Coincidentally, this was the same friend who had P and I over for a Memorial Day while J was at fleet week, so I had to come up with another patriotic dessert since they had already experienced my Patriotic Tie-Dye Cupcakes. I had been seeing a lot of flag cakes online, particularly an adorable one by Ina Garten (love her), so these patriotic trifles were my little deconstructed version of a red, white and blue cake. I like to do individual desserts when baking for a casual get-together or party, this way everyone can take one at their convenience and there doesn’t have to be a big to-do with cutting the cake or pie (people are always really weird about taking the first piece! haha). Also, the fact that it is served in a jar makes it easy for people to take one to go on their way out to enjoy at home later. So again, I went the semi-homemade route with this recipe, as I’ve mentioned before my baking skills are quite limited but if you are more blessed than I in the baking know-how department this can be made from scratch as well. Happy Be-lated 4th of July, I was so happy to be able to spend it with great friends enjoying mini desserts 🙂

trif1

RED, WHITE & BLUE MINI TRIFLES (makes 16 trifles in 8 oz. mason jars)

INGREDIENTS

NOTE: If “blue” velvet cake mix is not available you can always purchase white cake mix and add blue food coloring or use red velvet and substitute blueberries for the strawberries to keep with the “red, white and blue” color scheme. 

  • 1 Box Blue Velvet Cake Mix (and required ingredients – eggs, oil/butter and water)
  • 2 Boxes Vanilla Instant Pudding (I used the “cook and serve” kind, but whatever works for you is fine) – don’t forget to pick up whole milk to prepare! 
  • 1 carton strawberries
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream or 1 regular sized container whipped topping (I opted to make my own whipped cream but if you don’t feel like doing so simply use cool whip instead)
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar, divided (if using prepared whipped topping you will only need 2 Tbsp.)

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Begin by preparing cake mix and pudding according to package directions.

Step 2: While cake is baking and pudding is chilling, slice your strawberries. I cut off the stems then halved, quartered and then thinly sliced the berries, however you want to cut them up is fine! Once your berries are all sliced, place in a bowl along with 2 Tbsp. of sugar and mix then allow to chill in fridge until you are ready to assemble the trifles. 

Step 3: While cake is cooling and pudding is chilling in fridge, begin preparing your whipped cream by combining the 2 Tbsp. sugar and cold whipping cream and whisking with an electric mixer or by hand until stiff peaks form. Place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble trifles. If you are going the whipped topping route just hang tight!

Step 3: Once you are ready to assemble your trifles, start by cutting the cake into small cubes (although it will probably just end up crumbling when you handle it, which is fine). Place about 2 Tbsp. of cake in the bottom of each jar, then top with about 1 Tbsp. of pudding followed by 2 Tbsp. of strawberries and a heaping Tbsp. of whipped cream. Repeat in this fashion for a second layer, ending with whipped cream.

They will look something like this :)

They will look something like this 🙂

Step 4 (optional): If you are not serving your little masterpieces right away, place the lid on the jar and use a ribbon to tie a plastic spoon to the jar (this is just a fun little “to-go” touch for your guests), then chill until ready to serve! *While these are still good the following day, I don’t suggest making them too far in advance as the whipped cream tends to “deflate”.   
trif

Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila Lime Frosting

marg5

Happy Cinco de Mayo, y’all!!! I am so excited to share this adorable cupcake recipe with you! I came up with this recipe after seeing these cute little margarita cupcakes on Pinterest (of course, lol) and decided that they would be the perfect treat for the little Cinco de Mayo play date that baby P and I were invited to attend. I love all holidays and especially fun holidays that don’t involve presents, just lots of food and drinking (although the drinking has come to a temporary halt on account of my squishy baby, lol), so naturally Cinco de Mayo is one of my faves. While I would love to enjoy a nice margarita today, I’m pretty sure any amount of tequila would probably kill me at this point, given that I haven’t had any hard liquor in over a year, so I figured a margarita cupcake would have to do the trick this year. Since I rarely bake anything from scratch, my goal is always to jazz up a box of cake mix enough to keep anyone from caring that I didn’t make the actual cake myself, and it always works :)! Point being, you can keep your recipes super simple and “semi-homemade” and still look like a rockstar baker or cook. Here is how I whipped up my margarita cupcakes by adding just a few simple ingredients to ordinary Betty Crocker cake mix (which was buy one get one free at Food Lion this week, woo-hoo!). Hope you can enjoy these at your next fiesta!

MARGARITA CUPCAKES WITH TEQUILA LIME FROSTING

(Makes 24 cupcakes)

FOR CUPCAKES:

INGREDIENTS

marg

Ignore the yellow food coloring, I don’t know why that’s there – sometimes my brain doesn’t work lol

  • 1 box cake mix (golden vanilla, white or yellow will do – I used golden vanilla)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Tequila Mixer (or 2 Tbsp. lime juice and 1 Tbsp. orange juice)
  • Green food coloring
  • 2 Limes (for garnish)
  • Decorative Straws or cocktail umbrellas (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare your cake mix according to package directions, then add in your tequila mix or lime juice and orange juice, and lime zest. Mix until combined.
  2. Add in 1-2 drops of green food coloring and stir to combine. This is optional, I just wanted to make mine look margarita-y lol.
  3.  Bake your cupcakes according to package directions and allow to cool before frosting.
  4. Meanwhile prepare your garnish by slicing limes into thin rounds, then slicing the rounds into little half moons with a slice down the middle so they will be able to stand atop the cupcake once frosted (see pic). Cut your straws so they are about 3 inches each, I only used about 4 whole straws total (I purchased my super cute straws at Target in the party section).
  5. Once cupcakes are cooled frost using prepared frosting (recipe below). I piped mine out of a plastic ziplock bag with the corner cut off and used a large star tip icing tip. Then apply your garnish. Enjoy!

marg2 marg3

FOR FROSTING:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 container vanilla icing (I used cream cheese flavored icing because I had it on hand, but any white icing will do)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon tequila (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine frosting, lime juice and tequila. NOTE: I did not use tequila this time because I didn’t realize that liquor stores down here aren’t open on Sundays, lol. They were still delicious!
  2. Spoon frosting into a piping bag (or plastic ziplock bag) fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto cupcakes. I allowed my frosting to sit in the fridge for a few minutes after I mixed it to allow it to become a little less fluid.

marg4