As much as I am thrilled by the wealth of information available with the press of a button, sometimes I am frustrated. I often have many “unique” creative ideas floating in my head and before I get the chance to see them to fruition ~ chances are at least one, and typically several people have already had the same idea and posted it on-line.
Case in point, both of my boys play on a “Red Sox” Little League team and the colors are Red, White & Blue. I’m in charge of the dessert table for the end of season party so I have been writing down lots of red, white & blue ideas. One thing that I like to serve at parties is popsicles, so of course “bomb pops” came to mind. Then, I sketched several “bomb pop” cupcake ideas. This morning I was greeted by this “Bomb Pop Cupcake” post by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen (originally posted Aug. 2010) circulating around FB by Save the Date for Cupcakes and throughout the day it kept popping up on several blogs/FB links.
Anyway, these would make really cool bomb pop cupcakes with a little tweaking…
As is they are very good for any Red, White & Blue Occasion: Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day and Red Sox baseball parties. I tinted both the cake batter and the frosting red, white and blue. Both the frosting & the cake were flavored as follows: red=cherry/strawberry, white=lemon, and blue=raspberry. I layered the cupcakes to make rings of color and lined my frosting decorator with stripes of frosting to achieve the swirled multi-color effect. The flavors all blend together well to make a refreshingly fruity cupcake.
I used My Favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe – and Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I wouldn’t use the Swiss Meringue Buttercream again, because these Red/White/Blue beauties scream “outdoor” entertaining – patios, parks & picnics… and they might just melt away since it’s mostly butter. An all around good frosting is “Buttercream”, while made of butter – the powdered sugar base causes this frosting to form a crust when exposed to air.
Preheat Oven to 325
Use the “batter” from My Favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe, then proceed as follows:
Makes 18-24 cupcakes depending on how much you fill the cups & how deflated the batter becomes when adding the color & flavoring. Divide the batter into 3 equal parts. To minimize the batter deflation, mix the flavor and color at the same time. Add 1/2 to 1 tsp. flavor to each third. (This really depends on how potent your flavorings are.) Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
3 sticks butter
3 cups powdered sugar
Dash of salt
2 1/2 TBSP heavy cream (or milk, or Half & Half)
1 1/2 Tsp. each Cherry or Strawberry, Lemon (or Lime), and Raspberry extracts.
Gel Food Colors in Red and Blue
Cream the butter in a mixer. Scraping the sides as needed: add the sugar and salt until creamy. Then, add the cream and blend until incorporated. Divide the frosting into thirds (3 equal amounts). Add the flavoring & color.
NOTE about Buttercream frostings: I have seen countless numbers of recipes using hugely varying amounts of butter & powdered sugar. I went with a recipe that uses an equal butter to sugar ratio (1 stick butter to 1 cup sugar) making it very easy to increase/decrease the total amount of frosting. Also, it would be very easy to adjust the sweetness as well. For example, to make sweeter add more sugar & less butter.
I applied the frosting using a decorator tool, I get a little excited when I use it; which wears off when I have to wash it. As I was filling the tool, I realized that it’s probably easier to use a pastry bag with a tip. Simply load the bag with strips of frosting up the sides so that the 3 colors flow-out in a swirl all together.