4th of July Cupcakes

4th of July Cupcakes

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope y’all have a great holiday with family and friends!

Today, hubs and I are headed over to the in-laws for a seafood feast. I cannot wait! We volunteered to bring dessert, and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to make some cute cupcakes!

I’ve been wanting to make a white cupcake from scratch for a while now, and when it came to finding the perfect recipe, a fellow blogger (The Way the Cookie Crumbles) wrote an amazing post comparing white cake recipes to find the best one! In the end, Cook’s Illustrated’s version was one of the front runners (no surprise there).

I decided to go all festive and make red, white and blue batter. Why not?

Festive Cake Batter

I had some fun assembling these cupcakes too. I tried layering (top cupcake) and marbling lightly with a toothpick (bottom cupcake). Both are equally fun and cute!

Cupcakes Dissected

I’ll admit, this recipe is very yummy! It wasn’t overwhelming, like wedding cake, and was surprisingly very moist as well. I topped the cupcakes with frosting that was another recommendation from The Way the Cookie Crumbles. It kicks Wilton frosting’s booty, for sure! Just really yummy and simple to make. I wouldn’t recommend this frosting for making decorations since it is very soft, but for spreading over a cake, heck yes! This is my new favorite. :)

Classic White Cupcakes
Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles (originally from Cooks Illustrated)


  • 2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces)
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg whites (¾ cup), at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar (12¼ ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened but still cool


  1. Set oven rack in middle position. (If oven is too small to cook both layers on a single rack, set racks in upper-middle and lower-middle positions.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake liners in cupcake pan/pans.
  2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
  3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no powdery streaks remaining.
  4. Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake liners until 2/3 full. Arrange pans at least 3 inches from the oven walls and 3 inches apart. (If oven is small, place pans on separate racks in staggered fashion to allow for air circulation.) Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 14-18 minutes.
  6. Let cupcakes rest in pans for 3 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely, about 1½ hours.

Easy Vanilla Buttercream
Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles (originally from Cooks Illustrated)


  • 20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2½ cups Confectioners’ sugar (10 ounces)
  • 1/8 tablespoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
  2. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl.
  3. Add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.


  1. These are so cute! Wish I had time to make them today. Maybe I can whip them up for Labor Day!

  2. You are so creative! I love how they look inside…and your photos are looking great!

  3. Oh, you should have used the recipe she ended up creating as a result of all her testing those 3 recipes!! It is my go-to recipe for white cake. Anyway, your cupcakes look cute! I should try out that frosting recipe very soon.

  4. These are so cute! I bet you could change up the colors for all different kinds of holidays – Pink & White or Red & White for Valentines day. Red/Green/White for xmas, etc.

    Super cute.

  5. How pretty! I want to play with layering cake colors now.

  6. These are so darling! I try so hard to take good food pictures but mine always suck. I like that you showed the inside of the cupcakes to illustrate the two different techniques. I’ll have to try the layering sometime. Interesting that the frosting recipe involves salt!

    • The Nifty Foodie says:

      No way! The dinner pics I’ve seen you take are awesome, and I’m completely jealous of your photography skills! A little bit of salt brings out the sweetness in frosting. You won’t taste the salt at all, but it just makes it more distinct in a way. :)

  7. Those are so cute! I love how you did them 2 different ways.
    Also, super jealous of your picture taking skills… I just got a new camera so I’m hoping to get better, but I lack the patience needed or time to take the picture before I eat or run out the door haha

  8. Cake recipes are the specialty of my best friend, my favorite ones are those exotic fruit cakes`*`

  9. Fantastic wordpress blog here.. It’s hard to locate top quality creating such as the one you have these days. I really enjoy people like you! be mindful

  10. The cupcakes look beautiful. I love the ones with the blue bottom and red center. I am going try this technique. Thank you.


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