It’s that time of the year when it’s permissible to blow shit up, eat a burger, hot dog, and brat all in one sitting, wave sparkly fire sticks in peoples faces, imbibe ’til you’re seeing stars [and stripes], prance around in that patriotic bikini/banana hammock/fanny pack free from judgment, and salute your red, white and blue with a PBR in one hand and a cupcake in the other.
Yes, my friends, it is the Fourth of July.
We have a lot to be thankful for, including (but not limited to): as much bacon as we damn well please, freedom of speech and love, a capitalist society that rewards those who work hard (well, not so much as of late… THANKS ,OBAMA), second chances, the Second Amendment, water weenies, country music, freedom fries and pan pizzas, radar detectors, Disney World, baseball, Ford Raptors, Big Macs, NASCAR, resilience, anthropomorphized turtles named after Renaissance artists, drive-thru windows, a strong military force, Michael Jordan, Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix, diverse thinking, Flintsone’s vitamins, Crayola crayons, Easy Mac, Slinkies, Ben & Jerry’s, burgers smothered in Wisconsin cheese, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, the Food Network, skyscrapers and farmland, Jack Kerouac, MTV’s Jackass, Pop Tarts, Costco (and the ability to buy things in bulk), Mott’s apple juice boxes, Henry Ford, Harley Davidson, fried chicken, Sub-Zero refrigerators, chocolate chip cookies, Neil Armstrong, college football, social media networking, Vermont maple syrup, Big League Chew, and about a million-and-one more things that I will have to add to this list as I think of them.
Happy birthday, America, and may freedom forever fly.
Since I couldn’t bring you cupcakes rigged with a pyrotechnic feature, I’m giving you the next best thing: from-scratch Funfetti cupcakes with bursts of red, white, and blue, filled with homemade blueberry pie filling, and topped with Pop Rocks buttercream.
Fourth of July Cupcakes
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 heaping Tablespoons red, white, and blue sprinkles
- 3 pints fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup refined sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons corn starch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) salted butter, softened (NOT melted)
- 3 ounces (about 1/3 block) cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream (or more for desired consistency)
- Blue sprinkles
- Several drops red food coloring
- Pop Rocks candy (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and add liners to cupcake pan.
- Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
- Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Keep mixer on and add eggs and vanilla, beat until fully incorporated.
- Add half the flour mixture and mix on low, then repeat with the remaining half.
- Pour in milk and mix.
- Add sprinkles and stir with a rubber spatula.
- Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
- While cupcakes are cooling, combine 2 pints blueberries, sugar, water, corn starch, and cinnamon in a medium sauce pan.
- Cook ingredients on medium-low heat until thickened-- about 10 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat, add remaining pint of blueberries and butter, stir gently until combined.
- Allow blueberry filling to cool.
- Core cooled cupcakes and spoon blueberry filling into cupcakes until full.
- Beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed in an electric mixer for about one minute.
- Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating well between each.
- Add vanilla and beat.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream and beat. Continue adding more, one Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached (be VERY careful it doesn't get too liquid-y!)
- Add sprinkles, red food coloring, and small packet of Pop Rocks (if using), mix.
- Spoon buttercream into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes.
- Top with sprinkles if desired.
- Place in large airtight container (make sure it's deep enough so the icing isn't ruined) and refrigerate to allow icing to harden.