Maybe it’s me but when you’re an adult, fireworks just seem so childish and pointless. In case you were wondering, I’m about as far away from being a pyromaniac as Charlie Sheen is from being attractive. Just opposite spectrums here. Candles are about as flammable as I get.
When you’re a kid, the idea of blowing up explosives in the night sky seemed cool and magical. Watching all the colored fire burst into hundreds of little rainbow drops of light against the dark backdrop of the sky was awesome. The thrill of lighting those sparklers and holding them out at arm’s length while they sparkle and fizz… awesome, right?
But as an adult, all you see is the hassle of a child lighting their hair on fire, your middle schooler getting too cozy with the dynamite sticks and the possibility of losing their hand becomes imminent — not to mention the astronomical COST of fireworks these days. If I had kids, I’d probably just light a fire in the fireplace while the AC hummed and let them watch that while the Star Spangled Banner played in the background. Or turn on the Yule Log DVD and have at it. (Related side note: I would be a terrible mother).
And if you have pets, fireworks are basically shooting stars from the underbelly of hell. Our dogs freak the HELL out when the UPS man comes to the door, and he doesn’t even detonate. So when something is blowing up outside of our home, producing a shrill sound and tons of smoke and colored fire, my dogs get a little batshit. Which makes me a little batshit since they’re running around the house panting, whimpering, hiding, and barking which ironically, is what I do when I’m trying to console them at 2 in the morning when my demon neighbors are still lighting off Piccolo Petes.
But when it comes to Fourth of July, I’m totally cool with laid-back backyard BBQs, drinking lots of beer, swimming and maybe lighting a couple of tiki torches or citronella candles. Is it totally wild and crazy? No. But it’s still every bit as patriotic (or probably more so) than blowing up American soil with $50 in explosives.
Since the Fourth is coming up and there’s sure to be BBQs and parties galore, I thought I’d make an adorable and EASY cupcake that’s sure to be more impressive (and better tasting, of course) than your standard fireworks display. They look so complicated but come together in a few simple steps and will definitely be the star of the show! These Patriotic Tye Dye Cupcakes will be your new favorite!
- 1 box white cake mix
- 4 egg whites
- ½ cup oil
- 1 cup water
- Red & Royal Blue Gel Food Coloring (like by Wilton)
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Patriotic sprinkles
- Patriotic star cupcake picks
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 muffin tin with 12 liners and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, egg whites, oil and water with an electric mixer or until combined. Divide the mixture evenly among three small bowls. Tint one bowl red with the red food coloring, tint the second bowl royal blue, and leave the third bowl plain white.
- Take a Tablespoon of batter (any color) and drop it into the muffin tin. Layer with a Tablespoon of another color of batter, then the final color of batter for a total of all three colors among each muffin cup or until the cup is about ¾ths of the way full. Repeat with remaining cups.
- Bake for approx. 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs or comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make your frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla and heavy cream. Gradually add the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. Pipe the frosting high onto the cooled cupcakes, and immediately sprinkle with the patriotic sprinkle mix. Adorn with the patriotic cupcake picks (I found mine at Hobby Lobby) and serve!
These cupcakes couldn’t be simpler, yet they definitely make a stand-out impression with their fun, rainbow pops of color and those adorable cupcake tops piled high with creamy buttercream frosting and lots of sprinkles and sparkles! I found my cupcake picks at Hobby Lobby, but any craft store should have a fun assortment of cupcake picks — use whatever you can find!
PS- how cool is that little George Washington bottle in the background? I found it at a local antique shop and had to have it. Hey, George! 🙂
Have a fantastical day!