There are many ways to decorate cupcakes for holidays, and the 4th of July if probably one of the easiest, no matter what type of cupcakes you prefer. I have included two recipes one chocolate one yellow and ways to decorate them as well.
For yellow cupcakes I like the Deseret Recipes book page 184 yellow cake recipe
1. Cream until light and fluffy 2/3 cup shortening
2 3/4 cups sugar
2. add and continue beating 2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3. sift together 3 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4. add dry mix alternately with 1 1/4 cup milk
beat after each addition beat 1 minute
bake in cupcake paper lined muffin tins at 350 check after 20 minutes could go as long as 35 minutes. cool 10 minutes. remove from pans and let cool completely.
For another recipe, I remembered an episode of barefoot contessa that I saw recently on food network I included her recipe below for chocolate cupcakes, and the direct link to it.
* 1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 cup sugar
* 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
* 11 fluid ounces Hershey’s chocolate syrup
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
For the ganache:
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the chocolate syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and coffee granules and mix until just combined. Don’t over beat, or the cupcakes will be tough.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Don’t over bake! Let cool thoroughly in the muffin pan.
For the ganache, cook the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache. Do not refrigerate.
to decorate the ganache topped ones you can use candy stars. I made red white and blue stars to put on top you can buy the mold and the vanilla flavored candy melts at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or on line at Wilton’s.com. Or you can buy them pre-made at lauren-made.com.
for other cupcakes I topped them with store bought butter cream icing in red white and blue then put on the same stars. you could also buy at your local walmart, target or other major supermarket sprinkles or sugar cake toppers in red white and blue. If you don’t want to buy frosting but make it yourself my favorite , easy butter cream icing is found at food network.com
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cooking-live/basic-buttercream-icing-recipe/index.html is the direct link. To color just add food coloring.
* 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature (use vegetable shortening when pure white icing is needed)
* 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons vanilla or other desired flavoring
* 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
Combine all the ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix at slow speed until smooth. If stiffer icing is needed, or if the weather is very warm, add a little extra sugar. This recipe is enough to cover and fill a 9 by 13-inch sheet cake or 2 (9-inch) layers.