While one could easily serve red, white, and blue parfaits at a 4th of July party, I prefer to give guests a more all-American dessert — in the form of a crowd-pleasing cupcake. When I saw these adorably patriotic cupcakes in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living, I knew they would be on the menu at my Independence Day celebration.
The vanilla cake batter is dotted with fresh blueberries before being baked. Each individual cake is iced with fluffy seven-minute frosting and topped with a single plump raspberry. These pretty cakes are a light sweet treat, ideal for Summer entertaining. If you're interested in reading the recipe, do so after the break.
3 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped, pods reserved for another use, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 pints (3 cups) blueberries
34 raspberries (1/2 pint; about 1 1/3 cups)
Seven-Minute Frosting, recipe below
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in middle and lower positions. Line 3 muffin tins* with 34 liners. Whisk together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt.
- Beat butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and the vanilla until pale and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk.
- Beat whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the whites into batter, then carefully fold in remaining whites.
- Gently toss blueberries with remaining 1/4 cup flour to coat. Gently fold floured blueberries into batter. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners.
- Bake until cupcakes spring back when touched, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tins, and let cool completely on wire racks. Frost cupcakes and garnish each with a raspberry.
*Use a light-colored metal muffin tin for this recipe. Dark and nonstick tins retain too much heat and will cause the cupcakes to burn around the edges before cooking completely in the middle.
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Heat 1 1/2 cups sugar, the corn syrup, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Wash down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Cook until syrup registers 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour into a glass measuring cup.
- Meanwhile, beat whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Reduce to medium-low, and add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Pour syrup into whites in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl. Raise speed to medium-high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.
Makes 10 cups.
- Desserts, Cupcakes
- North American