Posts Tagged '4th of July'

Pipe Dream #204: To Dissociate – Black and White Berry Ganache Cupcakes

ganache cupcakes 6

I have written in my planning notes that these black and white cupcakes would make a good pre-Independence Day post. I think I wrote that because these cupcakes are highly transportable (for all those sparkler bashes you’ll be attending). But I think the bigger reason I wrote that is because these cupcakes are decorated with blue and red berries, and obviously, anything blue and red combo triggers thoughts of fireworks and grillouts. Oh, and like, patriotism or something. #foodie #canadian #canadianfoodie

ganache cupcakes 1

Anyway, coming up is my favorite holiday, which I celebrate for untraditional reasons, mainly sparklers and fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with America, it’s a lovely place to live! I just don’t feel like wearing flag sweaters most days. Feel free to be untraditional and associate these cupcakes with something other than the 4th, even though this is the week. Ideas: Berry season, Britain, bomb pops. Beets.

ganache cupcakes 3

One point of regret: Do you see how lovely and perfectly creamy the above ganache is? It is actually beautiful. When I whipped it up to make the frosting for these babies (such a cool party trick), it split in the heat/humidity of my kitchen. Maybe save the whipped ganache for another, less summery day. You could try a quick buttercream, or a thin glaze, or heck, just a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

ganache cupcakes 4

ganache cupcakes 5


I still frosted them. It tasted fine.

ganache cupcakes 7

Happy 4th!


White Cupcakes

Adapted from i am baker

2 cups + 1 tablespoon white whole-wheat flour
1 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened but still cool, cubed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

Whisk the room temperature milk, egg whites, and extracts in a medium bowl until blended.
Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of an electric mixer at low speed. Add butter cubes and continue beating on low for 1-2 minutes. Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for 1 minute.

Pour the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling each tin about 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcakes comes out clean, about 18 minutes (but please check at 15 minutes, don’t overbake). Allow the cakes to cool about 2 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Black Cupcakes

Adapted from Ina Garten

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for abou 18 minutes (checking at 15 minutes), until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 2 minutes, then remove onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting

I used this recipe. Make sure you are whipping the ganache (or any frosting for that matter) in a cool kitchen. Don’t overbeat it either. Heat and overbeating will result in a curdled frosting.

Pipe Up! On Your Favorite Thing In This Wide World

If I ever tell you that I love you more than sparklers, you will know that you are loved a lot. Like Top 10 loved. And something else will probably be less loved, because sparklers are not being bumped out of the Top 10 Things I Love anytime soon.

Ok that’s pretty dramatic; I don’t actually have a list of Top 10 things I love, but I do adore those bursting fire balls that don’t hurt you when you stare into their fascinatingly changeable hearts and cause endless joyful wellings of laughter from my soul. I could go on, but I’ll spare you the rest of my heartfelt outbursts for later.

I had such a fun time messing around with the camera settings to capture the evening light, and I was so impressed by how sharp and interesting all the little sparks are! I didn’t even know my camera could work so well. Does anyone know why cameras can do this? Are they really just that fast? Is it something to do with how bright the sparks are? What is your favorite thing to capture?

Pleasantly puzzled,


I Got It Right: Independence Day Red Velvet Cupcakes

I’ve finally done it. “For everything there is a season” and all that. In this case, the Bible is double true: Not only are these cupcakes appropriate for the Independence Day season, I have also managed to blog something at an appropriate time. Think of it! You are getting this blog post for red, white and blue cupcakes just two days before the 4th of July! It’s almost unfathomable, given that I’m a year and a half into this blog, and you’ve almost never seen a seasonal blog posting.

Sorry, you probably aren’t rejoicing as much as I am over this personal triumph.

But seriously, you should rejoice over these red velvet cupcakes. Compared to the half-disaster that was my first attempt at red velvet, these babies are delectable. It’s all that food coloring, I guess…

And with a molehill of cream cheese frosting? Please sign me up. I found some cute star sprinkles in my cupboard, and decided to use them up. Heaven knows I’ve only had them for an embarrassingly long number of years.

You can bring these to all those fun 4th of July barbecues you’re attending, yeah? Snarf one and think of me.

Eeeeeeeeee fireworks!!!!!!,


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Adapted from bakerella

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 oz. red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line trays with cupcake papers.
Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together with another wire whisk.
Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
Pour into cupcake pans and drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Makes 24 cupcakes

Cream Cheese Vanilla Frosting

1/2 stick unsalted butter

6 oz. cream cheese

4 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar

1/4 t. vanilla extract

Place butter and cream cheese into mixer bowl. Cream 1 minute on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add confectioner’s sugar 1 c. at a time, mixing on medium speed, scraping down bowl between additions. Add vanilla, then beat on high speed 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Favorite Shots: Happy 4th of July!

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet Freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

From “America”

By Reverend Samuel Francis Smith

Today, please enjoy sparklers, my favorite favorite favorite thing about the holiday that celebrates America. I could skip singing the national anthem, waxing poetic about how fabulous the States are, and the mosquito bites that inevitably accompany an evening spent under the stars…but I can’t skip the sparklers.


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