Stars and Stripes Cupcakes

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
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Ingredients

For the cupcakes: 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk

For the frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 cups confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Red gel food coloring

1/2 cup blue candy melts

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the granulated sugar and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Beat in the melted butter and vanilla until smooth. Reduce the mixer to low speed; beat in half of the flour mixture, the milk, then the remaining flour mixture until smooth.
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
  4. Make the frosting: Beat the butter in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth, then beat in the vanilla and raspberry extracts. Beat in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until creamy. Transfer half of the frosting to a separate bowl and tint red with food coloring. Put the white and red frosting in separate zip-top bags; snip a corner of each. Snip a corner of a larger zip-top bag; put both frosting bags in the larger bag and twist so that they pipe out of the snipped corner. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes.
  5. Make the candy stars: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Microwave the candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl in 45-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Transfer to a small zip-top bag and snip a small corner. Pipe twelve 2- to 3-inch stars onto the parchment, piping double or triple lines for stability. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes. Carefully lift the stars from the parchment and insert into the frosting on each cupcake.
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