June 23, 2011

4th of July Cupcakes

4th of July will be here before we know it!  It is time to start planning a menu.  If you don't already have a dessert planned, these cupcakes would be great.  Individual sized portions and no plates or utensils needed.  I saw this great idea awhile back over at Hoosier Homemade for some New Years Eve cupcakes.  When I saw her picture, I immediately thought of 4th of July.  So, I waited and waited until it was finally time to give these a try.  All you do is melt some hard candy and cut with a star cookie cutter.  Simple as that.  
1.  Buy a package of Jolly Rancher snack size candy stix.  Take out all of the red and pink candies.  The red and pink both looked the same color once they were melted.   
2.  Unwrap a piece of candy and place on a greased piece of foil over a baking sheet.  I only had one star cookie cutter, so I had to do one at a time.  If you have multiple cookie cutters, you could melt as many pieces as needed.  One candy was perfect for one star.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven until melted, about 2-3 minutes.   
3.  Remove from oven and press your greased star cookie cutter into the melted candy.  Let harden, a few minutes.  (A faster way to go about it is to have two pieces of foil and when you take one out of the oven and press the cookie cutter in to it; set it aside and let harden for a few minutes while you melt another candy on the 2nd piece of foil.  By the time the new piece is melted the first piece will be hardened).  
4.  Peel candy off of foil and break off excess pieces.  Gently press star out of cookie cutter and set aside.  Repeat with remaining candy.  Don't worry if some of the edges break off the star, you can just stick the broken side into the cupcake.  The better your cookie cutter is greased, the better the stars come out.

Decorate as desired!  I would add the stars only a few hours before serving, because if they sit too long in the frosting, they will start to "melt" into the frosting and you end up with watermelon or cherry flavored frosting.   

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

3 c. cake flour
1 Tbl. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
16 Tbl. unsalted butter, softenend
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 c. buttermilk, room temperature
1 Tbl. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners.  Combine cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk and set aside.  Add the butter to an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl.  Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, until light and creamy.  Scrape down the bowl and beat one more minute.  Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating one minute after each addition, mix in eggs, one at a time until incorporated.  Combine the buttermilk and vanilla.  With mixer on low, add dry and wet ingredients alternately, mixing just until incorporated.  Scrape bowl and mix a few more seconds.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  Divide batter between liners, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 18-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Frost cooled cupcakes.  Yield: approximately 30 cupcakes.

Jenn's Notes:  I made a half of a batch of these cupcakes.  The batter is thick and creamy and they bake up beautifully, perfectly round on top.  I baked mine for 20 minutes.  With half a batch, I got 19 cupcakes.  The first night, they were extremely light and fluffy and had amazing flavor.  The 2nd day, they were slightly more dry, but with the frosting on top, they were still delicious.  They have really really good flavor.  I used vanilla bean paste instead of a vanilla bean. 

White Frosting
from: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1 c. shortening
2-3 tsp. clear vanilla extract
1 tsp. butter extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract   
pinch of salt
4 Tbl. of water or more if needed 
5 c. powdered sugar

Beat shortening until fluffy.  Add vanilla extract, butter extract, almond extract and salt and beat until blended.  Slowly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and beat until combined.  Add water as need, to reach desired consistency.  Beat until smooth and fluffy.  The amount of cupcakes this will frost depends entirely on how much you put on each cupcake.  I tend to put a lot of frosting on my cupcakes and I can get about 24-30 cupcakes frosted.  If you end up with 36 cupcakes, you might be slightly short and you might want to add one more cup of powdered sugar to be safe (or just use less frosting per cupcake).            


  1. These look awesome! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I just looked at your Kneadman's sugar cookie recipe...it is very close. How awesome is that!!! Thanks for following. I'm a follower of yours!

  2. I can see why you got excited about the candy stars--I'm excited now too! I had no idea that you could melt hard candy in the oven, let alone cut it with cookie cutters! Your cupcakes look amazing, I can't wait to try this. :)

  3. Awesome. As always :)

  4. I am just reminding everyone about tonights link party that runs Friday evening through Mondays!
    I also have an ongoing give away link party now too.
    Hope to see you soon.
    come strut your stuff

  5. Very interesting to use the jolly rancher! Love it!

  6. Such a cute idea! I've done melted candy "windows" for gingerbread cookies, but I've never thought to cut the melted candies into shapes. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Cake for dinner..Love the name of your blog! These look so yummy..I'm your newest follower!

  8. Sweet cupcakes, love how you made your stars!

  9. What a great idea- and they turned out perfect! I might have to try this sometime myself...Jolly Ranchers plus cupcakes-- YUM!!!!! :)

  10. OMG! I can't wait to make those stars,they're so genius! Cute cupcakes! :)

  11. Your frosting looks divine! Love the stars. So cute and festive. Thanks for sharing on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.


  12. Looks yummy!

    We'd love for you to share this recipe with us at

    Simply Delish Saturday

  13. Great looking cupcakes - very patriotic!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  14. So yummy and so patriotic! Please share your recipe with our followers by linking it up at Muffin and Cupcake Monday! Thanks!


  15. What a fun recipe! Using the cookie cutter to make those "cupcake toppers" is an awesome idea! I'm your newest follower :)

  16. Thanks so much for linking your recipe up at Muffin Monday! Have a great week!

  17. i keep telling myself i'm going to try the melted jolly rancher thing but i keep forgetting! so cute, i love these :) thanks for the sweet comment on my MJ cake!


  18. Fabulous idea for making the stars. Thanks for sharing

  19. Yay! So excited you gave the Jolly Ranchers a try!
    The cupcakes look amazing! Love the frosting recipe too!
    Thanks for joining us for Cupcake Tuesday!

  20. Great idea with the Jolly Ranchers.....I can already envision creating pieces for decorating Gingerbread Houses.....window panes....doors....your cupcakes look delicious)))

  21. Your stars are great. I am gong to try making them. Also going to try your Vanilla Bean cupcakes. They sound delicious Thanks for sharing.

  22. These look beautiful and the stars are amazing!

    I am featuring these on my blog on Sunday!

    Thanks for linking up!


  23. Hi! Stopping by to invite you to link this up to Thrifty Thursdays. Blessings!


  24. Your cupcakes look really cute! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites last week. I'm featuring you! Come by and grab my featured button if you'd like one.

  25. LOVE IT! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  26. These look delish! Love the Jolly Rancher star. I featured these on my 4th of July edition of My Friday Favorites. Come check it out. Happy 4th of July!

  27. Very cute! Love the Jolly Rancher stars! :)
    Thank you so much for linking it up to {nifty thrifty sunday} last week!

  28. These are so fun and the Jolly Rancher stars are brilliant! Stopped by from Tip Junkie to invite you to link this (and any other cupcake related posts - old or new!) to our Month Long Cupcake Party!


    Hope to see you there and happy weekend!

  29. This looks so fun!! So many ideas!! And the cupcakes? Mmmm! Remind me not to stop by when I'm hungry!! Thanks for your sweet comment on my pig cupcakes! Can't wait to see yours!

  30. These look amazing! I love the "glass" look to the stars.

    I am having a Red, White and Blue Linky Party and hope you will join in on the fun!

  31. Hi! I’m having a linky party called A Themed Baker’s Sunday. Usually I have a theme every week, but this week I want to see what everyone is making for the 4th. I would love if you linked up your delicious and patriotic sweetness!

  32. You have been featured at SSB! Check it out at the link below:


    Feel free to snag the I Was Featured button for your blog and I hope you'll visit again soon!

  33. Thanks for linking up your recipe at Cast Party Wednesday. I hope you come back tomorrow and share some more of your awesome recipes!
    I hope to see you there!

  34. Thank you so much for linking up to my Red, White and Blue Linky Party!