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4th of July Cupcakes

 

Ingredients:

2 ¾ cups cake flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup butter, softened
4 large egg whites, plus 1 whole large egg
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 drops Lime essential oil

Naturally Colored Cream Cheese Icing:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
16-ounce (2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
1 pod’s worth of vanilla beans, or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 drop Lime essential oil
¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries
¼ cup freeze-dried blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Put cupcake liners into muffin tins.
  3. Mix dry ingredients on slow speed for 2 minutes until blended.
  4. Add the soft butter and mix in until evenly crumbly.
  5. Add egg whites one at a time, then add one whole egg, beating well after each addition to begin building the structure of the cake. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with each egg addition.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk milk with vanilla and Lime essential oil. Add to the batter ⅓ cup at a time. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. With an electric mixer, and using the paddle attachment, not the whisk, mix the butter and cream cheese together for about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
  2. Add vanilla bean pod or extract and mix. Slowly add powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get desired sweetness and thickness.
  3. Divide frosting into three bowls.
  4. In two separate plastic bags, add freeze-dried strawberries and blueberries. Using a rolling pin, roll on top of freeze-dried fruit until they are small crumbs.
  5. Add crushed freeze-dried strawberries and blueberries into separate bowls and stir to combine.
  6. In the third bowl of plain frosting, add 1 drop of Lime essential oil and stir to combine.
  7.  Add each frosting into a separate pastry bag. If you don’t have pastry bags, you can put it into a plastic baggie and snip the corner of the bag.
  8. Using a pattern of red, white, and then blue, gently pipe a small layer of each frosting onto cupcakes. 9. Once done, you should have a beautiful and extremely tasty patriotic cupcake. For an extra flair, add an American flag toothpick on top.

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