Pink, White, and Blue Cupcakes

Miss Yunks has been a bad food blogger since she got engaged back in January. With an increased focus on eating healthy, there haven’t been many desserts in this foodie’s kitchen. Life has been busy this year with wedding planning, making an effort to visit the gym regularly, and the day job. Most dinners are some combination of vegetables, protein, and pasta. Not very photo worthy.

Desserts are my favorite to bake and to blog. When BF and I decided to have a July 4th BBQ, I planned the desserts first. I definitely wanted to make red, white, and blue cupcakes. I had just read about Joanne’s Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes and thought they’d be the perfect batter for my cupcakes. There was only one problem; I didn’t have vanilla bean paste.  And then there was another problem. I was scarily low on vanilla. A true sign I haven’t baked in way too long, I was almost out of vanilla and I didn’t even know it! Bad food blogger.

I followed Joanne’s recipe anyway. I substituted vanilla extract for vanilla bean paste. I also cut down on the eggs. Instead of 5 eggs, I used 3 whole eggs and 4 egg whites. And guess what? The vanilla cupcakes still tasted perfect. Using buttermilk almost makes the cupcakes taste like vanilla pancakes.

Since I wanted red, white and blue cupcakes, I searched to find other red, white and blue cupcakes for inspiration. I quickly found Bakerella’s Snow Cone Cupcakes. And I actually thought, hey, I can do that. But I didn’t have time to get all of the supplies so instead, I intended to follow her method for getting equal amounts of red, white and blue cake batter evenly into the cupcake liners. She filled three pastry bags with cake batter and squeezed all three together.

That was much easier said than done. I ended up with a giant mess and pink and blue cake batter all over the kitchen. And now I’ll point out the obvious – I used pink food coloring instead of red. I call it a girly twist on the traditional.

I found it much easier to squeeze each cake batter individually. I had enough colored batter to make 12 tri-colored cupcakes and then most of my mini cupcakes were just white. Since I didn’t have the vanilla bean paste, I figured I should find a different recipe for frosting. I had a vanilla bean so I wanted to find a recipe for vanilla bean frosting. I used this recipe and following it exactly. If I were to make it again, I think I’d add another half to full cup of sugar. This frosting is very buttery and soft. I think more sugar would make it a little stiffer. The flavor was perfectly vanilla though. I was excited to use a vanilla bean for the first time and decorating cupcakes with the whipped, light and fluffy frosting was a piece of cake.

Baking these cupcakes was so fun and gave me the perfect opportunity to use my new cake stand. I baked the cupcakes the night before and frosted them in the morning. I kept the cupcakes out for hours before dessert time and the frosting held up. Another bad food blogger confession: I didn’t even take nice photos of my cupcakes! These photos are iphone photos. I might regret not taking better photos.

BF gave me a bit of a hard time about not having a go-to cupcake recipe. I usually like to try new recipes every time I bake, but this recipe is bound to be repeated. And on today’s agenda: buy vanilla bean paste.

I do, however, have a go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. I found this soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe over the winter and baked them quite a few times. They were a hit as usual on July 4. I think they get better every time I make them. I made some smaller cookies this batch and they were even softer than the big cookies. And I had the exact amount of vanilla I needed for the cupcakes and the cookies!

And now my wedding is less than a month away! I can’t wait to share all the details, or at least the food details, after the big day! I also have a little DIY wedding project I’ll be sharing after the wedding.

I’m getting very exciting for our wedding and for our honeymoon. We are jetting off to Greece the day after our wedding!  If you’ve been to Greece, please share your tips!

How did you celebrate July 4th this year? Do you have go-to dessert recipes?

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