Star Spangled Cupcakes

by Jennifer on July 2, 2012

in Awesome Treats, Cupcakes, Fourth of July Desserts, Summer Desserts

Ohh, those are nice. Pretty…simple. Just a nice, plain, Fourth of July cupcake. Nothing special…or are they?

Ta da! [insert jazz hands here]

I’ve seen a couple different variations on the type of cupcake floating around on the web and I wanted to take a crack at it myself. I kinda followed the steps from this tutorial, but I’ll explain step by step how I made mine. Believe me – they are easier than they look!

Star Spangled Cupcakes

Makes 10-12 cupcakes


  • 1 box of white cake mix (plus required ingredients listed on the box)
  • 16 ounces preferred frosting – as long as it is white/off-white!
  • Red, white, and blue food coloring
  • Small star cookie cutter
  • 4 pastry bags
  • 1M tip

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions. Divide the batter in half.

2. Take one half of the batter and divide it onto two equal amounts (you can use a food scale, but you should be able to eyeball it). Dye one bowl red and one bowl blue.

3. Grease an 8×8 pan (round or square). Drop dollaps of blue and red batter into the pan. Swirl colors together with a knife.

Don’t swirl too much – we’re not going for purple here!

4. Bake according to the package directions (there should be instructions for baking an 8×8 cake).

5. Once the 8×8 cake is baked and cool, release the cake onto a cutting board.

Now, you’ll see here that my 8×8 cake baked a bit “high” and I wasn’t sure how that would impact my ability to use the cutter. I was worried at this point that I should have used a 9×13 pan for a very thin cake. But, I still think I made the right choice!

See, I had to press the cutter all the way down, past the top of the cake. But, I brought the cutter back up and voila – a perfect little star! Plus the thicker cutout was a better proportion to the cupcake itself. If you have a deeper star cutter, this issue shouldn’t apply to you.

Repeat until you have 10-12 stars. Your mileage may vary, depending on the size of your star cutter.

6. Now, we’re ready to whip up some cupcakes! Line a muffin pan with paper liners (patriotic ones, if you have them!). Put a little bit of the reserved white cake batter in the bottom of each liner.

Take one of your cake stars and gently place it into the liner.

It is very important that you make sure all of the stars are facing the same direction! This will be very helpful later.

Once all of the stars have been placed in the liners, gently spoon the white cake batter around the stars until they are completely covered.

7. Bake according to your package’s directions. Let cool for a minute in the pan, then transfer them to a wire rack. Again, make sure that all of the stars are still facing the same way! Since you won’t be able to see the stars anymore, you have to remove them from the pan in the same pattern. The easiest way to do this is pick up and place one cupcake at a time onto the wire rack. Once they are completely cool, you may want to draw a dot with a food writer on the cupcake liner so that you know where to cut the cupcake so that the star is visible. If you cut at the wrong angle, it’ll just be a weird red/blue blob. A delicious blob, but a blob nonetheless!

8. To make the tie dye frosting, divide up your frosting equally into three bowls. Dye each bowl red, white, and blue.

9. Place each color in its own pastry bag. Snip off the tip of each bag (you want a small to medium sized opening).

10. Once you have all of the colors in their respective bags, you want to place all three of the bags into ONE pastry bag that has been fitted with a 1M tip. The most important thing about this step is to make sure that all three of the pastry bags’ open tips are at approximately the same level. Like this:

For example, if the bag with the white icing was higher up than the other two bags, then the icing would not equally pipe the three colors. Make sense?

11. Now that you have all three bags into one bag, squeeze out a little bit of frosting onto a paper towel or cutting board. It may take a couple of squeezes until you start seeing all three colors. Once you see red, white, AND blue, you’re all set!

12. Frost each cupcake. Admire them for a second before cutting one open to see that pretty star.

Feel very patriotic.

Find more Fourth of July treats here



Leave a Comment

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Yesenia Gilfranco July 2, 2012 at 11:13 am

You are truly amazing and gifted in the kitchen! Love it!


2 Jennifer July 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

Thanks, Yesenia! :)


3 susie July 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

How fun is this!? I love the ruffled frosting, very 4th of July like…and I wondered how that star got in there…I may have to shelve this trick for an event down the road!


4 Jennifer July 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Thanks, Susie! It really is easy and so impressive – everyone will want to know how you did it!


5 Debbie July 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Very nice! I always like your instructions. They have a touch of humor in them. “Don’t swirl too much – we’re not going for purple here!” and “it’ll just be a weird red/blue blob. A delicious blob, but a blob nonetheless”…LOL :-D


6 Jennifer July 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Awww, thanks Debbie! I try to be funny, but I don’t usually succeed :)


7 Debbie July 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Oh…forgot to mention… I pinned your cute cupcakes too.


8 Jennifer July 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Thanks a bunch!


9 Carrie's Creations July 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I loved the heart ones when I saw this, and the stars are even more stunning!


10 Jennifer July 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Thank you, Carrie! I think they look pretty spiffy :)


11 Kerri July 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

SOO cool!!!!

Happy 4th, Jennifer!!!! :D


12 Jennifer July 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Thanks, Kerri! Happy Fourth to you too :) Stay cool – it is cray cray hot in Virginia!


13 Megan @ Megan's Munchies July 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm

These looks amazing!!!


14 Jennifer July 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Thank you, Megan!


15 Robin July 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm
16 Jennifer July 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Oh, wow – thank you, Robin!!


17 cluttercafe July 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Amazing! These are just amazing. Happy 4th!


18 Jennifer July 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Happy Fourth to you too! I’m so glad you like them :)


19 AngAK July 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

you have a type-o that makes the instructions a bit confusing. “Drop dollops of blue and red icing into the pan” — I believe the “icing” should be “cake batter” for the cake. very nice cupcakes and the icing hint for the triple colors was great.


20 Jennifer July 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Oops – fixed! Thanks so much for letting me know!


21 The BearFoot Baker July 16, 2012 at 7:34 am

This is totally brilliant!! LOVE how smart you are!!!


22 Jennifer July 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

Thanks so much, Lisa! :)


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