Flag Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream – easy and great for the fourth of July! Flag Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream - easy and great for the fourth of July! the-girl-who-ate-everything.comWhen I worked full time I couldn’t wait to get to the end of the work week so I could relax and kick up my feet on the weekends.Then Sunday night I would get that dreaded feeling that accompanies going back to work Monday for a whole week of the grind. Some people struggle with the transition between working full time to being home all the time. I definitely didn’t have that problem. I embraced it fully.

The thing with motherhood is everyday is a Monday. There are no Fridays to look forward to for a break from diaper changes. But then again…everyday can be a Friday too, depending how you look at it.

Flag Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream - easy and great for the fourth of July! the-girl-who-ate-everything.comToday was one of those days that I felt lucky to be home. I felt guilty as John rolled out of bed at the crack of dawn to go to work. He has mini-camp all weekend. My kids slept in until after eight. We had a leisurely breakfast, went to the gym, and then swam at the pool with friends. Minus the stroller spill where Wes ate the asphalt…it was a good day. I was the boss of my day and our schedule was whatever I wanted it to be.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I feel like hugging John’s leg pleading,”Take me with you to work! Don’t leave me!”

But today wasn’t one of them…Flag Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream - easy and great for the fourth of July! the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

These flag cupcakes have a classic vanilla flavor with a hint of lemon that compliments the strawberries and blueberries. I finally found a frosting that I love. It isn’t a pure white frosting (more off-white), but it tastes yummy.
Flag Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream - easy and great for the fourth of July! the-girl-who-ate-everything.com
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Flag Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients

Cupcakes:
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Strawberries for garnish
  • Blueberries for garnish
Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks, softened)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar , sifted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Up to 4 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Instructions

  1. For Cupcakes: Combine all ingredients until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and then beat on med-high speed for 3 minutes.
  2. Divide batter equally in half between two bowls.
  3. Use red food coloring to color one bowl of batter to desired color of red and leave the other one white. Wilton brand gel colors have the brightest color and are good to use here.
  4. To make flag striped cupcakes alternately place a spoonful of red batter and a spoonful of white batter in the cupcake holder. The batter is thick, so it won't spread on its own. A great tip is to set out a little bowl of water where you're working. Dip your finger in the water and then gently spread the batter out. The water will make it so the batter doesn't stick to your fingers.
  5. Bake cupcakes according to the cake mix package directions.
  6. Frosting: Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoon at a time.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting. Garnish with strawberry fans and blueberries.
  8. Tip: To make strawberry fans for garnish just slice strawberry down to the stem without slicing all the way through.

Recipe Notes

Source: cupcake base from Our Best Bites and the frosting from Savory Sweet Life