Beautifully swirled cupcakes that taste as great as they look! Perfect for any patriotic celebration or any time you want some American pride in your dessert.
1 and 2/3cupall-purpose flour
1/2cup(1 stick) unsalted buttermelted
1/4cupyogurtplain, vanilla, Greek, or regular, any fat content; you may also use sour cream
1 and 1/2teaspoonsvanilla extract
1/2 teaspoonred gel food coloring
1/2teaspoonblue gel food coloring
1cup(2 sticks) unsalted buttersoftened to room temperature
4 to 5cupspowdered sugar
1/4 to 1/3cupmilk or cream
red and blue gel food coloring*as needed
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and allow to cool a bit. Whisk in the sugar, egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until no lumps remain.
Pour the batter evenly into 3 bowls-- one for white, one for red, and one for blue. Add the red food coloring to one of the small bowls, stir, and add more coloring until it is to your liking. Repeat with a second bowl and the blue coloring.
Using a Tablespoon measure, add 1 heaping Tablespoon of batter to each cupcake liner, starting with whatever color you prefer. Remember that whichever color you end on will be the color of the top of your cupcakes. You should have enough batter for 3 heaping Tablespoons of batter in each liner, and any leftover can be distributed evenly.
Bake cupcakes for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or cream. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. If frosting is too stiff, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Add salt to taste.
DECORATE THE CUPCAKES
Separate the frosting into 3 equal portions-- one for white, one for red, and one for blue. Add the red food coloring to one of the small bowls, stir, and add more coloring until it is to your liking. Repeat with a second bowl and the blue coloring. Set aside.
Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag or a large zip top bag with the corner snipped off. Top with crushed Oreos, stick a whole mini Oreo in the top of the swirl, or leave them plain. Cupcakes will stay fresh covered at room temperature up to 3 days.
Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap, approximately 18" long. Line three stripes of frosting side by side in the middle of the piece of plastic. Stripes should be about 6-8" long.
Once all 3 colors are in there, roll it up into a log. Log should have about 4-6" of "tail" on either end. Refrigerate log for about 10 minutes.
While the frosting chills, fit a piping bag with the tip of your choice (I like a Wilton 1M for cupcakes). When the frosting is ready, thread one end of the log through the bag and pull it through the tip, snipping off the tail when it's seated nicely in the piping bag. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes.
Alternatively, you can forego swirled frosting and dollop the three different frostings onto the top of the cupcake and swirl with a small offset spatula. Cupcakes stay fresh covered tightly at room temperature up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator up to 5 days.