American Flag Cupcakes

Flag CupcakesCupcakes #2 for our 4th of July cookout came from this beautiful Pinterest inspiration. I absolutely loved the rose swirls cupcakes layout as a flag. This one truly was only a design inspiration so I decided to use my favorite  chocolate cupcake recipe with the Very Vanilla frosting that I was already making for the other cupcakes.

These were relatively straight forward, especially since they were not new recipes. The chocolate went together wonderfully with the vanilla bean frosting and they looked absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, the day was very hot & humid and so my frosting did melt a little while transporting them. Overall, they were a hit though. Happy 4th of July!


For the Cake:
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream
  • 3/4 cups (175 ml) room temperature water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • seeds scraped from 1/2 split vanilla bean
  • salt, to taste
  • red & blue food coloring


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Line 2 muffin pans with 15-18 paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
  4. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk until blended.
  5. Add the water in 1/4 cup at a time and whisk until combined.
  6. Whisk in vinegar and vanilla to blend.
  7. Add the egg and whisk until combined.
  8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all of the ingredients are well combined.
  9. Divide the batter equally among the cupcake liners.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out almost clean (it’s ok if a few crumbs stick to it, but should not look shiny).
  11. Cool completely on wire racks.
  12. To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add salt if frosting is too sweet (1/4 teaspoon). Divide the frosting and color with the food coloring. Frost cooled cupcakes.

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