Fourth of July 2021 After Action Report

I am a tired woman, but I am on the other side of a lot of work for a Fourth of July/birthday party. Let none say I do not love my husband. My back had been in pain this past week and I think the party might have been a contributing factor.

Really this is an excuse to post pictures of my patriotic ice cream cupcakes.

They were a lot of work, and the recipe produced a lot of cupcakes.

It isn’t complicated.

Below is a slightly modified recipe based on that of Taste of Home; their frosting recipe did not work for me and their recommended cupcake cup full ratio is too much. I also changed up the ice cream used. I’ve also included some videos for the frosting-uninitiated.

You need:

  • 1 normal sized box of red velvet cake mix
  • Cupcake cups, lots (I had 42 and there was still batter left)
  • Cupcake pan(s)
  • Vanilla ice cream (I just bought a gallon from Trader Joe’s; there’s a lot left)
  • Fluffy frosting, made or store bought (It took me three containers of the standard store bought size to get them all)
  • Blue food coloring
  • Gold star sprinkles
  • Open star frosting tip

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Make the batter according to the directions on the box.

2. Pour the batter into the cupcake cups. You’ll want them about a quarter full.

3. Bake the base of your cupcakes. I recommend starting with 11 minutes and testing them with a toothpick- poke a toothpick into the cupcake and if it comes out clean, they are done. (On my oven, it ended up taking 15 minutes.)

4. Give the cupcakes 10 minutes to cool. Once cool, spread ice cream on the top. I recommend using a cookie dough scoop and butter knife for this. The scoop was used to put the ice cream on the cupcake and the knife to shape it and fill in any gaps. Work fast, as softer ice cream is harder to work with.

5. Freeze the cupcakes for at least an hour (I froze them for about 3 hours). I recommend spreading ice cream on small batches of cupcakes, then immediately putting them in the freezer before you start on the next set.

6. When the cupcakes are ready, add blue food coloring to your frosting and mix to the desired shade of blue. Prepare a piping bag (you don’t need an expensive one- or even the tip! Use a plastic bag as a piping bag by cutting a corner out and shoving the frosting tip through, or even do it without a frosting tip as shown here.) Fill with frosting (how to do that for the less than kitchen-coordinated like myself).

7. I followed these directions to frost my cupcakes. Sprinkle the gold stars on top as soon as they are frosted. Work in batches again and put the batch back in the freezer when done.

They were quite the hit, which I am so happy about, because I am but an adequately domestic person. I woke up very early to start these on the Fourth and do all the other things I needed to do.

I could see mixing up the colors, sprinkles, and kind of ice cream for different holidays, though I admit I’m a sucker for traditions and would rather do something different for different holidays.

We also had a 1776 drinking game! If you haven’t seen 1776, you are missing out. It is a musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It takes quite a few historical liberties, but not as many as some things, and is very fun. I watch it every Fourth of July. It’s great.

Here are the rules, stylishly formatted:

I had to write them myself because no drinking game rules for this movie exist on the internet. They need refining, I think. I’m open to suggestions.

All in all, a success. Yeah, we could use a bigger house, bigger grill, and more decorations, but I think it went well for our first party.

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