Monday, July 4, 2011

Panic Cupcakes

  Happy 4th of July!
Let freedom ring!

If you're like me and you had a very busy week, you're drinking your morning coffee or tea and wishing you had planned better.  Where did the weekend go?  And now you're supposed to bring a dish to a cookout or at least do something more than order in pizza.  

So today I'm offering some links to great barbecue recipes, sides, a luscious ice cream dessert, and a cupcake recipe that you can make with items you probably have in your fridge and pantry.  

Kale Salad
from Wendy Watson


Southern-Style Potato Salad
from Riley Adams

Barley, Red Pepper, & Corn Salad, from Krista Davis

Barbecue and Blue, an entire barbecue dinner menu from Avery Aames


Coffee-Marinated Steak and menu suggestions from
Cleo Coyle

Spatchcocked Chicken from Sheila Connolly

Luscious Mocha Ice Cream Torte from Mary Jane Maffini

Woohoo!  What a selection!  But let's say you're missing ingredients for most of those recipes.  Your family will go for hot dogs and burgers, but a quick dessert would be helpful.

You know those interviews where they say "name three things that are in your refrigerator right now?"  I love those!  Chances are that not everyone has cream cheese, or heavy cream, or lemons.  Maybe you do!  But I went with basics, hoping to offer a recipe that wouldn't force you to take a trip to the grocery store.  These are easy cupcakes to make and they are as vanilla as they come -- in the hope you'll have the ingredients on hand.  You can use any kind of milk.  I used nonfat because that's what I had.  Sugar, butter, flour, vanilla -- is it beginning to sound do-able?  This makes 12 yellow cupcakes with a cake type crumb. 
Vanilla Cupcakes

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Optional: blueberries and/or strawberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  If you don't have liners, butter and flour the cupcake pan.

Cream the butter with the sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the salt and baking powder and mix well.  Add the flour and milk, alternating them.  Add the vanilla.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

IF you have blueberries, poke one blueberry in the middle of each cupcake for fun.

Bake 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
8 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix together the butter, sugar, 4 teaspoons milk, and vanilla.  Add remaining milk one teaspoon at a time until you have reached a nice spreading consistency.  Frost the cooled cupcakes.

IF you have blueberries and/or strawberries and/or raspberries, use them to achieve a July 4th red, white, and blue look.  If you don't have berries, that's okay, too.  Place them on a blue and white plate, or line a plate or a basket with a red or blue napkin.  If you only have a couple of berries, that's okay, too.  Mix them up, some with berries, some without.  They'll look festive no matter what you do!


  1. Not much, I got the basics, eggs, butter, juices, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce and bottled water. Wait, I bought cherries yesterday.

    Happy 4th of July!

  2. How beautiful are those cupcakes! Love the strawberry and blueberry adornments. I was hoping the hole in the cupcake was some kind of trick to make the cupcakes come out level, but then realized the hole was a blueberry. Sigh. Wish my cupcakes would come out level.

    In my frigerator? Lots of fruit, some hotdogs, and cheese for grilled cheese - easy peasy lunch menu.

    Happy independence!


  3. Dru, your refrigerator is telling me that you eat out a lot. But then I know that you live in a place where you can buy almost anything! Lucky you!

    ~ Krista

  4. That's a keeper of a cupcake recipe, Krista, and the other posts are classic. Thanks for the links *and* the Star Spangled YouTube. You jumpstarted the holiday for me.

    Happy Birthday, America!
    Happy 4th, everyone! :)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. Avery, I'm guessing gluten-free cupcakes might need some special tricks. Maybe sifting the gluten-free flour with the rising agent would make a difference?

    Cheese in the cheese lady's refrigerator? Thank goodness! : )

    ~ Krista

  6. I got a good laugh out of your post, as I have cream cheese, heavy cream, and lemons ... but no eggs or milk. :) But these cupcakes look yummy enough for a trip to the store, frankly. I love the idea of poking a blueberry into the center. You could play a game -- whoever gets the blueberry wins a door prize!

    As for what's in my fridge (apart from the aforementioned items): a 12-pack of diet coke, tortillas (corn and flour), cheese, corn on the cob, one last tofurkey kielbasa (I have dibs), and potatoes. I'm a little carb-heavy, huh?

  7. In my fridge - the makings of my next two MLK posts, but that would be telling! Loved seeing these fab recipes again and your excellent cupcake recipe, Krista. We sometimes invite little girls to visit and cupcakes are the preferred treat. These will be a hit!

    Happy 4th everyone!

  8. Hot dogs.

    Having been in Greece one 4th and wanting a typical 4th celebration shared w/ neighbors, I discovered only German sausage, and canned at that, available.

    So, I may not eat them, but, by golly, they're there.

  9. Cleo, I'm so glad I got you off to a good start today. Enjoy the 4th!

    ~ Krista

  10. Wendy, seriously, the only things our fridges have in common are cheese and potatoes! LOL!


  11. Aw, Mary Jane! Not even a hint? I can't wait to see what you're making!

    ~ Krista

  12. Funny story, Liz V. Have a great 4th!

    ~ Krista

  13. Of course I have heavy cream and cream cheese and lemons...and creme fraiche and mascarpone and three kinds of butter. And, yes, I've had my cholesterol tested lately--it's fine. And four kinds of bread, and crumpets.

    And a batch of Wendy's ice cream, chilling (never did find xanthan gum so substituted guar gum--we'll see how that works). Tastes good so far.

    Love the "Printable" format!

  14. Sheila - let me know how that guar gum worked out. Haven't experimented with that.

    And, Krista, cheese and potatoes? Happy marriages have been based on less. :)

  15. Unfortunately, every time I put food *into* my fridge, my teenage son takes it *out*! I have to take inventory, but I don't think there's much in there. :)