With the 4th of July holiday looming and only a few short days to prepare for our barbecue with friends, my thoughts have turned to the logistics of a fun and festive menu. If you've read any of my previous entertaining posts, you'll know that cupcakes are my specialty, and this holiday is no exception. My clear choice for a dessert offering in this instance will be cupcakes with a patriotic flair. 

Relying on my tried and true method of using boxed cake mix with a twist, I plan on baking vanilla or white cake with vanilla frosting. The festive nature in this case will come more from the paper wrappers and accoutrements than the actual cake itself, but my cake selection stems from the fact that I want a light colored cake as to not bleed through the decorative paper. 

Luckily, I have all of the supplies on hand that I'll need to create something memorable for our guests, including: 

  • One box of vanilla or yellow cake mix
  • Store bought vanilla frosting
  • Wet ingredients for the cake, in this case eggs, water, light sour cream, and applesauce (more on my lower fat substitution method detailed in this post)
  • Blue and white cupcake wrappers (purchased originally for a friend's baby shower)
  • Red sprinkles (in this case candy cane sprinkles, bought for a Christmastime cupcake)
  • Cute, fireworks-inspired picks, snagged on clearance a couple years back after the 4th

If you don't have these items, they shouldn't be too difficult to find. Beyond the obvious stop at the grocery store, check out a craft store like Micheal's or a party story for the festive flair and sprinkles.

I'll follow the quick and easy directions on the box (although thanks to our finicky 1980s stove, I'll underbake them a bit), and after allowing them to cool, I'll give them a fancy frosting flourish. My preferred method is piping on, not spreading, store bought frosting. Thanks to a birthday gift from Alex, I now own a full Wilton cake tip set and disposable piping bags. If you don't have a professional set, worry not. Simply take a large ziplock bag, spoon the frosting into the bag, and snip off one corner of the bag with scissors. Squeeze the frosting out of the snipped corner for a similar, professional look.

Then apply some festive touches like sprinkes, and in this holiday's case, fun cupcake toppers, and you'll end up with a final result that screams "oh say can you see...how beautiful these cupcakes are?"

Looking for a festive adult beverage to wash it all down with? Check out my quick step-by-step instructions on making lemonade coolers, a delightful refreshment perfect for July 4th celebrations..

What are you doing to commemorate the day? Any special entertaining tips or recipes to share? Do you have a quintessential food that signifies the 4th of July to you and your family?

Are you looking for other 4th of July decorating or entertaining ideas? If so, check out the holidays section of our projects page for cocktails, recipes, exterior decor, and more. 

Comments 8


7/1/2011 at 6:08 PM
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7/1/2011 at 8:52 PM
Hi. I'm a new follower via Boost my Blog Hop. Come visit me at www.weidknecht.com! Enjoy your weekend!
7/2/2011 at 2:45 PM
Hi! I'm following you from B.M.B.F!I hope you visit me and return the

Btw if you'd like could you
please join the Treasure Trove
Tribune! I think you will enjoy
7/2/2011 at 5:23 PM
I love this idea! I'm visiting over from funkyjunkinteriors. I'm hosting my first ever blog party and its all 4th of July-all Red, White, and Blue! I'd love for you to link up and share with me!


Hope to see you over at my place soon!
Lindy@Itsy Bitsy Paper
7/3/2011 at 7:57 AM
Adorable! I'm having a Red, White and Blue Linky Party today and I'd love for you to come join in on the fun!
7/7/2011 at 9:58 AM
Thank you so much for linking up to my Red, White and Blue Linky Party!

7/13/2011 at 8:41 PM
Thank you so much for linking this up! I love it! So cute! Perfect for my first blog party celebrating the 4th of July!

I'm hosting my first ever weekly blog party and it starts today! It is called {re}create into something new! So please link up anything that you have reinvented, repurposed, recycled, revamped, reused, reorganized or redone! notsosimplehousewife.blogspot.com/2011/07/recreate-into-something-new-blog-party.html

Kaitlin--The Not So Simple Housewife
6/26/2012 at 1:53 PM
How cool is that!!! Such a great cupcake topper!

Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you'll be linking up this evening!
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