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Fourth of July Dessert Ideas!

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Bomb Pop Cupcakes!!!

 

Bomb Pop Cupcakes!

Oh my, I love the fourth of July! I love the picnics, and pool parties, and cookouts, and fireworks…and the time with family!

My parents have always (like always, for as long as I can remember!) had a giant pool party for the fourth and invited our entire extended family for burgers and brats and volleyball and sunshine….and for a competitive display of our best “at home” fireworks we could find, later in the evening. I have so many fun memories of chasing fireflies and waving sparklers with my cousins (that are all grown with kids of their own now!). This year is different. For starters, mom isn’t here to orchestrate the complexities of the celebration. The house is in boxes and bags- ready to show to whomever might be interested in buying, and the pool and yard are immaculately kept. Pool toys and floats are all deflated and either sold or put away. Sometimes I sit on the back porch and watch the fireflies and remember all the laughter and fun.

I know that these times are not forever over. This year is different, but once dad settles into his new place there will be other celebrations and family times over the fourth. This year though…my heart wasn’t in the “create something new and fun” place. So instead, I thought you might enjoy a collection of some of my previous red-white-and-blue recipes. You can click on the photo or the title, to be taken to the recipe.

American Flag Oreo Pops!!!!

American Flag Oreo Pops

Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!!

Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!

Patriotic Flip Flop Cookies!!!!

Flip Flop Cookies for the Fourth!

Patriotic Tie-Dye Cake!!!!

Patriotic Tie-Dye Cake!

Stars!!

Stars and Stripes Brownies!

Patriotic Bundt Cake!!!!

Red White and Blue Bundt Cake!

And if you are grilling out for the Fourth, you might need these…

BBQ Grill Cupcakes!!

BBQ Grill Cupcakes!

Hamburger Cookie!

Grilled Burger Cupcakes!

However you celebrate this summer, I hope you have fun making memories with your friends and family~ and I hope you enjoy trying fun, new recipes that become a part of your family traditions! ~r

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Fire Cracker Cookies!!

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Fire Cracker Cookies

 

These fun little fire cracker cookies have a crackling surprise inside– pop rock candy! A perfect treat for your Fourth of July celebrations!!!

I can’t believe it’s almost July already- this summer is passing too fast…! These cookies were a HUGE hit among my friends- the experience of eating a cookie that is popping in your mouth is truly a unique one, and everyone was a huge fan!

Fire Cracker Cookies2

 

adore sugar cookies…especially in the summer. They are so…expected at Christmas- but the 4th of July? Such a fun treat! These are easy to make and cut just beautifully. The dipping in candy melts takes a little time, but the end result is just so fun!

Here’s how we made these: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 60 circles that end up at 20 completed cookies)

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of butter flavoring
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 bags of Wilton Candy Melts in red, white and blue
  • Star sprinkles
  • 3 packets of Pop Rocks in any flavor
  • String licorice (or the pull-apart kind works too)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and butter flavoring and mix well.
  • Add all dry ingredients and mix until able to knead into a firm ball of dough (add additional flour if necessary).
  • Roll out on a floured counter with a flour coated rolling pin to desired thickness (I made them fairly thick)
  • Cut about 60 circles using a cookie cutter (I used a 1″ cookie cutter)
  • Use a smaller circle cutter to cut out a center circle from 20 of these cookies.
  • Place cookies on cookie sheets covered in parchment paper and bake at 350F degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Slide baked cookies and parchment paper together onto a counter to cool completely.
  • Melt candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until smooth.
  • Dip 1/3 of cookies into blue melts first and allow them to harden slightly before setting a snip of licorice on top. You may need to experiment with this a bit. The melts need to be soft enough to stick the licorice in, and hard enough to hold it upright.
  • Dip remaining cookies- 1/3 into red and 1/3 into white melts (add star sprinkles on the sides of the white cookies) and allow them to harden completely.
  • Put the cookies together by piping or spreading a little white candy melt on the bottom of the white piece and setting it on the red. Fill the open spot in the white cookie with pop rocks, pipe or spread a little white candy melt on the top ring of the white cookie and set the blue cookie on the very top. Allow cookies to harden together. Enjoy!!

Firecracker CookiesFirecracker cookies

My thoughts: These take a little time, but they are genuinely fun to make and SO fun to serve! I loved the giggles at those surprise Pop Rocks in the middle!!! I hope you get a chance to try them!!!

Fire Cracker Cookies!

Other fun summer cookie recipes: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Goldfish Oreo Pops!Hamburger Cookie!Ladybug Oreo Pops!Patriotic Flip Flop Cookies!

Fishing Pond Cupcakes

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Fish Pond Cupcakes9

These delicious chocolate cupcakes are filled with a blue frosting “pond” and salty goldfish crackers! A perfect treat for the fish (or fishing!) lovers in your life!

We have a fishing theme on Easybaked these past few weeks. Last week I shared my fishing bobbers and this week a cute little fishing pond! I cannot underestimate the yummy sweet and salty combination of these cupcakes! Those goldfish are a perfect little bite of salt- and simply adorable! These are cute for Father’s day or Birthdays~ and you can even add a few little flower sprinkles for the girls in your life that adore their goldfish!


Fish Pond Cupcakes

These are easy-peasy to make, they use a boxed cake mix and a tub of frosting (although, if you are an over-achiever you certainly could do both from scratch!)

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One boxed chocolate cake mix (plus water, oil and eggs to make according to package)
  • Two tubs of white frosting
  • About 2 cups of green sugar crystals
  • One bag of Goldfish Baby crackers (they are smaller than the original crackers)
  • Green and blue food coloring gels

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake mix according to package and bake in 24 cupcake liners set in a baking tin. Cool completely.
  • Open one tub of frosting, spoon it into a bowl, heat it for about 15 seconds in the microwave to soften it a little and color it green with food color.
  • Open the second tub of frosting spoon it into a bowl, heat it for about 15 seconds in the microwave to soften it a little and color it blue with food color. Spoon it into a zip-top bag and set aside.
  • Pour green sugar into a small bowl.
  • To assemble: Cut a pond-shaped circle hole into the top of each cupcake using a small knife and pull out the core.
  • Dip the top of the cupcake into the green frosting and then into the green sugar, coating it completely.
  • Cut a corner off the bag holding the blue frosting and pipe it into the pond opening on the top of the cupcake.
  • Add a couple of goldfish and flower sprinkles if desired –and enjoy!!!

Fish Pond Cupcakes1Fish Pond Cupcakes8

Fish Pond Cupcakes7Fish Pond Cupcakes6

Fish Pond Cupcakes5Fish Pond Cupcakes10

 My thoughts: How fun!!! I hope you get a chance to make these cute little cupcakes for your next “fishy” get-together ~ maybe this weekend at the lake cottage??? ~Enjoy!!!

Fish Pond Cupcakes

Need some other fun summer ideas? We have lots of them! Click on a photo to see the recipe:

Cheesecake Sundaes frozen s'more cupsRoot Beer Float Cupcakes!!!!Pina Colada Cupcakes!

Fishing Bobber Cupcakes!

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Bobber Cupcakes1

If your dad loves fishing, these fun bobbers on waves of blue buttercream frosting will make him smile!

A perfect Father’s Day treat!

The idea for this recipe began last year before Father’s Day. I was pondering the idea of cutting a hole in the top of a cupcake and finding (or making) an edible golf ball to set inside of it. One morning the lightbulb came on: Lindt White Chocolate Truffles! They were perfect, and as I unwrapped all that yummy chocolate I brainstormed for other ideas.

Golf Cupcakes!!

One of those ideas was another Father’s Day treat- fishing bobbers! I filed the idea away until this year came around and then gave it a go. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to dip the truffle in warm chocolate without it melting, and if it would actually look like a bobber– but I love them! My dad loved them too.

Bobber Cupcakes9

Here’s how we made these yummy treats for dad: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One boxed cake mix (plus water, oil and eggs to make according to package)
  • Blue food coloring gel
  • 2 sticks (one cup) of salted butter
  • 2 sticks (one cup) of unsalted butter
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of clear vanilla flavoring
  • 24 Lindt white chocolate truffles
  • One bag of Wilton candy melts in red

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake mix according to package.
  • Divide out about 1/3 of batter and color it blue
  • Swirl the 2 colors together (don’t mix too much!) and scoop into 24 cupcake liners placed in a baking tin.
  • Bake according to package and cool cupcakes completely
  • Make frosting by placing butters, powdered sugar and vanilla into a large bowl and beating on high until light and fluffy. 
  • Divide frosting in half and color one half blue. Swirl together the blue and white frosting and place into a large zip-top bag, fitted with a decorating tip.
  • Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes.
  • To make toppers: Unwrap all Lindt truffles.
  • Melt red candy melts in a bowl in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  • Allow candy melts to cool a little before dipping.
  • Use a small skewer or fork to dip each truffle into red candy melts, covering the bottom half in red. Place these on clean parchment paper to cool and harden.

Bobber CupcakesBobber Cupcakes13

 

  • Place remaining melted red chocolate into a small zip-top bag. Clip a corner and carefully pipe a small circle of red on the top of each “bobber”, covering the hole made by the skewer used for dipping.
  • Once “bobbers” are completely cooled and hardened, place them on the top of each cupcake and enjoy!!!

Bobber Cupcakes

My thoughts: I really have the most incredible dad. He is funny (hilarious!) and smart and brave. He loves golf (last year’s cupcakes) and he loves fishing (this year’s cupcakes)~ he goes to Canada every summer to fish for GIANT Walleye and Pike and then he fries them up for us all when he gets back- and they are delicious! He does roll his eyes when I say that I like bobber fishing best….but in any case, these are for you dad! I love you!!!!!!!

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Need more ideas for your Father’s Day celebration? Try some of these! (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Chocolate Pecan TartCookie Dough BrownieBBQ Grill Cupcakes!!Golf Cupcakes!!!!

 

Bobber Cupcakes4Bobber Cupcakes8Bobber Cupcakes10

Pecan Praline Cupcakes

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Praline Cupcakes1If you love pralines, you will love these pecan praline cupcakes with delicious homemade pralines on top!

Two desserts in one!

I’m a huge fan of pecan pralines. Our family has often traveled to the southeast part of the US and there’s just nothing better than a still-warm praline in Charleston or Savannah… YUM!  I’ve always wanted to try making homemade pralines, but I’ve never had a good recipe. Last month, we visited family friends, Dave and MaryAnne, and Dave told us he has the BEST pecan praline recipe. He whipped some up for us and oh my…. He shared his recipe and I had the idea to carry some of those flavors over into cupcakes.

Really, these two desserts stand alone, but are especially fun together!

Let’s start with those pralines (printable recipe):

Pecan Pralines

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of hot water
  • 1 1/4 cups of chopped pecans
  • 24-36 pecan halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon of maple extract

DIRECTIONS:

  • Use oil or butter to coat a mini muffin tin well.
  • Place all ingredients (except the whole pecans) into a large saucepan and heat over stove, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 234F degrees.
  • Remove from heat and stir for 5-8 minutes until the candy loses it’s glossy look and gets more cloudy and granular.
  • Spoon (carefully!!!) into well- greased muffin tin.
  • Press a pecan half into the top of each praline and allow to cool.
  • When cooled, tip onto clean surface and ENJOY!

Pecan Pralines

Now for those cupcakes…..! (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons of maple flavoring
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of chopped pecans (as desired)

Praline Buttercream frosting:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 sticks (one cup) butter
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS: (start the frosting first, as it needs to cool before beating)

Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 24-30 cupcake liners 
  • In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together the sugar and butter for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs once at a time until incorporated and then mix in vanilla and maple flavoring.
  • In a different large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add flour mixture to the sugar and butter, alternating with the cream.
  • Stir in pecans.
  • Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake for 15-18 min. Be careful to not over-bake.
  • Cool in pan for a few minutes before removing to finish cooling on the counter.

Frosting:

  • In a small sauce pan, heat brown sugar, cream and 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the cooled brown sugar mixture with remaining butter until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  • Place in a zip-top bag fitted with a decorator’s tip, and pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
  • Top with a praline- or even a pecan half instead.
  • Enjoy!!

Praline Cupcakes

My thoughts: These are perfectly wonderful together in one beautiful dessert, or they can be made as individual recipes. Either way, if you love pecan pralines, you will love these yummy treats! Enjoy! ~r

Praline Cupcake5

Other fun cupcake recipes from Easybaked (click on the photo to see the recipe):

Malted Milkshake CupcakesKey Lime Cupcakes!Coconut Cupcakes!!!Rocky Road Cupcakes!!!!!

 

Banana Split Cupcakes!

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Banana Split Cupcakes

Do you like banana split sundaes? If so, you will love these little cupcake treats- tasty and oh, so cute!!

I love going out for ice cream- not the soft-serve window kind, but the sit-down in a cute parlor with a million combinations of ice creams and toppings to decide from kind. I usually skip the banana split, because I’m not a huge fan of bananas unless they are in bread (or, in this case a cupcake!). Banana splits are the gold-standard of ice cream though- they have that sundae “look” to them. They are pretty.

I wanted to capture the look, and flavor of a sundae in these cupcakes and I love how they turned out! YUM!!!!

A few months ago I made Root Beer Float Cupcakes using scoops of Cool Whip as ice cream. They were so easy and cute and DELICIOUS, that I used the same idea here~ with banana cupcakes and a yummy strawberry ice-cream-topping filling!

Banana Split Cupcakes2 Want to try them? Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One boxed banana cake mix (I used Duncan Hines), plus water, oil and eggs to make according to box.
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of salted butter (softened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of strawberry flavoring
  • 2 tubs of Cool Whip (frozen)
  • One jar of strawberry ice cream topping
  • One bottle of chocolate “shell” ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • Sprinkles and spoons (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake mix according to package and bake in 24 cupcake liners in muffin tins.
  • Make frosting by combining butters, powdered sugar and strawberry flavoring in a large bowl and beating on high until light and fluffy. Place in a zip-top bag, fitted with a decorating tip.
  • When cupcakes are cool, remove a core from the center using a knife or a cupcake corer. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of strawberry ice cream topping into the middle (you could use pineapple here too, if you wanted) Place “top” of core back on cupcake.
  • Use a cookie scoop or a small ice cream scoop to scoop frozen Cool Whip onto the top of one cupcake. Immediately pipe frosting around the edges of the scoop to hold it in place. Keep cupcakes chilled as soon as they are frosted, and keep your second tub of Cool Whip in the freezer until ready to use.
  • Once all cupcakes are frosted, drizzle them with chocolate shell- this makes a little bit of a mess, but I just dropped them into a second cupcake liner to catch the drips :)

Banana Split CupcakesBanana Split Sundae

  • Immediately sprinkle with nuts and decorations.
  • Keep cupcakes refrigerated until serving.
  • Enjoy!!!

Banana Split Cupcakes

My thoughts: These are a little more time consuming that your average cupcake– but look at how fun they are!! The flavors and textures are just perfect too- that cold Cool Whip and those crunchy nuts with the banana cupcakes… YUM! I really hope you get a chance to try these little treats! ~r

Banana Split Cupcakes

Other ice cream- inspired treats here at Easybaked: (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Butterscotch Ice cream towers!!!!Heath Bar Ice Cream Dessert3Raspberry Lemon Cream Cups!!!Ice Cream Cake

Watermelon Cupcakes

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Watermelon Cupcakes

What could be a better picnic treat than these sweet watermelon cupcakes~ covered in “ants” and filled with chocolate chip seeds???

Watermelon Cupcakes

These are so fun to make- and watching people’s surprise at that filling is fun too! My favorite comment? “Oh my, this tastes like WATERMELON!”  Um…yes. It does. *smile*

This recipe uses a cake pop maker. I hesitantly purchased one a few years back to make a polka dot cake, and I thought I’d end up selling it on a garage sale after that one use. NOT SO!!! I love it! So many possibilities! I just made fun little pancake balls the other day for breakfast- not to mention all the yummy recipes we have done here with it! Get a cake pop maker!! (or, if you must, make your pink centers in mini muffin tins. Just know that you are missing out on some serious fun!)

I also used fondant on the top of these cupcakes. I know that for many of you, this step is a tedious one and I say frost these cupcakes however you like! Green frosting, pink frosting with sprinkles of mini chips….whatever! Just don’t miss out on that fun center!

Watermelon Cupcakes

Here’s how we made them: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One boxed white cake mix (with water, oil and eggs to make according to box)
  • One small packet of watermelon Kool-Aid drink mix
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of clear vanilla
  • Green, Pink, and Black  Food Color Gels
  • One box of Wilton fondant in white (or make your own, using my recipe)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake mix according to package
  • Remove one cup of batter and place in a separate bowl.
  • Add 1/2 a packet of Watermelon Kool-Aid powder (use more or less to taste)
  • Add pink color gel to intensify the color to desired shade
  • Mix in mini chocolate chips.
  • Bake in cakepop maker (or use a small mini-muffin tin), making 24 cake pops (or mini-muffins)

Watermelon Cupcakes CentersWatermelon Cupcakes Centers

  • Add green color gel to remaining batter, mixing well.
  • Spoon a little green batter into a cupcake liner, placed in a cupcake tin.
  • Place pink cake pop on top.
  • Spoon green batter over the top, covering the cake pop. Use less, rather than more batter here- if you use too much it will bake over the edges.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 15-18 minutes.
  • Cool completely.
  • Make frosting by placing butters, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beating on high for 3-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Color frosting green, if desired, and set aside.
  • IF you use fondant, color a batch with green color gel (leave out a little bit to make ants if desired), cut into circles that fit the top of your cupcakes using a round cookie cutter. Keep circles covered to prevent drying.
  • Working one cupcake at a time, spread frosting and then gently lay fondant on top of frosting and press edges down inside of cupcake liner.
  • Use dark green color gel with a little water (think watercolor paints) to paint on watermelon stripes.
  • Color remaining fondant black and roll into 3 small balls to stick together as an ant on each cupcake. use a toothpick or small brush to paint little ant legs under each ant.

Watermelon CupcakesWatermelon Cupcakes

***If you have used fondant before, this should all be easy, but if this is your 1st time and you are wondering what I mean by things like “color fondant”, see my tutorial on making and using fondant here. You’ll make your ants like the caterpillars shown in the tutorial.***

Watermelon Cupcakes7My thoughts… These are really fun little cupcakes. I’m not a huge fan of watermelon flavor, but only the center is flavored and for me it was the perfect little surprise “pop” of flavor. You could certainly add Kool-Aid to your frosting too- it will just end up being a little pink, rather than green.

Watermelon Cupcakes

Nothing says SUMMER like watermelon~ enjoy these little cupcakes at YOUR next summer celebration!! ~r

Other ways to use that cake pop machine you just got ;) (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Polka Dot Cake!!!Gender reveal cupcakes5Patriotic Polka Dot Cake!!!!Green Bay Packer Cupcakes!

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