I am posting this with a little bit of a cringing, furtive look: trying to bury myself under the long grass. You see I have a dark secret.
Every July when I lived in England I felt like having a party but 4th of July was… awkward. There was usually a slight hiccup of silence when the subject of Independence Day came up. I don’t believe anyone actually felt aggrieved by it, but neither were they entirely comfortable with a holiday set up specifically for my people to rejoice over their people’s defeat. Even M. would look at me like I was a little odd for suggesting we have a BBQ on the day. Now 15 years on I still feel a little embarrassed.
I’m not a nationalistic person as my religious convictions teach me that I should be a stranger and pilgrim in this life looking for the kingdom of God not to the fragile kingdom of men… but I do kinda enjoy 4th of July. I am moved by the sacrifice of men and women who had convictions which they were loyal to and despite my religious feelings I understand that I live free to practice my religion by the blood of people who have fought for it. So while I don’t practice involvement in politics or war I am more than willing to be thankful to God for providing a safe place that we can worship in the way our conscience dictates.
So this Monday Project is a free download for the Stars and Stripes Cake Topper pattern. You can get the files at the bottom of the page in SVG format, Silhouette cut file format and JPEG format. If you have a craft cutter its easy-peasy to use otherwise the JPEG is there to use as a template. My files are for private use only please do not reproduce the files, sell the files, or sell products made from the files without my permission.
These Stripe Cakes are the nicest yummiest cakes you will ever eat in your life! The recipe is from “Apples for Jam” by Tessa Kiros which I have adjusted a little over the years because the original recipe is exceedingly buttery making paper cases totally oily. Even with the reduced butter you can see what the paper case looks like in my photo… yummy. This is by far my favorite ever cookbook BTW! I have never made a recipe from it that my family didn’t love! It is one of the few cookbooks I shipped from England.
Adjusted Cupcake Recipe from Apples For Jam
2 sticks butter minus 3 Tbs softened
1 c sugar
splash of vanilla extract
beat these four ingredients together well.
1 2/3 c plain flour
3/4 tsp double acting baking powder (in the UK with ordinary baking powder use 1 1/2 tsp)
3/4 c milk, half-and-half, or cream depending on our state of mind and pocketbook.
Bake in a pre-warmed 350F oven for 17 min. They will look very moist still- this is a good thing- but will be cooked through if tested with a toothpick.
It makes about 15 regular size cupcakes. The cookbook suggests making tiny cakes that only just come to the top of your casing and gives an icing recipe. My family much prefers to use a butter frosting or cream cheese frosting (standard Betty Crocker cookbook stuff).
To get the stripe cupcake I put my three colored cake mixes into three large zip lock bags and hold them all together with rubber-bands or tape. Cut off a very small bit of the tips and fill the cupcake cups with three colors at once. Ideally your middle bag will be slightly fuller than you outer two bags… I didn’t do that and it shows in my scrawny little white stripe.
It is a messy business and requires “help” with clean up (my kids wait with baited breath during cake making for when I call- “Who is going to help me clean up this mess?” in a mock aggrieved tone).
Coloring the mix is easy- I like to use gel colors by Wilton. They have no flavor, don’t thin icing and give a lovely rich color… but be warned very strong colors (especially black) have… ahem… unfortunate side effects at the end of the digestive path… Just sayin’.
Oh and check back on Wednesday for another idea to use the cuttables/printables on!
Happy 4th of July.