Sharing food is one of the best ways to show someone you care. How about whipping up a batch of these camouflage cupcake for your local veterans?
I’ve always associated red, white, and blue with Independence Day. For Veterans Day I wanted to make something special and unique. These camouflage cupcakes are fun to make and look amazing! Using food gel paste colors, you can transfer a simple cupcake batter into a work of art.
It’s a perfect cupcake to celebrate the men and women that have fought for our country.
I have so much respect for those that join the Armed Forces. It takes a certain amount of courage, strength, and selflessness to serve and sacrifice your life for millions of people you’ll never meet. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all the veterans and their families out there! We appreciate you and honor you today!
Happy Veterans Day!
Camouflage Cupcakes, makes 15
1 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp hot water
Gel food paste coloring in various shades of green
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Gather spoons. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter. Add sugar and mix until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
4. In another container, combine milk, cream, and vanilla. Set aside.
5. Add 1/3 of flour mixture to stand mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until almost combined. Add 1/2 of milk mixture. Mix until almost combined. Repeat with another 1/3 of flour, followed by remaining milk mixture. End with flour mixture and mix until there are no more dry streaks of flour in the batter. Divide batter between 5 small bowls (about 1/2 cup of batter each).
I prefer to use food paste and soft gel paste colors instead of liquid food coloring. I find that liquid food coloring sometimes alters the texture of baked goods, especially when you use more than 1 Tbsp. Food paste color and soft gel paste food colors are concentrated. You only need a couple drops to get vibrant colors. You can get a sample of the AmeriColor gel pastes here.
6. In a small saucer, mix together 1 Tbsp cocoa powder with 1 Tbsp hot water. Stir until a liquid-paste forms. Add cocoa mixture to one of the small batter bowls. Set aside one bowl to keep white, color the remaining bowls of batter with desired gel paste colors.
7. Add dollops of each color into the prepared, lined muffin tins. Add enough batter until muffin tins are a little more than 1/2 full.
8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Let chill in pan for 2-3 minutes before removing and transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Camouflage Swiss Buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 pound (4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
gel paste colors in various shades of green, as needed
[buttercream recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes]
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites, sugar, and salt. Make sure the bowl is heatproof, otherwise use another bowl and transfer mixture after cooking. Set up a bain-marie like the photo above. (Add about 1 inch of water to a sauce pot and set over medium heat. Once water starts to simmer, place bowl on top.)
2. Constantly whisk mixture until sugar has dissolved and solution has reached 160 degrees F.
3. Attach bowl to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Starting on the low speed setting, whisk mixture. Gradually increase speed to medium-high and whisk until stiff peaks has formed. At this point, the meringue mixture will be fluffy and shiny.
4. At this point the meringue mixture should have slightly cooled, around room temperature. Add softened, room temperature butter a couple tablespoons at a time. Once all the butter has been added, switch to a paddle attachment.
5. Add vanilla extract and mix on low speed until buttercream is homogenous and fluffy. Scrape down bowl as needed while mixing to ensure buttercream is smooth and thoroughly mixed.
6. Divide the buttercream between four bowls to color with gel-paste. Add a couple drops of color into each bowl, leaving one bowl plain white. Transfer colored buttercream into small pipping bags (pastry bags or zip lock bags). Cut small openings in bags. Have desired piping tip ready.
7. Place the four small piping bags into a much larger piping bag fitted with piping tip. Pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate with additional sprinkles or with a small American flag.