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Patriotic Cupcakes by Martha Stewart

January 14, 2009

Photo and recipe by
She always knows how to throw a party!

Patriotic Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes.

  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Meringue Buttercream Frosting (below)
  • Red, white, and blue cupcake toppings


  1. Heat to 325 degrees with rack in center. Line muffin pans with baking cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  2. In the bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With mixer running, add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until combined.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add 1 cup flour mixture; mix until combined. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk; combine. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with flour, until all has been incorporated.
  4. Divide batter evenly among baking cups. Bake until light golden brown and a cake tester inserted into middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate pans half way through baking. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool.
  5. To decorate, place each color of sprinkles in its own small bowl. Frost each cupcake with about 3 tablespoons Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Gently press each frosted cupcake into sprinkles, rolling around so entire surface is coated. Arrange picnic party picks as desired.

Meringue Buttercream Frosting


Makes 3 cups, enough for one 2- or 3-layer cake or about 2 dozen cupcakes.

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and water to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the saucepan. Boil the syrup, brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization, until the syrup registers 240 degrees. soft-ball stage.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium high until stiff but not dry peaks form.
  3. With the mixer running, pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl (to prevent splattering) into the egg whites in a steady stream, and beat on high speed until the steam is no longer visible, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, piece by piece. Add vanilla; beat until smooth and spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes. If it looks curdled at any point during the beating process, continue beating until smooth.
Decorate cupcake with red, white and blue candy and toppings. Celebrate! The instructions for the Obama cupcake toppers are perfect for dressing up these homemade cupcakes.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. ConversationsWithACupcake permalink
    January 14, 2009 3:43 pm

    Oh, truly. I should not love Martha as I do. And yet. She never ceases to amaze.Nor do you! What a gorgeous blog!(And thanks for stopping by my blog last week! So good to have you!)

  2. Melissa permalink
    January 14, 2009 2:14 pm

    OK That’s it! I’m going to have to stop reading your blog! I’m pregnant and you’re telling me how to make buttercream frosting? Guess I’ll be going to the grocery store after all this afternoon… Can’t wait to try out these cupcakes!

  3. annie kelleher permalink
    January 14, 2009 1:42 pm

    yum!!! even though im not a fan of martha… i think id like the cupcakes :).

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