Recipe Image
Carol Kicinski
Celebrate Fourth of July with a treat that looks and tastes delicious.

Liberty and cupcakes for all

Author Byline Image   When I was growing up it was not popular to appear patriotic. It was a time of conflict, confusion and corruption followed by apathetic indifference. And yet despite the unpopularity, I believe that in my own way I was patriotic.
   My father was an Air Force pilot and spent the majority of his life defending freedom.
   I will never forget the day I cut school to attend a protest against the war he repeatedly risked his life to serve in. He wrote a note to my school the next day excusing my absence and told me that doing what you believe in at all costs is patriotic.
   I have not always flown the American flag from dusk ‘til dawn at my house like my father did. Not all my cars have been American-made and I am even a little fuzzy on the last few words of the Pledge of Allegiance.
   I am, however, very proud to be an American. I am proud of our history and our forefathers who fought for freedom. I get teary eyed when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played and I love the Fourth of July.
   My own form of patriotism is certainly more subtle than my father’s, but it is there all the same. This year I thought I would show off that patriotism with one of the things I do best – gluten free cupcakes.
Gluten Free Red, White & Blueberry Layered Cupcakes
Makes 12
1½ cups + 2 tablespoons gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
½ cup milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup blueberries – use divided
4 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
12 maraschino cherries with stems
Red, white and blue sprinkles

½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/8 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2½ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners
   In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1½ cups flour, baking powder and salt.
   In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Turn mixer to low, add half the flour mixture, then milk and finally the remaining flour mixture. Add vanilla extract and mix well. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula to fully combine all ingredients.
   Place ½ cup blueberries in a small mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon flour and toss together. Add ¾ cup of batter and gently fold blueberries into batter. Divide mixture among muffin cups. Smooth batter with a small spatula and spread the batter all the way to the sides.
   Place ¾ cup of batter in a small bowl, add remaining tablespoon of flour and maraschino cherry juice. Mix well. Gently spoon this batter on top of blueberry layer. Smooth the batter and spread all the way to the sides. Spoon remaining batter on top of cherry layer and spread as before. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes start to brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
   Let cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

   In the electric mixer, beat butter and salt on high until creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix together starting on low then increasing speed until fully combined and fluffy.
   Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry, blueberries and sprinkles.