Impressing Everyone at This Weekend's Memorial Day Barbecues Is Easier Than Your Think.

As with most other holidays, Memorial Day is typically spent celebrating with friends and family. Grilling, drinking, swimming, sunning and laughing — they're all essential to this kickoff-to-summer checkpoint. But, this year, let's try to do something more. Let's turn this Memorial Day into a way to draw attention to your baking chops.

How? Just show up with these amazingly adorable red, white and blue cupcakes. They're easy to prepare, but no one else at your barbecue needs to know that. You'll just look like a pro. Plus, they're delicious. A quick trip to the store and 40 minutes in the kitchen will ensure your spot as coolest person at the party.

Ingredients: One box of white cake mix (plus eggs and oil as directed); one container white frosting; a package of cupcake liners; blue and red food coloring; holiday sprinkles; three mixing bowls; a zipper baggie.

Directions:
1. Prepare cake mix as directed.
2. Divide batter into three separate bowls. Use about 1.5 cups per bowl.
3. Add blue food coloring to one of the three bowls and mix. Add as much coloring as you like.
4. Add red food coloring a second bowl of batter and mix. Again, as much as you like.
5. You should now have red, white and blue batter in three separate bowls.
6. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.
7. Using a tablespoon, layer blue, then white, then red batter to liners. Use about 1 tablespoon of each color. After adding each color, spread it to the edges of the liner with a spoon. This will ensure a thick, even stripe.
8. Bake as directed on package (about 17 minutes).
9. Let cool.
10. Now, this is a great trick for icing your cupcakes: Stir your icing in a container to soften it up. Then place in your zipper baggie and cut a small bit off corner of bottom of the baggie.
11. Swirl icing onto cupcakes using your just-made “icing piper.”
12. Top with sprinkles.
13. Impress everyone at your party with your baking skills.







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