July 4th is just a few days away, and I’m anxious to celebrate our nation’s birthday with a fun, long weekend. My party planning is wrapping up, and I think I’ve got all the bases covered. Cute decorations? Check! A fun game for the kids? Check! The last thing left to figure out was some fun stars-and-stripes dessert. I knew I wanted to serve cupcakes, and I had a new idea for how to decorate them — I’ve invented Cupcake Collars! I did a practice run over the weekend and I was amazed at how a couple of simple decorating techniques resulted in such spectacular cupcakes.
The first thing to do, of course, was bake the cupcakes. I used with a fun trick for making the cake come out in multiple colors. I’ve seen this tip online a few times lately, and most recently from our friend The Crafty Chica (no relation). You just mix food coloring into bowls of cake batter and then spoon it randomly into the cupcake liners and bake. Of course I used red, white, and blue for this occasion.
While the cupcakes are baking, let’s talk about the Cupcake Collars. These are fun designs in PDF format that you print and cut out. Each one has a hole in the middle, where the cupcake will go. We have four different collar designs for Independence Day — a red, white and blue star, a red fireworks burst, a USA flag, and a blue ring of stars.
These Fourth of July designs (and many more!) are available at our dedicated site CupcakeCollars.com, where you can purchase the PDF for less than a dollar. Then you can print each PDF as many times as you like and make an unlimited number of collars.
But because we love you, our loyal Chica and Jo readers, weâ€™re offering one of the Fourth of July designs here, for free! Find out which one at the end of this post.
Here are the simple steps to follow to dress up your cupcakes with these collars:
Start by purchasing our PDF design templates from CupcakeCollars.com, then print out as many copies as you need onto white cardstock. If you want to get multiple uses out of your collars (you did spend all that time cutting them out, after all), you may want to go ahead and laminate them. You can do this before cutting them out (which will leave the very edges exposed) or after (which will mean cutting them out again, but will enclose the edges). Laminating is really easy with simple laminating sheets or for even better results, use a thermal laminator machine (Jo loves hers and uses it all the time).
Once your collars are printed and laminated, just cut them out with regular scissors. Cut out the circles in the middle too.
Once the cupcakes are cool, you can slip each one into one of the collars. The cupcake should fit right inside the hole that you cut out.
To secure the collars in place, put a couple small pieces of ordinary household tape underneath.
Aren’t they starting to look neat?
Now that the collars are in place, we can frost the cupcakes. Here you can use any frosting technique you like, but I used my favorite swirled frosting technique that I’ve told you about before, which involves painting some food coloring gel paste onto the inside of the bags. I used a giant decorator’s tip and piped big swirls of buttercream onto each cupcake. Love it!
Oh, and I can’t forget to show you how the insides look with the swirled batter. Isn’t that neat?
Now that the cupcakes are done, here’s the design I promised for free! It’s a black-and-white, outline version of our “star” and “burst” designs. You can print this directly onto colored card stock which lets you make them in any color and helps save on printer ink. Enjoy!
To get the rest of these fun designs (and many more!) please visit CupcakeCollars.com