Patriotic Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Here's a fun recipe to make for your 4th of July Celebration. (You may substitute other colors for other times of year.)

1 box white cake mix
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
4 egg whites
blue and red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt. Add water, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Add egg whites one at a time until combined (2-3 minutes total). Divide batter into three equal portions, so that you have bowls with red, white, and blue batter. Place cupcake liners in cupcake tins. Layer by adding 1 full tablespoon (not measuring spoon) of each color to each tin, with red at the bottom. Liners will be nearly full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and spring back when touched. Cool on wire racks. Then decorate with frosting.

Buttercream Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia (from King Arthur Flour)
1 tablespoon half and half

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter on low speed. Mix until well blended. Continue beating at medium speed for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla, Fiori Di Sicilia, and half and half and beat for an additional minute. Scoop into a piping bag to decorate cupcakes. Sprinkle tops with coconut. Makes 24 cupcakes.
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