How to Make Fireworks Picnic Cupcakes for the 4th of July

Some of my favorite memories are of stretching out on a picnic blanket, under a dark summer sky, and watching the 4th of July fireworks.  That's what inspired these cupcakes for the 4th of July party.

4th of July Fireworks Picnic cupcakes

The first step is to bake your cupcakes and let them cool down.  Once room temperature, cover with icing.  You could use a gras tip, certainly, but because of the scale, I decided to go with a poured fondant topping.

I like using Easy Fond, a pre-mixed pourable fondant powder that already contains the invert sugar (the magic ingredient in poured fondant recipes).

Then it's jut a matter of dipping the tops of the cupcake in the pourable fondant, letting the excess drip off, and drying.  If the color of the cupcake starts to peek through, as mine chocolate cupcakes did, you can dip a second time once the first layer is dry.

Next, it's time to make the picnic blankets.  I just rolled out a thin layer of white gumpaste (I like Satin Ice brand), cut into small rectangles, and painted a gingham pattern on with food coloring.  These picnic blankets were carefully set while still wet (and floppy) on the curve of our cupcake hilltop.

If you want to, you can make little picnic baskets out of the gumpaste, too.  I did for some, didn't for others.  They both looked cute.

I made fireworks by cutting narrow strips of colored tulle about three feet long, and gathering them with a needle and thread to make tiny tulle pom poms.

I simply used a hot glue gun to attach the tulle poofs to colored toothpicks.  They looked pretty good at this point, but I still wanted more sparkle.

The easy solution:  spray adhesive and glitter.  Just a quick spritz and a shake, and ta-da, sparkling fireworks cupcake toppers!

Some of the cupcakes I just left with sparkling tulle pom pom fireworks.  But for others, I decided to experiment a bit more.

Inspired by royal icing cake decorating techniques, but without enough time to pull off actual royal icing decorations, I decided to improvise to make my second style of firework.  I just drew a basic fireworks burst on waxed paper with my hot glue gun, and while the glue was still hot, sprinkled liberally with glitter.  Once it was dry, I cut away the excess paper, leaving me with sparkling...spidery looking things.  They looked much better once I layered the glittery spidery things on top of each other.

I loved mixing the different types of fireworks on my cupcakes--just like you'd see in a festive 4th of July sky.  

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