Glad to be Back Home and Proud to be an American (with Patriotic Cupcakes)

15 Aug

After traveling with my family for the past 2 1/2 weeks, it’s great to be home!  We visited London, Istanbul, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Geneva, Paris, and thanks to a missed flight connection on the way home, London again. It was wonderful to observe the different foods, languages, and ways of life in each of these countries. The extreme cultural differences in Istanbul especially made me grateful for the many modern advantages of living in the US.

The experience of seeing my country as a group of talented hopefuls at the start of the Olympics in Danny Boyle’s brilliantly directed Opening Ceremony and then again as gold medal winners in the Men’s Basketball Finals has amplified my sense of national pride. Being in London for part of the  2012 Olympics was an unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime experience and I am so grateful that my parents enabled my sisters and I to be part of this incredible event.

I wanted to create some fun, spirited cupcakes to celebrate USA winning the most medals in the Olympics this summer, so I came up with these sprinkle-filled goodies. I believe that funfetti cupcakes are a quintessential American treat, so here’s a homemade, patriotic alternative to everyone’s favorite boxed cupcake mix. Feel free to mix up the sprinkle colors to suit your own country!



The cupcakes have the perfect mix of sweetness and almond flavoring so that they are great to snack on even without frosting. But this frosting is unbelievable, so make it anyways! The frosting truly tastes like light and fluffy vanilla ice cream. It’s so good, in fact, that this is now my new favorite frosting recipe. Enjoy!

P.S. Many more travel pictures to follow:)

Olympics Funfetti Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Frosting

Cupcakes adapted from C&C Cupcakery

Frosting adapted from Sweetapolita

Serves 12



  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup red and blue sprinkles


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup red, white, and blue sprinkles (with stars preferably)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a cupcake tin with red, white, and blue cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside. In another small bowl mix together the yogurt and milk, then set it aside as well.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream your butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, until the mixture is thick and white. Add the vanilla and almond extracts then mix again.
  4. With a spoon, slowly mix in 1/3 of your dry ingredients then 1/3 of your wet ingredients, repeating until both of the mixtures from the first step are fully incorporated. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour in you sprinkles and lightly fold them into the batter a few times. Again, do not over mix.
  6. Spoon in the batter to liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean.
  7. While the cupcakes are baking, start making the frosting by whipping the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 8 minutes on medium speed. Then add the sugar, milk, and vanilla and continue to beat on medium for 6 more minutes until the frosting is light, creamy, and fluffy.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on cooling racks before icing. Use a piping bag fitted with a star tip and start on the outside with a large spiral, moving inwards. Top each cupcake with a small handful of sprinkles. Hint: use an empty spice shaker with wide holes to evenly coat each cupcake with the sprinkles.

12 Responses to “Glad to be Back Home and Proud to be an American (with Patriotic Cupcakes)”

  1. Meg August 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    How amazing that you were able to take part in the Olympics — your photos are awesome! My eyes got so wide when I spotted that second photo — wonderful. London is my favorite city in the world, and it sounds like you had an amazing time!

    • ModernAlice August 21, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Thank you so much! I’m so grateful to have been there with my incredible family. It makes me so happy to be able to share wonderful experiences like this with all of my sweet readers! London has always seemed like Europe’s equivalent of New York City, so it was really fun to be in such a lively, theatrical, eclectic city.

  2. cloudoflace August 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Waw you have just had my dream Euro-trip 😉
    Congrats to the amazing American team! & love those cupcakes of yours 😀

    • ModernAlice August 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      Thank you so much! It was really amazing and I feel so fortunate to have been able to have seen so many incredible places!

  3. Donna K August 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Sara, I love your enthusiasm for all your travels, not to mention how much you appreciated being able to have such an awe inspiring vacation with the people who matter the most to you. You are truly a lucky woman. thank you for being not only a fascinated tourist but a well informed tour guide.

    Love, Donna K

    • ModernAlice August 17, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      Thank you so much Donna! Aaron was the best travel companion I ever could have asked for!

  4. Amy August 15, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Wow, I am so very jealous you got to go to the Olympics opening ceremony! I really really wanted to go, but even being from the UK, we found it hard to get tickets.. Bet it was such an incredible experience. Oh and really gorgeous and yummy cupcakes! 🙂 x

    • ModernAlice August 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      It was absolutely incredible! The eclectic range of British music, incredible stage transformations, and devoted volunteers all made it a night to remember! Thanks so much Amy! The UK made an amazing comeback in the Olympics and after all the effort that the entire city of London put in, you guys were the number two team I was rooting for:)

  5. mystudentstruggles August 15, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Sounds like a fantastic experience, looking forward to hearing about/seeing it 😀

    • ModernAlice August 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks! That is why it’s taken me so long to respond to your lovely blog nomination, but I promise that is the next post I have planned:)

  6. robert August 15, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    it was our deep pleasure to share this amazing trip with you , Sara; you’re a fabulous traveling companion!

    • ModernAlice August 15, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Thank you so much Dad! I feel so lucky to have been able to take such an incredible trip with my favorite people!

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