Get creative (and patriotic) this Fourth of July with Alan Richardson and Karen Tack's festive firework cupcakes, from Make It Easy, Cupcake! (Griffin, June).

"Holidays with special theme colors, like red white and blue for the Fourth, are especially fun for us," said the authors. "That's when we get to put on our candy detective hats and head down the candy aisle in search of Interesting candies that are in the right colors. Almost any red, white, or blue candy can be used to make firework explosions. And don't be afraid to roll out, snap, or chop the candies you find. We give you permission. It's Independence Day after all!"


12 vanilla cupcakes, chilled

10 blue and red Twizzlers licorice twists (5 blue and 5 red)

1 (16-ounce) can vanilla frosting

½ cup white pearlized Sixlets, such as SweetWorks

1. Use scissors to snip the red and blue twists on an angle into very thin slices.

2. Working on one cupcake at a time to prevent drying, spread some frosting on top and smooth. To make the blast patterns, start with an outer ring of one color of the sliced candy, placed close together, in the frosting.

3. Add a second ring inside and overlapping the first ring using a different color sliced candy. Continue with the remaining cupcakes, varying the blast patterns and placement on each cupcake.

4. Arrange several Sixlets in the center of each explosion.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Copyright © 2018 by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson in Make It Easy, Cupcake! and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.