Firecracker Cupcakes
Time: 1 hour + time to cool and frost

Yield: 20-24 cupcakes 
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up! Idea inspired by Taste of Home

1 white cake mix
2/3 C flour
1 1/4 C water
4 egg whites
1/3 C sour cream
3 T oil
1 T milk

3/4  C butter
5 T butter flavored shortening
5-6  C powdered sugar
4-6 T milk 
dash salt
Americolor Super Red Food Coloring
Americolor Electric Blue Food Coloring
1 M cake decorating tip
cake decorating bag

1 package Twizzlers Pull and Peel Licorice

1. To make the cake batter place the cake mix and flour into your stand mixer or into a large mixing bowl. Toss the ingredients together to mix. 
2. Add all other cake ingredients and beat on low for 30 seconds. 
3. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix for at least 2 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom of your bowl with a rubber spatula to be sure all ingredients are getting combined. 
4. Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners. Carefully spoon into the cups filling them 2/3 of the way full.
5. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
5. Remove the pans from the oven and let the cupcakes cool for about 5 minutes in the pan. Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them finish cooking on a wire rack. 
1. Place the butter and shortening into a mixing bowl. Beat on low for about 1 minute, or until the two are combined well. 
2. Add 5 C of the powdered sugar and continue to mix while you add the milk 1 T at a time. 
3. When you have the desired consistency, add your vanilla  and beat for about 2 minutes or until the frosting has a nice smooth texture.
4. To make the striped frosting simply cut the tip of your bag off and push your decorating tip into the opening. 
5. Into a small bowl squeeze some of the red and blue food coloring. 
6. Take a butter knife and cover the tip of it with either the blue or the red coloring. Slip the knife into your decorating bag and make stripes inside it with the coloring. Repeat with the other color. 
8. Spoon your frosting into the striped bag, twist the top to hold and decorate your cupcakes. All of the frosting won't fit into one bag, so plan to either use a second bag...or just reuse the first by re-striping it (is that a word) and adding more frosting.
9. To make the firecrackers simply open up your package of licorice.
Cut each rope into thirds and stick each piece into the top of a cupcake.  Spread the little licorice pieces apart to make them look firecracker-ish.