Patriotic Pinwheels :: Cupcake Monday

Hi, it’s Carrie Sellman from Half Baked - The Cake Blog.  I'm excited to be back today, sharing a new cupcake tutorial just in time for the 4th of July holiday.  I'm putting a fun spin on the traditional stars and stripes of the American flag.  Patriotic Pinwheel Cupcakes!  With bold stripes and playful dots, these fondant toppers are a festive addition to your Independence Day cupcakes!  And I'm going to show you how to make them!

If you've never worked with fondant before, this is a great place to start!  To simplify this tutorial, I'm using pre-colored, store-bought fondant, available at most craft stores.  A small multi-color pack, like this one, contains both the red and the blue we'll need.  (Plus some yellow and green you can save for a later project.)  If you've ever played with playdough,  you can make a fondant pinwheel!

a DIY by Carrie Sellman


  • Your Favorite Cupcakes

  • Fondant in red, white and blue (about 4 oz  of each)

  • Rolling pin

  • Parchment paper

  • Square cookie cutter or ruler

  • Sharp knife

Step by Step Instructions

STEP 1:  Kneed fondant in hands until soft and smooth like playdough.

STEP 2:  Take a small amount of red and roll it out onto parchment paper using a rolling pin.  Roll just as you would pie crust but we want this thinner.  About 1/4 of an inch or thinner.  Cut a square using a square cookie cutter or a ruler and sharp knife.  Roll out and cut a blue square, just as you did for the red.  You now have two squares.

STEP 3:   Lightly brush a few drops of water onto the red square.  (Go easy with the water, you only need to lightly dampen the fondant.)  Place blue square on top of red square.  Gently roll again with your rolling pin to seal these two layers.  Don't worry that it is no longer a perfect square.

STEP 4:  Use your cookie cutter again to trim the excess edges, leaving behind a straight square.  (Discard your trimmings or save for a purple project later).  You now have one square that is red on bottom, blue on top.

STEP 5:  Using your knife, make diagonal slits cutting from each corner towards the center.  Lightly moisten the very center with a dab of water.

STEP 6:  Gently pick up one corner and bend it in so that the point reaches the center.  Press down gently so the point sticks to the center.

STEP 7:  Repeat Step 6, folding in every other corner until you have a pinwheel shape.

STEP 8:  Roll or cut a tiny ball of white fondant for the center.  Attach to center with a light drop of water, if needed.  Push down gently to seal.

STEP 9:  Let pinwheels dry on parchment paper overnight or until completely dry and firm.  Place on top of cupcakes when ready to serve.

If you want to simplify this even more, make your pinwheels a single solid color (skipping steps 3 and 4).  If you're up for some additional fun, add dots or stripes to your pinwheels!

I hope my Patriotic Pinwheel Cupcakes are a fun addition to your Independence Day!  For more 4th of July baking inspiration, please come join me at Half Baked - The Cake Blog.  This week we're showcasing fabulous new cakes inspired by the American flag.  Enjoy!  ~ Carrie

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