Firecracker Cupcakes

Yep, the kids have elevated me to the likes of Albert Einstein.  Up until yesterday they thought of me as dull, boring, blah.  I couldn’t be more of a plain Jane to them.

But when I made these FIRECRACKER CUPCAKES and sprinkled POP ROCKS all over them you would have thought I just invited the circus over to perform.

I instantaneously became the coolest, hippest and craziest Mom evah.  The hooligans couldn’t have been more pleased. 

What makes me mad is I didn’t think of it first.  It’s so simple.  I saw it in the newspaper as a fun way to celebrate the upcoming 4th of July holiday.   Brilliant I thought.  A firework show in their mouths.

As the kids ate away, their mouths were exploding with candy and their noses and cheeks were covered in whipped cream.  Their day could not have been better.

From the second these treats came out of the oven they were circling the kitchen island like a pack of hungry wolves.  Everytime I turned around they were picking away at the edges of the cupcakes.  Having to wait while I photographed the goods was the ultimate punishment.

I think these would be the perfect cupcakes for a birthday party too.  The kids would just love it. 

The trick is to pour the POP ROCKS on just before serving or better yet, give each person their own pack.  If you are stingy with the POP ROCKS the full effect of this dessert will not be realized.  Be generous!

Adults would like them too.  It was fun eating the cupcake and having tiny explosions going off in my mouth and throat.  A nice reminder of childhood. 

Do they have POP ROCKS in other countries or is this a U.S.A. only phenomenon?

Anyway, I made cupcakes from scratch, which is totally not necessary, unless you are having a Martha moment.  I also used whipped cream for the topping but canned frosting would be fine too!  So would store bought cupcakes for that matter!  The POP ROCKS are the main attraction here.

But this is a great cupcake recipe, so come on and bake with me.  The kids and adults in your life will LOVE YOU!

Heres what you need to make these happen:  All-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, milk, rainbow candy sprinkles, blueberries, raspberries and POP ROCKS!

First, sift together 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl cream together 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter and 1-1/4 cups sugar until fluffy, is increased in volume and is lightened in color.  About three minutes.

In another bowl, with an electric mixer, add 8 eight yolks and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Beat until the mixture is thickened and pale in color, about four minutes.  Add this to the butter-sugar mixture and mix to combine.

With the mixer on low, add a third of the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Once mixed, add half the milk (1/2 cup) followed by another third of the flour.  When well mixed, add remaining milk, mix, then add the remaining flour.

Fold in a 1/2 cup of rainbow sprinkles.

Line cupcake pan with liners and fill with batter.  I fill mine to the top but 2/3’s full would work as well.  Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely before decorating them.

While waiting let’s make the whipped cream.  You will need: Heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, add 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Beat with an electric mixer on high until thick, about 4-5 minutes.  Whipped cream should hold it’s shape and not be runny.


Pipe or dollop on the whipped cream and garnish with blueberries, raspberries and generously cover with POP ROCKS of course! 

Or leave the POP ROCKS off and serve everyone with their own pack of POP ROCKS, which I think is more fun.

They are so pretty aren’t they?  I can see where a hooligan already nipped off an edge of this one.  They couldn’t wait to get their hand on these.  Stinkers.

Happy Birthday U.S.A. “You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high flying flag, and forever in peace may you wave.”

Firecracker Cupcakes
adapted from Patrick Decker

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
8 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
1 cup milk
1/2 cup rainbow candy sprinkles
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
About 3/4 cup blueberries, to garnish
About 3/4 cup raspberries, to garnish
Lots of Pop Rocks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line 12 muffins tins with paper baking cups.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy, substantially increased in volume and lightened in color, about 3 minutes.

In another large bowl, use an electric mixer with clean beaters to beat the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla until thickened and pale in color, about four minutes.

Add the beaten egg yolks to the butter-sugar mixture and mix to combine.

With the mixer on low, add a third of the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Once mixed, add half of the milk, followed by another third of the flour.  When well mixed, add the remaining milk, mix, then add the remaining flour.

Use a silicon spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are mixed in.  Gently fold in the sprinkles.

Fill the prepared muffin tins with batter.  Cook until a skewer inserted at the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes.  Do not over bake.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Just before serving, in a large bowl combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar and remaining vanilla.  Use an electric mixer to beat until thick.

Dollop or pipe whipped cream over each cupcake, then garnish with blueberries and raspberries.

Sprinkle each cupcake GENEROUSLY with POP ROCKS.  Or serve each cupcake with it’s very own pack of POP ROCKS which is what I would do!

Have fun with these, they seem to provoke a good time.

Post a Comment


  1. Lori 1

    This is the coolest 4th of July food ever, I love it!!

  2. Pop rocks – genius indeed! I’m making red velvet cupcakes with butter cream frosting and blue stars for decorations for the 4th. I just might have to pick up some pop rocks and add them on a few special cupcakes for the 4th! Thanks!

  3. lauren 3

    this is such a great idea ! im going to make for 4th of july ! your photography is amazing…. i want to reach through the picture and taste.

  4. Jill 4

    Cathy- You are a genius. LOVE this idea!!!!

  5. Karly 5

    Ooh, my kids are gonna love these!

  6. What a great idea! I’m so going to make these for our 4th of July barbeque!

  7. HAHAHHAH awesome! I haven’t had Poprocks in yeeears. Have you seen the company that makes savoury poprocks (Pop’rs)? Firecracker carbonara with bacon pop-rocks anyone?

  8. Whoa. Genius! And so tasty looking too!

  9. Cupcakes + Pop Rocks = Pure Genius!!

    Once my kids try this, they’ll want to put Pop Rocks on everything! It might be fun on ice cream too!?

    The cupcakes look beautiful–I like the rainbow effect of the sprinkles in the batter!

  10. How fantastic!
    We don’t even have kids and I’m tempted to make these for next weekend. Gotta love something with rainbow sprinkles AND poprocks!!

  11. Those are the most festive cupcakes I’ve ever seen!

  12. I must check that out–great idea!

  13. sharon 13

    This recipe makes me want to have kids just so I can make them pop rock cupcakes :) Look at you…inspiring wanna be mothers! These are perfect for 4th of July. I might have to make them for my adult friends who are somewhat like kids and would probably giggle just as much. Great job!

  14. leslie 14

    Wow ..I didnt know that Tastespotting took rights to the photos..Thats kinda tacky!!!! The only problem w/ Food Gawker is that I cant seem to reduce the size of my correctly w/o warping them

  15. Alisa 15

    You are a GENIUS! I love you. Pop Rocks is one of my most favorite childhood candies. Guess what we’re having for our 4th dessert? Thanks again.

  16. Snowelf 16


    I have the WORST luck in the kitchen and I mean the worst, and I don’t think this is even in my capability of cooking, but I am really, really going to try to make these for our family 4th celebration. Even if I can’t do it, it will be fun to try and maybe, just maybe I can pull them off, because they look delicious and I know my chilis will love them too.

    Thanks for posting this!! :)


  17. You *are* a genius! I’m going to use the 4th of July cake mix that’s in the closet and help the kids make this (because I never learn).

    Absolutely brilliant!

  18. WOW! What can a person say? You’ve done it again, Cathy! YUMMY!!!

  19. cakespy 19

    Your kids think you’re a genius…and me too!! These are gorgeous.

  20. dlyn 20

    There is no way that a homemade cupcake piled with fresh whipped cream can be anything but spectacular- the berries and pop rocks send it right over the top!

  21. The cupcakes look so fun and festive for the coming 4th.

  22. Yuuummmm……and POPPY fun all at once.

    Another good one Cathy!

  23. How festive! Perfect 4th dessert!

  24. Ruth 24

    mmm, these look delicious!

    by the way, in england we have pop rocks too although called something different. we dont have one main brand like you do, i dont think there as popular over here.

  25. Stacy 25

    This IS genius!! I love the colors of those–they are amazing! Plus, I haven’t had pop rocks in ages. These would be awesome for a party.

  26. linda 26

    Love the cupcakes, both their look as their ‘personality’. We have pop rocks in the Netherlands too, at least we used to have it when I was little (years ago ;) In Israel they have chocolate bars with the stuff…also fun!

  27. these are the funnest looking cupcakes I’ve seen in a long long time. Nice work adding pop rocks! You MUST BE the coolest mom in the world!

  28. What a great idea! Do you think my kids (17, 16, 14, 11) are too old for these? Nah! You’re never too old for cupcakes–or Pop Rocks. Oh, how I remember Pop Rocks! My Gram and Pop were so freaked out by them. They’d heard that urban legend about kids eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda at the same time and their mouths exploding. LOL! The things we believe sometimes!

  29. Liz C. 29

    WoW! Talk about eye candy! You are such a genius, dahling. I kind of miss baking for the Fam, but then again, not. I’m surprised your kids just figured this out… they should have known this fact forever ago.

  30. Yummy AND festive! Cool!

  31. HoneyB 31

    What an awesome dessert for the kids! Looks fabulous!

  32. Kevin 32

    Those cupcakes look good! I like the red white and blue theme for July teh 4th.

  33. medstudentwife 33

    So excellent.I think what I like the best ( besides the pop rocks ) are the sprinkles you put into the batter.. they make the muffins look so sci-fi & with the pop rocks…its fun all the way.

    I must keep this recipe in mind for the next time I’m asked to bake for work… should be fun to see the expression on the faces of totally unsuspecting adults *lol*

    obtw.. Happy 4th of July :) !!! Our “birthday” is the 1st of July and I’m working an event at the “national bash” that day

  34. Paula 34

    I think your a genius too! Wow these are some cool cupcakes!

  35. Mmmmmmmmmmmm…those look AWESOME!!

  36. I think we will make some for the 4th when the grandkids come.

  37. giz 37

    I’m so tagging this – fabulous idea. Kevell for a while if you’ve reached menza mentality – it can’t possibly last – soon you’ll be dweeb mom again and loving it. You won’t even consider “wha???”

  38. What a cool idea & I’m sure every child in us will love those pops from the Pop Rocks! … and yes, we have those as well up here, in Canada! ;-)

  39. Claudia 39

    You my dear are the most rockingnest person in the whole freaking world. I am SO making these for my party on Friday night and I am totally going to be as cool as you for an hour. Martha Stewart is SO passe, Cool Cathy is the new domina of decadence. You rule.

  40. Brooke in WI 40

    Ahhhhh! Pop Rocks. I. Love. Them. This is a great idea and now I can’t wait for my neice to visit in two weeks so we can bake this together. Thanks!

  41. My boys would love that! Except for the fruit part. But I would eat their fruit!

  42. Laura 42

    You must be the coolest mom on the block. :)

  43. Sally 43

    Truely amazing. I just love your photographs.It’s as though the food is right in front of my eyes and I just want to take a big bite out of those cupcakes.
    Happy 1st July to you. From down under.

  44. You have gotten so good at this, Cathy. You know, this whole blogging thing. You were always good, but your photography, your recipe presentation, your writing . . . it just gets better and better. Bravo!
    This recipe looks awesome. If my boys were young, I would so make these. You are a pop rocks superstar, you are.

  45. sassy 45

    ohhh great idea, i have pop rocks on my shopping list! Will be a popping great 4th of July. Thanks for the recipe!

  46. Sally 46

    What a right wombat you must think I am.
    1st July is the beginning of our new tax year……..
    So, HAPPY 4th JULY to you. Still drooling….. down under.

  47. Amanda 47

    Those look AMAZING! I’m coming over for those!

  48. Poprock is my favorite snack ! I haven’t had that in years until lately I went to a restaurant in NYC where chef played his dessert with pop rock..

    No wonder why your kids think you are genius. :)

  49. eliza 49

    hi Cathy! i’m back blogwalking (while i can). those are fantastic cupcakes! i have to try it for my son’s birthday, i think he’ll have a blast too. thanks for sharing the recipe!

  50. grace 50

    i love love love the colors that the sprinkles give to the cupcakes! and obviously, the pop rocks are a stroke of genius. al einstein’s got nothing on you. :)

  51. MizFit 51

    my TODDLER and her friends will love these and Im totally gonna steal the credit.

    (really?! no :) not really)


  52. Genius indeed!!

  53. Farley 53

    These are great since fireworks are being frowned on in fire-consumed Cali. I don’t plan on hanging out with any kids on the 4th but might make these for those who are kids at heart.

  54. Gina 54

    What a great idea! We’re celebrating my husband’s birthday with family on the 4th and I think I’ll definitely be adding these to the celebration!

  55. marye 55

    this is an amazing idea, Cathy…you need to join Daring bakers you know…

  56. krysta 56

    best idea ever!

  57. Whitney 57

    Hi! I love the site! Your cupcakes look fantastic! :)

  58. Cathy, can I come and play? :)

  59. My goodness. those cupcakes look so good that I think I just had a spontaneous orgasm.

  60. Sandie 60

    Love this idea and I agree – it makes me kick myself whenever I see something sublimely simple like this for not of having thought of it myself! I’m glad you read it and decided to share the idea here on your blog. These cupcakes really do look fantastic. Great job, Cathy!

  61. pam 61

    Cupcakes from scratch, fresh whipped cream, and pop rocks! You are seriously the best mom ever!

  62. You are a genius – These look great. As a kid pop rocks were the greatest thing – I did not even think they were still around. What a great idea will have to make this one for the kids for sure.


    Happy 4th

  63. Lara 63

    What a cute cute cute idea! I will have to make these for the 4th this weekend!

  64. Tipper 64

    Very neat for a birthday party!

  65. Harmony 65

    This is awesome! Can’t wait to try it out!

  66. Kristen 66

    OK – and here I was talking about smoothies being a hit. Forget it… you take the cake, missy! This is a fantastic recipe. Thanks for sharing it! Can’t wait to be mom of the year with this one too ;)

  67. Flea 67

    That’s GREAT! Thanks!!!

  68. Lex the mom 68

    I am so making these when I get back! Oh yeah!

  69. YES! We have that candy in Australia it’s called Fizz Wizz. I used to LOVE it when I was younger. It was up there with sour warheads…

  70. Elle 70

    What a GREAT idea! I’m definitely making these!

  71. Y 71

    Cool cupcakes! I love watching kids’ reactions when they have poprocks for the first time.

  72. I’ve never heard of poprocks before. Do they fizzle and pop in your mouth or something? I think they are called by another name in the UK, I’ll ask my husband! Really gorgeous cupcakes, I love the colours.

  73. Deborah 73

    I agree with your kids – you are a genius!

  74. Vonda 74

    These look so fun. I remember when my kids were little they loved those pop rocks. I am going to make these with my granddaughter for the 4th.

  75. VDog 75

    I seriously just had a foodgasm.

  76. oh my goodness, these are too fun! I had to post them on my blog with a link to you, I hope you don’t mind. Let me know if that’s not OK with you.

  77. Nikki 77

    You ARE the coolest mom, evah! Thanks so much for posting these. So creative and cool. I don’t have any little ones to give Pop Rocks to, but I think I’ll pick up a few packs, some Coca Cola, and have a grand ol’ time with my husband tonight.

  78. completely brilliant. mine is only 18 months. how much longer until we can do this, i wonder?

  79. Delightful.



  80. I love this. How fun and creative :D

    I will have to try it sometime – I bet Zac would FLIP cause he LOVES poprocks.

  81. nana 81

    cathy, there are pop rocks here in brazil.
    but i don’t remember seeing them except in a little package with a lollipop inside and for one summer in the crust of a popsicle/ice lolly.
    i do not go to bakery stores very often, though, so they might have it =)

    love the way you present your recipes, the photographs and when you talk about your hooligans!
    kudos and keep up the good work!

  82. you are a genius! These look fab (how’d I miss these?)

  83. Diane Stewart 83

    I love this idea. Where can I pick up Pop Rocks?

  84. Kel 84

    We do have Pop Rocks in Australia, as Christie @ FigCherry wrote.. but Christie, it’s not FizzWhiz! Fizz is a sherbert thing, whereas there IS a PopRocks equivalent – it’s “Popping Candy” or something like that, in the lolly aisle, with the lollypops. The lollypop is a dipper shaped like a foot,that you dip into the rocks.

    Totally awesome recipe – I’ll be trying it for sure!

  85. Ariel 85

    Pop Rocks do exist in Israel, but they’re not sour… and they’re usually in CHOCOLATE. Israel is an amazing and wonderful country and I need to go back there right now. Seriously, milk chocolate with sweet pop rocks in it. *swoons*

  86. Jenifer 86

    Your kids think you are a genius because you are. Great job. Mind if I post this on my blog and link back to you?

  87. When some people are stuck with term paper essays accomplishing, therefore I would recommend to buy essay online from some good sociology essay service in such situation.

  88. Katherine 88

    Do the cupcakes taste like funfetti cupcakes?

  89. Jenny 89

    You had me at pop rocks!

  90. Noble Pig 90

    Well, since these are homemade they are BETTER!

  91. Love this!

  92. janni jacobsen 92

    So fundet. I love pop rocks and we also have them here in Denmark :-)


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting