Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Homemade" Box Mix Cupcakes


My nephew graduated from the 8th grade over the weekend (woo-hoo! Congrats Tyler!) and of course there was a party to celebrate. Along with parties come cakes, or in this case, cupcakes!

We had out of town visitors the week before for C's first birthday party. After all of that deep cleaning, party planning, and the making of the sock monkey cake, I was pretty exhausted. I did what Steve would refer to as "cheating" and what I refer to as "what busy Moms sometimes need to do in order to keep their sanity". I found 2 easy recipes using box mixes that make them taste homemade!

The more baking I do from scratch, the more of a cake snob I turn into. Nothing compares to a freshly baked homemade cake! The way these cupcakes turned out, though, I may be in trouble because they were pretty delicious! The ease of making these and the delicious taste of the recipes will insure that they will happily stay put in my baking arsenal for use again in the future. And I'm overly excited because I finally found something to use that holiday cake mix for that I bought on clearance back in January!

The addition of the homemade vanilla buttercream frosting put these cupcakes over the top! I got quite a few compliments on these and even a few text messages begging me to get them out of my sister-in-law's house before they were all devoured... better at her house than mine, so I left them! (sorry!)



Quick Double Chocolate Cupcakes (Rachel Ray)

1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided


Preheat oven to 350. 
Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners, set aside.

Using an electric mixer, mix the cake mix, water, and oil on medium speed until moistened and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, until full incorporated. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips, by hand. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, stirring it occasionally to redistribute the chocolate chips. The batter will nearly fill each liner to the top. Evenly sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the tops of the cupcakes. Bake until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Perfect Vanilla (or any flavor) Cupcakes (using a mix) (Tidy Mom)

1 box mix (whatever flavor you want) – but get the good kind, Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker
3 Large Eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted (use butter not margarine….trust me on this!)
1 cup of water

Preheat oven to 350.
Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners, set aside. 

Melt the butter in a large bowl in the microwave.
Add cake mix, eggs and water to the melted butter.
Mix on low for 1 minute. Then mix on high for 1 minute.
The batter will be thick and creamy - not thin and runny like it is when you follow the box instructions.
Fill muffin cups – I used a cookie scoop for this and it filled them perfectly!
Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing For a Crowd (Rachel Ray)

1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
a little less than 3 pounds confectioners' sugar (1-two lb. bag plus about 2 Cups)
1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (overflowing)
Food coloring (If you want to make a color other than white)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high speed until very light and fluffy. Lower the speed of the mixer and SLOWLY pour the sugar into the bowl, alternating with the milk, and mix slowly until combined.  Once combined, add the vanilla and mix. Turn the mixer speed up and beat the icing until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.

If desired, divide the icing into smaller batches and color with food coloring.
Refrigerate any leftover icing, but be sure to let it come back to room temperature before using. Re-whip the icing to make it fluffy again.


To frost the cooled cupcakes, I used the Wilton 1M tip. One of my nieces then decorated them with sparkly green gel and some little green candies. (green and white were my nephews school colors)

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