when you just need a cupcake

I enjoy baking from scratch, but I also don’t object to a few shortcuts here and there. Much of the boxed, processed stuff is nasty, but with help from the Cake Mix Doctor, a boxed cake mix can turn into something quite delightful. I have The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook, which is great, but these days I’ve been referring more frequently to Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor. Say what you want about cupcakes and their trendiness, but I have always and will always love cupcakes.

chocolate cupcake.JPG
The thing about cake mixes is they crank out a sure thing. The cupcakes I made were very moist and chocolatey. Yum.
Read on for the recipes!


For the cake part I used the recipe for Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes, but I didn’t do all the fancy stuff the Cake Mix Doctor suggests, like filling them.
Brooklyn Blackout Cupcakes, minus, I guess, the blackout
Adapted from Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor
Ingredients:
Liners for cupcake pans
1 package (18.25 oz) plain Devil’s Food Cake Mix
3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the cupcake pans with liners (makes about 24). Combine the cake mix, cocoa, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix on low for about 30 seconds to combine the ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again, this time at medium speed, about 2 minutes longer. The batter should be thick. Fill the cupcake liners.
Bake about 17-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when you gently prod them. Cool in pans on wire racks for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pans to cool completely.
Chocolate Syrup Frosting, from the same cookbook
1 stick butter, at room temp
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate syrup (I used the organic Trader Joe’s stuff, and it worked fine)
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Combine the butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate syrup in a large bowl. Combine with a mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix on low for about a minute, then increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Frost!

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11 Responses to when you just need a cupcake

  1. Elspeth says:

    I tried a couple of her cakes from the first book and wasn’t impressed. Or at least felt like I could do better and not that harder by making scratch cakes. I just may borrow the cupcake one from the library, though. Thanks for the tip!

  2. amisha says:

    wow, she has a cupcake book too?? i had no idea. this may change my life a *lot* :) i make the darn good chocolate cake from the first book all the time… i just posted about it last week in fact. yum.

  3. Jackie says:

    Wow – those look so good and sound so easy! I love making things from scratch too generally, but those look really good!

  4. bekka says:

    those look super yummy. wow. and i don’t love chocolate, even.

  5. aimee noel says:

    Thanks for the links! I’ve been wanting to bakes some cupcakes (mini-style) for awhile.
    Oh, and I found Cubyrop at Uwajimaya’s (Beaverton) last night…. both kinds! I’m not sure if I like the tart-ness of the gummies, but the hard ones are really good (and a nice size when I have to work the reception desk at work).

  6. Madeline says:

    Personally, I love box mix cakes. You just need a quick fix some (ok most in my case) times! Also I adore cupcakes and always have and always will. There is something so youthful about them.

  7. earthchick says:

    Oh my. As soon as I saw that picture, I knew I had to make these. Rushed right out today and got the ingredients, then made them this afternoon. Heavenly! (I also ordered the book ASAP). Thanks for posting this!

  8. Michelle says:

    The great thing about cupcakes is the finality and packaging. You eat one. You unwrap the wrapper, bite into it lick the frosting maybe. But when you are done, you are done. And even if you baked a dozen they are individual creations. Not like a big cake where it looks like it is missing something and begs to be eaten all on one sitting. Cupcakes, are complete on their own. If they are trendy, then this may be a good thing for us a little too indulgent Americans!!

  9. Michelle says:

    “A” cupcake? Who needs just one? Two or three maybe . . . :)

  10. jennie says:

    i love cupcakes, but sometimes i just want one or two. i wonder if there are recipes for that? or if you could make a mix ahead of time and portion it out?

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