Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Better Cupcakes

Tonia came to my house one night, bearing gifts: the beautiful cupcakes from Craves.  

tasted a few of them.  


They came exquisitely wrapped, a beautiful variety in each package, and so tasty.  


Later that week I was talking to my friend, Marilyn Gilson, on the telephone and she said that she had made some cupcakes for a wedding, since the bride suggest those instead of a wedding cake.
I can see why there is a charm to the cupcakes.  I asked Marilyn about the cupcakes and here is what she told me, sending me both a preamble and some nice recipes.
"The start of my search for better cupcakes came with reading an article in Meridian magazine by Dennis Weaver – he said you have to add substance to cake mix cupcakes, mix-ins, flavor, nuts, chipits etc. but nothing specific.  Finding the site on-line telling that the best of the best cupcake ‘stores’ use cake mixes as the base adding sour cream, extra ingredients, oil etc – made me think a cake mix cupcake could taste good.  I also had had the experience of being asked to make cupcakes for Darlene Proctor’s granddaughter – for her wedding reception, that were a complete failure until I phoned the manufacturer and found out we have a high altitude and must add extra flour to the mix. And the amount of extra flour changes for each kind of cake mix.  I will say those were labour intensive cupcakes requiring many extra steps and I did have to buy a whole new set of ingredients because the first effort went into the “garbage”. The final product was extremely good though. I have no idea where that recipe is.  But here are some others."
Creamy German Chocolate Cupcakes, my favorite, made with a Duncan Hines Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix.  I liked it best with the filling inside the cupcake, others liked it best with the filling added on the top of the batter giving a chewy top.  Problem with that was the filling did not distribute evenly on top of the cupcake during the baking.  Filling in the middle – oh yes how do I make this come out evenly. . . .
1.      Filling: beat together till light and creamy: 8 oz, Cream Cheese, 2/3’ds cup of sugar, 1 large egg, 1 tsp. vanilla.  Add and stir in ½ cup mini chocolate chips, ½ cup flaked sweetened coconut. Set aside.
2.      To the cake mix add: 2 Tbsp. Flour, 1 small instant chocolate pudding, 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3.      Add 1 ¼ cups water (you could use half sour cream) ½ cup of veggie oil, 4 eggs slightly beaten 1 tsp. vanilla . Mix according to directions on cake mix box.
4.      Filling in the middle—drop app 1 Tbsp. batter into each of 24 paper lined muffin cups, add a spoonful of filling and top evenly with remaining batter.
5.      Bake at 350 degrees app 25 minutes.

Chocolate Mint Cupcakes: made with Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
1.      To the cake mix add: 1/3 cup flour and 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder – mix well
2.      Add 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup vegetable oil, 4 eggs lightly beaten, 2 tsp vanilla, ½ cup liquid – water or milk.  Mix as directed on the box
3.      Place a spoonful of batter into each of 24 paper lined muffin cups.  Place a mint patty into each cup. Continue to divide the batter evenly among the 24 cups (app 2/3rds full)
4.      Bake at 350 degrees 18-22 minutes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes:  an easy recipe from my friend Linet Meeks
1.      Mix together, 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 tsp each B. Powder, B. Soda,  ½ tsp salt, 2 tsp. Cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg if desired.
2.      Add 4 eggs beaten lightly with 1 cup veggie oil, 3 cups finely grated/shredded carrots mix with hand mixer on low 2-3 minutes,  Can add chopped nut if desired
3.      Makes 24 cupcakes or 9 x 13 cake.  Bake at 325 degrees, cake: 50 – 60 min, cupcakes: 20-22 min?
I used Cream Cheese icing on all of these, butter icing would be good..  Have fun!
Marilyn Gilson

PS  From Arta -- I am going to post these recipes over on the Larch Haven Foodblog as well.

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