Over the last few months, I have had to make a lot of cupcakes. With every thing from graduations  to bridal showers  to “Welcome to America” gatherings, there’s been a desire for the beauty that only a decorated cupcake brings to a festive food tablescape.
While whipping up a batch of homemade cupcake mix is not rocket science, it’s still a science. Measuring the dry ingredients requires precision, and in my spirit of 31 Days of Good
enough Things , I want to introduce you to the beauty of doctoring up your store bought cake mixes.
Recently, I asked on my facebook page  if people were open to serving Doctored up Cake Mixes at a celebration like a shower, and it was split down the middle. Some were purists when it came to their cakes, while others were clamoring for more details. When I used doctored cake mixes, I also make homemade frosting, since that is so easy and really sets it up as special.
For years, I have never made a box cake mix by following the directions, so when you read the directions, remember that you are putting behind the box directions and using these instead. Sometimes I add sour cream or pudding mix or butter instead of oil, or even a pinch of mayo of deep, rich moisture (don’t knock it til you try it.) With the box mixes having all the essentials measured, it’s hard to mess up your cakes and adding something a bit extra makes it oh, so yummy, and not one person will ever guess it’s only semi homemade.
This works with any flavor of cake mix and I will add my recipe for doing vanilla cupcakes as well, but for my Snicker’s Cupcakes, I choose to use Chocolate Cake mix, and added some instant coffee to deepen the flavor. Since I served these for a bridal shower, I knew the ladies would appreciate that hint of flavor, but I don’t recommend it for a five year old’s birthday party, unless you are raising a generation of coffee experts. 😉
Recipe: Doctored Up Cupcakes
- 1 package (18.25 ounces) German or regular chocolate cake mix *Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines are fabulous.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla (or almond) extract
- Chopped slightly frozen candy bars – my preference Snickers, but any chocolate bar will work.
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (completely optional for those who love coffee flavor like I do.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
- Pour the cake mix, water, butter, eggs, vanilla (and optional coffee) in a large mixing bowl.
- Blend by hand or with electric mixer on low for 30 seconds.
- Stop and scrape down sides.
- Increase mixer speed a bit and blend thoroughly.
- Spoon batter into pans, filling each cup three quarters of the way full.
- Push candy pieces in the middle of the cupcake making sure that you cover the bar with cake batter, so that it is not showing.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean and cupcake tops spring back when touched.
- Remove and cool for 15 minutes before frosting.
- After topping with your favorite frosting, mine is this Homemade Almond Buttercream, drizzle with a bit of caramel and garnish with candy bar pieces.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Read the rest of my 31 Days of Good ‘enough” Things by clicking here,  and don’t miss the launch of 10 Minute Dinners.
I’m tackling 31 Days towards 10 Minute Dinners over at my new site.