23 June 2014

Cupcakes That I Made From Boxed Cake Mixes But Tasted Like Homemade

I know I still haven't finished sharing the details of our Germany trip, but I just wanted to share this amazing discovery =)  I promise, I'll blog about the rest of our trip later...even if it takes me until the end of the year (hopefully it won't take me that long, though).

Since the day of our KFC activity this month fell on a working Saturday for me (ergo, I wouldn’t be able to help out on the day itself), I was given the punishment task of baking cupcakes. Simple and easy, right? Wrong. Because the activity for this month focused on honouring the daddies and there was a special program planned, the number of cupcakes needed to equal the number of kids who would be participating; and on average, the attendance is usually 70 kids (sometimes more)! And then there’s the birthday celebrants of the kids and the service team, so I had to make approximately 100 cupcakes. Yikes!

Even if I worked on them the entire day of Friday, I knew I couldn’t bake that many, so I asked other mommies in KFC to make 3 dozen. And to make my task a bit easier, I got the help of ever reliable Betty Crocker. Good thing there was a sale in one of the supermarkets last week =)

Although it’s not a requirement that they had to be homemade, I just felt like I was cheating somehow because I was going to use boxed cake mixes. Please don’t judge me, though. I’m no expert in making cupcakes, I’ve never made money by selling them or accepting orders, and I’ve never made that many at once, so you can imagine how desperate I was.

But surprise, surprise! The ones I made actually tasted like they were made from scratch! Seriously! They taste way different than the normal ones that are made by using the ingredients asked for in the box.

When I made a batch of vanilla mini-cupcakes to practice, Caila finished 5 at once (and then a couple later that night), Sophie finished 2, and the 30 pieces (I think) that we brought for a meeting on Friday was wiped out in minutes! Then on Friday night after they arrived at our apartment, Gabe ate 3 regular-sized cupcakes, plus 1 on Saturday morning before I left for work. And when I asked Mama if she could tell that they weren’t made from scratch, she was really surprised because they were “malasa and moist” and “hindi ma-crumbs” (her words). Hurray!

What did I do? Here’s my secret. Actually, it’s not my secret. You can check the internet for all sorts of tips; and believe me, there are a lot! But these are the ones I tried and tested to be very effective in improving the taste of the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes I made.

• Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
• Replace the vegetable oil with melted butter
• Add one more egg to what is asked (if it needs 2 eggs, put in 3; if it asks for 3, use 4 eggs)
• Use fresh milk instead of water
• Instead of water for the chocolate cupcakes, use 1 cup chocolate milk and 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
• Add 1/3 cup of sugar for vanilla cupcakes, and 1/4 cup of sugar for chocolate cupcakes
• For the vanilla cupcakes, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla
I also mixed in chocolate chips to the batter, but the cupcakes were also fine without them.

And to make sure no one would even think they were made from boxed cake mixes, I topped them up with frosting made from scratch.
Don't they look delicious?!
(L to R) Chocolate Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Vanilla Cupcake with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting, and a plain Chocolate Cupcake
Try it and let me know how yours turn out. I guarantee you’ll be tempted to use boxed cake mixes when you feel the need to cheat *wink*

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