Monday, February 15, 2010

Cupcakes of Looove

I decided to make something sweet yesterday for my Valentine (my other Valentine, not my bunny!!) and went to one of my favourite online sites for holiday recipes:  I found this recipe and I initially dismissed it because it had premade cake mix in it.  If I'm going to bake something, I like to make it from scratch or else I may as well be buying my baked goods from a bakery or supermarket.  However, I gave in and decided to make it after no other options really tickled my fancy.  The below recipe has been changed very slightly, the full recipe can be found here.

1 package(s)  (18 1/4-oz.) cake mix, plain white or yellow
1 package(s) (3-oz.) strawberry jelly
1 cup(s) (finely chopped fresh) strawberries, with juice (from 1 1/2 cups whole berries)
3/4 cup(s) milk
3/4 cup(s) vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 package(s) (8-oz.) cream cheese, reduced-fat, at room temperature
4 tablespoon(s) (1/2 stick) butter, unsalted, at room temperature
3 cup(s) (up to 3 1/2 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.
  2. Combine the cake mix, gelatin, strawberries and juice, milk, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down sides again if needed. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it 3/4 full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove empty liners, if any.) Place pans side by side in the oven.
  3. Bake until cupcakes are lightly golden and spring back when pressed gently with a finger, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, place pans on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes to wire racks to cool for another 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: Blend cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl with electric mixer on low speed until combined, 30 seconds. Stop mixer and add 3 cups confectioners’ sugar and the mashed strawberries. Mix on low speed until incorporated, 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and blend until frosting is fluffy, 30 to 45 seconds longer, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to get a spreadable consistency.
  5. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread it out with back of spoon. Refrigerate, uncovered, until frosting sets, 20 minutes. Decorate with sprinkles and strawberry slices, if desired.

Obviously the outcome of this recipe depends a lot on what cake mix you have access to.  I thought the cupcake had a strange aftertaste - it actually reminded me of a supermarket bakery cake.  The frosting was very nice.  Good enough to make once, but I think I'd try and make the dry ingredients from scratch next time.  I thought the appearance of the cupcake was very appealing. The cake had a light pink hue with bits of strawberry throughout; I used red and pink coloured cup cake liners and heart shaped sprinkles in line with the Valentine's Day theme.  Overall I give the recipe a rating of 3/5.

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