Friday, June 1, 2012

Tales from the cupcake crypt

 In an effort to finally get ahead of the curve I decided to make cupcakes for my daughter's Friday class party on Wednesday night. This is because Thursday night I was going to be at school.  I have no idea how this happened, but for the first time in a long time my pantry was barren of any cake mix. Not to fret, I decided to look up any easy peasy cupcake mix from scratch. I found a simple recipe, and decided while I was already making cupcakes from scratch I should go ahead and take it one step further. Yes, I was going to make Red, White & Blue cupcakes!

None of this proved easy, and the cupcakes came out dry and untasty. Long story short, I picked up some mix Thursday night, and in a short amount of time later there I had 24 cupcakes ready for half the kids to only eat the icing off of (because no matter how good the cake is, some kids are only going to eat the icing >.<

I did take progress pictures for the original cupcakes (in case it worked) so that I could write about it here. Little did I know I would be writing about it in a whole different light. 

I had seen on Pinterest where people put their colored cake mix into an icing bag-like for those cute rainbow cakes, etc. Oh my gosh, first I tried a skewer to mix the dye in, then a spoon, 
, but that didn't work either.
Plan B: dump mix back into a bowl, and mix from there to reach desired color
Then I decided to do that with the blue as well: 

I then put them all back into the icing bags (new ones, good thing my husband found these really inexpensive ones on ebay) 

I do see how, once they are the right color, using the bags is really helpful. I recommend it and will be using this technique should I ever re-attempt this type of endeavour. 
Also, my kid was pretty stoked about the cupcakes. haha. I figured at this point the whole thing may be a wash, so I let her help out. Also, my hands and face had been spattered with so much food dye (the red had a clog...go figure) that I was out of 'em.
(pardon the nakey-ness) 

Here goes the red down for the base:
Here goes the white down for the middle: 
and blue on top: 
I cooked them for about twenty minutes, and here's the result: 
I think a little icing on the top may have made their appearance much more presentable because on the inside they looked pretty cool: 
The taste though was just not worth it. They were dry and flavorless. I should mention that because the batter tasted like flour, I added a bit of orange extract (also, not a good idea). 
All I had to show from this adventure was a face spattered with red dye and this: 

Yes, you read that right, Thank Goodness for Cake Mix!
a Buck eighty-five and WORTH IT! 
So at around nine o'clock I started baking cupcakes the kids would actually eat
BUT, karma was not done yet. 
I was at Target the other day and picked up some really cute cupcake liners. There were supposed to be 25 to a pack (for just $1 each)-perfect! Luckily I bought two packs because: 

Yup, the pack ONLY contained 20! So after rechecking EVERY SINGLE cupcake liner twice to make sure they weren't doubled up (and practicing my impression of a pissed off sailor), I opened up the second pack and borrowed 4 liners. 

Ta-da! Then I let them cool for twenty minutes and ate a quick (albeit late) dinner. 
A quick frosting and sprinkling later, they were packed and ready. 
So the moral of the story is NEVER let yourself run out of cake mix! Ever! 
Lesson learned because I didn't just buy this mix, I bought three and a frosting for each as well.