Apparently Wedding Wednesday has decided to come back with a vengeance. I just have more to share about our wedding and tips for other DIY brides out there. I hope you all don’t mind too much and I promise today’s post isn’t just about weddings. Everyone loves cupcakes right? If not, sorry we can’t be friends. ;)
We made all of the cupcakes for our wedding. When I say we I mean my mom, his mom, his aunt and his nanny. We had about 3-4 dozen of each of the 6 flavors we picked out for our reception – Yellow with Chocolate Icing, White wedding cake with Buttercream Icing, Strawberry, Red Velvet with Boiled Flour Icing, Lemon, and German Chocolate. Each person made the cupcakes the week of the wedding, keeping them fresh in the fridge or the freezer. The day before the wedding my mom made all of the Icing and we had a frosting party.
I know it sounds crazy that we had that many flavors and trusted 4 different people to make them. It’s scary to think about picking out all the recipes, making sure the cupcakes are made right, and that they are all a uniform size. However, I wasn’t worried one bit (maybe I was a little worried, but I have major control issues). We came up with a fail proof way to make this work. Ok, you can’t trust someone who has never been in the kitchen before to not burn cupcakes so at least start with someone you kind of trust to do this and then go from there.
Want to know what our secret weapons were? Cake mix and cupcake scoopers! I know, you’re thinking “cake mix for a wedding?” But trust me. All of the cupcakes at our wedding were made from cake mix except the German Chocolate ones because Nanny is awesome and made those for us from scratch. This recipe will make cake mix in to the best tasting and easiest cupcakes you’ll ever make. I promise! We armed each volunteer baker with the recipe and their own cupcake scoop to make sure all the cupcakes were the same size. We told them to use the plain white cupcake liners and before we frosted the cupcakes we took them out of the liners. The day of the wedding we placed them on the pretty liners which made them easier to eat and the liners looked like little doilies. The cake mix trick is perfect for times you need more than one dozen cupcake. I made 6 dozen cupcakes last night using this recipe and was inspired to share my knowledge with you all. Ok ok, on with the recipes.
Cake Mix Cupcakes
You’ll need one box of cake mix to make 2 dozen cupcakes. It doesn’t matter the brand or the flavor. I have used this with both Pillsbury and Duncan Hines but I’m sure any box mix that’s the same size as those two brands would be fine. I’ve tested this with many flavors and haven’t had a problem with it yet.
You’ll follow the ingredient list on the back making the following changes:
Replace the oil called for with softened butter in the same amount.
Replace the water called for with buttermilk in the same amount.
Add an extra egg.
Beat the butter on high for a minute or so until it is light and fluffy. Add the cake mix and mix slowly until combined. Add the milk and eggs and beat on low until combined, scrape down the sides then mix on high for 2 minutes. The batter will be thick and that’s how it should be. Cupcakes are supposed to be denser than cake.
Evenly distribute the batter among 24 lined cupcake tins. You’ll have some leftover batter. I use this to make mini-cupcakes but you can do whatever you want to with it. Bake them at 350 for about 17-19 minutes. Oven temperatures will vary so watch the first batch you make to get an accurate time.
Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
While you can use the above recipe with strawberry cake mix to make strawberry cupcakes, I prefer this recipe. It is just way too good to use anything else. I wouldn’t steer you wrong would I?
1 package white cake mix
3 Tbsp. Flour
1 (3 oz.) box strawberry gelatin
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup oil
½ cup – ¾ cup frozen thawed strawberries (or fresh) mashed with a fork
Mix everything but the strawberries together until just combined. Scrape down the sides then mix on high for 2 minutes. Stir in the strawberries. Evenly distribute the batter among 24 lined cupcake tins. You’ll have some leftover batter.
Bake them at 350 for about 18-20 minutes. These burn easily so start checking them at 18 minutes.
1/2 cup softened butter
1 -1 lb box of powdered sugar (sometimes takes a little more)
1/4 tsp. salt
½ cup frozen thawed strawberries (or fresh) mashed with a fork
Beat the butter on high for a minute or so until it is light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and salt and stir slowly to combine, it will kind of look like a course corn meal. Add the strawberries and beat on low until combined, scrape down the sides then mix on high for a few minutes until it’s slightly thicker.
Mom’s go-to frosting recipe
My mom used to do a lot of cake decorating and this is the recipe she uses for buttercream and chocolate frosting. Everyone raves when she makes cakes so these must be good. I’m not the biggest fan of the buttercream, but I just don’t love buttercream frosting in general. I could eat the chocolate buttercream with a spoon though and then die from clogged arteries.
The Original Wilton Buttercream
Recipe from Wilton
1 cup vegetable shortening or ½ cup each butter and vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk or 2 tablespoons water
1 tbsp meringue powder (Optional)
¾ cup cocoa powder (if making chocolate buttercream)
Cream shortening (and butter) with mixer. Add the vanilla. Gradually add sugar (and cocoa if making chocolate buttercream), one cup at a time, beating on medium speed scraping the sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will be pretty dry. Add milk or water and beat at medium speed until ready to use. Refrigerate or freeze leftover icing in an airtight container and thaw and rewhip before using.
So there are my secrets. I hope you are able to use them at your wedding or when you need to make a lot of cupcakes at once. I promise no one will judge you for using cake mix. They’ll be too busy scarfing them down to care.