Sunday, May 20, 2012

Duncan Hines Cupcake (From a Boxed Mix)

Let me set the stage.

It's Friday night, and you've got a killer craving for a cupcake. You have a boxed cake mix in your pantry (score!), but you just know that if you make it, you'll probably eat 2 cupcakes tonight, 3 tomorrow, and 3 the next day before you finally decide you have to get them out of your house and take the rest into work on Monday. That's what I'd do, anyway.

And so the mental battle begins. You know you shouldn't make them, so you try to talk yourself out of it. For about 15 minutes. But then you crack and make them anyway. And you eat 10 cupcakes in one weekend. (Okay, okay, so this is me again.)

For a while now, I've been thinking that there has to be a way to scale the ingredients back so I can just make a single cupcake from a boxed cake mix. So I did some tinkering and hit on a combination that consistently worked for a particular brand.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Boxed cake mixes are NOT created equal! Recently, manufacturers have been reducing the volume of their boxed cake mixes and changing the combination of dry ingredients. So using a mix other than the ones this recipe has been tested with could spell cupcake disaster. And nobody wants that. 

Drum roll please:

2 Tbsp cake mix (from a 16.5-oz box of Duncan Hines brand devil's food or yellow cake mix)
1/2 Tbsp egg beaters
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 3/4 tsp water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put a single cupcake liner in a cupcake tray.

Combine all of the above ingredients in a small bowl or cup. By hand, blend ingredients together and then (this is important!) continue mixing for 60-70 seconds. Pour into cupcake liner; they will be about half full.

Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, then frost and add sprinkles if you'd like.

--Real egg works just as well as egg beaters, but are difficult to measure in small quantities.
--Plain applesauce can be substituted for the vegetable oil, but, when used, the cupcakes stick to the inside of the liners just a bit. Also, when used with the yellow cake mix, applesauce adds a slight hint of apple flavor.

Finally, enjoy that weird feeling. That feeling that doesn't feel like guilt. You just made, ate, and savored every bite of one cupcake, not 10. Go you!


  1. What a great idea! I can't wait to try your recipes, especially the chocolate cupcake. And I love that you provide a healthier choice with the applesauce substitution!

  2. Thanks! I'm glad you like it. My tip for the applesauce substitution is to use a foil liner--it'll help keep things from sticking.

  3. Thanks so much, you saved the day! We usually send our autistic son to school with 1 fun snack along with several healthy snacks. We were completely out of fun snacks this morning! I found this recipe and was able to whip up one cupcake before school. Thanks so much!!

  4. Thank you for the recipe. I made this using the red velvet mix and it was awesome! I only have a muffin pan and so I doubled the recipe and used one large egg white instead of egg beaters. It was delicious!