Betty Crocker Mixes and Pumpkin Cupcakes

    Clara and Jenna surprised me with a cupcake. It was a pumpkin cupcake made from one of the Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes and based on a recipe that they had found in the October issue of Real Simple magazine.

   I spend so much time baking from scratch that it had never crossed my mind to try a commercial mix. The cupcake was so good (you really would think it was a cupcake-from-the-past) that I decided to take a baking detour for the upcoming November birthday and create a gluten-free birthday cake using their recipe adaptations. The mix itself consists of white sugar and white starch carbohydrates and calls for a stick of butter and three eggs, something you definitely reserve for rare occasions at my age, however the memory of that cupcake keeps calling my name.

1 15-oz. box Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix (plus the butter, eggs, and vanilla called for in the package directions)
¼ to ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree

   Heat oven to 350 (325 convection). Spray your cake pans or line muffin tins with paper liners. Clara and Jenna used 16 silicone muffin cups on a baking sheet; no cooking spray needed.

    Prepare the cake mix as directed, but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute 1 ½ cups of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.

   Fill the pan/muffin cups with the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake/cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes.

    Freeze the cupcakes without the frosting. To enjoy, thaw cupcake and frost with cream cheese frosting.

   Clara and Jenna used Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting.

   Real Simple Magazine suggests making your own cream cheese frosting:
2 8-oz. bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 c. confectioners’ sugar
   Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.



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