I whipped up some Chanukkah cupcakes today! It was the perfect opportunity to try one of the Duff Goldman cake mixes (and frosting) that I keep seeing at the store. I immediately thought of this Blue Suede cake mix when I was dreaming up these festive cupcakes. The cake ($2.99) and frosting ($2.69) both came from Target.
I also wanted to find faux Chanukkah gelt that I could use (again and again) for cupcake toppers. My mom found this great set at Target for $7.00-- Thanks, Mom! The bag is adorable and the dreidel is made from wood. The set is super cute and totally worth it. I washed my gelt in soapy, warm water and dried thoroughly before using on the cupcakes.
I was a little disappointed to open the cake mix box and find what looked like any other white cake mix. At the bottom of the box there was a little packet of blue food coloring. I guess I expected the cake mix to be blue like fairy dust or something :P It called for egg whites, water and oil like most other cake mixes. I'm guessing the yokes would have made the cake green, so I didn't use them.
I used some yellow and teal cupcake liners that I already had on hand. They're made by Wilton and came in a package with a third rainbowy design that I didn't use this time.
While my cupcakes were baking, I made my teal frosting. This icing color is made by Wilton and came from Michael's-- a little goes a long way so I always start out using just a tiny bit and adding more. I just added it directly to the frosting container and stirred with my favorite butter knife.
The cupcakes baked up perfectly! Just make sure they don't golden or your blue coloring will start to look funky. This happened to a few in the teal-papered batch.
Decorating was fun but I really couldn't wait to taste these cupcakes! What is all the fuss about? Are these cake mixes worth the little extra money? How do they taste?! I have to admit that when the cupcakes were raw, I didn't think they would bake as blue as the box boasted. They are lighter but the color was still perfect for my Chanukkah cupcakes. This box mix also has a hint of blueberry flavor and it really is just a hint, which is nice. The cake texture itself really blew me away. The box says "bakery quality" and until I had my first taste, I really didn't expect it to be much different from any other cake mix. These cupcakes came out so light and fluffy! And moist! I was really impressed. The frosting, however, just tasted like any other cream cheese frosting. I purchased the frosting because it was in close proximity to the blue boxed mix I had just grabbed, I'm a sucker for cream cheese frostings, AND I thought the name was kinda cute-- Not Your Bagel's Cream Cheese Frosting. It was good but nothing super special.
I enjoy using boxed cake mixes from time to time and I will definitely try out some of the other flavors in Duff Goldman's line. I'm soooo in love with how these cute little cupcakes came out. Not only were they an instant hit, but they'll be a tradition from now on. Happy Chanukkah, everyone!
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