So, not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but I haven’t been posting a whole lot lately. I have no excuses, I’ve just been completely unmotivated. It’s like I moved into a new house and don’t want to touch anything for fear of getting it dirty or something. Which is ridiculous, because everything I touch gets dirty. I’m like Pigpen from Peanuts (except without the assumed cartoon-like stench).
A friend’s birthday pulled me out of my funk, but it being a school night and all, I didn’t get too crazy. I actually doctored cake mix and frankly, I may never make chocolate cupcakes from scratch again (that’s totally not true, but these are damn good).
Here’s what you need. Well, this and some chocolate chips, but they were an afterthought. I took a picture and it sucked. I’m sure you can stretch your imagination that far.
This batter comes out thicker than regular store bought cake mix, which makes it way easier to put in the muffin cups. Also, it makes it easier to shove spoonfuls into your face. If you were so inclined to do something like that.
The birthday boy loves the cinnamon cream cheese frosting I put on roughly 73.8% of baked goods – admittedly, this isn’t saying much because you could put it on a hairball and it would still be delicious. So that’s it. Simple. Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chips. Frosting. Done.
Oh. And I drizzled some Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce over the top. Because it is magic and makes everything even better than cinnamon cream cheese frosting. So, by default, I think that makes these the best cupcakes in the world. Possibly in my zip code.
Then the party was cancelled due to circumstances beyond my control, so I was forced to eat no less than 4 cupcakes because CHILDREN ARE STARVING, young lady. Probably everywhere but my house.
Go make these. No one will know you’re faking it.
Doctored Chocolate Cake Mix
P.S. How amazing do THOSE cupcakes look!?
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix*
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix*
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup warm coffee or 1/2 cup water. I used the coffee.
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
* These are not the weights I found – but the cake mix was the standard size at my store (14.25 oz) and I used the small box of pudding mix.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and espresso water mixture. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. If adding chocolate chips, stir them in.
3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well (mine actually made about 30).
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
5. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting (recipe here).
Devour at will.