Cook's Hideout: Jazzed up Vanilla Cupcakes made from Cake Mix

June 12, 2012

Jazzed up Vanilla Cupcakes made from Cake Mix

After making a breakfast & an entree from ready to cook stuff, I decided to make a dessert using the same. I was debating between making an Indian dessert of Western cake. Since I had to make something for the kids for a party last weekend, I decided to make these vanilla cupcakes from store bought cake mix; this way I had a dish for the marathon and kids had something that they like.

It has been years since I bought store bought cake mix. After making the cakes at home from scratch, it somehow does not feel right buying store bought mix. I know they are very convenient, but all the additives in the mix, makes me not want to buy any.

Well for this challenge, I made an exception and since I was running out of time and options to make something for the kids, I decided to buy a cake mix anyway. I used only half the box since the full box (18.5oz) makes 24 cupcakes and I only wanted to make a dozen. I weighed the mix and halved it by weight.

Instructions on the back of the box say to use 3 eggs, 1 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup oil. In order to jazz up the store bought mix, I used milk instead of water and added some extra vanilla extract. Also to them interesting for the kids, I had a little chocolate surprise in the middle. Here's how I made the cupcakes (I'm giving measurements for 12 cupcakes, please double the ingredients if using the entire box to make 24 cupcakes).
Cake Mix (store bought or home made) - 9.25oz
Milk - 2/3 cup
Oil - 3tbsp + 1tsp
Eggs - 2, large
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 2tbsp

For the frosting:
Mascarpone cheese - 4oz.
Heavy cream - ½cup
Confectioners Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla extract - a dash
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, beat cake mix, milk, oil and eggs. Mix until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Take about  ½cup of the cake batter and add the cocoa powder. Mix well.
  • Divide the vanilla batter evenly between the 12 cupcakes.
  • Add about 1tbsp of the chocolate batter right in the center of each cupcake. 
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean or with a very little crumbs.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For the Frosting: Mix all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with electric mixer until stiff. Frost the cupcakes either using a piping bag & a tip or just slather the frosting generously over the cupcake. They taste delicious either way.
Let's check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked for Day 3 of BM# 17. I'm going to be back with the group next week for another round of BM# 17.



  1. They look great with chocolate swirls in between.

  2. I too have not baked a cake in ages using a cake mix. Actually I seldom use ready made mixes from store. That is my theme next week and still finalizing the dishes to make for the bm.

    Cup cakes look great! Kids must have loved them.

  3. I don't buy cake mixes, but they are a great time saver when in a pinch

  4. yum! that looks so delicious! thanks for sharing!

  5. Cute and irresistible cupcakes.

  6. Looks so pretty Pavani, like the frosting on top!

  7. cake looks very delicious...loved the frosting...neatly presented!!

    Spicy Treats

  8. the chocolate swirls in the middle look so cute. I heard that 'Duncan Hines' is better than 'Betty Crocker'. Did you feel so?

  9. I completely agree that once we start baking at home from scratch ..I tend to feel getting any ready -to-make stuff..but its always good to ease off and play with these!

    Great take on these adnd of course the topping looks inviting :)

  10. That's a nice chocolatey surprise in between.Looks great...

  11. Looks very tempting. Love the frosting!!!!


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