Saturday, August 28, 2010

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

I'll admit it. We're total cake mix snobs around here. If it comes from a box and has "Duncan Hines" plastered on the front, we're not into it. This is not a resent thing, either. None of our pets were poisoned by boxes or anything.  Mr. C was lucky to be blessed with homemade cookies and cakes throughout his life (This may be because there's no Betty Crocker in rural Nepal or Pakistan, but who knows). My family did have the occasional packaged good from Mr. Christie (goddamn, you make a fine Oreo, Christie), but we always relished the stuff that came out of Mom's oven. I still use her banana chocolate chip recipe as a constant stand-by in our house.

Recently, I've started to notice cake mix popping up everywhere. There are more and more recipes I come across that feature "Yellow Cake Mix" as a main ingredient. There are even books out there telling you how to doctor-up your boxed mix.This astounds me. What is cake mix, anyways? Flour? Leavening? Sugar? A half of dozen chemicals and weird things you can't pronounce? Why can't you just mix it all together yourself (except for the whole chemical thing)? Does it really save that much time?

After all this shouting and rage (pretend I was shouting), I'm going to do an about face and become a hypocrite for a sec. Because, you see, I will always make an exception to my cake mix embargo. But this stuff is different. It's light. It's sweet. And it has sprinkles.

funfetti (15)


Oh god, that stuff is what angels taste like. It's the flavour we all think of when we remember the perfect birthday cake. I couldn't tell you the last time I had some, or made some, but I can still vividly remember all the flavours on my tongue. Pillsbury must have seriously sold his sole to the devil for this stuff.

But (unfortunately), I'm a baker who lives and dies by the from-scratch code. Nothing from a box. Nothing from a jar. Not even my beloved funfetti. I had to prove that you didn't need the Dough Boy to make this magnificent, sugary cake. There had to be a way to take out all the chemicals and over-processed crap, only to be left with a perfect non-boxed version of the sprinkly delight.

Well, friends and fellow cake mix haters, we have done it. We have finally found the answer. A delicate butter to sugar ratio, as well as a hint of almond, really hits the spot. The cake was light, moist, oh so sweet, and (of course) had those all important sprinkles. Pretty damn good. Yes, even better than the Pillsbury stuff. I promise you'll never have to go back to cake mix again.

funfetti (13)
Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Makes one dozen cupcakes
adapted from Fake Ginger

1 1/4 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup skim milk + 3 Tablespoons skim yogurt
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

1) Preheat your oven to 350C. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whip together your butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, until thick and white. Add your extracts and mix again.

3) With a spoon, slowly mix in your dry ingredients and milk/yogurt mix, alternating between the two. When everything comes together (taking care not to over mix), add the sprinkles and lightly fold in a couple times. Again, do not over mix.

4) Spoon in the batter to liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until your tester comes out clean. Set out to cool before icing.

Vanilla Swiss Buttercream
3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg white
18 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Extra sprinkles

1)Over a double boiler, whisk together the egg whites and sugar until the granules have a disintegrated. Pour the whites into a mixing bowl, careful not to get any condensation or water into it.

2)With an electric mixer, whip the whites until it forms soft peaks. Continue mixing and slowly add the butter, about 4 Tablespoons at a time and mix until completely incorporated. Mix well - after adding your butter, your buttercream will reach the "curdled stage". Don't worry, just keep mixing and it'll smooth out.

3) After everything has smoothed, add the extracts. When everything is incorporated, use buttercream to pipe over your cooled funfetti cupcakes. Add extra sprinkles on top. Enjoy.

funfetti (14)

eat your heart out, betty crocker


Kristen said...

Awesome! Found your blog via the cupcake flickr group, SO glad I did! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I can't wait to try it, I have everything in my pantry and totally understand the box-snob thing, gross! Looking forward to following!

Lina Thomlinson said...

Thanks for this recipe! I too abhor cake mixes and when I recently had to make cupcakes for a contest using a mix I made the exact same point about how unnecessary and unhealthy they are. Even photographed the frighteningly lengthy ingredient list full of crap I couldn't identify. I'll have to give yours a try for sure.

Debbie said...

Oh awesome! Funfetti is my favorite cake, yes the boxed kind, gulp! But i am really excited to try out this recipe as I am trying to make everything from scratch as well, so thanks!

Monet said...

As a dedicated "from scratch" baker, I was delighted to find this recipe. Without a doubt, funfetti cupcakes made my elementary days so much fun. This looks wonderful, and I will be making these when my niece and nephew come to visit. Thank you for sharing! said...

funfetti really is addictive. i swear they put crack in it. thanks for the recipe! looking forward to making it from scratch!

Sugary Flower said...

So funny - I have heard so many mentions of Funfetti cake since I've been reading baking blogs/websites, and have been asking myself "what the HELL is this Funfetti???" I don't think we get it here (please feel free to correct me, fellow Australians - admittedly I don't use boxed mixes, so maybe I just haven't seen it). But now I know! Thanks C&C! :)

Heaven is a Cupcake said...

I think both the cake box thing and the funfetti thing is distinctly American. When I was in America travelling at the start of the year (which sparked my cupcake obsession) I saw cake box mixes everywhere. We have maybe one or two kinds of cupcake mixes here and that's it. So when I see 'yellow cake mix' in a recipe it drives me insane! That's not a recipe!! So I too share your cake box snobbery :D I want to try making these!

Creative Cupcake Recipes said...

These cupcakes look so good. Better than the Pillsbury. I'm going to try them today. I love putting yogurt in my baking recipes. It always makes such a nice, smooth consistency to the cupcakes.

Me and My Pink Mixer said...

My teenage daughter loves Funfetti Cupcakes and cookies. I can't wait to try this recipe out on her! I'll have to be sneaky and make them when she is not around so she doesn't know their not the box mix :)

Camala - CC Recipe said...

I also make a funfetti cupcake from scratch, no box cake mix, and they are so much better than those laden with chemicals:) Your funfetti cupcakes look divine!

FROSTED! said...

I love Funfetti Cupcakes! Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I can't wait to try it.

CupcakesOMG! said...

ah yes, homemade is the first of my rules around what makes a great cupcake:

well done!

Anonymous said...

funfetti cupcakes?!!?! Those just singggg to me, love it!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Amen for staying away from boxed cakes. There's just something gummy about the texture that makes me cringe. And a giant yay for funfetti from scratch.
PS: I had no idea Mr. C was South Asian. If he hasn't already, he needs to introduce you to the giant world of South Asian desserts :)

Maggie said...

These look awesome! I never would have thought to make homemade funfetti, but will definitely have to try these! As someone who generally makes all baked goods from scratch, I hate to admit I love the taste of cake mix cupcakes...there's just something about those chemicals :)

Unknown said...

I love funfetti cupcakes and I'm not quite sure I am ready to abandon that mystical box of wonders, but I must say this was a very entertaining and captivating read. Your cupcakes look pretty tasty. Who knows I might get curious enough to try funfetti not old of a box...great post!

Unknown said...
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Joyce said...

Looks amazing. I always wondered how those box cake companies made those rainbow cakes.

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