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Friday, March 8, 2013

Spring Cuppy Cakes

Cupcakes are kind of my thing. If there is one thing in life I *know* I'm good at, it's making cupcakes!

I make them for family and friends, for work and church events, and I even sell them on occasion (read: when I have time). But I almost never make cupcakes for home.

Hubby and I are both the kind of people who will eat one or two pieces of a sweet treat, then we are done. So making an entire batch of cupcakes for the two of us is usually just a lot of waste.

However, hubby requested an actual dessert today and I really wanted one too. I had some of my homemade buttercream leftover from my last cupcake venture (cake ladies always seem to have icing lying around), so I picked up a box of Jiffy yellow cake mix for us.

If you don't know about Jiffy, look for it in your grocery by the cake and muffin mixes. It comes in a small box and is basically half a cake mix - it makes 1 layer of cake or 12 cupcakes. If you can't find it, you can just use half a regular cake mix, or half a recipe of a scratch yellow cake.

The sun is shining and the first 60 degree days we have seen in a while are forecasted for this weekend. The springy weather put me in mind of springy tropical things, so I jazzed up the cake mix to match my mood.

I have two icings listed; this is because hubby and I prefer different toppings on our cupcakes. Hubby likes mounds of rich, meltingly creamy homemade all-butter buttercream; and that is the frosting I'm known for. But my personal preference is a thin layer of strongly-flavored glaze. You can certainly make both types, but if you prefer one over the other, just double the icing recipe you like best and make them all the same.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Tropical Cupcakes
1 box Jiffy yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, with juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup flaked/shredded coconut

Combine everything except coconut in a bowl and mix for 2 minutes with a hand mixer. Stir in coconut until combined.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Divide the batter equally among the twelve liners. Bake 15-20 minutes - a toothpick inserted in the center should come out dry. Cool completely.

Lemon Glaze (my favorite)
Juice and zest of half a lemon
1-1.5 cups Of powdered sugar

Zest lemon into a bowl and squeeze in the juice. Add a cup of powdered sugar and stir until smooth. You want a glaze that is slightly thick, but easily pourable; the texture is nearly identical to that of milk/white gravy. Add more sugar if needed to thicken it (some lemons are juicier than others, so the amount of sugar needed will vary from lemon to lemon).

Spoon over cooled cupcakes and let dry. It will get a smooth glossy layer on top.

Lemon Buttercream (Hubby's favorite)
1.5 cups buttercream frosting*
Juice and zest of half a lemon
Powdered sugar

Stir together the frosting, lemon juice and lemon zest. This will thin out the frosting, so stir in powdered sugar a little at a time until it is back to its normal thickness.

Spread it on with a butter knife or pile it into a gallon zippy bag, snip off the corner, and pipe it on.

*you can use whatever vanilla frosting you have on hand. If you want to make your own buttercream, check out the basic recipe at It has never failed me.

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