Well, that's a mouthful, isn't it? I made cupcakes with one of my friends for our school's baking competition. Our original plan was to make two types of cupcakes, but as you will see in my next post, that didn't work out too well. But these ones were successful enough to enter into the competition. We did learn a lesson, however. Always test your recipe well in advance of entering them into a competition or using it for an important event. Also, using a boxed cake mix is not the best plan when entering cupcakes into a baking competition.
These cupcakes were inspired by the Dangerously Decadent Cupcakes on The Something Shiny Blog. We did, however, make quite a few alterations.
1 package of Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
24 of mini Reese's cups
First, unwrap about 24 mini Reese's cups and place them onto a baking sheet. Put the sheet into the freezer and freeze the Reese's cups for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven, following the directions on the box for the chocolate cake mix.
Shortly before removing the Reese's cups from the freezer, prepare the chocolate cake mix as directed on the box (by mixing water, vegetable oil, and eggs).
Next, scoop the batter into a cupcake pan lined with baking cups. I did not use baking cups because I was out of them. This was my first mistake.
Just before placing the pan into the oven, place frozen Reese's cups in the center of each unbaked cupcake. Do not press them all the way down into the pan. This is where ours went wrong. The cupcake batter is very thin if it comes from a box, so the cups would have sunk a lot on their own. But, I pushed them all the way down, which meant that the peanut butter cups were touching the pan. Bad idea.
Next, bake according to the instructions on the side of the box apx 20-25 minutes.. After baking, allow to cool before removing from the pan and frosting using Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting. Decorate as you please.
As you can see from the pictures, the cupcakes turned out beautifully. My baking companion is a fondant genius and created those beautiful roses you see on top, as well as a little banner that says "City of Roses," which is accurate since Portland is, in fact, the city of roses. Plus, she taught me a better and much cleaner way of frosting cupcakes, which I appreciate.
These cupcakes didn't win any awards, but they were still pretty good and I'm proud of how they turned out. Take the lessons I have learned from this, though. Try a new recipe well in advance of using it for a competition or large event. And always use baking cups when making cupcakes like these.
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