For my little man’s birthday this year, I really didn’t feel like throwing a party at our house. For one thing, he really doesn’t care who comes or what it looks like, as long as he gets presents. You know what I mean, right? And his teacher at school offered all the leftover banners, party hats, plates and other birthday paraphenalia for a school party, so all I had to provide were cupcakes. Sounds like a plan to a pregnant, non-Pinterest-party-oriented mama! I didn’t want to be a complete cop-out though, so I told myself I’d make cupcakes instead of buying them on the way to school that day (yup, been there, done that). But I’m also not a from-scratch baker, so I ended up substituting some ingredients in box cake mix with yogurt and grenadine! Yum! And if I can do it, you can too! It was super simple and turned out to be super delicious!
When you first look at the directions on the back of a box of cake mix it sounds pretty dull – eggs, water, oil, cake powder. I mean, yum, right? NOT. I’ve heard of substituting applesauce for the oil, but I’m also a terrible procrastinator and didn’t have any applesauce on hand, and ha! I didn’t have eggs either. Wonderful, I’m off to a great start. I went a-googling and found a lot of people recommend using yogurt in place of the oil and eggs, while still adding one cup of water or flavored liquid.
So, like all my savory recipes, I started making things up. Here’s an easy printable of what I did:
- box cake mix
- 1 C plain or vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 C grenadine or juice from maraschino cherries
- 3/4 C water
- handful of chopped maraschino cherries[br]
- For the frosting:
- 1 jar store bought frosting
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- In a medium bowl, mix yogurt with grenadine and water.
- In a large bowl, pour in the box cake mix, and add the wet ingredients.
- Mix until the cupcake batter forms.
- Add in chopped maraschino cherries.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners and bake as directed on box.
- Add softened butter and sugar to store bought frosting and mix with electric mixer until it forms solid peaks.
- I didn’t have a full cup of yogurt, so I made up the rest with some sour cream.
- Since I also didn’t have a full cup of maraschino cherry juice, I just used what I had, and added enough water to make a cup. I felt that worked better since a whole cup of grenadine would probably have made the cupcakes overly sweet.
- I may or may not have thrown in a dash of almond extract, just for fun.
- The batter came together easily and the best part was, because there were no raw eggs in the batter, I could lick the bowl clean! Yeah! Let me tell ya, I felt both smart and happy while “tasting” the batter left on the spoon!
- The resulting cupcakes were really great, way better than just plain box mix. They were moist with just enough of the cherry flavor to make you wonder if you really made it from scratch.
- Drew really liked them, and so did the birthday boy, although he still preferred the frosting more. I think this is going to be my cake-baking “secret” from now on – buy box mix, substitute yogurt and add my own flavors to make it semi-homemade!
I know I say I’m not a baker, but it looks like I’ve actually baked a few things recently. Want to see what I’ve been using my oven for? Check out these very simple, very FORGIVING recipes!