Monday, July 2, 2012

How to: Make cupcakes when all of your stuff is in boxes

Last week, Little Spaghetti and I went grocery shopping.  While we were picking up the things we needed, he saw a box of cake mix and proceeded to let me know that he definitely wanted cake. I figured a little cake never hurt anybody, so I threw the box in the cart and didn't think much else about it.

It wasn't until I got home that I realized I had a problem.  All of my stuff is still in boxes in a storage unit. So I had no spoon, no bowl, no measuring cups, no cupcake tin, but a very insistent toddler who I'd promised to make cupcakes with.

So we got creative. And I must say that I may make cupcakes this way from now was easy to do with a little one, and - the best part - there was almost no mess and absolutely NO dishes to clean up!  Here's how you do it.

The supplies: aside from the usuals needed to make a box cake mix, you also need a gallon-size plastic zippered bag, a 4 oz. juice container left over from your toddler's lunch (because I didn't have a measuring cup), and a cheapo tinfoil cake pan with some cupcake wrappers in it.

Put your box of cake mix and eggs in the gallon bag.  I'm not sure if this method would work with cupcakes from scratch, but I dare you to try it and let me know.  The worst that happens is that you end up with a batch of bad cupcakes.  And in my experience, even bad cupcakes are good.

I racked my brain trying to figure out how I was going to measure the oil and water I needed.  Then I saw Little Spaghetti's apple juice container, which was the perfect size at 4 oz.  So, I added a full apple juice container of water (1/2 cup) and a half-full apple juice container of oil (1/4 cup).   But if - you know - your stuff's not in storage, you can go ahead and use measuring cups.

Now comes the fun part.  Zip your bag close and squish it.  Or give it to your toddler and let him squish it.

So squishy!

Now, I'm sure that a *real* baker would tell you that this is a hideous and horrible idea.  That you could never produce cupcakes by squishing them in a bag instead of beating them with your mixer to incorporate precisely the right amount of air into the batter that's required to get a perfect cupcake.  But I say screw it!  These cupcakes were delicious and fluffy. So squish we will in my house.

Next, cut the tip off one of the bottom corners of your bag.

Then pour the cupcake batter into the wrappers in your tinfoil cake pan (or a cupcake tin if you don't want to end up with super cool square cupcakes...).  Seriously, though, pouring the batter this way was so much less messy than spooning it into the wrappers like I usually do.

Then they're ready to go in the oven.  Oh, yeah, the oven.  I should have told you to preheat that before we started.  My bad.

See! This is ALL the mess we had.  That's it.  No sink full of dishes.  No cupcake batter smeared all over the counter and the floor and my Kitchen-Aid mixer.  Note the blue shop towel instead of a regular paper towel...did I mention we're in the middle of renovating and don't really have our household set up yet?

And they're done! They smell delicious.  And, I kind of like the way they came out all funky shaped.  It was kind of like a puzzle cake.  Or something.

I lied, they're not really done.  You always need frosting.  I used the same cut-the-corner -off-of-a-bag method that I'd used to pour the batter to "pipe" the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Don't forget the sprinkles.

Not bad for winging it with no supplies, huh?

I know at least one person who wasn't complaining.

This guy!


  1. How clever! I would have never thought to do that.

  2. YOU are a genius! And probably Mother-of-the-Year with this awesome idea!

  3. Oh my gosh! Toddler or not, this is how I'll be making them from now on as well!

  4. These cupcakes look delicious to me Lisa, such a good way to involve your son in the baking too, you're obviously a fun mum to hang around with to say the very least.

  5. From the look on his face I'd say you got yourself a winning method! You're awesome. First, I never would have even bought the mix, but if I actually did and realized I didn't have bowls, spoons, or measuring cups I'd be done. (Especially the measuring cups...GENIUS with the juice box!) Way to be awesome!

  6. Oh you did GOOD!!

    You did REALLY GOOD!!!

  7. Great idea! They look so good I may have to make these today!

  8. That guy is the cutest ;) Thank you for sharing the idea. I can't wait to make this cupcake, too. super smash flash | happy wheels demo | gmail sign in az | facebook log in sign up | hotmail | hotmail sign in az | unblocked games | lupus wiki