I’ve been making these cupcakes for more than 10 years, and they’ve become somewhat legendary among my Army friends. I bring them to potlucks. I make them for special occasions, and I even mail them every year to my friends in Kansas for their birthdays. Believe it or not, I mailed them all the way from Belgium for two years.
Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would whip up a batch. There is nothing fancy about them—other than they are bite-size, so for icing lovers, you get the perfect amount of buttercream in every bite. And the cake batter is very moist. I usually make mini cupcakes, but I’ve used this recipe to make wedding cakes, too.
- 1 box Duncan Hines cake mix
- 1 small box sugar-free pudding
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 stick (1 cup) Crisco shortening
- 16 oz. powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini muffin pans with mini muffin cups.
Mix all ingredients well until smooth (I use a stand mixer). Use a small ice cream scoop to spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched.
Allow to cool. Then ice.
Using a hand or stand mixer, whip shortening until smooth. Gradually add sugar and mix. It will be stiff. Slowly mix in milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you get a smooth spreadable consistency.
Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe onto cupcakes in a circular motion.
This recipe can be made a variety of ways. Strawberry and vanilla are my favorites, but I’ve also made the below alternatives.
French Vanilla Cupcakes~For cake, use French vanilla cake mix and French vanilla pudding. For icing, use regular milk and 2 tsp. almond extract.
Strawberry Cupcakes~For cake, use strawberry cake mix and cheesecake pudding. For icing, use strawberry milk.
Spice Cupcakes~For cake, use spice cake mix and cheesecake pudding. For icing, use regular milk and 2 tsp. vanilla.
Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes~For cake, use chocolate fudge cake and chocolate fudge pudding. For icing, use chocolate milk and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder.
Lemon Cupcakes~For cake, use lemon cake mix and lemon pudding. For icing, use regular milk and 2 tsp. lemon extract.