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Cupcakes from a mix


Velma
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I wanted cupcakes in a hurry last night so I made them from a mix and the only change I made was to substitute 1/4 a cup of rum for some of the water. So, I ended up with 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of rum. These are the most deformed cupcakes I have ever seen in my life. They look like atomic mushroom clouds and they are so warped that they won't even stand up-I have had to stand them on their tops. I guess my question is this: could the rum substitution have caused this cupcake disaster?

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Hhmn, I have made the Bacardi Rum Cake Recipe before and nothing happened.

I think perhaps you need to adjust the recipe to reduce the water, increase the eggs used and perhaps alter the oil amount. Sounds like it wasn't sturdy enough to support properly.

Anyway, here is the recipe, just in case you are interested. I cannot get recipes to attach in the E-Gullet Recipe section, my system keeps blocking it.

Squirrelly's Version of Bacardi Rum Cake

1 pkg. yellow or white cake mix, personally I prefer Duncan Hines Yellow

1 pkg. serving for 4 instant Jello pudding - vanilla

4 large eggs

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup rum - I like the Bacardi light amber

1/2 cup Crisco oil or a corn oil

about 1 cup of dried currants or raisins (optional, this is just how I prefer it)

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Rum Glaze:

1/4 cup of butter

1/4 cup water

1 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup rum

Chocolate Glaze:

4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tsp. butter

2 tbp. of chopped pecans to sprinkle

maraschino cherries to decorate, drained

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour an angel food type pan or a bundt. If you use a regular angel food pan, you can cut a waxed paper ring to fit the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 1 cup chopped nuts on the bottom of your pan. Then mix cake mix, pudding eggs, water rum and oil until smooth. Add currants or raisins. Pour over the nuts in the bottom of the pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 25 minutes and then turn out. Make rum glaze.

To make rum glaze, melt butter in samll saucepan over medium heat. Stir in water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from the heat and add rum - stand back a bit as the scent can really knock your socks off. To glaze the cake, while the cake is still warm, poke holes with a toothpick and brush the glaze on cake and keep repeating until most of the glaze is used.

When the glazed cake is cooled, make the chocolate glaze. Heat butter and chocolate by placing in smaller bowl over a larger bowl that has boiled water in it. Whisk until smooth and then drizzle over cake. Then add cherries and chopped nuts.

If desired you can also serve with freshly whipped cream.

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I am working on an Amaretto white chocolate cake recipe and I wanted to use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Amaretto for some of the liquid portion. I was afraid that since it was alcohol, most of it would burn off, leaving me with a very dry cake. Does anyone have experience with adding greater amounts of alcohol in a cake? Any suggestions...

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I am working on an Amaretto white chocolate cake recipe and I wanted to use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Amaretto for some of the liquid portion.  I was afraid that since it was alcohol, most of it would burn off, leaving me with a very dry cake.  Does anyone have experience with adding greater amounts of alcohol in a cake?  Any suggestions...

Why not bake the cake without the Amaretto and then moisten the layers of the cake after it's already baked with a pastry brush? That way you get a double win ... extra moist cake and flavored with the Amaretto.

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Why not bake the cake without the Amaretto and then moisten the layers of the cake after it's already baked with a pastry brush? That way you get a double win ... extra moist cake and flavored with the Amaretto.

True, I could do that, and that way of doing it is probably best as flavors tend to mellow quite significantly during baking, but I have seen scratch recipes using a good size portion of liquor as the liquid. The questions remains, did they increase the liquid portion to compensate for the burn off or am I totally off base?

Now it is more of a need to know or this will drive me crazy question. :laugh:

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I think what happened with Velma's cupcakes was probably a reaction between the leaveners in the mix and the possible added acidity involved with the alchohol. It sounds like a total "atomic leavening party" was going on there, since she ended up with li'l mushroom clouds instead of cuppycakes! :raz:

And Rodney, you bring up a good scientific question, and that is, "When alcohol is substituted for water in a mix, does the alcohol evaporate at a faster rate than the water? Does it affect the leavening? Is there significant moisture loss? What adjustments should be made?"

This begs experimentation! :biggrin:

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Atomic leavening party... How does one dress for such an event? :biggrin:

chefpeon said, "When alcohol is substituted for water in a mix..." I was actually referring to a scratch cake or did you mean mix, as in the mix of a recipe? Anyway, I agree, a little experimentation is in order.

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chefpeon said, "When alcohol is substituted for water in a mix..."

Yeah, I meant anything....scratch or box......but I suppose for absolute ease of experimentation, using a box mix would keep the variables much more consistent (ie reducing human error, which might happen with scratch). :wink:

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I can't speak to the cupcake issue - but there are many honey cake recipes out there that call for rye - and I often substitute tea or orange juice with no problems. The alcohol in the recipe acts just like any other liquid.

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Thanks very much for your thoughts on this. It was a Betty Crocker butter recipe yellow cake and I really didn't expect any problems. Over the weekend, I made RLB's lemon chiffon cake with Herme's lemon cream with no problems. On Sunday, I made a loaf of lovely cinnamon bread from James Beard's bread book. That worked just fine. Then over two days, I worked on a filled homemade cupcake like the Hostess cupcakes and those I took to work. It was a great baking week until this happened :hmmm: I should have quit while I was ahead. I think I'll start a separate thread and ask what everybody else baked this week (or maybe it already exists and I just need to find it.) Thanks again!

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