How to make perfect cupcakes using a mix.
Because even Saucy doesn't always have time for scratch cupcakes (and if she does, she uses this cookbook).
Pick your mix. Don't pay any attention to the package directions. Saucy is serious about this. It's her way or the highway.
You will need: one package of cake mix (use the good kind... Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines), three large eggs, one half cup of butter or margarine, and one cup of water. Saucy usually bakes with butter - she's a butter fan - but for a batch of cupcakes from a mix, margarine will do just fine.
Melt the margarine in the microwave.
Dump everything into the bowl of your mixer. Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes, scraping the bowl a couple of times. Then fire that bad-boy up and mix on high speed for a minute or so.
For this batch, Saucy is making red velvet cupcakes. She added about a tablespoon of vinegar and many, many drops of red food colouring. Actually, paste food colour (like Wilton no-taste red) is best for this if you can get your hands on it.
Cool them on a rack absolutely and completely before you do anything to them. You knew that.
In case you are wondering what Saucy's filling is, it's just a nice smooth mixture of some chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream leftover from the cupcakes for the bake sale, whipped up with some real cream until light and fluffy. It's very light and not too sweet. Really.
Red velvet cupcakes need cream cheese frosting! Saucy mixes one 8 oz package of cream cheese and one cup of butter or white margarine* (both softened to room temperature) in the stand mixer and gradually add four cups of icing sugar. A pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla never hurt anybody. When it's all blended in, pour a tablespoon or so of whipping cream while the mixer is going full-tilt and the frosting gets super creamy. That's good.
Check out Saucy's really big piping tip, it's parked on the biggest pastry bag she owns - its 20" long.
And no, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you... she put a little blue food colouring into that frosting because she lurrves blue and red together. It's just snazzier.
* White margarine is sold in Canada at Real Canadian Superstore, Extra Foods, Loblaws, OK Economy or Zehr's... it's just margarine without the yellow colour and that's a good thing if you want really white frosting or a really pure colour.