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Mar 4, 2007 06:06 AM

Easy Delicious Cupcakes

OK, this one is not for the baking purists, but I am a cook who hates baking so for me this 'dish' was a triumph!

Here's the heresy: start with a box of chocolate cake mix and prepare it according to the package instructions. Then combine two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese with a pinch of salt, two eggs, and a half cup of sugar. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers and fill about 1/4 full with the cake batter. Then place a rounded tablespoon of the creamcheese mixture in the center. Barely cover with more of the chocolate cake batter and bake according to the box's instructions.

I frosted them with barely sweetened stabilized whipped cream and topped with a strawberry. I know they've got a distinct semi-ho feel, but they were so good that my Husband insists that I never make them again. We served them at a party and finished nearly all of the leftovers in one sitting!

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    1. re: hotoynoodle

      There is an awful show hosted by a horrific woman on the food network called Semi-Homemade. In reality the abominations she creates are FAR worse than what I've offered, but using a cake mix is right up her alley!

      1. re: Kater

        I hate the show and the recipes, but the idea of using storebought foods as a launchpad is great - assuming you use decent products.

        1. re: piccola

          Semi-ho wouldn't know a decent product if it smacked her in the face.

    2. Making basic cupcakes from scratch is no more difficult than using a cake mix. Then you lost me at cream cheese. Ugh.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Atomica

        Then it sounds like this will not be the recipe for you. If you didn't hate cheesecake you could certainly make your own cake batter and go from there, but given your preference there would be very little point in doing that.

        I agree that making cake batter from scratch is no more difficult than using a cake mix but it is certainly more time consuming. No, it will not take the better part of an afternoon or even an hour but it's just not something I enjoy doing. I make all of my own stock and demiglace, but I buy cake mix. At the end of the day I think that bakers love to bake and cooks love to cook.

        I hate to bake but am not willing to serve something awful. These cupcakes were for a child's birthday party for 50 people. Most of the parties we attend are for far fewer people and dessert is usually low quality grocery store cupcakes that are simply inedible or cupcakes from a box with canned frosting. I was happy with these as a better version of a simple children's dessert.

        Still I know that in the cooking arena I often feel the way that you do about shortcuts, so it's not as if I don't understand your aesthetic! ; )

        1. re: Kater

          Completely fair and balanced answer, Kater. I'm glad I understand your aesthetic better too. I love to cook, but baking is where my heart is.

          It's funny, I generally like cheesecake, but find cream cheese in other desserts a big turn-off, including cream cheese frosting. Suffice it to say, I'm not real big on carrot cake for that reason. I'm one of those people who has a special cheesecake recipe from Grandma.

          1. re: Atomica

            I was thinking of doing my own post about cupcakes. I am in search of the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. I like the taste of the ones I make with buttermilk and chocolate, but they are a little to crumbly (not dry) and are hard to eat with grace. On the other hand, the ones I make with cocoa and regular milk are not chocolately enough. Do you have a favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, Atomica?

            1. re: akk

              Actually, I usually make white cupcakes with chocolate frosting. I do see a recipe in "The Cake Bible" for Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake, from which you can make cupcakes. Do you have that book? Maybe I'll give it a try.

              1. re: Atomica

                Food and WIne has a recipe for chocolate cupcakes with peanut putter filing topped with chocolate ganache. Perfect for me, especially when I use bittersweet chocolate for the ganache.

            2. re: Atomica

              You know what, these turn out basically like a chocolate cupcake with a cheesecake center, so maybe you might like them afterall! You could definitely use a family cheesecake recipe for the center, unless your cheesecake batter is very wet. For this is does need to be fairly stiff so that it will stay put.

              1. re: Kater

                The family cheesecake recipe wouldn't be appropriate because it's not your regular block-o'-cheese cheesecake. It's a two-layer cheesecake: A mainly sour cream layer atop a mainly cream cheese layer, thus mixing not-so-sweet and quite sweet to very good effect.

        2. BTW- If you look online these are known as "black bottom cupcakes" and were very popular in the late 70s and early 80s. The cream cheese mixture generally has chocolate chips as well.

          There are scratch versions as well.

          1. Good for you - a kid's party w/50 people - use the cake mix! I love to bake AND I love to cook but I find that when I do one well, I usually buy the other from somewhere great or make one of them ahead of time and freeze. However, using a cake mix in a pretty great recipe is another good alternative. I may try these out soon - maybe I'll use cool whip too to make it a real semi-ho experience! Man that woman is a freak of nature.

            1. Kater--funny, I just made these--less than 1/2 an hour ago, and then saw your posting. I agree. They're great!!