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Easy Delicious Cupcakes

Kater Mar 4, 2007 06:06 AM

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. hotoynoodle RE: Kater Mar 4, 2007 06:33 AM

    sorry, what's "semi-ho"?

    3 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
      Kater RE: hotoynoodle Mar 4, 2007 07:08 AM

      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
        piccola RE: Kater Mar 4, 2007 06:44 PM

        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
          JudiAU RE: piccola Mar 5, 2007 07:56 AM

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

    2. Atomica RE: Kater Mar 4, 2007 06:46 AM

      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
        Kater RE: Atomica Mar 4, 2007 07:14 AM

        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
          Atomica RE: Kater Mar 4, 2007 08:25 AM

          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
            akk RE: Atomica Mar 4, 2007 09:51 AM

            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
              Atomica RE: akk Mar 4, 2007 10:41 AM

              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
                JudiAU RE: Atomica Mar 5, 2007 07:56 AM

                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
              Kater RE: Atomica Mar 4, 2007 12:33 PM

              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
                Atomica RE: Kater Mar 4, 2007 06:27 PM

                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. j
          JudiAU RE: Kater Mar 4, 2007 09:14 AM

          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. a
            amyvc RE: Kater Mar 4, 2007 09:42 AM

            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. c
              cimui RE: Kater Mar 4, 2007 12:43 PM

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

              1. MeffaBabe RE: Kater Mar 5, 2007 09:29 AM

                Best cupcakes- make yellow cake- fill cupcake papers according to recipe and bake.... let cool
                On the top of each cupcake take a knife and cut out a round hole (piece that you take out will look like a cone) Just leave the top laying ontop of cupcake for now.
                Mix up some lemon pie filling- (or make a lemon curd) and place a dollop into the hole (remove the small piece you cut out). Place the piece you removed on top of the lemon fillng and continue until all cupcakes have been filled.
                Sprinkle with 10x sugar.
                Guaranteed to disappear in seconds!

                1 Reply
                1. re: MeffaBabe
                  Kater RE: MeffaBabe Mar 5, 2007 09:49 AM

                  That sounds really good. I wonder if there is any chance that i might work if you assembled it like the other one and then baked it... probably not it would probably all blend together.

                2. chelleyd01 RE: Kater Mar 5, 2007 12:38 PM

                  I make these all the time. They are called black bottom cupcakes. My variation is to use an all-butter dark chocolate cake mix and my center batter is 1 brick of philly, 1 egg yolk, vanilla paste, 1/4c sugar, some sea salt and a boatload of mini chocolate chips. No covering the glop of filling. The cake just bakes right over it. My 8 year old niece makes them by herself all the time.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: chelleyd01
                    Kater RE: chelleyd01 Mar 5, 2007 05:17 PM

                    It seems that they're an old-school favorite - but I didn't add chocolate chips. That would be too sweet for my taste but I think it would go over well with a crowd!

                    1. re: Kater
                      vanity021 RE: Kater Apr 20, 2007 12:43 PM

                      kater, for the whip cream what exactly did you do? Heavy whipping cream and powder or granulated sugar? what is the ratio? I've never made home made whipping cream? did you do anything with the strawberry? glaze?
                      i am thinking of making this weekend for a baby's 1 month celebration.

                    2. re: chelleyd01
                      mtm RE: chelleyd01 Apr 20, 2007 03:51 PM

                      can I ask...how do you do the vanilla paste? (or is that something you could buy?)
                      When you say all butter...I'm assuming you mean you use cake mix but don't use marg...
                      only pure butter. Btw, I'm not much of a baker these days...does one use unsalted butter for baking? (vs. salted) Thanks!

                      1. re: chelleyd01
                        ArikaDawn RE: chelleyd01 Apr 20, 2007 04:07 PM

                        I use the Leite's recipe and they are super easy and super tasty.

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