Monday, April 15, 2013

Ryker's Baby Shower (how to make a cake mix taste homemade)

So my cousin is expecting his FORTH child! I cant believe it! The man who never wanted kids is now an awesome dad to FOUR children! I reckon that's what true love will do to ya. When I heard we were having a baby shower for little Ryker I of course had to be responsible for desserts. I get so giddy over special occasion desserts, whether it's a wedding cake, graduation, or birthday, for some reason I always have more fun when I have a certain theme in mind and decoration planning is required. When I heard the theme was tea party meets viking heritage I must say that is not at all what I was expecting. How the heck do you incorporate a viking theme into cupcakes? Well... this is what I came up with.

To appease both the vanilla AND chocolate lover I decided to make swirl cupcakes with chocolate frosting since #1, chocolate frosting is infinitely better then regular frosting and #2 it fit the brown neutral theme of his nursery. Now I am going to tell you something that might shock you, are you sitting down? Yes? Okay, I used a boxed cake mix. Ahhhhh I know I know, what kind of baker am I?!?! The truth is with some manipulation, a box cake mix can actually taste as good as homemade! In instances where I have to make two totally different cake recipes I usually opt for a, finals week was coming up and time is precious.


add any of the following...

-replace the water with orange juice and add some zest for an orange cake
-add pudding mix, this is something my grandma taught me, it gives the cake more flavor and adds to the richness (when you add pudding mix you also want to add 1 additional egg)
-add 1 cup of grated fresh carrot to the carrot cake mix
-for the chocolate mixes, replace the water with coffee, coffee is known for intensifying chocolate flavor
-substituting milk for the water can make a big difference, increasing the moistness and density of the cake
-add a flavored extract such as almond to a vanilla cake mix for a slightly different flavor profile (you don't need much, probably only 1/2 tsp)
-adding yogurt instead of oil keeps the moistness of the cake while cutting back on fat and calories
-buttermilk is also a good substitution for water

Best ever chocolate frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 cups Swerve confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 or 3 TBS of milk
1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder

1.In a blender with paddle attachment, blend butter and sugar on low until incorporated.

2.While mixing on low add vanilla, milk and cocoa powder until desired texture is achieved.

For the swirl effect, simply layer the two batters and swirl with a toothpick.

check out picasion gif maker

This is his name spelled out in viking lettering, it was from a painting done by his mother, I had to add some traditional baby boy blue elements too, I didn't want the color pallets to be too bland. To make the toppers I just bought some stickers at Micheal's and cut out paper circles, then taped them to toothpicks.

Can't wait to meet you baby boy!


  1. These cake mix tips are awesome!! ANd your cupcakes look perfect. Congrats to the lucky family!!


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