In our family it's always been a tradition to make a birthday cake or cupcakes for celebrating the kids birthdays. It all started with our talented mother! Our mom made some of the most amazing cakes for us when we were kids! And the taste of homemade is waaaay better than store bought. This recipe combines homemade with a cake box mix that's doctored up to make the best cupcakes ever! The cake mix saves you time on measuring out all the ingredients, but with a few doctored up tips these deep rich, fudgy texture of these doctored up chocolate cupcakes are out-of-this-world good!
You start with a basic devils food cake mix (if you prefer a white or light colored cake mix try using instant vanilla pudding instead of chocolate). So you'll get about 24 cupcakes. But we've added some extra things to make these over-the-top-good. You'll put everything in that the cake mix calls for (except you'll sub milk for water, and add one extra egg), plus you'll add a box of instant chocolate pudding mix and a cup of sour cream. Those few things really help get that yummy fudgy texture that makes these soooo good!
You can frost these however you like. Below we have a recipe for our favorite cream cheese frosting. It calls for chilled cream cheese which makes it really hold together well. It's so easy to pipe and doesn't run like some cream cheese frosting recipes we've had before. Pictured above are the rocket-ship cupcakes, which were frosted with a big round tip. I actually didn't even use a real frosting tip. I just put some tape on the side the little insert that you put a frosting tip on to make it a circle and piped it on that way. The chocolate/vanilla swirl cupcakes were frosted with a Wilton 1M (large star) tip. Here is an awesome video that shows you how to do cupcake frosting just right. That's what I followed.
Top with any sprinkles or cupcakes you like. I have found buying sprinkles from the grocery store bakery is really cheap. They'll sell me a big tub for $2-3. I get way more that way then I do buying small bottles on the baking isle.
Doctored Up Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
2 tablespoons flour (for high altitude only)
1 box devil’s food cake mix
oil, eggs, milk instead of water, and one extra egg as called for on the back of the box
1 cup sour cream (low or high fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla
24 cupcake liners
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
10 ounces cream cheese, chilled
6 ½ tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
3 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 teaspoons vanilla extract (clear if you want it to stay white)
⅛ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with 24 liners.
Combine the dry cake mix package with the instant pudding (and 2 tablespoons of flour if you’re at a high altitude - over 4,500 ft). Add the amount of oil from the box, sub milk for the water that the box calls for, and add one extra egg from the box directions. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Fill each baking cup ½-⅔ full. Bake for 19-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove each cupcake from the tin onto a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and salt. Mix until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract. Frost by hand or pipe in a bag with a Wilton 1M tip for swirls or a round tip for a smoother look. Top with sprinkles if desired. Chill until ready to serve.
Originally shared on Landeelu.com - the cupcake recipe by Leesh; Cream cheese frosting recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats