As the popularity of the cupcake continues to soar, it is fascinating for me to watch how the big names in box-mix baking--Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury--claim their stake in the riches that accompany it.
The latest entry is the Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. A simple jar of vanilla frosting is used as a base for adding in packets of flavor and color. The flavors include chocolate mint, bubblegum, caramel, cherry vanilla, chocolate almond, chocolate marshmallow, cinnamon roll, cotton candy, mocha, white chocolate raspberry, strawberry shortcake, and orange creme.
Though this idea definitely reminds of that failed attempt by McDonalds in junior high to try the flavor injectors to their perfect-as-it-is vanilla soft serve, I like this concept. It gives people the opportunity to get creative with flavors who have maybe shied away from it because it is out of their baking repertoire. It is also a good starting point to encourage people to make their own frostings.
So I thought I would Box, Baby Step, Betty Crocker the Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. I introduced this idea last November and have been eager to do it with more regularity. Taking a boxed mix, using it to teach a new technique or a way to enhance the recipe, and then building up to making it from scratch. This is really how I taught myself a lot of my baking knowledge. And I thought it would be fun to start doing this for a few of the boxed mixes that I spot at the grocery store!
Very simply, you open the canister of frosting base and dig a little hole in the middle and pour the contents of flavor powder envelope into the hole.
And you have a mint chocolate flavored frosting to top your cupcakes!
Let's take a baby step and make our own frosting base and add in the flavor packet. You will need 2-3 tablespoons of milk, 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature (letting the butter sit on counter for about hour usually brings it to room temp), and 4 cups of powdered sugar. And your flavor packet.
You will want to make sure you use unsalted butter. Using unsalted butter instead of salted butter allows you to control the amount salt that is in a recipe. The amount of salt in salted butter can vary and that variation can have a series impact on your recipe.
First place only the butter in your mixing bowl and whip the butter until it creamy.
Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time following the first three cups with a tablespoon of milk. If you have a bowl shield, you will want to use it for this because the powdered sugar will spray everywhere.
Whip the butter, powdered sugar, and milk until fluffy, about five minutes. If the mixture seems dry and is not getting fluffy, add one more tablespoon of milk but no more than that because it will be too runny.
Add in the flavor packet and mix until the powder is evenly spread in the frosting.
And you have some perfect baby step frosting for your cupcakes.
Now you are going to make the entire Mint Chocolate Frosting from scratch. You will need the same amount of butter, powdered sugar, and milk as in the baby step but you will also need 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract, a few drops of green food coloring, and 1 cup of mini chocolate chips.
Repeat the baby step frosting creation but add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and 3-4 drop of the green food coloring before whipping it until fluffy.
Stir in the cup of mini chocolate chips. You can either stir the chips in with a spoon or stir with your mixer on the lowest speed.
And you have a Betty Crocker-worthy Mint Chocolate Frosting Creation. Just don't tell Duncan Hines!
Box, Baby Step, Betty Crocker!