Dessert: Make Ahead Cupcakes

I’m trying to get better at baking. Recently I learned how to make these wonderful vanilla cupcakes and I’m excited to share this recipe and tips with you. These can be made up ahead of time because of the stabilized frosting and another secret ingredient. Stabilized frosting lets your cupcakes sit at room temperature without spoiling.

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Make Ahead Vanilla Cupcakes

1 Pkg. of vanilla or white or golden cake mix
3 T. of instant pudding
1 1/3 Cup of milk
1/2 Cup of vegetable oil
4 Eggs
1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together for about 30 seconds and then beat on medium high-speed for about 2 minutes. Scoop into cupcake liners.

Baking Tip: I found that sometime the bottom of my cupcakes would get burned and the top not fully cooked. I read somewhere to place a cookie sheet underneath your cupcake pan. That cookie sheet is another barrier to absorb heat for a more evenly cooked cupcake. That has worked fabulous for me!

Bake for about 20 minutes. Every oven is different so I start keeping an eye on them around the 15 minute mark.

Once the cupcakes are pulled from the oven, remove immediately and on to a cooling rack. If you don’t the cupcake may cook longer in the pan which may result in burned cupcakes.

Notes for Cupcakes: What makes these cupcakes last for days without drying out, is the pudding. It gives the cupcake a moist, light, spongy body that won’t turn into a brick the next day. One thing I found out about when using pudding is you don’t get a lot of height. Expect for the cupcake to rise just to the top of the wrapper.

Anyone have tips for me to get better height?

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Frosting

1 1/3 shortening
3 T. of Vanilla
3 T. of Dream Whip (a powdered whipped topping mix found in the same aisle as cake mix’s)
2 lbs. of Powdered Sugar
1/3 Cup of milk

I mix all together and beat on high for about 5-8 minutes. Add the powdered sugar slowly otherwise it will go all over the place and create a mess.

Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting. If not the frosting might melt once you frost the cupcake.

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I use a 1M cupcake tip. For me it’s the most idiot proof for getting a great looking cupcake. I pipe the frosting with a pastry bag starting with the outside and working my way in. Once in the middle I lightly press my tip down before lifting up. By doing that it blends more rather than an abrupt peak in the middle.

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