Pinterest is my favorite social media network. By far. In an effort to legitimize the time I spend on Pinterest, I’ve committed to be a doer, not just a pinner. I want to be crafty, save money, have fun with my kiddo, and make delicious food, not just pin those things.
Since I need (and love) to feed my family, making that delicious food I’ve been pinning has been an easy way for me to do, not just pin. I have quite the cookbook collection, but when I meal plan at the beginning of the week, I purposefully choose a recipe or two from one of my food boards to include. My favorite is when our small group needs dessert and I have an excuse to scour my cookies and sweets boards.
Though you can control the visual quality of your Pinterest boards, you can’t always control the quality of the finished product. Not everything I’ve pinned has been as good as it’s looked. I recently pinned a boxed cake cheat (how to make a boxed cake taste like a bakery cake) and made a mental note to test the claim ASAP. I got the chance a week or so later when Tim needed treats for a co-worker’s birthday celebration.
I made the suggested additions and substitutions – with a few tweaks of my own – and was super pleased with the results.
- I buy cake mix when it’s on sale and usually have one or two in my pantry. I had one left – a Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White Premium Cake Mix.
- I used 4 whole eggs instead of 3.
- I didn’t double the amount of oil, but substituted 1/3 cup melted butter.
- I used unsweetened almond milk instead of water. (Don’t be weirded out by the brown spots in my milk in the photo below. I dipped my teaspoon in the milk to get the excess vanilla off.)
- Amen to the vanilla extract addition.
- I had frozen strawberries on hand so I chopped up a few, tossed them in flour, and added them to the batter.
- My oven is a bit unreliable, but I made an effort to preheat then reduce. Not sure if that actually happened.
There was still a hint of cake mix flavor (which doesn’t bother me), but the crumb was tighter and the cake itself was sturdier. Overall, this was a great way to amp up a pantry staple in a hurry. Pinterest success!
Beyond the method, these cupcakes were a flavor success, too. I’m a rule follower when it comes to baking, but I’m glad I threw in the strawberries on a whim. The butter makes these cakes quite moist and the fruit just adds a little burst of sweetness. I made a simple vanilla buttercream to top the cupcakes (not pictured), but they look so pretty unfrosted and taste delicious plain.
- 1 White Cake mix (Yellow or Devils Food would be delicious, too)
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup milk (whatever kind you have on hand)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup frozen strawberries, diced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place contents of cake mix in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, and melted butter. Whisk until no (or very few) lumps remain.
- Sprinkle diced strawberries with a tablespoon of flour. Mix until all berries are lightly coated.
- Add coated berries and fold into cake batter.
- Scoop batter into muffin pan. Fill 3/4 of the way full.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 25 minutes.
- Allow cupcakes to cool in pan before removing.
- Serve plain or with vanilla buttercream frosting.