What you need:
1 box of Duncan Hines devil's food cake mix
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of instant espresso
1/2 cup of warm water
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 pkg. of instant chocolate pudding (5.9 oz)
4 large eggs
1 cup (8 oz) of sour cream (not pictured because I'm an idiot)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners (I used red and white polkadot ones for Christmas).
3. Place cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, vanilla, oil, eggs, and oil in a medium bowl.
4. Mix espresso and warm water and add the mixture to the mixing bowl.
5. Mix until all ingredients are blended together.
6. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the liners. The texture of the batter at this point should be thick and creamy. This is because of the pudding mix. The pudding mix and sour cream allows for a very smooth and moist cake.
7. Bake for 20-22 minutes
- I find it easiest to use an ice cream scoop (or large cookie scoop) with a lever latch thing. I makes it easier to get a thick batter out and into the pan. I spent about $5 for one at Target and I love it. It is also easier to accurately measure how much should go into each liner that way.
- It is best to fill the liners only to about 3/4 of the way full. This makes it so the cake doesn't spring a muffin top which can make frosting difficult, especially when you are going to be decorating it.
- When the cupcakes are done, they might look a bit underdone but they shouldn't be. They just look like that because of how moist they are.
- DON'T use the tin liners. They keep cooking the bottom of the cake once they are out of the oven.
Once the cupcakes are out of the oven, place them on a cooking rack and allow them to cool for about one hour. Prep the frosting. I used store bought frosting for these because I was in a rush but home made frosting can also be used for these. It is important to use a round piping tip because other tips will texture the frosting too much. Unfortunately, in the pictures below you will see a textured tip because I couldn't find my round tip. To pipe, you may use a baggie or a piping bag. I like the piping bags myself. I used milk chocolate frosting for these cupcakes.
1. Cut the tip of the bag (my tip is too big to use the coupler) and place the large round tip in the bag until it tip of the tip pops out of the bag.
2. Use a spatula to place frosting into the bag.
3. Frost the cupcakes with not too much frosting. It is not important to make the frosting look perfect because it will be mostly covered up by the decorations.
What you will need to decorate:
- Christmas M&Ms (I used the mint ones. They come in red, white, and green. You will need red and white ones).
-small round piping tip
1. Place vanilla wafer on the cupcake towards the edge.
2. Place 2 pretzels on the top.
3. Place 2 white M&Ms between the pretzels and wafers. (I ran out of white so I used brown regular M&Ms)
4. Place black dots on eyes using piping bag and tip.