We are so happy to be posting our first review from Cupcake Crusader, Jenn. For those who don’t know, Jenn recently had a little sweet bundle of joy which has kept her from participating in all of the cupcake crusades, so we are so excited to her her review a recent experience with a box mix that maybe didn’t go so well… Even though she’s been missed on recent cupcake adventures, this little cutie is totally worth it:
After eating a delicious red velvet cupcake from Nostalgia Bakery in Annapolis, MD, my husband declared that he really likes red velvet cake and ended up bringing home a Duncan Hines red velvet boxed cake mix from the grocery store. Now, I’m all for box cake mix. Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker have been doing it for years, so why try to compete with that? Or at least that’s what I always say. But, red velvet? A cake that very few can pull off successfully? I envisioned a cake that tasted more like red dye than a wonderful sweet treat, which is typically why I don’t like red velvet cake and why I am always impressed when it is done well. After watching “Tough Cookies” on the Food Network, I learned that red velvet cake isn’t suppose to have any dye in it because the red color comes from a reaction with the cocoa. After sharing my skepticism with my husband, he proceeds to read the ingredients and finds that the mix does have red dye in it. But my curiosity was still sparked. Could a boxed cake mix pull off red velvet?
So on Thursday night, craving a cakey dessert, I decided to try it out. I was particularly curious about what the batter mix looked like prior to adding wet ingredients. When I pulled it from the box, I was surprised to see what looked like chocolate cake mix (I was expecting red). After adding wet ingredients, the batter immediately began to change to a bright red. I tasted the batter, which after avoiding raw batter for the 9 months I was pregnant tasted perfectly delicious. Not like red dye at all, just like chocolate cake but not as rich.
After baking, the cake had become a dark red. My husband had selected a buttercream icing to go along with the cake, since he is not a fan of cream cheese icing (I prefer cream cheese icing for red velvet). As with most store bought icings, this one was very sweet. I tried to keep that in mind when icing the cupcakes.
My final thoughts on these cupcakes? The icing was too sweet and the mild tasting cake couldn’t stand up to it. Even after tasting the cake separate from the icing, it just didn’t taste like much. Not red dye. Not really chocolately. But not really anything. So I don’t think I’ll be purchasing red velvet from a box again. However, that didn’t stop me from eating two cupcakes in a row! And my husband’s thoughts? He really likes them. I guess that’s all that really matters!
– Review by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)