Birthday Celebration with Duncan Hines Frosting Creations: Cinnamon Pecan Cupcakes

I have a confession to make. My husband and I are crazy dog parents. Not quite as bad as this (tangent: if you haven’t seen the mockumentary, Best in Show, you really should, it’s hilarious), but still, we have our moments. Our most recent moment was for our puppy, Lana’s, first birthday.


(Yes, that is our adorable puppy, wearing a birthday crown, and posing for a picture. I told you we have our moments… Photo by Kenneth Adam)

We decided to have a “puppy party” with some good friends and encouraged them to bring their own fur babies. I haven’t ventured into the world of baking dog treats yet, but decided that since this was a birthday, and a gathering of mainly humans, I would finally use my Duncan Hines Frosting Creations to make cupcakes for the occasion.

A few weeks ago I purchased the Frosting Starter, the Cinnamon Roll flavor packet, and decided on a spice cake mix. I knew I had some time to decide how I wanted to modify this box mix and frosting, so after mulling over a couple ideas I went with Cinnamon Pecan Cupcakes.


(Mmmmm…. the final results were definitely tasty, but it wasn’t exactly what I had initially planned.)

Lately I’ve been modifying box mixes by adding a box of instant pudding, but with the spice cake, I knew that wouldn’t work. Instead, I Googled some easy modifications and replaced the oil with melted butter and the water with skim milk. I also added chopped pecans to the cake mix to give it that extra pecan flavor and added texture.

While the cupcakes were baking, I moved onto the pecan and brown sugar crumble I wanted to put on top. At first, I wanted this to be a nice gooey mixture, like a typical pecan cinnamon roll, but instead I got a crumbly mix. I’m not sure if I didn’t use enough butter or if I cooked the ingredients too long on the stove, but either way, since it still tasted great, I decided to go for it!


(Pecan and Brown Sugar Crumble.)

Once the pecan crumble and cupcakes were cooling I mixed up the Duncan Hines Frosting Creation. This was definitely the easiest part of this whole baking experience! While I don’t think it was any better than a cinnamon cream cheese frosting I made from scratch once before, it was still worth using since I had to focus a lot of my attention on the pecan crumble.

I didn’t want the pecan crumble to make the cake soggy, but I knew that I needed it to be placed in a frosting “ditch” to hold it in place, so I smeared a little frosting on the cake first to act as a barrier:

Once that was done, I filled my piping bag with the remaining mixture and added a ring of frosting around the edge, leaving a perfect space for the pecan crumble to sit:


(Luckily you don’t have to be too neat about this process since the crumble will cover up any extra frosting that ends up in the center.)

To scoop the pecan mixture on to the top of the cupcake, I used my Pampered Chef Small Scoop. It placed the perfect size dollop in the center of the cupcake.

Final results? A flavorful cupcake perfect for all occasions, especially breakfast!

If you want some ideas on modifying the Frosting Creations, you can visit Duncan Hines website here. Love from the Oven has also been doing lots of experiments that you can browse through here.

Have you tried Duncan Hines Frosting Creations yet? Did you modify it or just use as it was intended? What were your thoughts?

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)

Valentines “Luv” from Frosting

Frosting is an adorable cupcakery that the Crusaders visited during their most recent cupcake tour, this past fall.

I happened to be down that way last Friday and decided to stop in and see if they had any “luv” inspired cupcakes. Boy, was I in luck!

This cute and simple cupcake was their “Autumn Luv” cupcake, spice cake with their signature almond buttercream icing. I was so excited that they had a Valentine’s Day decorated cupcake that I bought it (and a latte) right away! Sadly in my excitement, I forgot to ask Jenn or Stacy if they wanted any – we have a pretty strict “text/call and make sure we don’t want any cupcakes before leaving any cupcakeries empty-handed” rule – so when I got home, I carefully cut up this lovely cupcake and saved 1/4 for each of them.

Saving those quarters was next to impossible once I took a taste of my half. The spicy, sweet cake paired with the dreamy almond buttercream icing made for a completely indulgent and wonderful cupcake. And the tiny, shiny, pink fondant heart was the perfect topper, understated and simple with a explosion of flavor under it (not unlike love for some of us – calm upon first view, and passionate and a little spicy underneath.)

I know both Stacy and Jenn enjoyed their “bites” and I sure hope the next time I am down that way, Frosting has more “Autumn Luv” to spread around!

How did you show your “luv” yesterday? And, Happy Valentine’s Day (one day late) everyone!