Baking

Cupcake Invasion!

A couple of weeks ago my SIL was married in Las Vegas. Only immediate family and a few close friends flew to Vegas to attend the wedding. Then this past weekend they had a reception here in town to celebrate their wedding and marriage.

As a family we pretty much put together the entire reception ourselves. MIL and my other SIL did all the food and decorations. My mom was the DJ. FIL carried stuff in and out of the reception hall and did whatever MIL told him to do. And I made the cake – cupcakes actually.

About 60-70 people had RSVP-ed “yes” to the invitation so I figured I would make around two cupcakes per person. My SIL wanted me to make both vanilla and chocolate which also factored into this decision. I think when there are multiple flavors of cupcakes people are more likely to eat more than one. I know if I was at a wedding reception and there were two different kinds of cupcakes, I’d want to try them both!

I therefore planned to make 120 cupcakes or five batches at two dozen per batch. I decided to make three batches of vanilla and two batches of chocolate. All cupcakes would have the same vanilla buttercream frosting. I planned to bake all the cupcakes on Friday evening and then frost the cupcakes at the reception site on Saturday afternoon. It is a lot easier to transport unfrosted cupcakes than frosted ones especially since I have a rather small car.

Now I have a confession to make. I used cake mix. Doh! I know, I know! A cake mix? What the heck is that about? Okay! I have a perfectly good explanation for this. First I was under a time crunch here. I had to make 120 cupcakes in one evening in my regular ole kitchen with my regular ole oven. I only have two cupcake pans so I can only bake two pans at a time. And to tell you the truth I haven’t really found a from-scratch vanilla cupcake recipe that I’m super pleased with. I have however made vanilla cupcakes from a mix before (with certain extra additions) that have received rave reviews over and over again. Since it was such an important occasion, I didn’t want to attempt a new recipe and have it turn out awful. So I went with experience.

Both recipes originally came from Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor. I made a few minor modifications to result in the following:

Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 22-24 cupcakes

1 package (18.25 oz) white cake mix
1 box vanilla pudding (French vanilla, cheesecake and white chocolate would also work)
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12 cup cupcake pans with paper or foil liners (use foil for fancier occasions like weddings). Place cake mix, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed to combine. Add pudding and blend on low speed to combine; scrap down sides of bowl as necessary.

Spoon or scoop batter into each cupcake cup, filling two thirds full. Bake cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 16-20 minutes. Remove pans from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for five minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on wire racks. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Frost cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and add sprinkles or decoration as you wish.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 package (18.25 oz) devil’s food cake mix
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12 cup cupcake pans with paper or foil liners. Place cake mix, cocoa powder, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed to combine; scrap down sides of bowl as necessary.

Spoon or scoop batter into each cupcake cup, filling two thirds full. Bake cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 16-20 minutes. Remove pans from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in pan for five minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on wire racks. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Frost cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and add sprinkles or decoration as you wish.

It’s a cupcake army!


I decorated the cupcakes with pink and clear sprinkles and placed them on cupcake stands FIL had made. I used gerber daisies as accents. The bride and groom had a small cake on the top tier of the bigger stand. This was the cake they cut together.



So was it worth it? At first I was a little apprehensive about making all these cupcakes and how they would turn out. This is the largest quantity I’ve ever made at one time. It actually was not as crazy as I thought it might be. It took me approximately three hours to mix and bake all the cupcakes. Then it took me another two hours or so to mix up all the frosting and then frost and decorate all the cupcakes as well as arrange them on the cupcake stands.

There were a lot of leftover cupcakes so next time I will reduce the quantity to 1.5 times the number of RSVPs instead of 2 times. My co-workers enjoyed the leftovers this morning though!

The cupcakes tasted wonderful and I received tons of compliments on them, both at the reception and at work today. No one knows my secret though!

I wouldn’t hesitate to make these again though I do promise to practice from-scratch vanilla cupcakes until I find a recipe I’m happy with.

More pictures:



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2 thoughts on “Cupcake Invasion!

  1. I made your vanilla cupcake recipe for my daughter’s 5 birthday party today (and your buttercream frosting recipe) and they were amazing!!! So glad I found your site on Pinterest! Thanks for the easy directions and great recipes!!

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