April 13, 2008
First sign of spring, and some cupcakes
Ahhhh... the first real sign of spring here in NJ (for me, anyway)... the forsythia is blooming. This means that for the next few weeks I'll be battling allergies! Yuck! I look forward to spring every year, but since moving to NJ 11 years ago these shrubs really make me miserable. Once they turn green all is well in the world and I can begin really enjoying the nice weather. One good thing about these shrubs blooming is that the weather is finally warming up and we can spend time outside - like we did on Saturday. Today, I stayed inside to avoid these lovely blooming shrubs and wanted to bake SOMETHING. Anything. I just wanted to bake!
So, I asked my Oldest what I should bake and his first response was a strawberry cake. After doing a bit of searching, I couldn't find a recipe that was not terribly complicated AND that used ingredients already in my pantry. What I did find was something that just reminds you of being a kid... Jello Poke Cupcakes! Such an easy treat and also fun to make. You can ice them simply with whipped topping, or make a powdered sugar icing - either one suits these cupcakes.
I used a cake mix I had in the pantry from Trader Joe's, the Vanilla cake mix. This mix makes a moist cake or cupcake. If you are going to keep a cake mix handy, this one is worth having in the pantry.
I recently picked up a couple of different sized ice cream scoops and used my larger one to fill the cupcake liners. I highly recommend using the scooper to do this as it helps to put just the right amount of batter in each muffin cup. Using my cool new kitchen gadget allows me to participate in Joelen's Tasty Tools monthly blogging event! Go check out what everyone did last month with their box graters and microplanes here.