What’s in a $14 cupcake mix?

Sprinkles is a famous cupcake chain currently in LA, Dallas and Phoenix. I’ve never actually tried their cupcakes, but I’ve read enough about them to get the salivary glands going.

As a cupcake enthusiant, and after my amazing red velvet cake in Ithaca (see the 8/29/07 post), I had to try their red velvet cupcake mix. Williams-Sonoma sells it for $14 a tin (makes 12 cupcakes). At that price, you hope for culinary rapture. Did we achieve it? Sort of.

The tin includes the dry batter, the signature Sprinkles “dots” decoration (which I didn’t use), and instructions on making the cupcakes and icing. You need to add plenty of your own eggs and butter to the mix. I was working with a $9 hand mixer, which made it hard to blend the ingredients because the batter starts off so thick. The recipe actually calls for using the flat beater attachment on your mixer. I don’t even know what a flat beater is. No wonder I almost burned out my motor.

The verdict: well, the cake part of the cupcake turned out fluffy, moist and surprisingly un-sweet. Ah, that’s probably why the cream cheese icing recipe asks for nearly 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar. It made my fillings ache just thinking about it. So I used only about 1/4 of the sugar the recipe called for. It turned out pretty good, but probably could have used a bit more sugar–and this is coming from someone who complains about desserts being too sweet.

Would I buy it again? Maybe for a special occasion. It was a lot of work, a red mess, and turned my once-white mixer pink (permanently). But damn if it wasn’t tasty. Besides, Cakelove doesn’t do red velvet.

Stay tuned for a photo of Amit with his red tongue.


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