Cupcakes are a fun treat and they’re fast and easy to make, that is unless you count waiting for them to cool completely so you can ice them. Using the right cake recipe, I would definitely eat cupcakes without frosting, but my husband and kids….not so much. When they eat cake, the cake isn’t the star, it’s the icing. Pure lunacy, but nonetheless, my reality. 🙂 Which brings us to the reason I usually avoid cupcakes, baking cake in a pan, and serving it on a plate with a fork, instead. Cupcakes look like a portable snack to kids. No plate or fork is required. Aaaaagghhh! Frosting fingers EVERYWHERE! We’ve already established that some members of my family rate low on the neatness meter, most days. So, for me, cupcakes are simply an unnecessary risk — just asking for it, really.
No one was more surprised or pleased than me to find that Betty Crocker has created a solution to the messy-fingers, cupcake dilemma. They put the frosting INSIDE the cupcake! I was happy to bake up and test the vanilla filled yellow cake cupcake mix they sent me along with a muffin tin, cupcake liners, oven mitt and note cards. I even mustered up the courage to test them when the tiniest fingers of all could enjoy them — the grandkids were here for dinner. We were already feeling pretty positive about this new product, because the kids LOVED the name. Fun-da-middles!
Our nine-year-old and our oldest granddaughter loved helping out on the project! They took breaks from a rousing game of UNO to line the muffin tin for me, oohing and aaahing over the cute cupcake liners, while I mixed up the batter.
As you would expect, mixing it up was quick and simple. The Fun-da-middles box contains two packets, the cake mix and a filling packet. For the batter, I mixed the cake mix, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup of oil.
The next step was to add the filling for the cupcake centers. It was a much easier process than I anticipated. I simply snipped off one corner of the filling packet the girls had so thoroughly kneaded and used it to “pipe” a dollop of filling into the center of each muffin cup. It’s important not to let the filling touch the sides of the liners, if you want the cupcakes to bake up properly, and I was pleased to find that it was no problem accomplishing this.
While the cupcakes baked, the girls continued their UNO game, but also made time to thoroughly check out the rest of the kit that was sent. Of course it’s a no-brainer that the pink oven mitt covered in cupcakes was a big hit! And they were thrilled that the cupcake liners were also covered in mini cupcakes. They were especially taken with the pretty note cards, discussing all the possibilities for who they could gift a cupcake and a note card to. (This was a nice and very generous thought that evaporated the moment the opportunity to devour the entire pan of cupcakes was presented to my family. 🙂 )
The cupcakes came out of the oven with nicely browned tops and the biggest difficulty was allowing them to cool and eating dinner before digging in. My helpers were extraordinarily anxious to complete this taste-test. 🙂
How were they? From my perspective, they were like every other cake mix. I am personally a cake snob. (Maybe there’s a support group. – lol) The textural differences (which are a big deal to me in all food) in homemade and boxed cakes is so significant, that I prefer homemade every time. My family, does not have these difficulties. The cupcakes were a hit all around the table, especially in the hands of the youngest members of our family. One comment from another adult was that the cake itself didn’t have much flavor and that the only flavor came from the filling. For the kids, THAT was a non-issue! Fun-da-middles turned out to be a fast and easy way to have a quick kid-friendly treat or dessert prepared AND they really did eliminate all the little frosting fingers. If I found myself in a time-crunch, I would use them, again, but maybe check out one of the chocolate flavors. Oh, and you don’t have to take my word for the kid response. Here’s how our oldest granddaughter feels about Fun-da-middles. 🙂 Little ham!
Well, I have two opportunities for you to give Fun-da-middles a try with your own taste-testing family. First off, there’s a printable 85¢ coupon, so everyone can get in on the fun. Secondly, Betty Crocker, through My Blog Spark, is generously sponsoring a giveaway of the great gift pack (pictured above) that I tested for this review and entering the drawing is super simple!
You must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. to enter. Mandatory Entry must be completed before any optional entries will count. Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org. Deadline to enter is midnight, (CST), Sunday, September 25, 2011.
In a comment below, tell me your very favorite cake. (Did you know mine is our family recipe for chocolate butter cake? Big surprise, huh? I’ll share it one of these days.)
Optional Additional Entries:
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- Tweet this giveaway (maximum of 1x per day, please). Cupcakes with frosting in the MIDDLE! New Fun-da-Middles + WIN fun baking prizes! @BettyCrocker @busyathome #myblogspark http://ow.ly/6teU0 Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
- Post this giveaway on your Facebook page. Cupcakes with frosting in the MIDDLE! New Fun-da-Middles + WIN fun baking tools and prizes for your kitchen! @BettyCrocker @busyathome #myblogspark http://ow.ly/6teU0
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I received the products listed above, in order to test them in my kitchen and complete this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.