Friday, December 19, 2014

Choco Cranberry Sauce Cake Mix Cupcakes

This simple recipe has three ingredients besides spray oil—a 14-oz can of jellied cranberry sauce, a box of chocolaty cake mix, and eggs. (Chocolate seems to go well with just about any red fruit.) For my cake mix, I sifted a boxful of white and chocolate flavors each, using half for these cupcakes and saving the other half for a different recipe. (Batter up for the next recipe article!)

I'd Googled high and low for cake and cooky recipes that use jellied cranberry sauce. All of them seemed to call for the lumpy-cranberry type sauce. I finally took a breath and decided to forge ahead with the can of sauce that greeted me every time for many …, uh, long time when I opened the cupboard. I revisited info about possible cake ingredients for substitutions, such as applesauce. The amount of applesauce and water volume called for was similar to the cranberry.

The jellied cranberry sauce was an unknown—jelly at room temperature. I decided to spoon it out into a small mixing bowl, break it up with a spoon, and microwave it in 30-second sessions, stirring between sessions. The warm sauce did not break up well until I pureed it with the mixer.

My pixstrip shows the following image areas:
  1. Implements
  2. Ingredients and spray oil
  3. Combo pic:
    1. Cranberry sauce out of the can and into small bowl, then pureed
    2. Mixed eggs in medium bowl
    3. Mixture of eggs and pureed cranberry sauce in the medium bowl
    4. Cake mix powder in largest bowl
    5. Mixture of the ingredients in the largest bowl
  4. Batter in the cupcake pans
  5. Baked cupcakes in the pans
  6. Cooled cupcakes on a cooling rack
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cup for eggs
  • Measuring cup(s) for dispensing batter
  • Spatula for scraping batter
  • Spoon for initial breaking up cranberry sauce (not shown—forgot for preprep pic)
  • Electric mixer
  • Cupcake pans
  • Cooling rack
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 box chocolatey cake mix (I used half fudgy chocolate and half white.)
  • 1 14-oz can jellied cranberry sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Spray oil into the pan wells.
  3. Beat the eggs and set aside.
  4. Break up and microwave the cranberry sauce in 30-second sessions, the puree with mixer.
  5. Pour the mixed eggs into the warm, pureed cranberry sauce and mix well.
  6. Pour the egg-and-sauce mixture into the largest bowl that has the cake mix powder.
  7. At low speed, mix all the ingredients for two minutes, scraping the batter down with the spatula. Mixture will become thick, like scratch-cake batter.
  8. Scoop batter into the pan wells, each about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for about 17-20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.
  10. Remove the baked cupcakes onto the cooling rack.
  11. Frost if desired.
Post-Recipe Thoughts
As mentioned, the batter becomes very thick during mixing. In dispensing it, I was apprehensive about distributing the batter into the typical 24 cupcake wells. Well, the batter did not run over the sides during baking. Tasty and moist! (Hmm, color and bready texture made me think of sweetish pumpernickel). Calories amounted to about 105 each cupcake. If you frost as ready-to-spread frostings recommend, you'll add an extra 130 calories for each.

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