To celebrate 1 year of blogging (Happy Blog Birthday...Blogday? to me!), I wanted to make a special treat. I went with cupcakes. Cupcakes were one of my first foodie obsessions back in high school. The search for the perfect cupcake in whatever new city I encountered has since expanded to the search for the best, the cheapest, the local specialty in any city I'm in.
Back to cupcakes. My mom is the queen of baked goods, and she is known for whipping up a batch of brownies, 7 layer bars, fruit pizza within 30 minutes of you telling her you're going somewhere. One of her baked good hacks is to revamp a jar of store-bought frosting to make entirely not-from-scratch cakes and cupcakes taste like she spent hours making them. Sorry to break the news to my third grade class, but we didn't make those birthday cupcakes homemade.
The secret is a tub of whipped topping, more popularly known as Cool Whip. At its heart, the recipe is equal parts whipped topping to equal parts frosting. This usually just boils down to a tub of whipped topping + a tub of frosting = me eating it with a spoon. The ratio can be whatever you want, but the whipped topping lightens up the frosting which can sometimes taste overly sweet and dense into something fluffy, creamy, and light. People couldn't believe it wasn't homemade.
I got all of my ingredients (the boxed mix, the frosting, and the whipped topping) at my absolute favorite store, Aldi. Within a few weeks, I will be obsessing over how much I love Aldi in a post here on the blog (Subscribe to the blog to be the first to read it!) I went with my favorite combo - chocolate frosting on vanilla cake (a classic) but you can really take this in any direction. There is a ridiculous variety of frosting and cake mixes in this world. Some suggestions for what to add a tub of whipped topping to? Dark chocolate frosting & well...just about anything. Cream cheese frosting & carrot cake mix. Strawberry frosting & chocolate cake to make a chocolate covered strawberry inspired creation. With the whipped topping, you can even substitute sugar free or light versions if you want to lighten things up a bit. My mom insists that sugar free is better than normal Cool Whip, but I still don't buy that anything sugar free can be better than the real thing.
The Ultimate Store-Bought Frosting Hack
Makes 24 frosted cupcakes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 box cake mix (note: usually requires eggs, oil, and water in addition to the box mix)
- 1 jar frosting
- 1 tub of whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
1. Follow the directions on the cake box to make your cake/cupcakes. Bake!
2. Mix together 1 jar of frosting with 1 tub of whipped topping.
Storing & Extra Ingredients
STORING - Store in an airtight container in the fridge (due to the whipped topping). Cupcakes will last about a week...if you don't eat them all first, that is.
EXTRA INGREDIENTS - If you have extra whipped topping, my recipe for Fruit Pizza is always a big hit. When I was little, I LOVED refrigerated chocolate frosting because it basically became fudge. So do that. The end.