You may remember my last baking fiasco when Ethan and I made cupcakes for his Christmas party. I guess I didn't learn my lesson. Ethan announced today that he'd signed up to bring cupcakes for his Valentines party tomorrow, and he wanted to bring the same Reese Cup cupcakes we'd made in third grade.
Of course, we could have just bought some cupcakes and put the mini Reese Cups on top, but Ethan said, "Those store-bought cupcakes are yucky." So we headed to the store right after school to pick up a chocolate cake mix, some white frosting, and the Reese Cups.
Ethan wanted to crack the eggs and measure the oil and water, so I let him. I told him to put in 1-1/3 cups of water, and I handed him the two measuring cups. When he started mixing the batter, I thought it looked surprisingly watery, but I figured it must be normal; how can you mess up a box cake mix?
While I poured the batter into the muffin tins, Ethan toiled over a theme paper. I don't know who struggled more. I was splashing an alarming amount of batter all over the pans and the counter. I'd never seen such thin batter.
I congratulated myself on getting the cupcakes in so early. We'd be able to frost them right after dinner, and we wouldn't stay up til all hours baking like the last time.
Twenty-two minutes later, both the cupcakes and the theme paper were finished. The cupcakes were... shriveled! They had sunk to about half the height of the muffin cups, and they had pulled away from the sides.
"Stupid box mix!" I railed, just as Bill arrived home from work.
"What's wrong with those muffins?" he asked. "You must have done something wrong."
"No," I argued. "See, the box says 3 eggs, half a cup of oil, and 1-1/3 cups of water."
"Oh, was it only 1-1/3 cups?" Ethan asked.
"How much did you put in?"
He started laughing. "Three and a third cups!"
"Ethannnn!!" I wailed. I thought for a moment. "Maybe we could still use them. Maybe after we frost them..."
"You're not taking those to school," Bill said emphatically. "You'll just have to go to the store and buy another cake mix."
And that is why we will be up til all hours frosting cupcakes tonight. Argh!!!
Now we have to figure out what to do with 24 shriveled cupcakes--well, make that 22 cupcakes. We already ate two. They're not bad, just a little chewy and very moist.