Yes, I confess, I did it! I did it! I don’t know what came over me, but I couldn’t help myself until… it was too late.
Yes, I used a box mix to make my child’s Halloween cupcakes.
Not just a box mix like Duncan Hines or something comfortably good-tasting. No, I was beguiled by boxes at World Market. Ones that promised “spooky brain cupcakes” and “zombie cupcakes-with zombie parts!” I thought they would be fun and easy to make. They have paper sleeves for the cupcakes! And bone sprinkles! How bad could they be?
As soon as I opened the packet labeled “cupcake mix” I knew we were in trouble. It smelled like I was making up a batch of plastic. Blech. How could this be good? And how old were these ingredients? The frosting was worse–it had the texture and odor of that foam they shoot out of a hose when your house is burning down. I can still smell it on my fingers as I type. As I was lading the brain frosting into my plastic piping bag I kept thinking of how much better I could have made them from scratch. Some raspberry purée for coloring, maybe a velvet chocolate cake, oh, it would have been so much better. Shame shame shame.
Perhaps the children will love my Chernobyl cupcakes, but they will haunt me all Halloween. Nevermore!
Update: Luckily, not children were harmed in the making of the cupcakes. Turns out only TWO of the two dozen were eaten, and a parent ate one. Turns out I was trumped by a mom who made cupcakes that had edible skeletons dangling on them—and they were homemade. Sigh…