Cupcake Matchmaking

If I receive one more email from my well-intentioned Sometimes Healthy Mother encouraging me to “jump into online dating,” I might just do something CRAZY…

Something like play a matchmaking game with cupcakes…

Oh wait…it’s too late. I’ve gone over the edge! Somebody stop me before I bake mounds of delicious cupcakes and force my poor coworkers to eat them….

What have I done????

And provide them with excessive amounts of frostings to dunk  spread on their cupcakes….

This could get dangerous...

Let’s hope they forgive me one day. It’s rough living in cubicle land with a Sometimes Healthy Girl who tests her healthified treats and Wacky Food combos on her innocent coworkers.

So Where Does the Matchmaking Come In?

Let’s back up to see how all of these cupcakes magically appeared in my office bright and early Monday morning. As you know, I rarely take on recipes that involve more than 2.5 steps, because my cooking skills will only take me that far before I burn or spill something.

Example of recent kitchen disaster. Oopsies

Thus, I’ve always been inspired by recipes that shorten extremely idiot-proof recipes and make them even more idiot-proof: Enter Hungry Girl’s 2 Ingredient Cakes (I know some of you shy away from Hungry Girl and her love for artificial/processed foods, but some of her recipes are just too tempting to turn away for this Sometimes Healthy Girl…sorry for partying). 2 Ingredient Cakes are just as they sound: Cake mix + One other ingredient (no oil, eggs, etc.). They are low-fat and ridiculously easy.

Specifically, I was intrigued by her newsletter from 2010 where her staff taste-tested different cake mixes with a variety of mixers, including diet soda, pumpkin, low-sugar applesauce, greek yogurt and egg beaters.

Here’s where I came up with my brilliant idea: I decided to turn her 2-ingredient cakes into cupcakes, play around with the combinations (matchmaking!) and see if my coworkers could guess which cake mix was mixed with each ingredient.

My mind was literally racing with ideas as I stared at the cake mixes for 20 minutes and brainstormed “matchmaking” options at the grocery store on Sunday night. I thought about getting a second opinion from a fellow customer, but then I thought it might be weird to say, “Do you think Duncan Hines Butter Cake would pair better with Diet Mountain Dew or Diet Root Beer?”

Matches Made in Cupcake Heaven:

After much internal debate, here’s what I ended up with:

The cupcake matchmaking begins...

And, for the fun of it, because I absolutely love low-sugar cherry pie filling, I threw this wild card in the mix:

Wild thing, you make my heart sing ;-)

2-Ingredient Cupcake Recipes (Cupcake Couples Awww)

Last night, while catching up on my new favorite show, Basketball Wives, I got to work on my Cupcake Couples:

Match #1: Duncan Hines Strawberry Supreme Cake Mix + 1 Cup Non-Fat Greek Yogurt

Pretty in pink...sooo creamy - this bowl needs a lickin'

Bake away, my pretties!

  • Pre-Heat Oven to 350 Degrees
  • Whisk cake mix with 1 cup Greek Yogurt and 1 cup water
  • Pour batter into 12 cupcake tins lined with pretty pink wrappers (pink is optional
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until a knife inserted into cupcake comes out with no pink cake mix.
Match # 2. Duncan Hines Double Chocolate Cake Mix + Applesauce

This batter must be licked...it's part of the instructions.

It may be hard to wait for these to bake...

  • Pre-Heat Oven to 350 Degrees
  • Whisk cake mix with 1 cup Unsweetened applesauce and 1 cup water
  • Pour batter into 12 cupcake tins lined with wrappers (I ran out so I used PAM)
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until a knife inserted into cupcake comes out without chocolatey cake mix (but if it does, lick the knife, throw it in the dishwasher and try again later)
Match #3 Duncan Hines Classic Butter Cake Mix + Diet Sierra Mist (Diet Sprite)

You can drink another can while you bake to keep yourself from eating all of the batter...

The suspense is killin' me...will they taste like lemon lime???

  • Pre-Heat Oven to 350 Degrees
  • Whisk cake mix with 1 12-oz. can of Diet Sierra Mist
  • Pour batter into 12 cupcake tins lined with wrappers
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until a knife inserted into cupcake comes out without fluffy, buttery goodness
Match #4 (The Wildcard): Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix + 1 20 oz can of No Sugar Added Cherry Pie Filling
(I had read about combining cake mix with cherry pie filling to make Cherry Dump Cakes but never the idea of mixing them together to create cupcakes)

I think I might have just created something brilliant!

Catch ya on the other side, my cherry cake delights!

  • Pre-Heat Oven to 350 Degrees
  • Whisk cake mix with 1 20-oz. can of No Sugar Added Cherry Pie Filling and 1/2 cup of water
  • Pour batter into 12 cupcake tins lined with wrappers
  • Bake 45 minutes until a knife inserted into cupcake comes out without fluffy, buttery goodness
You saw the finished product above, so I won’t bore you again. Since the cupcakes were for my coworkers, I tried not to go to town and eat them all. Sharing is caring ;-). Luckily, I miraculously ended up with several “bad apples” that “fell apart” so I taste-tested with those:
  • Strawberry/Greek Yogurt: Chemistry Level: HIGH; Creamy, delicious, genius
  • Chocolate/Applesauce:  Chemistry Level: OFF THE CHARTS; Thick, chocolatey, sinful, crumbly (must use cupcake wrapper)
  • Yellow Cake/Diet Sprite: Chemistry Level: SOLID; Fluffy, light and tasty, without a hint of lemon-lime
  • Yellow Cake/Cherry Pie Filling: Chemistry Level: IT’S COMPLICATED; Incredibly tasty but mushy – need to allow these to set for a while; suggest letting them harden in the tins overnight; the combination of the yellow cake and cherries is brilliant

I couldn’t wait to get to work to see my coworkers’ eyes light up as they tried my little masterpieces…

Lost in Transit

Then I had to ride on a hot, sticky subway with my poor little Cupcake Couples in tow. Little beads of sweat trickled down my face, as I envisioned my cupcakes melting together in their ziplock bags (good thing I decided on the DIY frosting bar, rather than frosting at home!)

The picture wasn’t exactly “pretty” when I got to the office. Thankfully, my coworkers are open-minded little foodies, so I knew the mashed-up cupcakes wouldn’t be a problem.

Here’s what the display looked like.

Mashed up cupcakes...YUMMY!

It was my father’s birthday so I snapped a photo with a cupcake for him…don’t worry dad, I’ll be home soon enough to bake you all the healthified treats that your heart desires. Get excited.

Check out the sign...if you can read it. You'll always be 40 in my eyes Papa Bear!

I had a busy day at work yesterday, so I left very explicit instructions detailing what a 2-Ingredient cupcake was, how my coworkers could vote and what they’d win if they guessed them all right – mashed up cupcake leftovers. MMMMMMM.

Here’s what all of the instructions looked like (I hung them above the cupcakes):

Note: I changed the name of my Cupcake Matches to Mashed Up Cupcakes to more accurately describe their appearance ;-)

I also had them vote on their faves and try to guess the matches!

In the end, everyone had a blast and enjoyed having a few minutes to break away from the grind, snack on some cupcakes, guess the matches and socialize while checking to see if anyone noticed they were double-dipping in the frosting ;-).

Cupcakes and frosting - these ladies are mucho happy

Action shot...intense concentration

By afternoon, they were almost all gone!

And the Winner Is…

Surprisingly, lots of people voted! The winner, with twice as many votes as any other Cupcake Couple was the Double Chocolate Cake/Applesauce Cupcake. Despite the fact that they were a crumbly mess, the decadent, creamy taste won over the crowd.

The winner! Looks appetizing, huh...

See…looks aren’t everything!

As for guessing the matches, believe it or not, only ONE PERSON got them all correct! The prize was SUPPOSED to be the leftover cupcakes, but sadly, this morning, when I looked in the fridge, they were gone! Our office “Fridge Bandit” struck again! The Fridge Bandit is an ongoing problem at my office, but usually he/she steals things like greek yogurt or sandwiches. Apparently, my mashed up cupcakes were just too tempting.

The Fridge Bandit ate these leftovers. HOW RUDE!

Sometimes Healthy Mother, What a Character

Just in case you all thought I was making up the reference to my mother and her incessant encouragement about online dating in order to create my post theme, thought I’d include a little bit of correspondence to prove my point.

Note: From this email, you’ll see where I get my love for exclamation points as well as my quirky sense of humor ;-)

And that, my friends is just a sample. Considering I call my mother nearly every day, I probably hear about this whole online dating thing about 4 times a week. But that’s my mother, and that’s why I love her!

Guest Post: Sometimes Healthy Mom?

And on that note, I’ve been begging my mother for weeks to write a guest post for me in the next couple of weeks as my work ramps up. If you think I’m a character, you can imagine what my mother is like. She’s been a little resistant to the idea (she doesn’t think she has anything interesting to say), so I think she needs a little push! If you’d like a guest post from my mother, please leave a comment in the section with the request. Also, help her out and tell her which of these topics you’d like to hear about.

  • Lunching With the Ladies - Every week, my mother gets together with fellow mothers over lunch where they order salads with no dressing, bacon, blue cheese onions, etc. and chat. I LOVE going out to lunch with them when I’m home, because they are just so much fun! So thought you might like to hear more about it.
  • Pilates for a Sometimes Healthy Mother - My mother probably knows her pilates instructor’s love life better than she knows how to actually do pilates. She’ll admit it. Wouldn’t we like to hear a recap of a typical pilates lesson?
  • The Other Side of the Telephone - You always hear about my conversations with my mother, but you never get to hear her point-of-view. Something tells me, this one would get a little interesting ;-)

Dear Mom: Please write a post for my blog...it's my birthday in a week and it would just MAKE my day ;-)

My birthday is next week, so between that and the peer pressure, I think she might give in. Sorry mom, if you’d like to defend yourself, you’ll have to learn how to write comments on my blog OR you can ask dad ;-).

Question:

If you’re single, does your mother try to set you up or make you online date? How do you feel about it?

Ever made a 2-ingredient cupcake/cake? What was your combo?

49 Thoughts on “Cupcake Matchmaking

  1. Thanks for the ideas!! I’ve tried the Chocolate cake mix + diet coke combo before, and I wasn’t a huge fan… but I think it’s because my old oven was really hot and the bottoms burned. :(

    I think I might have to try the cake mix + applesauce idea. I used applesauce to replace eggs in my cookie recipe the other day (see “Toffee Chip Cookies” on my blog, if interested in the recipe). They were DELICIOUS but a little too flat. I think I need to experiment a little more! ;)

    • You recipe sounds goooood! I will check it out ASAP. As for your Chocolate cake mix + DIet Coke, give it a try again. Definitely try the yellow cake + sprite. It was soooo fluffy and yummy. You will love, I promise.

      Keep experimenting! That’s where all the fun is ;-)

  2. Lisa Marie on 12 July, 2011 at 12:36 pm said:

    LOVE this post! I would love to hear from SHM and what it sounds like on the other side of the telephone! Come on Ms. SHM!
    PS great post. I want to work with you, thats so fun…and they look delicious!!

  3. Um, can you be MY coworker please? Those cupcakes look amazing.

    And your mom seems completely hilarious. So excited for guest posts!

  4. Jamie on 12 July, 2011 at 1:37 pm said:

    Come on, Mom! Do it, do it!! :)

  5. Michelle on 12 July, 2011 at 1:58 pm said:

    Should we make you a sometimes healthy birthday cake on Saturday? I have never made them but they look amazing (and clearly were since they disappeared). :) I think you should try online dating- NOTHING to lose. Who knows, maybe there is a sometimes healthy guy in cyberspace….and if it’s a total flop, well at least it will be amazing blog material! And for the record, vote is DEFINITELY for a sometimes healthy Mom post. Between her sense of humor and her wisdom all will enjoy.

  6. Amanda on 12 July, 2011 at 2:17 pm said:

    I like the other side of the phone idea! She can include some wacky, or not so wacky, kitchen creations she makes. Also, ask her to throw in some pictures of Omaha like you do of NYC! I’m from Omaha too and love to see pictures of the “good life”.

  7. Emily on 12 July, 2011 at 4:02 pm said:

    I like the other side of the phone idea too :) I think that would be hilarious!!

  8. Jamie Groupee on 12 July, 2011 at 4:19 pm said:

    Wow Jamie! You are such a creative cook I may just have to try some of these cupcake Creations..as for online dating why not post your picture on J-date! You will be sure to meet a man. Keep Blogging, I love to read and keep up with all that is going on with you! You are going to be famous one day!

  9. Those cupcakes look yummy! I may try your strawberry ones :) Thankfully my mother doesn’t get too much into my dating life (i’m not single now, but when I was) but I do have a cousin getting married in two months who met her fiance on match.com, so I have seen a positive result of online dating. I would LOVE to see your mom guest post on any of those topics!

  10. Wow that is crazy how you can make cupcakes with pop!

  11. A guest post from your mom would be great! I laughed because she sounds exactly like my mom! My mom goes to an exercise class, but she really is just paying to socialize! All of the women talk about their children and barely focus on the workout! My mom’s emails are comparable to the ones that your mom sends you, and she doesn’t know how to comment on my blog either!

    • haha I called my mother and told her about your comment. She said your mom sounds like a great woman :-)

      • Too funny! My mom only recently learned how to even use a computer, so her emails are especially hilarious. I was reading through an email that my sister (who is currently in Italy) sent to my mom, and my mom’s response was so detailed that my sister said she felt like it was a blog post. She’s heavy-handed when it comes to the exclamation point key too! :)

  12. Ooo wow I’ve never made cakes of any kind with only 2 ingredients…but those sound awesome! I may just have to try that chocolate/applesauce combo :). I’m pretty sure that if I wasn’t dating my mom would totally encourage online dating.

  13. My dad is always telling me to date online, but not just on any site. He wants me to create a profile on Christian Mingle dot com because apparently all the guys on the site are wonderful men who will want nothing more than to become my husband.. very, very random. He was begging me every time we spoke to give it a try until I threatened not to call home anymore.

  14. Ahhh I always love your posts so much! They are not only informative, but pretty darn hilarious :) I am loving your combinations… I want to try the chocolate applesauce one!
    It would be great to see a guest post from MA!

  15. I seriously love this post. First, thank you for testing all of those different combinations – that must have been a lot of work! But fun. And seriously delicious. I love baking with applesauce.

    Your mom is hilarious. and seems kind of like mine. But mine is playing the patient card when it comes to my dating. I think she feels like if she doesn’t mention it, it’ll happen faster for me. But I can hear her internal dialogue that wants grandchildrens NOW anyways :)

  16. Ok you are just too cute and your cupcake mash-up is such a fun idea! And I love HG…despite all the haters out there! I am single and live at home, but my mom is really good about not setting me up….just subtle encouragement at times to “get out there.”….plus, she’s not really an online dating fan. I think it would be great if she did a guest-post on any of the topics you mentioned.

  17. Hahahha woo for a photo appearance in the blog! My fave was by FAR the cherry pie filling, I don’t care if it’s complicated– it was awesome. More baking fun to come!

    I hope your mom does a guest post, how cute would that be! :)

  18. Becca on 13 July, 2011 at 9:11 pm said:

    Why not give that on-line dating a try. And how on earth do you ever get any work done? I wish I was in the cubicle next to you not in Omaha!

  19. Please have your mother guest post- complete with lots of unnecessary exclamation points!!! ha

  20. I love Hungry Girl – her recipes are too easy to pass up! But I have never experimented with the two ingredient cupcakes before (strange for me and all my baking) – you’ve inspired me to try two ingredient cupcakes! YAY!

    SHM Totally needs to post – I totally laughed/snorted out loud at her email. My mom does that too – but most of the time it’s, “Oh he’s a doctor, oh damn too bad he’s married, cuz he’s cute.” Gee, thanks ma.

    I would love to hear her side of your conversations – hilarious!

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  30. Hardly “healthified”. I see nothing healthy about this. Which is fine, just don’t call tennis a healthy treat.

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