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Easy Butterscotch Cupcakes start with your favorite boxed vanilla cake mix combined with butterscotch pudding for a delicious cupcake that’s topped off with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting.
Let’s talk about boxed cake mixes. There are some good ones and there are some bad ones. However, even the good ones need some work to really taste good.
I’m not above using a boxed cake mix if I doctor it up and make it taste like it didn’t come from a box. There’s a few basic things that I like to do to help make a cake mix better.
how to doctor a boxed cake mix:
- Substitute milk for the water. You will be doing a 1:1 substitution.
- Add an extra egg to the batter. Most box cake mixes use 3 eggs, add in a fourth egg.
- Use melted butter in place of the oil.
- Add a box of pudding mix. Trust me on this, it will enhance the flavor.
- Use vanilla yogurt in place of the water in the recipe.
- Add vanilla or almond extract to get additional flavor.
For this recipe I took my favorite vanilla boxed cake mix. Then I added in a box of butterscotch pudding mix. Make sure to use instant pudding whenever you are adding it to a cake mix.
- box of vanilla cake mix
- butter (I use salted but you can use unsalted)
- milk (I prefer using whole milk but you can use 2%, skim, or even plant based milk)
- butterscotch pudding mix
The butterscotch flavoring in these cupcakes comes solely from the pudding mix. Do not use sugar free pudding mix as it doesn’t mix in to the cake as well and it leaves a weird taste in the cupcakes.
Why I like this recipe:
This is one of my favorite cupcake recipes to make. I’ve never been able to get the butterscotch flavor to come through in a cupcake before but using pudding mix gives it a bold flavor. Another reason I like using this recipe is that the base is a boxed cake mix so it only requires a few ingredients and is a snap to bake.
To get started line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners. I like to find fun liners that relate to the theme. Butterscotch screams fall to me so I found some fun fall themed cupcake liners to use.
In a large bowl I beat the eggs. Then I added the milk and melted butter and whisked it all together.
Should I mix the Cake Batter by hand or with a mixer?
I then added the cake mix and the pudding mix and mixed it for two minutes until it was well combined. While the box says that it makes 24 cupcakes I’ve made these three times and all three times I’ve been able to get 20 cupcakes out of this recipe.
After mixing the wet ingredients I added in the cake mix and the pudding mix. Whisk this for about 2 minutes or until your batter is fairly smooth.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins. I like to use a cookie scoop so that I get the same amount of batter in all of the cups.
what size cookie scoop should I use for cupcakes?
I prefer using a #20 scoop which holds 3 tablespoons of batter. I find that this is the perfect size for all of my cupcakes. If you are looking for a cupcake that is flat on top and not domed that I would go for a #24 scoop which holds about a teaspoon less batter but makes a difference.
Bake the cupcakes according to the directions on the back of the cake mix box. When they are done take them out of the oven and test them with a toothpick to make sure they are cooked all the way through.
Let the cupcakes sit for about 5 minutes in the muffin pans and then remove to a wire rack. Cool completely until it is time to frost the cupcakes.
More butterscotch recipes:
- Apple Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce
- Butterscotch Creamer
- Butterscotch Oat Bars
- Butterscotch Brown Butter Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Butterscotch Cupcakes
For the frosting I just made my standard vanilla buttercream frosting. You could make caramel or butterscotch flavored frosting but since the cupcakes had so much flavor I just went with the vanilla flavor.
These cupcakes are amazing! No one guessed that they were made from a box cake mix. They are moist, a little firmer than traditional boxed cupcakes, and pack a ton of butterscotch flavor. The vanilla frosting was the perfect accompaniment for these cupcakes.
For the cupcakes:
- 1 box white or yellow cake mix
- 1 c. milk
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 package (3.4 oz) instant Butterscotch Pudding mix
For the frosting:
- 1 c. (2 sticks ) butter, softened
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the milk, eggs, and butter. Mix well.
- Add in the cake mix and the pudding mix and whisk for 2 minutes or until well combined.
- Divide the batter betwweenl the cupcake liners filling them 2/3 of the way full.
- Bake for 17-20 mintues or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from ovena nd cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting place the butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add in the milk and beat on medium high speed until desired consistency is reached.
- Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes and enjoy!
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