Cupcake Substitute

This Orange Spice cupcake did not start off as one of substitutions, but it sure ended up that way.

A cupcake cookbook I recently borrowed talks about enhancing or fortifying a box cake mix into a little something more. Instead of adding the traditional combination of water, oil, three eggs this cookbook suggests buttermilk, oil, four eggs and some flavor enhancers depending on the final desired flavor.

Today - Orange Spice cupcakes. I had accumulated everything this weekend, except the buttermilk – I wanted to find a pint container like I saw in Alabama instead of the quart container I find here. Then, time to make cupcakes today and I forgot about the buttermilk!

No problem, Google “buttermilk substitute” with a number of options. I chose a tbsp of white vinegar and adding enough milk to make a cup; let stand for five minutes and instant buttermilk, well, substitute anyway.

Then I read the 1/3 cup of oil, and for some reason my brain registered 1/3 cup of shortening. As I have said before, I don’t use shortening. I did have an extra jar of baby food prunes (organic, of course) so I made the substitution. As soon as I dumped the pureed prunes in with the cake mix, my brain registered clearly and I saw that I could have added oil. Oh well.
I had accumulated pumpkin spice this past weekend, so I would good there, but thinking I forgot the orange for the orange zest (an excuse to use my zester!). No problem, I have orange extract so I substituted ½ tsp.

Mixed it all together. Poured in the cupcake papers. Baked for 18 minutes (toothpick a little moist but not sloppy), remove from oven. Cool. Frost – lazy today, just a can of cream cheese frosting. And viola! Orange Spice cupcakes!

Oh, and what’s this next to the frosted cupcake container on the counter…

Hmm, better start paying attention more. The cupcakes were nice and spongy and moist, it all worked out. This may not be HH's favorite, because there is no chocolate involved. I'll have to find other diners to share with.

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