Morning sun

I love when I get up early enough to work out. When it happens, I’m usually greeted by sights like this.



Beefed Up Box Mix: Mini Carrot Cupcakes

mini carrot cupcakes | domesticated academic

You’ll love these little fella’s because they’re super yummy in just one bite and you take the help of a box mix. People, we just don’t have time to make err’thing from scratch. I can’t lie (and no, it’s not out of fear that my nose would grow). I’m just not good at it. So, I’m putting it out there: box mix is my friend. I’ve highlighted my love of them before and will once again sing their praises today because I wanted to make my friend a super yummy birthday dessert but then realized that I had a full time job and life like the rest of you.


And made it more awesome.

mini carrot cupcakes | domesticated academic

Upon eating, several people asked if they were homemade and whether or not they were just being ‘nice’ was irrelevant–the cupcakes were moist, flavorful, and the butter gave them a nice ‘glisteny’ top where the frosting didn’t cover. You don’t have to believe me, but they were pretty damn good cupcakes.

You can judge me for using it, but I don’t care, you didn’t get to eat the finished product!

I bought a box mix carrot cake mix and did the following things:

  • grated 1 cup of carrot in it
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • used melted butter instead of oil in the same quantity
  • use a frosting bag & tip to frost the cupcakes instead of a butter knife (yes, i used cans of cream cheese icing).

I took the time and made the cupcakes the day before. As luck would have it, I finished work at a more regular hour and was only baking at 10 p.m. Domesticated academic problems for sure.

The day of the party, I frosted the cupcakes and then let sit so the frosting would harden. I used the simple round frosting tip to make even distribution of the frosting a breeze without fussing too much over it.

Which leads to my final point: presentation.

I could have used a frosting spatula AKA: butter knife, but I chose to get out my wilton cake supplies. If you don’t have them in your kitchen, take a plastic bag, fill it with frosting, and cut one of the corners for a similar effect. You at least get more control of how much frosting comes out of the tip. I use this method when filling deviled eggs.

All this ‘tip’ talk…my mind has wandered….. ūüôā

The frosting tip made a really nice ‘wow’ factor to the cupcakes-presenting them as if a true professional had done them up. I grew up watching my mom decorate cakes for us as kids and have a whole new appreciation for her hard work. It’s truly a form of art. My skills are far less advanced but I do like to try when I can.

Honestly, we’re all busy but it’s really the fact that I did take FIVE whole extra minutes to toss some goodies in the mix and whip out my friend “Wilton” to help me accomplish this task. It’s worth it sometimes. Unless it’s a screaming two year old who is going to just smash the crap outta it. Then–use the mix ‘as is’ and a butter knife….this coming from someone with NO children….

Need more ideas that start with a box mix?

PB Frosted Brownies | Domesticated Academic


PB frosted brownies

Coconut Filled Brownie Cake | Domesticated Academic

Coconut cream cheese filled brownie bundt cake