Tropical Muffcakes

Monday, April 11, 2011

Megan requested some muffin and cupcake recipes, so over the next few weeks, I'll be making one or the other. Today, I decided to make my own combo of the two: muffcakes.


I suppose they could be cuppins, but I don't like those as well.
I realize that I tend to make recipes more complicated than they need to be. I like to get creative in the kitchen, which means changing an ingredient, making it vegetarian, omitting cheese, turning Greek into Mexican, or deciding to make a carnivorous meal completely vegan.
In general, I am not a fan of the Semi-Homemade motto. I know it stems from my love of cooking and my personal motto that any recipe can be made from scratch. and healthier than wherever it started. (I'm toying with the idea of making my own doughnuts.)
In any case, sometimes (too often) life gets busy. Who has time to make cupcakes from scratch when they make those not so horrible box mixes?
I usually spit on them, and haughtily talk about how unworthy they are, but always keep a couple in the cupbaord because you never know when a charity bake sale will beg you for 2 dozen cupcakes in 2 hours.
Megan, this is the EASIEST recipe ever. AND I still found a way to make it a bit healthier.
Let's go back to 1st grade (I think kids are actually learning this in pre-school now)
That's what you need to remember.
1 box of cake mix + any fruit
Let me explain.
For these tropical muffcakes, I took

1 box of carrot cake

1 can of pineapple, mixed them together, put them in muffin tins, and voila, muffins. DO NOT follow the back of the box instructions- use no eggs, water, oil or butter. Once I added the frosting they became cupcakes, but they really could be either, hence, muffcakes.
You can do this with any cake mix. Try chocolate cake with mashed banana, or yellow cake with canned pumpkin, or spice cake with applesauce.
Of course, I had to add a liiiittle more than just two ingredients, but you really could do just that.

Tropical Muffcakes:
1 box carrot cake
1 can crushed pineapple
1 mashed banana
6 oz. chopped pecans (if desired)

Optional frosting
4 oz. light cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon for dusting (optional)

Drain crushed pinepple, or if you're me, blend your chunked pinepple and then drain it.

In a bowl combine cake mix and pineapple. DO NOT add any eggs, oil, water, etc...can you believe it?!

You can now place the mixture in muffin tins, or keep going if you want to follow the full recipe.

Break up one banana and mash it with a fork.
Add it to the mix.

Add 6 oz. nuts and mix everything together.
Don't overmix...I mixed it up with the same fork I mashed the banana.

Preheat oven to 350 (or whatever the back of the box says to do) and either line the tins with muffin paper, spray the tins or brush them with melted butter. I prefer the second option because the papers can get kind of messy, but you can also use these rad lime green silicone muffin liners that your boyf's mom gives you.

Using a 1/4 cup measurement, fill it with batter and pour into each individual baking cup. You can also make mini versions.
I've calculated that the large muffcakes are about 125 cals and the mini ones are about 30 cals.
You can even freeze these!
Bake according to box instructions.
If you would like to make them cupcakes, mix all frosting ingredients together (except cinnamon) and spread some on cooled muffcakes. Top with a dusting of cinnamon.
I actually prefer them without frosting, but you can be the judge of that.


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