We’ve talked (more like raved) about Crave Bake Shop here and here in the past. We really love their gluten free cupcakes and were excited when they contacted us about trying out some cupcake mixes that they’re working to develop. They’ve been working on these mixes as a more economical way to get their cupcakes to customers, and we think that’s a great idea. For testing, they sent us two mixes: Chocolate and Chai Spice.
We decided to wait for an event so that we wouldn’t end up eating these all by ourselves. Luckily my friend Noah had a birthday party coming up. So we were able to make cupcakes for the party and also have a larger group of taste testers. Our friend Noah has some other food allergies, so we had to check out the ingredients with Crave. At the time of this testing, the base ingredients for the mixes were: millet flour, tapioca flour, rice flour, potato starch, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
If you’ve ever made a cake from a mix, then you’ll be familiar with how these work. They come as bagged powders to which you add wet ingredients such as oil, water, eggs, and butter. Follow the directions and apply the mixer as needed, bake, and voila! You have cupcakes ready to frost.
The Chai Spice cupcake mix calls for a half cup of butter, buttermilk, and two eggs. To make these dairy free, it’s recommended to use Spectrum organic veggie shortening in place of the butter, and rice milk in place of the buttermilk. The instructions on the Chai Spice cupcakes were very clear, and included the sort of procedures that your mom always tells you to do when making a cake. For instance, at the end of the Chai Spice mix, you add part of the dry, part of the wet, mix, then repeat until you get through the rest of the dry and wet ingredients.
When you’re done mixing, you plop the batter into paper cups and bake them. These were easy as pie. To frost them, I used a basic cream cheese frosting from a Betty Crocker cook book. The mixes make 12 regular-sized cupcakes.
Next up, the chocolate gluten-free cupcake mix. This mix calls for one egg, 1/4 vegetable oil, vanilla extract, hot water, and whole milk. To make these dairy-free, they recommend using soy milk or hemp milk, but warn that rice milk is going to be too thin. I thought that the inclusion of hot water was unusual. The instructions for these were much shorter, as well. Basically it’s mix everything but the hot water. Then add the hot water and blend until the batter is the consistency of warm chocolate sauce.
I think that I made a mistake while putting these together. While the instructions said to fill the cups 2/3 full, I had extra batter and filled them all up. This ended up being a tactical error. For one thing, the cakes took a little longer to cook than the instructions called for. Also, the cupcakes ended up having muffin tops.
Despite the muffin tops, these cupcakes were AMAZING. Something about them (maybe it’s the hot water) makes the texture of these cupcakes almost silky smooth, like angel food cake. They need no frosting. I simply dusted them with powdered sugar.
So how did they do at the party? They were a success. These cupcakes are amazing. Everybody at the party loved them. I’ve never made anything like the chocolate cupcakes at home. They’re really unique. We’re rooting for Crave Bake Shop to get these mixes available for the public soon. They’re awesome.