Mistakes happen. For example, I think it was a mistake to use such a dopey name for the new Betty Crocker novelty cupcake mix. FUN-da-middles? I think I see what theyâ€™re trying to do here with the cupcake middles being filled with frosting and “Fundamental” being a word. But really Betty Crocker? FUN-da-middles? Iâ€¦ I just canâ€™t.
Iâ€™m mature enough to admit when Iâ€™ve erred. Unfortunately, this tends to happen long after Iâ€™ve pulled twelve incorrectly-baked Betty Crocker Creamy Chocolate Filling FUN-da-middles cupcakes out of my oven and have realized that the trademark gooey center has pushed itself towards the edges of my bite-sized dessert and has made it into an entirely different snack food, one that doesnâ€™t nearly resemble the dessert pictured on the box and isnâ€™t at all FUN. So now, although Iâ€™d intended to write a review of two FUN-da-middles cupcake flavors, itâ€™s now just going to be about one. The one I did correctly. My bad.
Baking doesnâ€™t come naturally to me. Apparently, neither does following directions.
I have vivid memories of art classes in elementary school. There would come that moment after activity time, when each of our projects would be displayed on the wall or on the art tableâ€¦ and I would suddenly realize that my project looked different from everyone elseâ€™s. Circles that were supposed to be carefully constructed would be ovals. Five-point stars would have seven points. Photo collages would for some reason have drawings of dogs in them. Now I know why. With my mind already preoccupied with what Iâ€™d eat for lunch at school, plans to beat World 4 on Super Mario Bros 3 after school, and most likely, the Tiny Toons theme song, I barely listened to the teacherâ€™s instructions and would oftentimes “wing it.” Thatâ€™s what happened here with these Betty Crocker FUN-da-middles.
Iâ€™m not a fantastic baker to begin with. There are far too many variables at play for me to whip up something that looks like it came straight from the pages of Bon AppÃ©tit, In fact, my first batch of FUN-da-middles looked like something straight from the pages of Fangoria. And itâ€™s all because I tried to be crafty and cheap and made up the rules as I went. Winging it. Bad idea.
Basically, when preparing the White Cake with Creamy Chocolate Filling FUN-da-middles, I switched out the oil and eggs in the recipe for diet soda. Usually, diet soda combined with cake mix makes a dense, crumbly cupcake that is low in fat. (Yay!) However, swapping in soda for this recipe was a mistake — the structural integrity of the cupcakes was compromised in a way that altered the entire batch. Hereâ€™s the way itâ€™s supposed to work: You mix the batter and fill up each cup in the cupcake pan by one-third. Then, using the enclosed frosting packet, you squeeze little dollops of flavored frosting on top then cover with the remaining batter. After baking, the cupcakes should be fluffy and have a perfect, sweet, gooey center.
Not so for my cupcakes. My Creamy Chocolate Filling FUN-da-middles had a pudding-cake-like texture, very sticky. Not inedible, but definitely not what I wanted. I hadnâ€™t realized that the chemical makeup of FUN-da-middles absolutely requires eggs and oil to make a stiffer cake, thereby creating a firm encasing for the gooey chocolate filling. So my cupcakes were more like FUN-da-OUTSIDES.
After kicking myself for about a day, I went back to the drawing board. This time, I baked the White Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling FUN-da-middles. These looked more like your traditional Twinkie, and I figured if I actually followed the instructions this time, theyâ€™d taste like it. Actually, they tasted better than a Twinkie. The whole dozen came out much better than I had imagined, almost mirroring the picture on the box with nice golden outsides and white, gooey insides. Finally, the middles were FUN. Sort of.
Despite having to do a lot more measuring and clean up afterwards, thanks to cracked eggshells and oil drippings, I enjoyed the outcome. The cupcakes were dense but not oily, and the vanilla cream filling was light and sweet. These cupcakes were a little heavier and less squishier than my diet soda-induced, chocolate filling disaster.
So if you want to bake these cupcakes, donâ€™t try to make up the rules as you go. Youâ€™ll end up with a real mess on your hands and all over the cupcake pan. I wonâ€™t lie, thoughâ€¦. While hard at work on my desserts, I still had the Tiny Toons theme song in my head.
(Nutrition Facts â€“ 1/12 package â€“ 120 calories (mix), 190 calories (as prepared), 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol,190 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 6% calcium, and 2% iron.)
Other Betty Crocker FUN-da-middles reviews:
Item:Â Betty Crocker FUN-da-middles Yellow Cupcake Mix with Creamy Vanilla Filling
Size:Â 15.2 ounces / Makes 12 cupcakes
Purchased at:Â Target
Rating:Â 7 out of 10
Pros: When prepared correctly, they had nice golden outsides and gooey insides. Following directions. Tiny Toons. Diet soda in regular boxed cake mix. Drawings of dogs in a photo collage.
Cons: Chocolate disasters. Diet soda in FUN-da-middles boxed cupcake mix. The fact that theyâ€™re called “FUN-da-middles.” Circles that are really ovals. World 4 in Super Mario Bros 3. Winging it while baking with an inflexible recipe.