Thursday was my birthday, and what's a birthday without cake? My 8-year-old son Scott decided to make me cupcakes using the Pamela's Classic Vanilla Cake mix we had in the pantry. They were super easy to mix up. Scott did almost all of the work himself with some able sous chef-ing from me. He is not gluten-free, but he completely enjoyed the smell and taste of the mix and the batter.
The directions on the mix accurately note that it will make about 14 cupcakes, which frankly is a little unwieldy. Instead of doing a whole muffin pan worth then doing only 2 more in a different pan, we poured the overflow into a little aluminum pie pan, hence the very large cupcake at the top of the tower in the picture below. As you can also see, we overfilled some of the cups, making a few of the cupcakes have a kind of lava-flow look to them. Since this was for home enjoyment and not Cupcake Wars, It didn't bother me, but if you are going for appearance, don't overfill!
I'm not way into icing, so I had my cupcake with thawed frozen strawberries. This was actually perfect for it because I found it to have more of an angelfood texture than a traditional cupcake texture (the packaging offers a number of variations to change the outcome -- I used the primary recipe, which calls for 3 eggs and 1/3 cup oil.) It had a little bit of a crust to the outside and was spongy and not terribly moist on the inside. Still very nice, and great with strawberries and whipped cream. My kids and partner used icing on theirs, and they liked them too. The flavor was good and my family didn't notice any big difference taste though gluten-free.I will definitely keep a mix in the pantry for future baking needs, and will try a recipe variation next time, just to see what happens. Thanks, Pamela's!