For weeks, I've been dreaming of caramel frosting. I found several recipes for salted caramel buttercream (have I mentioned how much I love -- love -- salted caramel) and I knew I wanted to make some to put atop chocolate cupcakes. Because, why not? Danny's parents were visiting and we were having a big dinner Friday. However, I knew I wouldn't have time to make caramel, and then make frosting, and then, lastly make cupcakes and frost them. There just wasn't time. So I found an alternative.
Meet: Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. These are the rules: you get a frosting starter -- it's a standard, white can frosting. It tastes like frosting: sugar and some kind of fat. It's delicious -- not as good as homemade, but it is sugar and fat, so how can it be bad. Then, you select a flavor mix in.
The flavors are endless. There's cherry, and cinnamon roll, and chocolate, and mocha, and strawberry, and lemon... most importantly, there is caramel. That's what I selected.
Once you have cooled cake (or cupcakes) in front of you, you pop open the frosting, dump in the little packet of flavoring, and stir like your life depends on it. I actually transferred the whole thing to a separate bowl to make the process a little easier. Once the frosting is mixed up, put on top of cupcakes. And enjoy.
I will admit to using canned frosting more than I should sometimes. I love making my own frosting, but sometimes, it is just not in the cards. It's a time-consuming, ingredient-consuming process and if I'm in a rush, a homemade cupcake tastes just as good topped with canned frosting. The new frosting mix-ins are a great way to use a variety of different flavors while still saving a little bit of time. That being said, I think a homemade salted caramel frosting would kick this canned frosting butt.
(The chocolate cupcakes in these photos are made using my absolute favorite chocolate cake recipe ever. I'll post about it soon!)