I’m going to tell you something that is really controversial now.
It really shouldn’t be controversial, but it is.
Here we go: it’s okay to eat cake from a box.
If you have the time and the desire, scratch bake all you want. I do. I probably should be scratch baking everything I can. I have PMDD*, which can be triggered by the way that the human brain interacts with processed carbs. In other words, I should be eating as much of the lowest possible processed carbs as I can get-so scratch baking it is.
However, I also understand that sometimes you just don’t have the time to do it. Or just don’t want to.
This is the cheater’s version of an applesauce cake that I normally make from scratch. I just, frankly, didn’t feel like it this time. Remember: cake from a box, as a rare thing, isn’t the end of the world.
1 yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 small box vanilla instant pudding
1 envelope instant hot cider (or a really generous glug of boiled cider)
1 small apple, cored and chopped (peeled if desired)
optional: 1 tea pumpkin spice
Preheat oven to 350
Add everything through the apple into a large mixing bowl. Mix for 1 1/2-3 minutes depending on the strength of your mixer.
Fold in apple and pumpkin spice, if using.
Fill lined cupcake pans. Bake for 17-23 minutes.
When cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting or dust with powdered sugar.
I got 18 cupcakes out of this batch, but I had batter left over.
*Since I’m asked this fairly frequently, I have a medical diagnosis of PMDD. I was diagnosed in the winter of 2005.