Now, I know my blog is named after the iconic cupcake, but it is a rare sight to actually see them on the blog. This is not a deliberate avoidance, I simply don't make them that often. *shrugs*
Back in August I was contacting by Laura from House of the Rising Bun (love a good pun based business name btw). HoTRB is a lovely little company which produces 100% natural cake mixes which use NO Additives or Preservatives just good quality ingredients.
Now I know a lot of people get a bit snippy over using cake mixes, I mean "baking from scratch is so easy", "why not just buy flour, sugar, eggs etc.." ... I totally get that, if like me you love baking and do it a lot, it is cheaper to buy bulk ingredients and get stuck in. However, there are lots of less obsessive bakers who just want to make a lovely cake without spending a packet on lots of ingredients.
What I love about HoTRB cake mixes is the branding. The packaging is so cute, they come in paper bags with the sweetest design, amazing font and colours - they would make lovely gifts, I am dying for someone I know to move house so I can get one as a house-warming present.
I was sent three different flavours to try; Lemon & Poppyseed, Chocolate Orange (a special for halloween) and the original vanilla bean.
I tried the chocolate orange one first, it was a work colleagues birthday so they were ideal to whip up on a weeknight (in a hurry). The icing was spectacular! You get a tiny bag of white icing powder which you mix with water, as if by magic the icing turned a bright orange! It also tastes exactly like orange smarties which is a win in my book. Due to the rushed bake and slightly heavy handed addition of water to the icing I didn't get a decent picture of them, but believe me, totes delish!
The lemon and poppyseed mix, I made into a small loaf cake. Once again it was a late night weeknight job, the loaf disappeared within minutes at work, the flavours were perfectly balanced and again the icing was perfect!
I used the vanilla bean last, it sat in my cupboard for weeks waiting for the perfect opportunity to bake. I finally decided last weekend to just make them, it was like the baking equivalent of saving your nice clothes for "best" and then never wearing them! Life is too short.
I baked 12 wonderfully light vanilla cupcakes, and decided to use the packet of icing powder to make a buttercream. I needed to add a little more icing sugar but it worked well. The vanilla sponge was just perfect and I loved how there was visible flacks of vanilla bean running through it.
I would definitely buy these again, probably more as a present for someone who isn't as hardcore into baking (with a dedicated flour cupboard) as me. In fact with Christmas coming up, I might have to stock up! I see from their website that they have a wonderful Christmas cake mix, and a few Christmas themed sprinkles! *hides credit card*
What is your view on packet mixes? Yay or nay?