The Kitchen Diva: Suggestions for making cupcakes from Betty Crocker | Arts and leisure

While Betty Crocker is often associated with happy housework in the 1950s, she originally belonged to a different generation. Founded in 1921 as a “housewife friend” for the Washburn Crosby Company (a forerunner of General Mills) in Minneapolis, its purpose was to answer consumer mail. “They” were actually the women from the Home Service Department who signed Betty’s name.

Eventually, Betty Crocker’s local radio show expanded to WCCO, and audiences across the country tuned in, tried her money-saving recipes, and wrote Betty nearly 5,000 fan letters a day. “Your conversations … gave me hope,” wrote a listener on the radio show Betty Crocker during the Depression.

The fascinating book “Finding Betty Crocker” (Minnesota Heritage, 2007) by author and documentary producer Susan Marks offers a unique insight into the culinary and marketing history of America’s First Lady of Food. According to Marks’ largely chronological “biography” (there was no real Betty Crocker), it was human connections like this that made Crocker one of the most successful marketing tools of all time. Filled with treasures from the General Mills archives – including letters to Crocker during World War II, reprints of famous recipes and advertisements, and portraits updated over the years – Marks’ book introduces readers to the people who breathed Crocker’s image as the happiest of lives have from housewives.

You can make and decorate a range of beautiful cupcakes in no time with these basic articles and tips from the Betty Crocker website (www.bettycrocker.com).

  • Betty Crocker cake mixes in different flavors
  • ready-to-spread frosting
  • Decorate the glaze, assorted colors
  • Decoration gels, assorted colors
  • Food colors (liquid, gel or paste). Try food coloring paste for more vibrant colored icing
  • Different colored sugars and edible glitter
  • Different candy sprinkles
  • Cupcake pans (mini and normal)
  • Paper baking cups available in a variety of colors and prints. Find them in supermarkets, party, craft or specialty cake decorating stores.
  • Resealable plastic bags for storing food for sprinkling frosting and icing.

One box of cake mix makes 24 to 30 cupcakes in a normal size cupcake pan. There are also pans with mini, large and jumbo cups. If you only have one pan and a recipe calls for more cupcakes than your pan can make, just cover the rest of the batter and refrigerate while you bake the first batch. Let the pan cool for about 15 minutes, then bake the rest of the batter and add 1 to 2 minutes to the baking time.

An easy way to fill baking cups is to use an ice cream scoop. Use one that measures 1/3 cup of batter when filling regular cups. Use one that measures 2 tablespoons of batter when filling mini mugs.

  • Carefully dip the cupcake tips into the frosting, turn slightly and remove. Finish with a knife prick if necessary.
  • Dip the frozen cupcakes in bowls with nuts, colored sugar, sprinkles or other decors for easy decorating.

1. Cool the cupcakes completely before covering them to prevent the tops from becoming sticky (approx. 30 minutes).

2. Loosely cover cupcakes that will be frozen later to keep the tops dry. If they’re tightly covered, they’ll become sticky and difficult to freeze.

3. Store cupcakes with a creamy icing loosely covered with foil, plastic wrap, or waxed paper, or under a cake-proof or inverted bowl

4. Cool cupcakes with whipped cream toppings or cream fillings.

5. Frost cupcakes with fluffy frosting on the day they’re supposed to be served.

6. Freeze cupcakes tightly wrapped for two to three months.

7. To prevent the frosting from sticking to the frozen cupcakes, freeze the cupcakes without a lid for 1 hour, then insert a toothpick into the top of the cupcake and wrap it tightly.

8. Thaw cupcakes in the refrigerator or on the countertop.

9. When thawing on the worktop, loosen or remove the packaging to avoid condensation.

10. Decoration gel, hard candy and colored sugar cannot freeze well because they tend to leak when thawed.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, cookery historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook”. Their website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes, and more, like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Prescriptions may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

© 2021 King Features Synd., Inc. and Angela Shelf Medearis

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