Corncakes and Underwear Lassos

Apr 22 2011

Despite what I said about Cai’s ranch-dressing covered toast (which I do, in fact, feed him), I can cook.

Sometimes, I can even bake.

And today I’m making cupcakes because I’m hosting a baby shower tomorrow.  I’m using one of my very favorite recipes, which I’m almost positive I invented all by myself.

And, by “invented,” I mean “invented with mixes.”  I have 5 kids.  I’m short on time.

Today’s favorite recipe is Corncake Cupcakes with Mascarpone Icing.

They’re delicious, and they have just that little touch of the elegant and unusual that makes them baby shower worthy.  They’re also perfect for Easter, so I thought this might be timely.

Here are my step-by-step instructions.  I’m not saying it’s the only way, but I am saying it’s the best way.

Corncake Cupcakes with Mascarpone Icing

Step 1: Take one box of yellow cake mix and one (8.5 oz) box of cornbread mix,

and mix them together.

Step 2: Follow the directions on both boxes for stuff to add.

So that’s a total of

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • and 1/3 cup oil

that you’re dumping all together.

What can I say?  I like dumping stuff all together and using worn-out tools for mixing.

It’s like a life analogy.

How do you think we ended up with this family, anyway?

Step 3: Blend everything.  Yeah, your cornbread mix is going to say to barely blend it.  Your cake mix is going to want you to whisk it all to death.

Like everything else in life, go halvsies.  Blend it all really good, but don’t kill anyone in the process.  There’ll be lumps.  But it’s less exhausting this way.

Step 4: Help Cael get his shirt off his huge noggin.

It’s just no fun when the button-shirts get stuck, and sometimes we all need a little assist.

Step 5: Fill your cupcake cups.  I’m kind of an eyeball-it girl myself, but I found a few years ago that a 1/4 cup measure fills ’em just right.  And when a strategy works for me, I tend to stick with it.

Step 6: Bake your cupcakes.  Your cornbread wants you to bake them at 400F.  Your cake mix is begging for 350F.  I went with 350F for 23 minutes, and it worked fine.

I meant to cook them for 21 minutes, but I was upstairs following up on a tip.

A whistle-blower told me about some messy potty play.

Step 7: Give Cael a time-out.

Right after you detach Cael’s underwear lasso from the doorknob because he doesn’t want a time-out.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Cael actually managed to use his undies to lasso the doorknob on his way to timeout.

And then he hung on to those undies for dear life, because he didn’t believe I’d be able to extricate him.

I’m going to pause and savor this a moment.

And laugh.

A lot.

Because I couldn’t laugh at the time, and, now that I have a minute, I’m going to take it.

Whew!  Good times.

Which reminds me to tell you that Abby’s a superstar.  She’s watched me take so many photos of my children’s questionable activities over the years that she knew to grab the camera and keep on a-clickin’ as I took Mr. Cael to the timeout chair.

Bless you, Abby girl, for the Underwear Lasso photo.  Bless you.

Step 8:  Wash your hands because you were just in the bathroom hauling a kid to the time-out chair.

Step 9: Blend 16 ounces of mascarpone with powdered sugar.  Keep adding sugar ’til you want to stick your face in the bowl and you don’t care who sees you.  For me, that’s at right around 12 ounces of powdered sugar, but I’ll agree that we all have a different head-in-the-bowl threshold.

If you’re not familiar with mascarpone, it’s like someone took cream and butter and made it into a perfect, thick, spreadable consistency.  I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure that someone was Jesus.

FYI, I found mascarpone in my grocery store’s imported cheeses section.  Which was weird because I wanted it to be in the cream cheese section.  I mean, come on, guys.  It has an Italian name, but it’s made in Vermont.  That’s like putting French bread in the imported breads section.  Or Brussels sprouts in the European vegetables section.

Seriously, does this look like it belongs in imported cheeses?

No.  I didn’t think so.

Step 10: Watch 3- and 4-year-old boys set up a train with my dining table chairs.  And then watch them pose as Goofball A, European model, and Goofball B.  Go ahead and guess who’s who.

Step 11: Frost the cupcake and put Cadbury Mini Eggs on top.

Because — hello! — Cadbury Mini Eggs!

Step 12: And then, when no one’s looking, scoop up some icing.

And take a picture.

Then look at the picture and gasp in shock.  And wonder — seriously wonder — whether you should post your accidentally risque icing photo.

Then say to yourself,

“Eh. What the heck.  It’s not gonna be the worst thing I’ve ever done.”

And post it.  Like this:

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the very, very best way to make Corncake Cupcakes with Mascarpone Icing.

Merry Easter to all.  And to all a Good Night.