When time is tight and ingredients are sparse, professional bakers and consumers use cake mix to make muffins. The muffins can be a variety of flavors and textures, depending on the type of mix used and the extra ingredients added to the recipe. Cake mix muffins have a fresh-baked taste and consistency, but they require less effort and fewer ingredients than muffins that are made completely from scratch.
Most supermarkets and grocery stores sell cake mixes in their baking sections. Although the packaging usually shows these mixes being used to bake sheet cake, it is not uncommon for consumers to pour the prepared batter into muffin tins to create cupcakes. Muffins often contain fruit or other additives and usually are not frosted, so some changes must be made to the cake mix when muffins are desired.
The easiest way for a baker to make cake mix muffins is to prepare the mix as usual, then stir extra ingredients into the batter. The ingredients selected will depend on personal tastes and the cake mix flavor. White or yellow cake mix can be combined with ingredients such as blueberries, fresh apples or applesauce, bananas or different types of nuts, and chocolate cake mixes go well with chocolate chips or berries. Ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla extract can be added to the batter for enhanced flavor. After the batter has been prepared, it should be poured into greased or lined muffin tins.
Muffins generally are not frosted, so many bakers top the batter with sugar, nuts or a crumb topping. Crumb topping is prepared by combining melted butter with flour and sugar and tossing it until the butter cools and crumbs begin to form. When the crumbs are sprinkled over the uncooked batter, the finished muffins will rise, creating a crispy, sweet upper layer.
The recommended oven temperature and cooking time on the cake mix box usually is sufficient to cook muffins. The baker should be sure that the muffins are cooked through, however. This can be done by poking a toothpick into the center of a muffin and making sure that it comes out clear.
Some bakers completely frost cake mix muffins. Others might add a drizzle of frosting, fruit syrup, caramel or chocolate sauce. If nuts or chocolate chips were not added prior to baking, they can be added to the tops of muffins after cooking is complete.
Cake mix can be kept in pantries for as long as several years, so many consumers stock up on different flavors of mixes. This allows them to quickly bake various types of muffins whenever needed. Cake mix muffins can be served as breakfast items, desserts or snacks.