When I was in elementary school, once each year, near Christmas time, we would get a single slice of Red Velvet cake as a part of our lunchtime meal. The tradition dated back even before my mother was in school, and it was one of my favorite lunchtime treats of the year from our cafeteria.
You see, there’s nothing about Red Velvet cake that I don’t love. It’s chocolatey, which, duh, is amazing. And it’s a bright, rich, red color, which is always a little more interesting than boring brown chocolate. And then, of course, there’s the delightful cream cheese frosting that just really compliments the chocolate flavor.
Fast-forward to the present. When I was at the Duncan Hines test kitchen in Parsippany, I was blessed enough to get a sneak preview at products coming soon from Duncan Hines, provided that I kept my pretty little mouth shut until the big reveal from Duncan Hines. It has been killing me not to tell my blog readers about it because I know you guys will love it, but today, Duncan Hines finally made the big product announcement about one of the absolutely delicious items that I got to taste! Below, you’ll see their big reveal!
This red velvet cupcake mix is special for many reasons. First off, the frosting mix is right in the box, so you can bake your cupcakes and whip up the frosting mix, and only have to buy one package. I love that– it’s so convenient. Plus, I’m one of those people who buys a mix and says “Oh, yeah, I totally have the frosting for this at home,” and then I get home and surprise! No frosting. This is incredibly handy because it’s all-in-one, basically. Plus, it comes with a pastry bag! That means you can fill and frost your cupcakes so easily.
While we were in the test kitchen, Chef Joe showed us how to fill them easily. You just stick the bag into the center of the cupcake, about halfway down. You apply pressure as you pull the bag up out of the cupcake, and swoosh it around to frost, all in one motion! Easy-peasy and it looks incredibly professional!
Each of the Duncan Hines winners received a box of the brand-new Red Velvet mix as part of our winning weekend prize package, so we were the first to try it before it hits stores.
When I got the box, I first considered making the cupcakes following the instructions on the box. Then, I thought about how I had already tasted that at the test kitchen. I considered making the brownie recipe found on the side of the box, but then I really got to thinking.
Duncan Hines chose me as a winner because I’m innovative. My recipe was something new and exciting using a fairly basic ingredient. And this, you see, it was no different. There are many, many great ways to enjoy this boxed mix (one of my favorite people from the winning weekend had a great recipe to turn it into ice cream! Um, yes, please!), and I thought it would be nice to shake things up.
I started thinking about my favorite red velvet creations. My mind wandered towards cakes and the ice cream fellow winner Sandra came up with, and landed on IHOP’s Red Velvet Pancakes.
If you haven’t tried them yet, I think you should honestly stop reading this post for a second and drive to your nearest IHOP. It’s open 24 hours a day. If you live in America, you really have no excuse not to taste them, seriously. Or, you could just keep reading because…
…I totally have the best Red Velvet Pancake recipe here, like… ever. I promise. It’s IHOP’s pancakes on steroids. These are light and fluffy and drizzled with delicious cream cheese glaze and the best part is, it’s from a BOX. Because, you know, I use Duncan Hines religiously and if you can make pancakes from a boxed cake mix, why the heck wouldn’t you?
Start by making the glaze first. You want to soften a stick of butter and then whip it up using an electric mixer. Once it’s whipped, slowly add in the powdered cream cheese frosting mix from the Duncan Hines Decadent Red Velvet Cupcake box while continuing to mix on low.
Can you see my awesome vintage Hamilton Beach stand mixer? I recently inherited it- it belonged to one of my great aunts who enjoyed baking probably as much as I do. I am in love with this thing.
Anyway, you’ll notice it’s still pretty powdery when you just have the butter added. Instead of doing what the box mix instructions say, you’re not going to add just the four teaspoons of water… that would give you a thicker frosting for cupcakes. Instead, you’re wanting a glaze, so you’re going to slowly add in two TABLESPOONS of water. It’ll give you a much thinner glaze.
This top photo shows you a little more of a thicker glaze, with just the one added tablespoon. The picture below shows how it gets much thinner with the second added tablespoon. See how that is more “drizzle-on-pancakes-worthy”?
Now, set your glaze aside and get to work on those yummy pancakes! You’re going to take a bowl and dump in the cake mix that came in the Duncan Hines Decadent Red Velvet Cupcake box. Add between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of flour (I could be really specific here and say 1 1/4 cup, but really, it’s personal preference on whether you prefer thinner cakes or thicker ones), a tablespoon of sugar, 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder, a little salt, 2 eggs, a little vanilla (a teaspoon is plenty!), and 2 cups of cold milk. Whisk those puppies up and get all of the lumps out.
Grease your pan or griddle really well, warm it up to around 300 degrees (you’ll know it’s done if you drip a little dab of water on and it sizzles up), and then pour some batter on. I make BIG pancakes, around two heaping spoonfuls of batter, but you can easily make whatever size you want, obviously. My son and brother are big fans of silver dollar pancakes.
From here on out, it’s pretty much like your standard pancaking… you’ll want to wait until bubbles appear, flip it, and then wait a bit and take it off of the pan. Seriously, it’s not rocket surgery or brain science, just pancakes. I’ve always been intimidated by making pancakes, and when I finally made them, boom! It’s actually easy. I swear. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t make them (I’m writing this with the hope that there is some poor soul out there, like me, who hasn’t yet attempted to make pancakes and just needs that extra little nudge).
So, I’m not exactly the best flipper in the world, but I promise you, they taste yummy. In the end, you’ll get a towering stack of delightful rich red pancakes with an intensely perfect chocolate flavor. The stack is actually a little taller than this, but a few of the hotcakes had already been stolen by little pancake thieves… I got around 15 pancakes from it.
Now, grab a couple of those and drizzle (or drown!) them with cream cheese glaze! I liked mine with just a tiny drizzle, as shown in the picture, but my family loved pouring the cream cheese frosting over them until they were more white velvet than red. Either way, these are a true hit, even with the youngest eaters (my son devoured one, minus the glaze!)
Seriously, look at how thick and fluffy those puppies are! They’re huge!
And all of this just goes to show you, once again, that with Duncan Hines, there really aren’t any limits to your creativity. You may be using a box of cake mix, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to that box. Stretch yourself, be creative, and you will absolutely love what comes out of it. I’m going to be honest… I can’t remember the last time I used a boxed cake mix to actually make a cake.
Duncan Hines will be releasing the new Decadent Red Velvet Cupcakes, complete with frosting mix and pastry bags, in stores now!
Do you love Duncan Hines Decadent Mixes? Try my great Rustic Carrot Cake Cookies featuring the Decadent Carrot Cake Mix, or these Pumpkin Spice Truffles using the Pumpkin Spice Decadent Cupcake Mix! Hungry? You can view all of my recipes in the Food section of DigitalEraMom.com!
Disclaimer: As a Duncan Hines Frosting Creations winner, I was given a box of this mix to try for free. All opinions of those are from my family and myself, not from Duncan Hines or Pinnacle Foods.