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Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

The buttercream frosting version of this cupcake originated with my friend Moriah. I've made buttercream more times than I can count and yet I never once thought about using the icing packet from the donut mix to make a buttercream frosting. These buttercream cupcakes are so delicious!

Serves: 7

Bake time: 20-22 minutes (when baked at 5400 ft)

What you'll need:

  • One box of donut mix
  • A standard size cupcake/muffin pan 
  • Oil and water, per the direction card in the donut mix box
  • 4 tablespoon of your preferred butter (for buttercream)
  • Your preferred milk, as needed (see below)
  • Spray oil or paper* or silicone cupcake liners


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line seven of the cupcake wells with cupcake papers or silicon cupcake molds, or spray the cupcake wells with spray oil. Set the pan aside. 

3. Make the batter per the instruction card.

4. Fill the cupcake wells with batter evenly.  

5. Put the cupcake pan in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.

6. When the timer goes off, check to see if the cupcakes spring back or insert a toothpick to check for crumbs (you don't want to see any crumbs clinging to the toothpick). If it doesn't spring back or the toothpick doesn't come out clean, set the timer for 2 minutes more. I bake cupcakes for 22 minutes here in Denver (at 5400 feet).

7. Once done, remove the cupcake pan and let cool on cooling rack for a few minutes before turning the cupcakes out to cool entirely. If you don't use any liners, I recommend letting the cupcakes cool entirely in the pan before removing.

8. Once you have removed the cupcakes from the oven and set them out to cool, you will want to pull the butter out of the refrigerator and portion out four tablespoons into a small bowl. Let the butter sit on counter for about 15 minutes to soften.

9. To make the icing, pour packet #1 into a deep bowl or measuring cup (be mindful, the dry mix will blow out of the bowl when you turn the mixer on so you will want a deep container). Add the butter and using a hand mixer, beat the butter into the mix until it is combined. The batter will still be partially dry even after the butter is combined. Turn off the mixer.

For chocolate icing, add 1 tablespoon of milk and mix again. Add an additional 1 teaspoon is mix is still too stiff. 

For all other icing flavors, add 1 teaspoon of milk and mix again. Add an additional 1 teaspoon is mix is still too stiff. 

Continue to whip on high until frosting is fluffy.





10. If the cupcakes are cool, proceed with frosting and topping the cupcakes.




11. If not serving right away, these buttercream cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To serve, just remove and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving (or eat them cold like I like to!)


*While I generally advocate for the lowest waste option, cupcake liners can be extremely practical at parties and events where folks can just grab a cupcake and don't need a plate or napkin. I like the Chef Papier brand which is unbleached, biodegradable, and backyard compostable.