Ever wonder about a mix you've seen in the store? Is it any good? Could it replace something you'd otherwise make from scratch? Welcome to Mixed Review, where the whole point is putting mixes to the test! —The Mgmt.


When I got word that Lindsay Morton, the winner of the series premiere of the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars," had released a line of baking mixes and DIY dessert kits, I knew I had to try them. Since Easter is fast-approaching, I ordered the Easter Cupcake Kit, a classic combo of vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, plus spring-themed candy decorations.

At $23.95 the kit isn't cheap, but what you're paying for is high quality and loads of charm. The kit comes in an adorable pink and white dollhouse-shaped box that doubles as a carrier for the finished cupcakes.20110402-145226-easter-cupcakes-3.jpg Included are fancy gold foil wrappers, sugar candies for decorating (flower, chick, bunny, etc.), and a pastry bag to pipe the frosting (unfortunately, the pastry bag seemed to be missing from my kit). Both the cake and frosting mixes were all-natural and I appreciated that the ingredient lists were short and clean: confectioners' sugar, flour, and Callebaut Belgian Cocoa--yum.

Preparing the mix was a snap. I used a single bowl and the only ingredients I needed to add were milk, eggs, and butter. While my finished cupcakes were a tad on the small side (don't expect bulging, muffin-like tops), they were rich and dense in the best sense of the word--thick and cakey and packed with vanilla flavor. The frosting, which was a simple chocolate buttercream, tasted exactly like from-scratch versions. I had a hard time keeping my fingers out of the bowl.

Forget sticky-sweet Peeps—these cupcakes are the perfect Easter treat. While they are a tad expensive, both my husband and I kept marveling at their homemade flavor. If you are a fan of Cupcake Wars, you should definitely try these mixes out.


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