Party Pleasing Dessert

My husband picked up a call on Sunday morning that resulted in an invitation for our family to watch football games at a friend’s house. He accepted enthusiastically and hung up.

Listening in, I figured out what was going on and when he hung up, I refrained from asking him if he was raised in a barn. He committed the cardinal sin of bad manners… he didn’t ask what we could bring. Even if you KNOW the host is a control freak who likes to do everything, you still ask the question!

His blasé response was that he was damned either way…either I was going to be miffed when told I was bringing a salad or game snacks or I was going to be miffed at his lack of manners. Ahhh, marriage is funny.

I sent a text to the host and told him we would bring beer (hubby’s job) and a dessert (my job).

As luck would have it, I had a box of gluten-free chocolate cake mix and a can of vanilla frosting, but knowing our host, I assumed that at least four families were invited. How does one box of cake mix cover that many people for dessert?

Dust off those mini-muffin baking pans! As one mom said, she hadn’t used her mini-muffin pans since one of her teen age daughters was in the second grade and she was assigned mini-corn muffins for the Thanksgiving feast!

My one box of cake mix yielded 48 mini-chocolate cupcakes. I had every intention of thinning out the packaged frosting and using a piping bag to squirt out decorative dollops of frosting, but at the last minute I slapped it on with a cheese knife.

They weren’t pretty and it actually would have been easier with a piping bag. But, no one judged the lame frosting! Adults and kids alike thought the cupcakes were a great bite sized dessert and all 48 disappeared in a flash.

When my celiac ate his in one bite and went back for another, someone asked if they were gluten free. Even today there is still surprise that a gluten-free cake could taste just like a wheat based cake.

Here is a Superbowl party idea…two boxes of gluten-free cake mix would yield close to 100 mini-cupcakes! With a touch of food coloring in the frosting, the Indianapolis team colors of blue and white would be easy to make. The New Orleans team colors of black and gold would be tricky, but maybe a baker out there could give us a food coloring tip.

Do yourself a favor though, learn to pipe those little flowers of frosting because it’s faster and then the cupcakes will look as good as they taste!

Kendall Egan

  • it’s easier if you start out with chocolate frosting and add black food coloring. as for the gold color, I would make a vanilla frosting and add a deep yellow, or if you can find it, gold sparkles/flakes. I’ve had really good success with wilton’s gel colors when I make cakes and all. Check out their website for more information, though, as they change their recipes like everyone else who sells GF products.

    Good luck!
    I’d love to see the pics :) Hope this helps…

    Take care,


  • For the gold/black, how’s about gold liners and dark chocolate frosting? Optionally stir some espresso or kahlua in there. If the liquids don’t make it darker, once people taste the bonus flavor they won’t care.

  • What great ideas, thank you so much for the helpful suggestions!