Monday, March 29, 2010

Drury Lane: I've Been There

In search of a quick and easy bake sale item you can make a few days in advance?  Jumbo muffins certainly fit the bill and are easily customized for endless flavor variations.  The combination of a pudding-enriched cake mix base and minimal mixing produces a muffin with a texture that stands the middle ground between cupcake fluffiness and muffin sturdiness.  It's the best of both worlds!  

Bake sale tips: 
  • These can easily be made ahead of time.  Wrap cooled muffins individually in plastic wrap, then stash in a plastic zip-top bag or other container and freeze.  When you're ready to package for the bake sale, unwrap muffins and allow to come to room temperature (thawing wrapped muffins can be messy if your freezer puts out as much frost as mine!).   Believe me, baking 141 muffins in one sitting is NOT something you want to attempt.  
  • Four jumbo muffins fit very nicely on a paper, plastic, or styrofoam plate (about 9").  Wrap the whole deal in plastic wrap (you may need to overlap two sheets), then place on top of another plate to seal the deal!  Plastic wrap doesn't like to stick to paper or foam plates, so the extra plate keeps your wrapping from blowing away during transport and/or during the sale. 
  • "Variety is the spice of life."   I baked up three batches of each flavor, then packaged muffins in groups of four--some same-flavor, some variety packs.  Guess which ones sold first?

Basic Muffin Recipe  Yields: about 12 jumbo muffins

3 eggs
½ cup oil
6 oz. plain yogurt
¾ cup water
1 box cake mix
1 small box instant pudding mix (not sugar-free)
Mix-ins for desired flavor (see below for variations)

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place paper liners in 12 wells of two jumbo muffin tins.

Mix eggs, oil, and yogurt together in a mixing bowl until blended.  Stir in water (or other liquid, if using).  Sift cake mix and instant pudding mix together, then add to liquid mixture.  Mix on low speed until blended, about 30-45 seconds.  Blend in mix-ins by hand.

Portion batter into prepared muffin tins.  Bake at 375°F for 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 Banana Walnut Muffins
Banana cake mix
 Vanilla pudding mix
Replace water with mashed ripe bananas
Mix-in: 1 cup chopped walnuts

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Blueberry Muffins
White cake mix
Cheesecake pudding mix
Mix-in: 2 cups blueberries 

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Chocolate Chip Muffins
Devil's Food cake mix
Chocolate pudding mix
Mix-in: 1½ cups chocolate chips 

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 Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
(Yields only 11 jumbo muffins)
White cake mix
Lemon pudding mix
Mix-ins: 3 Tbl. poppy seeds AND zest of 1 lemon

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  1. Awesome post! This is really helpful :)

  2. Those look absolutely delicious!

    And I see the other one that says, 'colorful items sell.' I totally agree with you there.

  3. Awesome! I am always looking for new and exciting bake sale ideas :D These look wonderful!

  4. Love these tips. I do wish I had the time and a place for a bake sale though.