Filled cupcakes are probably my favorite kind of cupcake. Whether they’re Devil’s Food filled with vanilla cream, Red Velvet filled with cream cheese or Lemon Cupcakes filled with homemade lemon curd, I like them all because the filling adds more moisture and more flavor to a cupcake. I often make my own filled cupcakes, using an easy method where a small portion of the cake is cut out and replaced with filling. This method can be used with homemade cupcakes, store bought cupcakes or cake mix cupcakes. When I saw a product called FUN da-Middles from Betty Crocker on the cake mix aisle at my local market, I assumed that it was a cupcake mix that came with instructions for hollowing out and filling the cupcakes in much the same way I do. It turned out that these cake mixes included a filling that you add to the cake before baking, but still ends up forming a fluffy center.
I was intrigued and wanted to see if the Fun da-Middles actually worked, so I picked up a box of chocolate cupcakes with vanilla cream filling to give them a try.
The cake mix was a standard cake mix, with oil, eggs and water added to it, and was divided into muffin cups to fill them part way. The creamy filling came in a separate packet, and a blob a bit smaller than a tablespoon was squeezed into each of the muffin cups, then covered with the remaining cake batter. The cupcakes went into the oven and – to my surprised – came out with a soft, slightly gooey marshmallow center! The filling didn’t overcook, become too runny or migrate towards the edges of the cake.
I liked the marshmallow consistency of the filling in the finished cupcake. Before it was baked, it was a very thick but marshmallow-like paste. After baking, the consistency was like a soft marshmallow fluff. Marshmallows and marshmallow fluff typically don’t hold up well to baking, and will start to dissolve into the cake batter around them. The fact that these work makes me want to play with the concept some more at home. That said, the cake mix itself had very little flavor and the cupcakes were pretty bland overall, despite the creamy filling. The mix works and is worth picking up if you’re looking for a quick cake mix treat, but otherwise I’d still stick to homemade cupcakes with the homemade filling method.