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College gal cooking: “Despicable Me” birthday cupcakes

(NICOLE BANSEN / THE STATESMAN)
“Despicable Me” Minion cupcakes are a perfect birthday treat and easy to make for any celebration. (NICOLE BANSEN / THE STATESMAN)

Celebrating a friend’s birthday on a college campus can often be difficult. Sure you can buy that person a gift and decorate their room with whatever, but when it comes to a cake, if you do not make it yourself, you are out of luck. It’s not like you can just go to one of the on-campus dining centers to pick up a cake. And when it comes to buying cakes off campus, most of the time they are pretty expensive. It can also be a little daunting if you are entertaining a small crowd with one big cake. That’s why, for my friend’s recent birthday, I made him “Despicable Me”-themed Minion cupcakes. Cupcakes bake relatively quickly and are easier to split up among friends. This recipe is super easy and super cute, especially if you’re a fan of the movie, “Despicable Me.”
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Ingredients

–    1 box of cupcake mix

–    12 Twinkies

–    1 small tube of black writing icing

–    1 container of blue icing

–    1 pack of edible candy eyes

–    1 cup of water

–    1/3 cup of oil

–    2 eggs

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Take a paper towel and dab it with olive oil. Then run the paper towel on the inside of the cupcake tin. Place a baking cup in each slot in your tin. Next get a large bowl and add your cupcake mix together with the two eggs, the cup of water and the olive oil. Blend together all the ingredients until the mix is moistened. If you do not have a mixer, you can stir the ingredients together, but it might take a while to make sure all the cake mix is wet. When you finish blending, pour the mix into each slot, making sure to fill it up to the top of each baking cup. Be sure not to go over or it might be difficult removing the cupcakes when they finish baking. Once that is done, and the oven is at 350, place the baking tray into the oven and let bake for 18 to 22 minutes. A good way to check if your cupcakes are done is by sticking a toothpick into each of them and pulling it out. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcakes are good. But if there is still some wet batter attached to the toothpick, you need to continue to let them bake. Once the cupcakes are done, wait until they fully cool before decorating. Next, take your frosting and completely remove the foil that is under the lid. Then, put it into a microwave for about 10 seconds. This makes spreading the frosting much easier. Take a butter knife and generously cover the cupcakes. When that is done, clean the knife and begin cutting Twinkies in half. Place the Twinkies atop the centers of the cupcakes and make sure they’re firmly in place. When that’s done, carefully use the black frosting to get the candy eyes to stick to the centers of the Twinkies. You can then use the frosting to give whatever facial expressions you’d like to the minions. And just like that, you’re done. This recipe serves 12.

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