[caption id=“attachment_7421” align=“aligncenter” width=“500”] Soldiers at the Pat Tillman Memorial Center in Bagram, Afghanistan, enjoy field-expedient Soda Cupcakes during the USO birthday celebration in February, 2012.[/caption]
Cupcakes have become the Hollywood starlet of sugary snacks.
From “D.C. Cupcake,” to “Cupcake Wars,” to the scores of mom-and-pop shops springing up on every hipster city block, there’s no question cupcakes have put the “in” in “binge.”
If it’s hip and it’s Hollywood, you know the USO has to get our fingers in it.
On Sunday, July 1, Food Network’s reality program “Cupcake Wars” will be “Saluting the USO” at 8 p.m. EST as competitors battle for sweet supremacy with a shot at having their confections featured during last October’s USO Gala in Washington, D.C.
And in the spirit of competition, we at USO Arlington found a way to have a little cupcake war of our own.
While supporting the men and women of the U.S. Military, there’s often little time and few supplies with which to make a batch of cupcakes at our USO Centers. So what do we do? We adapt, overcome and improvise, of course! We find ways to bake field expedient cupcakes!
Cathe Ganley—Duty Manager at USO Bagram—developed a method for making cupcakes in the microwave with only cake mix and a soda. Now that’s creative!
Other USO Centers stateside have developed a microwavable method of their own using classic ingredients like flour, eggs, milk, and sugar.
Yesterday we pit the two recipes against each other in a Field-Expedient Cupcake Battle Royale.
Who was the winner? I’m not telling.
Instead, I’m going to give you the directions and ingredients to make both cakes in your own microwave and let you be the judge. Invite some friends over to watch “Cupcake Wars” Sunday night and whip these quick snacks together to feed your guests. Then tell us what you think!
After they beg you for the recipe, you can let them know they are eating battle-tested 5-minute recipes enjoyed every day by the men and women protecting their freedom.
1 Box of “Yellow” Cake Mix 1 Can of Sprite** 10 ten-ounce paper cups (or Dixie Cups)
**Substitute root beer for Sprite when making chocolate cupcakes.
Directions: In a large bowl, mix entire box of cake mix with the full can of Sprite. Fill 10 oz cups 1/3 of the way full with batter, then microwave three at a time for three minutes. Adjust cooking time and batter consistency as necessary to compensate for altitude.
1 Coffee Mug 4 Tbs Flour 4 Tbs Sugar 2 Tbs Cocoa 1 Egg 3 Tbs Milk 3 Tbs Oil 3 Tbs Chocolate Chips Splash of Vanilla Extract
Directions: Mix dry ingredients well in coffee mug then stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well then microwave on high for three minutes. Don’t be alarmed. The cake will rise at least two inches over the top of the mug while cooking. As soon as it is done, however, it will retract back inside the mug. – By Joseph Andrew Lee, USO Staff Writer
More from the USO
Dec 14, 2017
Prosthetists Provide Amputees a Helping Hand – and Foot – On Their Road to Recovery
More than 1,500 American troops have lost a limb since 2001, in Afghanistan or Iraq or other deployments around the world. Walter Reed — first at the old campus in Washington, D.C., and now at the new facility in Bethesda — is where they take their first steps toward a new reality.
Dec 13, 2017
Delivering a USO Care Package in 360°
What does it take to get a USO Care Package into the hands of deployed service members? The answer is a lot of time and a lot of hard work by USO volunteers and staff. Watch the video to follow a USO Care Package along its journey to troops overseas.