So it was my little brother’s high school graduation this weekend!
It was a gorgeous ceremony. Picture happy students eagerly waiting for their hard-earned diplomas…proud parents snapping pictures and taking videos… a beautiful school choir singing songs of encouragement and good luck….
The power goes out. Halfway through distributing the diplomas. Pitch black.
Best graduation EVER!
I swear it was like a rave. Only better. It was almost instantaneous; as soon as the power went out, everyone in the gym started flashing their cameras excitedly trying to snap pics of the chaos. It was like everyone had their own personal strobe light. I was just waiting for the bad techno to blast through the speakers and for someone to whip out the glow sticks.
And it gets better, it wasn’t just a blip of a shortage, an entire line had gone down a few streets down… meaning we wouldn’t have power for hours. So the principal (who was my principal too! awesome guy!) whips out a mega phone and announces that the only choice we have is to finish the ceremony by flashlight… and quick. Because the battery operated emergency lights aren’t going to last much longer.
But it all honestly worked out so well! The kids are all great kids and cooperated with the chaos and had the best time laughing and tripping into line in the dark gym, waiting to grab their diplomas. Its definitely a graduation they’ll never forget :) Congrats little bro!!! I’m so proud of you!!
So in honor of his graduation I baked him a Vegan Strawberry Cake!
….And it was disgusting. Worst cake ever. I”m the first to push my so-so recipes onto my family and even I couldn’t push this one. If you look at his face you can already tell he’s not feeling it…
Here’s my little bro pretending he’s enjoying himself….such a smart kid to pretend like he likes my food :)
So to make up for my gooey vegetable concoction I made him his favorite dessert! Portillo’s Chocolate Cake, only as cupcakes! Portillo’s is a Chicago-based chain restaurant that serves up the best Chicago-style food- think Italian beef, hotdogs, chopped salads…
If you’re not from Chicago and you’ve never had a slice of Portillo’s cake you need to immediately book the next flight out, because you have no idea what you’re missing. It’s like when I had never heard of Nutella, and then as soon I had it for the first time I didn’t know how I had managed to breathe without it??
Now, lovely readers, please do not judge this recipe. This cake is not for the gourmet. If you want an elegant, fine chocolate, whipped frosting, 3 hours in the kitchen kind of cake… you will like this even better.
It is cake mix mixed with mayonnaise, water, and eggs, and topped in store bought frosting. Disgusting. I know. But soooo disgustingly good. And I swear to you this is the real Portillo’s recipe (or at least the best I could find on google). They use boxed cake mix?? And canned frosting?? I was horrified the first time I heard, but I love their cake so much I’ve been able to look past the betty crocker and chemical reactions on the back of the frosting can.
Also, I know my blog is mainly about healthy and whole ingredients but for special occasions even I like to make exceptions, especially for my little bro :) There’s a certain comfort in eating one of our favorite treats growing up, so I thought it was only fitting to recreate it on his graduation day!
And for all you Chicagoans out there you know what I mean!
Enjoy! (and then eat a carrot… there is no nutritional value to this recipe… :)
Portillo’s Chocolate Cupcakes
Yields 24 cupcakes
- 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Butter Recipe Cake Mix (I used Devil’s Food because thats all they had the grocery store)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup Hellman’s Mayonaise
- 1 container Betty Crocker Chocolate Frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffins tins with cupcake liners.
- Combine cake mix, eggs, water, and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes until fluffy.
- Divide batter evenly between 24 cups, filling about 2/3 of the way.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Frost with frosting.
Love you baby bro! Michigan’s lucky to have you!!