This recipe and review will not win me any Mountain Dew endorsements. Not because the cupcakes weren’t delicious, because they were. But because of my very strong opinions on Mountain Dew in and of itself. Mountain Dew, as you may or may not know, is the beverage of choice for white trash from coast to coast. Now, here in the Midwest I like to think we have a special breed of white trash with it’s own special customs and tastes. We like to make homemade food out of food products manufactured in plants and made mostly of delicious chemicals. Then we bring this “food” to cook outs and family functions and pretend it was made with a recipe instead of developed by people in lab coats and then perfected by people who wear baseball caps to weddings.

For instance, 7 Up Jello. It’s Jello – which isn’t food – and 7 Up which, until recently, was also not made of actual food substances. Yet combined, it somehow forms a “recipe” and therefore, qualifies for human consumption.

Let’s stick with Jello for a moment, because it really lends itself to some of the more wonderful white trash food I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime. Tony’s family has been so bold as to add cole slaw to it, taking it from a wiggly sweet to a wiggly savory. My own family is far from white trash, but I would definitely qualify us as some Whitey Whitersons. We’ve been known to layer Jello up to seven times, and even to add marshmallows and fruit to it and calling it a “salad.” One of my cousins once told me Snickers salad was the only kind of salad he’d eat. He’s since gone back on that promise and lost about 100 lbs. Still, it’s one of my favorite quotes of all time. Salads suck.

So, in the tradition of my non-trailer park but still good old Midwestern roots, I made these cupcakes – and I topped them with an array of cockroaches, metal band pins and monster rings. You know, to fancy them up.

To make these you’ll need:

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 10 fluid ounces Mountain Dew ™
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Then you:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs and citrus soda. Mix until all ingredients are moistened.
  3. Pour batter into lined pans, filling about 2/3 full. Don’t overfill if you have extra batter, these will spread and flatten if overfilled. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and/or top springs back when lightly touched.
  4. Allow to cool on a wire rack, prepare the topping.

For the topping you’ll:

  1. Combine pineapple (with juice), sugar and corn starch in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until thick.
  2. Remove from heat. Add butter and coconut. Spread topping evenly over cakes.

Finally, bring them to your friend’s house and have a good old laugh about Mountain Dew, Jello and Sylvester Stallone movies. And don’t forget your roots.