How to Make a Box Cake Mix Taste Homemade

Have you ever wondered how to make a box cake mix taste homemade? I have 12 tricks that will take a simple box cake mix and turn it into a delicious cake that tastes homemade. Cake mix recipes included!

No matter how long you’ve followed this blog, even if it’s only been a little while, you know I like easy and quick.

Simple is best.

I don’t usually bother with projects that involve a lot of steps. This applies to recipes as well. My desserts use basic pantry ingredients, and almost all of them are simple to make. One of my favorite ways to bake a cake is to take the semi-homemade approach. How to make a box cake mix taste homemade is easy, and there are so many different ways. That’s what I’m sharing today, along with some easy cake mix recipes. I put together twelve tips…ten box cake mix hacks, and then two bonus tips that I had to throw in. 

how to make a box cake mix taste homemade pin 2021

How to Make a Box Cake Mix Taste Homemade

Add an extra egg: Adding an extra egg will help hold the ingredients together. Some cakes have more air than others and the extra egg adds denseness…and therefore the cake is more moist. 

Substitute milk for the water: Using milk instead of water makes for a richer taste. It also thickens the batter just a bit which results in a moister cake. 

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla: Vanilla is an ingredient that can be added to all baked goods with amazing results. My best tip is to buy good quality, pure vanilla extract…or even better, make your own. Just combine vanilla beans and vodka, let set for a few months and you will have the best vanilla ever!

Substitute melted butter for the oil: Substituting butter for the oil works miracles and makes the cake taste like it was made from scratch. Make sure to double the amount. For example, if your cake mix calls for 1/3 cup oil, use 2/3 cups melted butter. 

Substitute applesauce for the oil: Substituting applesauce (equal amounts) for the oil will drastically cut down on the fat and calories. Although I wouldn’t consider cake a healthy food, using applesauce instead of oil or butter is a good way to make cake less of a splurge!

Use one can of coconut milk as a substitute for ALL listed ingredients: To make a gluten-free/vegan cake, just use a gluten-free cake mix and substitute one 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk for all other ingredients. Bake according to package directions. 

Use one can of diet soda as a substitute for ALL listed ingredients: To make a very low calorie, low fat cake, all you do is combine any SUGAR FREE cake mix with one 12 oz. can of diet soda. Make sure to beat it on medium speed for the designated time…it’s usually two minutes. This will make a 9 x 13 sheet cake. Divided into ten pieces, each piece calculates out to 130 calories or about 4 Weight Watchers points.

box cake mix batter in bowl 2021

Add lemon zest: Lemon zest brightens the taste of just about anything. My favorite hack is to add a heaping tablespoon of lemon zest and a tablespoon of lemon juice to a white cake mix. (Pictured below in this post.) I serve it topped with Cool Whip and extra lemon zest. Yum!

Add a box of instant pudding: Adding a 3.4 oz box of instant pudding to any box cake mix will add extra moisture and give it a denser texture. 

Bonus idea from a reader:

  • Any flavored cake mix (other than white cake, angel food cake or pound cake)
  • Add 4 eggs – regardless of what it says on the box
  • Add 1 cup of buttermilk – replacing liquid amount on the box
  • Add oil – the exact amount on the box
  • Mix all together until we’ll blended. Bake per instructions on box.

Easy Cake Mix Recipes

Make Cookies!

Turn a box cake mix into a batch of cookies in no time! All you have to do is combine 

  • cake mix
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 2 eggs

Mix ingredients until well combined. Drop rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes.  
The sky is the limit so feel free to add other ingredients. Some ideas are:

  • Chocolate cake mix, butter, eggs, 1 cup chocolate chips:  make 1 inch balls and roll in powdered sugar before baking.
  • Yellow cake mix, butter, eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup oven roasted nuts: walnuts, pecans or almonds.
  • Lemon cake mix, butter, eggs, zest of one lemon. Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze after cookies cool. 

Bonus Tips!

  • When you take your cake out of the oven, let it cool for about five minutes…then cover it loosely with a piece of wax paper. This will keep in the moisture and the cake will melt in your mouth!
  • Mix a can of store bought frosting with half of an 8 oz. container of whipped topping. It will be light, fluffy and super easy to spread. 
  • If you have any cake mix recipes of your own, please share in the comments!

pieces of cake on blue plates 2021

If you are dieting, counting calories, or simply watching what you eat, try the “can of pop” recipe mentioned above. It has literally saved me many times when I’ve been on a diet!

Thank you for stopping by…I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it. I’m in a bit of a slump where pageviews are concerned, so I don’t take your visit here for granted. I am grateful for every single one of you!

Visit my Amazon.com shop to see all my favorite baking items!