Box Cake Mix Recipes + Tips
Box cake mix recipes are the best of both worlds…convenient and quick, yet amazingly delicious. It’s easy too, and all you need are simple pantry ingredients and a cake mix!
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.
After all, 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. So if you have birthdays to celebrate, or just want an easy dessert, you are in the right place!
Which cake mix is the best?
The brands that are most popular and readily available are Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and King Arthur. Of these, my favorite is Betty Crocker…but they are all good, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
How to Make a Box Cake Mix Taste Homemade
Turning a cake mix into a dessert that tastes 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 a collection of cake mix hacks, and then some bonus tips that I had to throw in.
ADD LEMON ZEST
Citrus brightens the taste of just about anything you’re cooking. My favorite hack is to add a heaping tablespoon of lemon zest and a tablespoon of lemon juice to a white cake mix. (Pictured in the two images above.) I serve it topped with Cool Whip, and extra lemon zest. Orange zest and orange juice is delicious too!
ADD AN EXTRA EGG
Adding an extra egg will help hold the cake batter 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 flavor. It also thickens the batter, which results in a moister cake.
ADD ONE 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 in a bottle or jar, let it 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! (Make sure to use ample cooking spray on your pan beause the fat content is much less without the oil.)
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. Once the two ingredients are in the bowl, beat the mixture on medium speed for the designated time…it’s usually two minutes. This will make a 9 x 13 sheet cake, or a layer cake. Divided into ten pieces, each piece calculates out to 130 calories, or about 4 Weight Watchers points.
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.
- Use any flavored cake mix (other than white cake, angel food cake or pound cake.) Spice cake and Funfetti cake are especially good.
- 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.
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 large 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 for these sweet treats, 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.
- When you take your cake out of the oven, let it cool for about five minutes…then cover the baking dish 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!
Tip for Dieters
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!
MY FAVORITE THINGS
Must Have Kitchen Supplies
Includes all the items in my kitchen I could not live without! Plus tools, appliances, serving pieces, and other fun stuff!