Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

Category Cakes
Cake Mix in Bowl With Wisk
Bake an almost from scratch dessert by starting with a boxed cake mix and adding your own flavors and extra ingredients. This is a guide about improving boxed cake mixes.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 34 found this helpful
April 16, 2010

The convenience of using boxed cake mixes is wonderful, providing you know a few ways to make them even better; either by additions or the way in which you make your cakes.

You will find that if you sift your boxed cake mix first thing, you will get a much fluffier and finer crumb to the cake.

To make a boxed cake taste more "homemade", add 2 Tbsp. of plain all-purpose flour along with an extra egg and 1 Tbsp. of sugar. The cake is a little heavier and more dense than it would have been. You can barely tell it was a boxed cake mix to begin with.

It never hurts to add a Tbsp. of sour cream to any chocolate cake mix. It ends up being so different, although I can't tell you why. Utterly delicious.

Ad

When you use a store-bought container of frosting, you can scoop it all into a bowl, add a Tbsp. of butter, and 6 Tbsp. of powdered sugar, then beat it all really well, to get a much better flavored and more stable frosting. Feel free to add 1/2 tsp. of flavoring such as orange, lemon or almond.

If you're using a chocolate frosting, you might want to add a Tbsp. of Hershey's Cocoa along with a tsp of butter to deepen the flavor of chocolate.

Add a Tbsp. of instant coffee to a Tbsp. of hot water, mix coffee and water, then pour it into chocolate frosting in a bowl, and add 6 Tbsp. of powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. of Hershey's Cocoa to the chocolate frosting to get a rich mocha flavor. You might need an extra Tbsp. of butter to keep it soft enough to spread. Stir it all in first. All canned frosting are not created equal.

I taught Creative Cooking for a Cultural Art Center at one time, and these are the types of things busy women wanted to learn, so we tried some of everything.

Have fun in your kitchen. Teach your children how to cook with pleasure and creativity. It's becoming a dying art.

By pookarina from Boca Raton, FL

Ad
Comment Was this helpful? 34
Read 11 Comments

By 9 found this helpful
October 1, 2010

When using boxed cake mixes, add a half to a level teaspoon of baking powder. Being taught this by my grandmother has been a blessing. We don't always check the date on the box and as the box sits on the shelves, it loses it's strength. I am not a baker and have had cakes come out flat, but after using this method I haven't had any problems.

Please post your findings after using this idea.

By broadway7 from Rumford, RI

Comment Was this helpful? 9
Read 2 Comments

By 2 found this helpful
August 7, 2009

To make a basic cake mix (white) taste delicious, add a teaspoon of flavoring.

My favorite addition is coconut in the batter. Be sure to mix well before baking.

Ad

You can also add 1/3 cup of sour cream to make it more moist.

Adding pecans, dried fruit, etc. will also make it special.

By DesignedByJulie from Mt Pleasant, NC

Comment Was this helpful? 2
Read 1 Comment

January 22, 2016

To add flavor to a chocolate cake mix add a tablespoon of powdered cocoa to your cake mix before blending. Personally I use anywhere from one to two tablespoons of cocoa depending on the flavor of the cake mix. I suggest you start with one then add or subtract from there.

In german chocolate I use 1 tablespoon. I use 1 1/2 when making swiss chocolate cakes. Devil's food, triple chocolate, and chocolate fudge are the cake mixes that transform into a chocolate cake encounter you won't soon forget when 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder are added.

To add even more pizzazz to your cake, stir mini chocolate baking chips into your frosting before spreading onto the cake. You will probably need to microwave it a few seconds. Start with five seconds, stir. If still not creamy enough to blend in the chips add 2 seconds at a time. Be careful. It will turn from frosting to sauce MUCH quicker than you realize.

Ad
Comment Was this helpful? 3

By 1 found this helpful
May 29, 2013

My grandson only likes yellow cake, so I buy a 9 oz. box of yellow Jiffy cake mix. I follow the instructions, plus I add 1 Tbsp. of butter and 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract. It comes out extremely moist and is so delicious.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 0 found this helpful
March 27, 2007

For cake, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Divide batter evenly between two 8 or 9 inch greased and floured cake pans. Bake according to package directions.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 5 found this helpful
April 16, 2011

I am making a wedding cake in June and would like to doctor a Duncan Hines butter golden cake mix to make this cake. It will be a four-layer cake with butter-cream icing. I have made a doctored wedding cake with Betty Crocker cake mix, but Duncan Hines butter is my favorite.

Ad

By Fran from St. Mary's County, MD

Answer Was this helpful? 5
April 19, 20110 found this helpful

My advice would be to stick with what you know in this case. Or else leave yourself time to make the other in case this does not work.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
June 29, 2010

What would you add to the assorted flavours of cake mix to make them taste like homemade? I don't feel confident enough in my ability to follow a cake batter recipe, so tend to rely on cake mixes. I would really prefer to be able to say that I did something to make my cakes my own! Any clever ideas for delicious fillings between the cake layers would be much appreciated too. Thanks very much for the advice.

By AnnahFM from Canada

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 1, 20160 found this helpful

A little vanilla flavoring helps white. Butter Buds helps yellow. Cocoa for any chocolate.

Spread jam instead of frosting in between layers for a special occasion. For a light dessert add food coloring to Cool Whip and use as frosting then decorate with thin slices of real fruit or candy depending on the cake mix flavor.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

December 11, 2008

Can baking powder be added to freshen a cake mix past it's expiration date? During my late husband's bout with cancer, a lot of food items didn't get used since he didn't have an appetite.

Renee from Shreveport, LA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 7, 20110 found this helpful

(submitted via email)

I received an email that has been sent to a long list of people saying that an expired cake mix or pancake mix will almost kill you. I am glad to read on your website that this is not true. If this would happen, the manufacturer would have to state such on the labels.

Sarah B.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
May 18, 2009

I need a recipe to make a moist yellow and chocolate cake, or cupcake. My last cake was so dry, and it was made from scratch. I was told to use sour cream to substitute for oil, I don't know how much? Also, Duncan Hines would be the best bet, but I would like to add extra cake flour to the batter to spread it out. Has anybody heard this before, if so how much can be added along with the sour cream? Please help.

Thank you.

By a219170 from New Jersey

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 30, 20091 found this helpful

I don't know about substitutions but this is a great moist cake. Very easy too. All my cake mixes went out of date when I learned this one :)

Wacky Cake

3 cups flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1 teas. salt

3/4 cup oil

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

2 teas. baking soda

2 tbls. vinegar

1 teas. vanilla

Mix all and bake at 350 degrees

35 min. in greased 9x13 pan

18 min in cupcake papers

Very moist, chocolately cake.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Read More Answers

By 1 found this helpful
July 27, 2009

I am going to be making a diet cake (or maybe you call it soda cake) soon. I want to know if instead of the can of soda, if I can use 12oz. of sparkling water? It is flavored, carbonated water, so pretty much like diet coke. Would this turn out the same? For those of you who don't know, you just mix a can of soda with a box of cake mix and bake. It's delicious.

By becca25 from NY

Answer Was this helpful? 1
August 7, 20090 found this helpful

I learned to bake from making mistakes....lol

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
August 14, 2011

Is there a leeway on expired cake mixes?

By AnnP from HI

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 16, 20112 found this helpful

2 teaspoons of baking powder is what I add to expired cake mixes. I have had good luck with the three major brands 2-3 years (I sometime freeze them for a year) after their expiration date.

I also put cornmeal and flour and baking mixes in the freezer for storage.

I have 25-30 year old letters from at least three national companies saying canned goods are safe to eat as much as 5 years after purchase. Even after their expiration date.Nutritional value and color may have changed, but still safe to eat. GG Vi

Reply Was this helpful? 2
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2008

How can I make a white cake mix into a chocolate cake?

Trish from CT

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
May 21, 20080 found this helpful

Try using a 3 oz. box of dry chocolate (not devils food) instant pudding mix to your batter. That works for me.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

December 14, 20140 found this helpful

What can I put in my box cake mix to make it more moist?

By Marie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
April 9, 20161 found this helpful

1/2 cup mayo or 1cup apple sauce!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Read More Answers

By 0 found this helpful
October 26, 2016

Instead of all purpose, can you add cake flour to boxed cake mix?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 7, 20160 found this helpful

Add a small box of instant pudding mix. You can also add 2 teaspoons of baking powder.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

November 22, 20120 found this helpful

I want to have a moist Pillsbury supreme strawberry cake. What should I do to make the cake moist?

By Renarda

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 24, 20130 found this helpful

Substitute the water/milk (whichever your recipe calls for with a strawberry puree comes out amazing everytime. Another one i absolutely enjoyed was made with a strawberry instant jello. half a pack of the instant jello was mixed with the amount of liquid required (water) and mixed into the cake and after coming out the oven the other half of the jello mix was added with some more water. Holes were poked all over the cake and the jello mixture was poured over the top slowly making sure it was getting completely absorbed. This was followed by adding a layer of sliced strawberries and a cream cheese whippred cream heaven of a frosting. Its an 8oz thing of cream cheese brought to room temperature and whipped the bejeezus out of (make sure you clean down your sides to get it all whipped).

Slowly and I really do mean slowly, otherwise you'll end up with clumps. Add 1/4 cup at a time of a normal size (ya know the regular size not the huge one but the normal size thats like $1.50) coolwhip (or preprepared whip cream (this I think adds too much richness to a light cake) after all of thats incorporated add 2-4 cups of confectioners sugar. (I prefer 2 cups, my mother however has the sweetest tooth and prefers 4 cups which tends to yeild less of a cream cheese flavor.)

After all this is incorporated add the frosting to the cake and let your mouth do the talking! The cake turns out so very moist its almost rediculous and the frosting adds such a fluffyness to the cake that words cannot describe. Hope this helps you!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

August 17, 20120 found this helpful

If you bake an old cake mix (April '08) will it taste okay and not make anyone sick? Please advise.

By Beth from Dayton, OH

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 17, 20121 found this helpful

I have never had any problems with outdated cake mixes. You could call your county home extension agent or whatever they are called where you live. This person will have a home economics degree and should know more about that than I do. I have never had a cake mix that old, but I have had outdated ones.

Reply Was this helpful? 1

February 17, 20130 found this helpful

I am using a white cake mix, can I substitute lemon juice for the water to make it a lemon cake?

By Kathy

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 16, 20111 found this helpful

When making a cake from a mix, place mix in bowl, add the water, mix it up, oil, mix it up and mix after each egg, then scrap the sides and beat for 2 minutes, your cake will be bigger and lighter!

I also scoop out the bought icing, beat it for about 1 minutes, there is more icing and it tastes like homemade.

By Jackie from Aurora, CO

Comment Was this helpful? 1

September 27, 20100 found this helpful

I hope someone can help me. I read somewhere online that you can make a box cake really good by adding extra things to it. It had 3 or 4 more ingredients than what the box cake calls for. I think one was an extra egg and a box of pudding, but I can't remember what else. I don't know if it was baking powder or soda does anyone have this recipe? Thanks for your help.

By Vicky

Answers:

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

Whenever you're looking for information, use the "Find" link at the top of this website.

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf45627237.tip.html (09/02/2010)

By MCW

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

Quite honestly, if you are going to add an extra 3 or 4 ingredients to a boxed cake mix, it would be more economical and easier to just make the cake from scratch! (09/04/2010)

By cett

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

I simply use a yellow cake mix, ignore the instructions and add 3 ripe long bananas (or 4 if they are short) 2 eggs, 1 tsp. of baking soda, 1 cup of water and bake at 350 degrees F for about 32-35 minutes. Much lower in fat but tastes GREAT. You can even use just Cool Whip for frosting, it is so moist.

Another option is to take a spice cake or a chocolate cake and simply add a can of regular (not pie filling) pumpkin, nothing else. The batter will be rather thick but the cake is wonderful. Bake at 350 degrees F and use Cool Whip for frosting, if you like. Hope this helps. (09/04/2010)

By newlifeat49

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

Making a cake from scratch is not that hard. All that is in a box mix is the flour, baking powder, sugar and oil plus a whole lot of preservatives that you don't need in your body. Get a good cake recipe that is simple to start. Recipes.com has every recipe you will ever need. Make the cake and you will see it isn't much different than making the mix. (09/04/2010)

By Ann Parker

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

Actually, what you mention about adding an extra egg and a box of pudding (instant) sounds much like a recipe I use for an easy version of pound cake. You take the box mix and add: 4 eggs, 1 small box of instant pudding, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil. Beat it all together, pour into greased and floured bundt pan, bake 40 minutes at a 350 degree F oven. Cool and turn out on rack as any other cake in bundt pan. Its very moist and the pudding adds a smoothness to the texture. I usually match the pudding flavor to the cake flavor but not always. Lemon cake with banana pudding is very good. Make sure it's the instant kind of pudding. The other measurements are close but not exact to those on the box, so ignore those. Enjoy! (09/04/2010)

By marinewife5

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

3 eggs, 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil such as canola. Then any other mix ins you would like. (09/04/2010)

By fresca03

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

From an old posting I submitted some time ago...

"To make a boxed cake taste more "homemade", add 2 Tbsp. of plain all-purpose flour along with an extra egg and 1 Tbsp. of sugar. The cake is a little heavier and more dense than it would have been. You can barely tell it was a boxed cake mix to begin with. (I would not add the sugar if I were making a cake today. The cake mixes all taste too sweet to me now, but that could just be my "taster". I would also make that 2 HEAPING Tbsp of AP Flour)

It never hurts to add a Tbsp. of sour cream to any chocolate cake mix. It ends up being so different, although I can't tell you why. Utterly delicious.

When you use a store-bought container of frosting, you can scoop it all into a bowl, add a Tbsp. of butter, and 6 Tbsp. of powdered sugar, then beat it all really well, to get a much better flavored and more stable frosting. Feel free to add 1/2 tsp. of flavoring such as orange, lemon or almond.

If you're using a chocolate frosting, you might want to add a Tbsp. of Hershey's Cocoa along with a tsp of butter to deepen the flavor of chocolate.

Add a Tbsp. of instant coffee to a Tbsp. of hot water, mix coffee and water, then pour it into chocolate frosting in a bowl, and add 6 Tbsp. of powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. of Hershey's Cocoa to the chocolate frosting to get a rich mocha flavor. You might need an extra Tbsp. of butter to keep it soft enough to spread. Stir it all in first. All canned frosting are not created equal. "

Today, I would add to those suggestions:

Add 1 mashed up ripe banana or 1/3 cup applesauce to a yellow cake mix. This just adds a bit more moisture as well as flavor.

Hope this helps. Good Luck. Never be afraid to try your own ideas in the kitchen.

(09/04/2010)

By PookaRina

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

I often buy a box of white cake mix and substitute juice for the liquid if I am making a flavored cake. For example, if I want to make a strawberry cake, I add strawberry juice. I also add about 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries. You can do this with most any fruit. I also use juice as the liquid in the icing. I've had no complaints, and I have given these cakes to others, and they all want my simple recipe. (09/05/2010)

By Stngray

Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

A friend just gave me this low fat recipe which is great!

Mix the box of cake mix with the applesauce and mandarin oranges that have been blended. Juice and all. Pour into greased 9x13 Bake at 350 degrees F until done and let cool. For the frosting, mix the cool whip and vanilla pudding together then add the crushed pineapple, again juice and all. Spread on cooled cake. (09/09/2010)

By turtlechell

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 3, 20090 found this helpful

When making a cake mix cake, I use milk instead of water. I measure the required milk in a 2 cup mixing cup. Then I add the correct amount of oil and eggs. I beat the cake mix to get the lumps out and then gradually add what is in the 2 cup measuring cup.

Once it is blended well, I scrape the bowl and then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. I then pour the batter in a prepared 9x13 inch pan and bake it a 300 degrees F for about 45 minutes. Baking it with a lower heat makes the cake rise more evenly and keeps the cake from having narrow edges and a high center of the cake.

People that eat my cakes can't believe I used a cake mix. They say it tastes like a "scratch" cake.

By Sue from Chester, SC

Answers:

Making Cake Mixes Taste "From Scratch"

I quit using cake mixes and now make all my own cakes. Home made cakes don't contain all the chemicals that you find in a cake mix. (04/16/2009)

By MCW

Making Cake Mixes Taste "From Scratch"

Good idea! I found that following the beat for 2 minutes directions helped.

Also, straight from my a chef's mouth, use a tsp of vanilla, it helps cut down on the cloying sweetness from boxed cakes, any flavor.

And I realize that from scratch cakes are good, but you can find box mixes on sale for less than a dollar a LOT of the time, the ingredients to make from scratch, cost way more than that! (04/16/2009)

By michawnpita

Making Cake Mixes Taste "From Scratch"

Thanks for the great tip! I love making from scratch cakes but they can be very time consuming. The lower heat setting will help a lot also. (04/19/2009)

By Chevygirl

Making Cake Mixes Taste "From Scratch"

For goodness sake, just make your cakes from scratch - far better for you with no preservatives! (04/20/2009)

By Kings Kid

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

April 16, 20090 found this helpful

To make cake mixes taste like cakes made "from scratch". I have found that these tips work especially well with Duncan Hines cake mixes.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...
Related Content
Categories
Food and Recipes Recipes Baking & Desserts CakesApril 20, 2012
Guides
Brownies
Improving Boxed Brownie Mixes
Making a boxed cake mix.
Baking a Cake With Boxed Cake Mix
Convenience Mix
All-Purpose Convenience Mix Recipes
Boxed Rice Meal with Chicken
Saving Money on Boxed Rice Meals
More
😎
Summer Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/07/20 14:54:22 in 3 secs.
Loading Something Awesome!