Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

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.
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April 16, 2010 Flag
33 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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

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March 6, 20161 found this helpful

These are such great ideas! One day I got crazy & added a whole cup of sour cream AND the best part of a can of coconut frosting to a chocolate cake mix. Baked as usual with the cake ingredients called for, it was awesome. Like german chocolate cake all the way through. Use buttercream icing, store bought or your own if it needs it. (Mine did!)

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April 17, 20160 found this helpful

Oh my Gosh, I never thought of this. I have company coming next week and I'm going to try one of these. Hardest part is deciding which one. I get so many good ideas from this group of people. Love you all!

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October 1, 2010 Flag
9 found this helpful

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

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October 4, 20100 found this helpful

What if the cake is in date do you still use baking powder? Sometime my box cake come out flat! I have really stopped using box cake mix. I just make my cake from scratch now. But, when they have a good sale on box cake mix I will stock up on them.

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November 7, 20100 found this helpful

I always use extra baking powder to boxed cake mix as well as pancake mix, cornbread /muffin mixes. About 1 teaspoonful. And a pinch of baking soda to the cornbread also. No matter what the dates are. GG Vi

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October 26, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

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December 7, 20160 found this helpful

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

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January 22, 2016 Flag

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.

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June 29, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

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August 12, 20100 found this helpful

I buy box of cheap yellow cake mix follow directions on box, then i add butter pats ans chocolate chips, or whatever chocolate on hand, baking chocolate squares, chocolate candy bar or any other baking chips (a real favorite of all)

or you could add nuts and dried cranberries. Good luck and have fun trying these!

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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.

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August 7, 2009 Flag
2 found this helpful

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.

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April 16, 2011 Flag
5 found this helpful

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.

By Fran from St. Mary's County, MD

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April 19, 20110 found this helpful

I guess we all have funny tastes but(my 2 cents worth)I like the idea of white cake (lighter than yellow) and the pudding will do exactly like Ambailey says and use the water too. You can add whatever flavoring you wish to add though, I like a hint of lemon.

Don't be too hard on yourself and if you have doubts for 98 cents in Walmart buy one and bake it just like the one you plan and serve it cut up at church or your family etc. see how you like it. Happy baking! This is how people find something really great, playing with cakes etc.

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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.

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December 11, 2008 Flag

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

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February 2, 20110 found this helpful

I just baked a box of fudge brownies with an expiration date of November 2007 (over 3 years past). I added 1/4 tspoon baking soda for a bit of leavening. They taste and seem fine.

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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.

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December 14, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

By Marie

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January 4, 20150 found this helpful

I've got scratch recipes that use cooking oil and mine are always moist. Don't know how much oil is needed for a box cake though.

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Anonymous Flag
April 9, 20160 found this helpful

1/2 cup mayo or 1cup apple sauce!

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May 18, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

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May 20, 20090 found this helpful

I, too, use applesauce in my cakes. I also use either milk or buttermilk in place of water. Both of these make for moist cakes. I learned the milk part from my mother. She was the best cook ever! And made the BEST Banana Bread ever. No one cam mke is like she did, even though we all have her recipe.

Debbie-Jenn

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May 30, 20090 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.

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May 29, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

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.

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August 14, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

Is there a leeway on expired cake mixes?

By AnnP from HI

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Anonymous Flag
August 16, 20111 found this helpful

The expiration date is actually the 'sell by' date and almost all packaged foods stand up well for a long time after that date. Even canned foods are good for quite a few years after and simply lose some flavor and quality. I've used cake mixes and brownie mixes for up to two years after the date with no problem. I personally think it depends on how the foods are stored. Cool, dark storage definitely helps preserve them longer. OliveOyl's suggestion of adding a bit of baking powder when in doubt is excellent advice.

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August 16, 20111 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

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July 27, 2009 Flag
1 found this helpful

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

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July 29, 20090 found this helpful

Yes, you can use sparkling water, use as you normally would use your soda.

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August 7, 20090 found this helpful

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

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May 20, 2008 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

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