Better Cake Mix Tips

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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.

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

April 16, 20100 found this helpful

I have never made a box mix that I didnt mess with it, lol. I love adding this and that to make it better. My favorite is strawberry. I cut up my strawberries and add sugar so I get the liquid and use that liquid in place of water in the cake. I also add some of the strawberries. I add some of the strawberry juice to cream cheese frosting before I frost my cake. Carrot cake I add a small can of smashed up carrots, pineapple juice instead of water. Chocolate cake I always use milk instead of water.

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April 16, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you.

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April 17, 20100 found this helpful

Don't you just love this site, every one is so great about sharing their secrets! Thanks all.

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April 17, 20100 found this helpful

I couldn't agree with you all more. Thanks for the great tips.

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April 18, 20100 found this helpful

Now, this is the sort of information I wanted to find and this is really the only newsletter that gives it to us as well as allowing us to share what we have learned with others.

I do so enjoy using cake mixes for the convenience but we do not like any cake made using "just the cake mix". I can't wait to try some of these tips, and it makes me want to try some of my own ideas that I've been hesitant to do before.

Thanks to the Pookarina (cute name). Lee

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April 18, 20100 found this helpful

I would like to know if I can add cooked (quick-cooking) oatmeal to a yellow cake mix and what else would or should I add to make it into that cake the Amish people make that is so good. I saw a lady named Martha (something, not Stewart) make one years ago on TV and wrote down her recipe. We made if from scratch several times and loved it. I have lost the recipe in my travels but I think it could be made using a boxed cake mix.

Thanks for any help you can offer. Songwriter

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April 18, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Micksgirl,

I'm happy to see your idea using the strawberries in a cake mix. Strawberry (anything) is my DIL's favorite, and she is such a picky eater that I will try anything to get her interested. I've never tried using strawberries.

I will often use the Jr. Baby Food jars of carrots in yellow cake mix along with crushed pineapple and chopped walnuts to get a very nice facsimile of carrot cake flavor. Like you, I add the juice from the pineapple instead of water too.

One day when you're making your chocolate cake, try chopping up a half of one of those small jars of maraschino cherries, (very fine chop) to get an almost authentic Black Forest Cake Flavor. Substitute some of the cherry juice for part of the water or milk as well. Yum!

Thanks again for sharing your ideas with us too. Julia

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April 19, 20100 found this helpful

I have a friend who makes cookies using cake mix. She is not the type of person who likes to give out her secrets. Is there a special recipe for cookies using cake mix, please? Thank you, MisMachado

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April 24, 20100 found this helpful

To the Songwriter,

I've not tried adding pre-cooked oatmeal to a cake mix yet, but I'm thinking there's no reason for it not to work. I might add 2 cups of the cooked oatmeal and 1/2 cup applesauce (instead of more shortening), but I'd also add 2-3 TBS of brown sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon along with an extra egg.

Your cake is going to be a lot heavier than just the regular boxed cake would be, and it'll be moist, and more dense as well. If I were making it, I'd just have to add raisins. :-). It should bake very nicely in a greased and floured 9"x13" pan.

If or when you try this, do let us know how it turns out. It sounds good. Julia in 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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