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Improving Boxed Cake Mixes

Category Cakes
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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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.

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.

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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 Julia from Boca Raton, FL

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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.

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Please post your findings after using this idea.

By Edith Crump from Rumford, RI

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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By Fran from St. Mary's County, MD

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April 18, 20110 found this helpful

If it was me I wouldn't bother to doctor it. It tastes ok as is, most people don't even eat the cake at a wedding, and no one expects it to be that tasty, so I wouldn't bother, especially if you're making homemade frosting.

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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.

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By Hanna Miller from Canada

Answers

June 29, 20100 found this helpful

There are suggestions on this website:

http://www.ehow  emade-taste.html

I received an email not so long ago about cake mixes, pancake mixes, brownie mixes, & Bisquick. It was a true story about a teenage boy who ate some pancakes from a mix that his mother made him for breakfast. After her son left for high school, she met up with a friend and went to a gym together. She normally doesn't take her cell phone with her to the gym, but decided to take it with her that day. She received an emergency call from her son and he told his mother that he couldn't breathe. He had to be rushed to a hospital for medical treatment. He's very lucky to be alive.

So much for packaged mixes.

Homemade cakes are very simple to make. I don't buy any mixes, make everything from scratch. Just read the ingredient label on a cake mix. I don't want to ingest all of those chemicals, or take a chance and get food poisoning.

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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

Answers

December 12, 20080 found this helpful

How old is it? I have used them past the date before and they were fine. It is all dry ingredents so that is in your favor. I would probably try to use as it is.

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By L (Guest Post)
December 12, 20080 found this helpful

So sorry to hear about your husband. I hope you are doing all right. Check to see if the mix has any type of milk product or a product that can spoil. If it does, then throw it out. It's not risk getting sick since certain foods can become rancid. Best to you and be well.

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By Sharon (Guest Post)
December 12, 20080 found this helpful

I've been guilty of letting cake mixes stay in my pantry too long and have always had good results by adding a little baking powder or baking soda, depending on which ingredient is listed on the box. If the box is out of date by only a few months, I don't add anything. If it's out of date by a year, I add the baking powder or soda. Once when I did this to an out-of-date angel food cake mix, it ended up being the highest cake I've ever baked--and it tasted fine.

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December 12, 20080 found this helpful

I would try it also with just the cake, and so sorry to hear about your husband. I lost mine nearly 2 yrs ago with cancer also, and lots of food left but it won't hurt to try it alone. If it doesn't work then you know. Also you could call the cake manufacturer.

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By Renee (Guest Post)
December 12, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks, it has been hard, he was only 51. I called the manufacturer and they said it might not rise, so I thought maybe add baking powder? They said there was no danger in eating them, but they don't recommend using them past the expiration date. This one is 18 mos. past expiration. I have thrown them out before, but everything has gone up and I'm trying to make my dollars stretch.

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December 13, 20080 found this helpful

I have never had any problem using out of date mixes. A little baking powder will not hurt. I am glad it's not only me that does this.

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December 13, 20080 found this helpful

Please don't take the chance. I used to think it was safe to use after the expiration date also; but, then I read a news article about a lady who poisoned her family using a cake mix that was past the expiration date. The flour itself had gone bad (but, it didn't have an odor and it was not discolored). Her entire family became very ill and her teenage son (who ate the most) almost died and did have permanent kidney damage. I forget exactly what they said it was (bacteria, fungus, virus, etc); but, it is something that is normally found in flour in very small amounts and is killed by baking. However, over time the concentration increases and the byproducts of this "thing" are toxic and not destroyed by baking.

Ever since then, I always check the expiration date on anything that contains flour and if it is past the date, I get rid of it. It is not worth the risk.

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December 13, 20080 found this helpful

I have used them to past the expiration date with no problem. There was a rumor circulating on the internet about pancake mix awhile back but it turned out to be false. I have used expired bread mixes too but replaced the yeast packet.

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By (Guest Post)
December 15, 20080 found this helpful

I just baked a cake mix that was expired by almost two years. I tried it to see what it would do and it raised prefectly fine and tasted great. Of course, I should mention, I do keep them in my extra fridge, not on the shelf. Also, the article about the lady and the cake mix and poisioning her family, was pancake mix. But as one other poster said, it was a rumor. Can't always believe everything you read. But doesn't hurt to be cautious if there are any concerns.

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December 15, 20080 found this helpful

This is a website that proved the pancake mix being bad and making someone sick, TRUE! So, I would throw it out! You probably only paid a couple of bucks for it but it's not worth getting family sick!

http://www.snop  xins/pancake.asp

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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 sandra wilson-maza from New Jersey

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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

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By 0 found this helpful
August 14, 2011

Is there a leeway on expired cake mixes?

By AnnP from HI

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By 0 found this helpful
May 20, 2008

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

Trish from CT

Answers

By (Guest Post)
May 20, 20080 found this helpful

Check out the answers on this post:
http://answers.  zZIx8&show=7

and for an estimate on how much cocoa to add check this:
http://busycook  es/r/cakemix.htm
it says: Chocolate Cake

Add to the batter after initial blending:
2 Tbsp. milk
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder

On the Duncan Hines site it says to add 3 sifted Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa to the mix..but they were referring to Angel Food White Cake to choc.

I have added strong brewed coffee in place of the water called for on cake mixes and it seems to boost the chocolate flavor. I haven't used a white cake mix for years...I usually get a yellow mix so I don't remember if they use egg whites only...but I would use the whole eggs if you do a choc version...most full cake mixes call for 3 eggs.

I think those recipes that you also add a box of instant pudding to the cake mix...usually for bundt cakes...would up the chocolate factor too. Let us know what you do and how it turns out. I might try it with a Yellow mix sometime. Good luck!

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May 21, 20080 found this helpful

sorry...that post below (or would it be above?) was me. didn't know I wasn't logged in.

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By Trish (Guest Post)
May 21, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you so much for your feedback. Unfortunately, I had to have this ready for last night, so I just had to wing it. I had some sweetened bakers chocolate in the cabinet so I knew I could use that I just wasn't sure how much. I was afraid to make the whole cake chocolate because I didn't really know how it would turn out. I ended up making the white batter per the box directions, then I melted 3 squares of chocolate and combined it with 1 cup of the white batter. I dropped it in clumps, 1/2 cup into each pan, and then swirled it with a butter knife to make a marble cake. It came out beautifully, thank goodness. This was a birthday cake for my nephew, and it was delicious.

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By Fay (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.

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Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
October 26, 2016

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

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December 14, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Marie

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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

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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

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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

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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 Jo from Aurora, CO

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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 Marjorie

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 cettina

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 Barb

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 Lilac

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 leslie

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 Christine

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 Julia

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 Nan Corpe

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 michelle

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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.

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