How to make a cake mix taste better

In the last few months, I have gotten a few requests for a recipe to make CAKE MIXES taste better.

And after 28 attempts (yup… seriously!), involving various brands, flavors, addition and replacement of ingredients … I am delighted to share a MIND-BLOWING revamped cake mix recipe!

You guys must be thinking: “What the hell is wrong with Abeer? She has a blog called “Cakewhiz” and instead of sharing a cake recipe that’s made from scratch, she’s showing us how to make cake from a box?!”

I know! I know… I UNDERSTAND your concerns.

The reality is I have an AH-MAZING recipe forΒ chocolate cake and vanilla cakeΒ (just omit the Hershey kisses), made from scratch.

But let’s face it…making cakes from scratch is NOT possible all the time!

Maybe you are out of flour or sugar or you are just too tired to make a cake from scratch…

So, for those days… this revamped cake from a cake mix is PERFECT!

And I even made it PRETTY so that you can serve it on Valentine’s Day πŸ™‚

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I have been working on this recipe for about a MONTH and I was starting to think this would never work but thankfully, Β all that work eventually paid off πŸ™‚

28th time is truly the charm! hahaha πŸ˜›

I made this cake for my Grandma a few weeks ago and she LOVEDDDD it.

She is one of my TOUGHEST critics and is brutally honest and NEVER sugarcoats anything. I love that! πŸ˜€

She liked this cake BETTER than my homemade chocolate cake.

That just threw me off and I was about to pass out coz that’s her FAVORITE cake to date…hahah πŸ˜›

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Anyways, let’s talk about my REVAMPED cake mix recipe…

I have made a lot of changes and you can apply these changes to Pillsbury’s chocolate cake mix or Pillsbury’s vanilla came mix!Β 

YUP… Pillsbury! Stick to the Pillsbury brand…I tried many brands and Pillsbury works the best.

And don’t use cake mixes which already have pudding…Get the simplest Pillsbury cake mix you can find.

Now, most cake mixes ask for 2 or 3 eggs.

Ignore that and add 4 large eggs and make sure they are fresh.

The older eggs sometimes make your cakes smell funky or maybe I tend to notice that coz I have a the nose of a hound! lol.

Also, don’t add oil but instead, use unsalted butter.

It adds more flavor and fat content into your cake and that’s always a good thing πŸ˜‰

how to make a cake mix taste better 3In addition to this, ignore water coz it brings NOTHING to your cake.Β 

Add whole milk instead… not fat-free, soy milk or almond milk… WHOLE MILK!Β 

Another thing I really LIKE to add to my cake mix is ready-made pudding…those little snack packs.Β 

I think it adds flavor, fat content and moisture to your cake.

DON’T even think about using homemade pudding…it doesn’t work :S

how to make a cake mix better 51Use chocolate pudding if you are making a chocolate cake and use butterscotch pudding if you are making a vanilla cake.

And finally, add a tablespoon of the BEST quality extract or emulsion oil you can find.

Emulsion oils are pricey BUT work better because they don’t evaporate while baking.Β 

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For the cake that you are seeing today, I made a chocolate cake and covered it in a FANTASTIC chocolate buttercream icing.

Then, I covered it in crushed candy canes and topped it all off with a CUTE candy cane heart.

These candy cane hearts are sooooooo EASY to make and they are such a NICE way to use up leftover Christmas candy cakes.Β 

Perfect romantic cake for Valentine’s day…Don’t ya think?! πŸ˜€

It’s pink, minty and choco-licious!

how to make a cake mix taste better 5

To make a cake mix taste better, you will need the following ingredients:

1 box Pillsbury chocolate cake mix or vanilla cake mix (get the box without pudding)
1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cup melted unsalted butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla emulsion oil
1 snack pack pudding (3.25 oz)

Notes:
Use chocolate pudding if you are making a chocolate cake and use butterscotch pudding if you are making a vanilla cake.
– Play around with different extracts and spices to come up with different flavors of cakes. Here are a few that I have made..
Spiced vanilla cake: Use a vanilla cake mix and all the same ingredients as above. But also add 1 tsp cinnamon powder, 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder, 1/2 tsp allspice powder.
Lemon cake: Use a vanilla cake mix and all the same ingredients as above. But, add lemon pudding, 1 tbsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp lemon flavored emulsion oil.
Orange cake: Use a vanilla cake mix and the same ingredients as above. But, add 1 tbsp orange zest, 2 tbsp orange marmalade and 1 tbsp orange flavored emulsion oil.
Chocolate orange cake: Use a chocolate cake mix and all the same ingredients as above. But also add 1 tbsp orange zest, 2 tbsp orange marmlade, 1 tbsp Orange flavored emulsion oil.
Spicy chocolate cake: Use a chocolate cake mix and all the same ingredients as above. But, also add 1 tbsp chilli powder, 1/2 tbsp paprika. Use more or less according to your preference.
– You can always throw in some nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds) or dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, dried pineapples, dried mangoes) or even chocolate chips into your cake. Add about Β 1/2 cup of add-ins and always remember to coat them in some flour so that they don’t sink to the bottom of your cake. Β 

And here are the steps:Β 

Step 1:
In a deep bowl, add butter and eggs.
Mix until they are combined.

Step 2:
Add the cake mix powder, pudding, milk, vanilla extract or emulsion oil and mix until everything is combined properly.

Step 3:Β 
Pour this batter into a greased/floured 8×2 round cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Step 4:
This step is optional but it makes the cake SUPER MOIST! I highly recommend it.
Let this cake cool down and come to room temperature.
Remove the cake from your pan.
Then, wrap it up in saran wrap multiple times and place it in the freezer overnight.
The next day, let your cake come to room temperature and then cover it in chocolate frosting!

And you are done!

This cake is going to be phenomenal… I guarantee! πŸ˜‰

how to make a cake mix taste better 6

How to make a cake mix taste better
Author: 
Recipe type: Cake
 
Learn how adding just a few simple ingredients can make a cake mix taste better. It tastes homemade and is always a hit at parties!
Ingredients
  • 1 box Pillsbury chocolate cake mix or vanilla cake mix (get the box without pudding)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla emulsion oil
  • 1 snack pack pudding (3.25 oz)
Instructions
  1. In a deep bowl, add butter and eggs. Mix until they are combined.
  2. Add the cake mix powder, pudding, milk, vanilla extract or emulsion oil and mix until everything is combined properly.
  3. Pour this batter into a greased/floured 8x2 round cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  4. This step is optional but it makes the cake SUPER MOIST! I highly recommend it. Let this cake cool down and come to room temperature. Remove the cake from your pan. Then, wrap it up in saran wrap multiple times and place it in the freezer overnight. The next day, let your cake come to room temperature and then cover it in chocolate frosting!
  5. And you are done! This cake is going to be phenomenal... I guarantee! ;)
Notes
- Use chocolate pudding if you are making a chocolate cake and use butterscotch pudding if you are making a vanilla cake.
- Play around with different extracts and spices to come up with different flavors of cakes. Here are a few that I have made..
Spiced vanilla cake: Use a vanilla cake mix and all the same ingredients as above. But also add 1 tsp cinnamon powder, ½ tsp nutmeg powder, ½ tsp allspice powder.
Lemon cake: Use a vanilla cake mix and all the same ingredients as above. But, add lemon pudding, 1 tbsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp lemon flavored emulsion oil.
Orange cake: Use a vanilla cake mix and the same ingredients as above. But, add 1 tbsp orange zest, 2 tbsp orange marmalade and 1 tbsp orange flavored emulsion oil.
Chocolate orange cake: Use a chocolate cake mix and all the same ingredients as above. But also add 1 tbsp orange zest, 2 tbsp orange marmlade, 1 tbsp Orange flavored emulsion oil.
Spicy chocolate cake: Use a chocolate cake mix and all the same ingredients as above. But, also add 1 tbsp chilli powder, ½ tbsp paprika. Use more or less according to your preference.
- You can always throw in some nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds) or dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, dried pineapples, dried mangoes) or even chocolate chips into your cake. Add about ½ cup of add-ins and always remember to coat them in some flour so that they don't sink to the bottom of your cake.

Well, that’s all for today!

If you liked this post, you may also like some of these other recipes…

Chocolate cake mix cookies

chocolate cake mix cookies

Loaded 20 minute cake mix bars

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Candy cane shards cake

candy cane shards cakeUntil next time, tata my lovelies πŸ™‚

39 Comments

  • Sara @ Life’s Little Sweets September 15, 2015 3:08 pm

    You are so talented that it’s staggering. Everyone of your cakes is so inspired!

    • Abeer Rizvi September 15, 2015 4:25 pm

      Thanks! Your comment made me blush so hard that my cheeks are hurting…lol. I am still learning and I try to have fun along the way πŸ™‚

  • vinay December 12, 2015 5:24 pm

    Hey Abeer
    Can you please tell the amount of milk in milli liters or the approximate size of a cup

    • Abeer Rizvi December 12, 2015 10:28 pm

      Hi Vinay… I really don’t know about milliliters. I measure 1 cup, using measuring cups. Is that what you meant?

    • Stephanie December 18, 2015 12:45 pm

      A cup is 250mL.

  • Trupti parekh April 10, 2016 1:12 am

    If I want to mk eggless pls say want to use instead of eggs.

    • Abeer Rizvi April 17, 2016 11:44 pm

      I have never made an eggless cake, using a cake mix. So, I have no idea. Someone once told me that they use 1/4 cup applesauce for each egg that they replace in a recipe. But I have never tried that myself. Please let me know if you try out any variations πŸ™‚

  • amanda July 10, 2016 2:41 pm

    What about a strawberry cake mix?

    • Abeer Rizvi July 19, 2016 12:33 am

      I am sure you can apply the same additions to a strawberry cake too. It should work just as well. Let me know how it goes πŸ™‚

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