If you need to whip up a cake in a hurry and simply want to make it easier on yourself, you can take advantage of cheap boxed cake mixes to make amazing baked creations no one will ever know came from a box. Try one of these simple ways to upgrade a box of cake mix or combine a few to make a fun new flavorful creation worthy of even the fanciest of get-togethers. From simple swaps to creative twists and a little camouflage, anything is possible.
Swap out the Oil
One super-easy way to make a cake mix better is to take the time to swap out plain vegetable oil for another alternative. While you could use olive oil for a very rich chocolate cake, there is a whole world of oil alternatives for your favorite boxed cake mix.
For a very moist and fluffy cake, try swapping the oil out for unsweetened applesauce. For deep chocolate cakes, try adding mashed avocado in place of the oil. For sweet fruity cakes, you can not go wrong with replacing the oil with a mashed banana.
One secret trick many people use to add flavor and make a cake particularly decadent is to mix pudding into the cake while making it. Adding pudding will make your cake thick and fluffy while helping to maintain moisture. Using different flavors of puddings can help to change up the flavor of a basic cake mix for something fun and exciting. Try grabbing a tub of frosting that will match the pudding to decorate the outside of the cake.
Adding frosting to the inside of your cake works similar to adding pudding and is a great way to sweeten a boxed cake mix and make the overall result richer. Many people add powdered sugar into their cake mixes to do this, but the fat found in a buttercream frosting can make a world of a difference to the texture of your cake. Like with the pudding, try using the same frosting flavor in the cake as you plan to use on the outside, or mix and match to take the flavor up a notch.
Mix in Spices
Herbs and spices are one of the best tools at your disposal for making the most of anything you are cooking. Cakes are no exception. A bit of fresh vanilla right out of the pod or a dash of cinnamon can go a long way to making a boxed cake mix something truly extraordinary. Try adding a dash of cayenne pepper to a chocolate cake to give it a little bite or take a basic yellow cake up a notch with some cinnamon.
Add in Fresh Fruit
Fruit is a great way to take your cakes up a notch. Try dicing up some real strawberries to bake into a springtime strawberry cake or add blueberries to a lemon cake for the perfect blueberry lemonade cake. No one will ever be able to tell that you started with a boxed mix. Chopped cherries can make a chocolate cake into an amazing treat that is sure to get people talking.
Mix in Crushed Candy
Do you have leftover candy from Halloween or simply want to take things up a notch? You can use candy to really change up your boxed cake mix. Try adding the candy directly into the cake like melty chocolate bits or crunchy toffee. Then take your candy crushed or whole to decorate the top of your cake. This super easy trick will turn any boxed cake mix into a unique treat.
Add a Dash of Vinegar
If you want your cake to really fluff up, add a dash of vinegar. It doesn’t take much, but the added acid will react to the leveling in the cake and help to give more of a rise to create a softer fluffier cake. Add this in after the other ingredients are incorporated right before you pour your batter.
Add in Flavoring Extracts
Flavoring extracts like vanilla can be a great addition to your favorite cakes, but you can take this up even more with a variety of other extracts available in the spice aisle. From root beer to mint, you can find all kinds of great additions to change the flavors of a basic boxed cake mix. White cake makes the best base for flavorings and extracts, but you can use others to make wonderful flavor combinations like mint chocolate cake.
Use a Can of Soda
Mixing a box of cake mix with a can of soda results in a soft, fluffy, and flavorful cake. This is a great way to substitute the other added ingredients when you are in a pinch and want to make a cake. Coke is a popular soda option for a rich chocolate cake, but a white cake mix makes a great base for any soda-flavored cupcake.
Use an Extra Egg
If you want to make any boxed cake mix or even brownie mix richer, all you have to do is add in an extra egg. This simple trick is a great way to make a boxed cake mix taste better even if you are not interested in adding any flair to it.
Replace the Water in the Directions
While most people know that replacing the oil in a cake mix can help make the cake better overall, many people do not realize just how much you can change things by swapping out the water. Try switching the water for a fattier option like milk, heavy cream, or coconut milk to help make the cake more rich and flavorful.
Make Homemade Frosting
A great way to camouflage a boxed cake is to make a simple homemade frosting. The homemade flavor and look will take attention off of the packaged interior. Adding in a filling between the layers will take this up a notch and make it impossible to guess that any part of the cake came from the supermarket shelf.