I’m not gonna lie. I love when I can make life a bit easier on myself. One way I do this is to use things like boxed bake mixes as a base for recipes to save time so I can get more done. The semi-homemade way of making a cake is great and no one would ever guess that you took a boxed mix and doctored it up and a few seconds to make something amazing.
Fun and simple upgrades to any boxed cake mix.
If you are looking for a simple dessert for Easter dinner, for guests coming over, or to put together a quick and easy birthday surprise you will love these tips and tricks to upgrade a box of cake mix.
Swap out the oil in the recipe
When you want to make a quick and easy change that can greatly increase eh flavor and improve the texture of a boxed cake mix take a moment to ditch the vegetable oil recommend on the box.
Making a cake mix better is as easy as swapping out plain vegetable oil for another type of oil or using another substitute for oil in your boxed cake mix. For your favorite boxed chocolate cake mix, you can substitute olive oil for the oil in the recipe.
You can replace the oil with unsweetened applesauce for a very moist and fluffy cake. I learned this trick from my best friend’s grandma when she went to make a cake and they were out of oil.
This same trick works great with other mashed produce as well, try adding mashed avocado to deep chocolate cakes. For sweet fruity cakes, mashed bananas are a great substitute for oil.
It is a no-so-secret trick that many people use to add flavor to a cake and make it, particularly decedent by mixing pudding into the batter. You can add pudding to your cake to make it thick and fluffy while maintaining its moisture.
Different flavors of pudding can be used to transform a basic cake mix into something new and exciting. You can decorate the outside of the cake with frosting that matches the pudding.
This trick is so popular that some boxed cake mixes will even tell you that pudding is already in the mix. What exactly is pudding? Corn starch and powdered sugar. Two mix-ins that are often used to make boxes of cake mixes even better.
Powdered sugar is a great way to increase the sweetness of a boxed cake mix without bogging down the light and airy texture you want like adding a regular granulated sugar would. Try sifting 1/2 cup of powdered or confectioners sugar into your cake batter.
If you want to help make your cake more airy and soft but not necessarily sweeten it up because you plan on using a sweet filling or frosting you can achieve this by sifting in 1/3 cup corn starch into your batter.
If you want to sweeten a cake mix and make it more rich, you can add frosting to the inside of your cake, similar to adding pudding. Most people add powdered sugar to their cake mixes to achieve this, but buttercream frosting can make a huge difference in the way your cake tastes and the overall texture. This discovery was entirely an accident as I had grabbed a box of frosting mix instead of pudding mix in a hurry. It turned out great and the next time I tried a tub of frosting which added the creamy fat to the mix. Use the same frosting flavor as you are planning to use on the outside of the cake or mix and match to take the flavor to a new and unique cake that will keep everyone guessing.
Incorporate the spices into the mixture
When it comes to making the most of anything you are cooking, herbs and spices are one of the most useful tools you can use at your disposal. This also applies to your favorite cakes. There is nothing quite like adding a bit of fresh vanilla straight from the pod or a dash of cinnamon. This will turn a boxed cake mix into something truly flavorful and extraordinary.
You can add a dash of cayenne pepper and cinnamon to a chocolate cake to give it a spicy kick or a Mexican hot chocolate flare.
Try adding some cinnamon to a yellow cake to make it a little more interesting.
Mix in crushed candy
Whether you have leftover candy from Halloween or simply want to take things to the next level, you can use candy to make a cake mix that completely transforms into something new.
If you want to add chocolate bits to the cake or crunchy toffee to the cake, you can put the candy directly into the cake.
Then, use your candy to decorate the top of your cake, either crushed or whole. The simple trick below will help you turn any boxed cake mix into a unique dessert in a matter of minutes.
Include fresh fruit
You can take your cakes up a notch by using fresh fruit as an ingredient. Whether you want to add some fresh strawberries to a strawberry cake for springtime or add blueberries to a lemon cake for the most delicious blueberry lemonade cake, you can’t go wrong with adding fresh fruit to your boxed cake mixes.
Cherry chopped into a chocolate cake can make it into one of the most incredible desserts that people will talk about for a long time to come. The most remarkable part is that nobody will ever be able to tell that you started with a boxed mix.
Put a dash of vinegar in
In order to achieve the desired level of fluff in your cake, adding a dash of vinegar to your average store-bought cake mix is an excellent way to add even more fluff.
Adding acid to the cake doesn’t take much, but it reacts with the leveling in the cake and helps give it more of a rise for a fluffier cake. Before you pour in your batter, you need to add this right after the other ingredients have been incorporated.
Alternately I love to use the leftover whey from making yogurt this same way in cakes, pancakes, and waffles to make them soft and fluffy.
Incorporate flavoring extracts
Extracts with flavorings such as vanilla can be a great addition to your favorite cakes, but you can also take this up even further with a number of other extracts that are available in the spice aisle.
If you want to change the flavor of your basic boxed cake mix, there are many tasty additions that can be added – from mint to lemon and even root beer.
The best base for flavorings and extracts is a white cake to add flavor, but you can use other types to make wonderful flavor combinations, such as mint chocolate cake.
Use a can of soda
It is very easy to prepare a cake mix by mixing it with a can of soda, which results in a soft, moist, and delicious cake. In the event that you are in a rush and want a cake to be made, use this to substitute the other ingredients in the recipe to meet allergy requirements.
The most popular soda option for a rich chocolate cake is Coke. In fact, this is how they make the coke cake at Cracker Barrel.
A white cake mix can be a great base for making any flavored soda cakes. My husband loves the Faygo flavored cupcakes I make that are super quick and easy.
Use an extra egg
All you have to do if you want to make any boxed cake mix or even a brownie mix richer is to add an extra egg to it. There are a few simple tricks that you can use to make a boxed cake mix taste much better, even if you are not interested in adding a unique flair to it.
This is a great way to use the eggs you stored, frozen, or old eggs that need to be used up. Just be sure to check if the eggs are still good.
Replace the water
Although many people know that replacing the oil in a cake mix will help improve the quality of the cake, many do not realize how much you can do to improve the cake by replacing the water.
In order to create a richer cake, you can replace the water with a fattier option such as milk, heavy cream, or coconut milk.
Dress it up with homemade frosting
In order to disguise a boxed cake, a simple homemade frosting is a great way to hide it. A homemade frosting’s flavor and appearance will take the attention away from the packaging’s insides. Incorporating a filling between the layers will take this up a notch and make it impossible that anyone would ever guess that any part of the cake came from a grocery store.
The thing about making your cakes taste better is that the best thing you can do is to mix things up a bit and try using a few of these tips at once. After a few simple swaps, the base of the cake becomes something completely new and all your own. Sometimes the best route to take is just a bit semi-homemade.
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