If you guys know me, you know that I am a “made from scratch” gal. But what I also know is that many people feel most comfortable using store-bought mixes for making cakes or cupcakes. So, I thought I would show you how to make boxed cake mix taste like it came from a bakery because, first and foremost, I want you all to eliminate fear when baking!! And if this gets you back into the kitchen, then I’m a happy lady!
So, having a boxed cake mix in your pantry and using a cake mix as your base means you will always have the proper ingredients to whip up a cake or cupcakes. But, then again, you will always need to add in your perishables (like eggs, milk, oil, etc) so I don’t think it’s about saving time or not having the proper ingredients.
For some people, it’s about the safety of knowing the mix is pre-measured and has all the right ingredients in there already! So let’s take this apart and find out what the secrets are!
Here’s What I Want To See From You Guys:
- Try making a cake with this recipe and play around with flavours (this cupcake recipe pictured here – which I’ll post soon – is a butter tart cupcake!!) … then let me know what your favourite is!
- Make it into a sheet pan cake (pour the batter into a prepared 9″x13″ pan and bake until the middle springs back).
- If you’ve experienced success, I want you to try and make a simple recipe on your own – without a boxed cake mix. If you’d like a simple recipe to begin with, you can try making my orange soaked yogurt cake – it’s a good starter cake because it is always moist due to the simple syrup soaking liquid).
A few tips on to How To Make Boxed Cake Mix Taste Like it Came From A Bakery:
- The mix asks for water – use milk instead: If you have whole milk, use that instead of water (same amount). It will give you a texture more like homemade (more denser) with an even better taste.
- If you have buttermilk, use that instead of the milk: In place of the milk, buttermilk will be even better (I think it’s the acid).
- Add additional sugar and flour to the dry mix: Although you probably wouldn’t think to do this (because the reason people use a boxed mix is because they don’t want to fuss with having the flour and other pantry basics on hand). adding 1 cup of sugar and flour to your cake mix gives a bit of additional structure.
- The mix usually asks for 3 eggs – add an extra egg: To get an extra rich and moist cake, add in an extra egg (or two extra egg yolks) along with the eggs the recipe originally calls for.
- If you’re making a chocolate cake mix, use coffee instead of water: Using strong brewed coffee or espresso instead of water will add dimension to the chocolate flavour profile and will deepen the flavor.
- Adding something rich and creamy is perfect for adding moisture and rich flavor: Adding some sour cream, yogurt or even mayonnaise will add a more dense, rich flavor (as a side note, there was a very popular cake made in the 70’s and the secret ingredient was mayonnaise!).
- The milk solids in pudding adds extra moisture and flavor: Adding a small box of instant pudding (the dry powder, not the prepared pudding) to the mix will add moisture and extra flavor. According to Epicurious, ““Milk powder has an amazing way of adding a terrific baseline flavor. It’s the sort of “secret weapon ingredient” that doesn’t taste like anything special straight out of the container, but works magic when it’s included in a recipe”. I feel like this is the biggest trick on how to make boxed cake mix taste like it came from a bakery!!
- Homemade Buttercream is a must: I will post a recipe for homemade buttercream soon!! Until then, here is my go-to recipe for buttercream!
- Room temperature ingredients are your friend: This is just an aside (nothing to do with boxed cake mixes), but having all of your ingredients at room temperature is key to a great finished product.
- Another trick for perfectly baked cupcakes: I feel like this trick works best on boxed cake mix cupcakes…a spoonful of raw rice at the bottom of the cupcake tins (underneath the liners) will ensure the bottoms of your cupcakes don’t burn.
I really hope that you can take away all of these points on how to make boxed cake mix taste like it came from a bakery and try it out yourselves! Add your own flavour combination and tag me on Instagram!! I’ll be waiting to hear from you guys!!!
“Doctored” Cake Mix
- 1 box cake mix 432g
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 box instant pudding mix (dry, not prepared) 102g
- 1 cup milk can use nut milk
- 1 cup mayonnaise can use sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 3-4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup neutral oil (like vegetable, canola, peanut or avocado)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter softened
- 3 cups icing sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 and place paper cupcake liners into two tins (a total of 24 cupcakes).
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the dry ingredients (cake mix, flour, sugar, pudding mix) and stir to combine.
- Add in the milk, mayonnaise, eggs, oil and vanilla and mix together on medium speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated (do not over mix your batter).
- Pour the batter equally into 24 cupcake tins and bake according to the directions on the back of the cake mix box (the back fo the box give directions to bake at 350 and at 325…I preheated my oven to 350 and then lowered it to 325 when I was ready to bake and mine took 30 minutes)
- Meanwhile, prepare the buttercream by beating the butter for about 5 minutes (until it gets light and fluffy) and then slowly add in the icing sugar a bit at a time until incorporated. Add in the milk to thin it down a bit and the vanilla. Mix again to fully incorporate and then ice the cupcakes after they are completely cool.