21 August 2016

How to Make a Cake Mix Taste Homemade

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I bake a lot of cakes.  A lot.  Like once a month and sometimes more!  For a home cook, that's a lot of cake and especially when there are just the two of us at home.  That means we share a lot of cake. Often people ask me if it is homemade and are surprised when I tell them it's not!  I get asked over and over what my secrets are for making cake mixes taste so good.  Here are some of my not-so-secret secrets!


I use different techniques depending on the flavor of the mix.  My two most common flavors are chocolate and vanilla, so I will share what I do for each of those.  If you have a flavor that you want me to discuss, just ask in the comments.


Vanilla Cake Mix

1.  Use a good vanilla cake mix like Pillsbury Moist Supreme, Duncan Hines French Vanilla or Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla.  I like these because they are readily available in my supermarket.  When I plan ahead, I will buy the King Arthur Vanilla cake mix from their website.  

2.  Add in an extra egg or two.  

3.  Replace water with whole milk.

4.  Add in 1 teaspoon real vanilla or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

5.  Use melted, unsalted butter for the oil, doubling the amount of oil called for on the box.

6.  Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest.

7.  Add in 1 snack pudding cup of vanilla pudding.

8.  Add in 2 tablespoons of mayo.

Chocolate Cake Mix

1.  Add in an extra egg or two egg yolks.

2.  Use hot water instead of room temperature or cold water.

3.  Add in 1 tablespoon of coffee.

4.  Use melted butter in replace of oil, using twice the amount called for on the box.

5.  Add 1 snack pack pudding cup in chocolate.

6.  Add 2 tablespoons of mayo.

Other tips:  you can replace all the oil with applesauce in equal amounts.  The cake will tend to me a bit drier but does cut down on the fat content.  Replace milk with buttermilk and add 1/4 c more than the directions ask for.  

Be sure to check the temperature of your oven.  If you overbake or underbake, your cake will not be at its best.  There are oven thermometers you can purchase to help you with this.



I also like to use the best pans I can afford.  I have had my cake pans for years and I love them.  The heavier pans heat more evenly but are more expensive.  Try your local kitchen store or look for some online.

I hope these tips have helped you out and that you get a delicious cake to share with family and friends.  Do you have any tips for me to try?




32 comments :

  1. These are awesome ideas! My Mom always taught me to add mayo and not tell anyone. It always makes a moist cake but you get weird looks from guests, lol.

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  2. I am such an awful cook and I love these tips, could make my box mix taste like I actually know what I'm doing! Now if I could just get the frosting perfect!

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  3. LOL...I think most people would love to know about this. I know I am glad to see this post..

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  4. Ooooh - I always LOVE these types of tips! I saved one of these on Pinterest a while ago...but havent tried it out yet! Love those short-cuts. I'll need to test yours out soon!

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  5. Great tips on making a box mix taste more homemade. I do enjoy a good dessert adn sometimes a box mix is just the thing.

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  6. Sheesh, I am coming to your house for coffee! We hardly ever get a chance to have cake so this would be a real treat thats for sure. The apple juice spice cake looks perfect!!

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  7. I didn't know you could make cake mix taste like homemade. Especially this easy! Thanks for these recipes.

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  8. I have heard of the extra egg trick before and it does actually work. Awesome tips for those that want a homemade taste but don't have the time to get baking from scratch.

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  9. Adding mayo sounds like such a funny thing to do, but I will take your word for it that it works ;) I will have to give a couple of these a try when I am in a pickle and only have boxed cake mix.

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  10. These are such great tips! It's always important to make cake mix taste homemade :)

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  11. Great ideas! These cakes look super yummy. I will have to share this with my baking friends!

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  12. So many great recipe add-ons. It reminds me of what I do when I make pancakes from a mix. I like to doctor it up to give it more flavor. Your cakes look amazing and I best the taste even better.

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  13. I love making a box cake more fancy! It really saves time and you still have a delicious cake!

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  14. These are great ideas! I think they're awesome and it doesn't look like a cake mix at all. I'm definitely keeping the recipe, this is a great hack for parties.

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  15. This is a great way to make cake mix taste homemade, I like the idea of adding a good vanilla base. I would love some cake right now!

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  16. I'm not a baker, so this would be great to use to trick my family into thinking I now am. Great tips!

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  17. Thanks for sharing your secrets! I will pass this on to my daughter, she loves making cakes!

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  18. Oh wow, I thought my cakes were pretty good, until I read this. these tips are amazing. I've heard of the pudding tip, but not the mayo one. If it works as well as it does on chicken I have a feeling I will be making more. I also bake a lot of cakes usually 3-4 a month in the cooler weather. a gals got to have something sweet right? : ) thanks for sharing cant wait to try out.

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  19. These are all such great tips. I haven't make a cake in forever and will hang on to this for the next time that I do!

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  20. I never thought to replace the water with milk! That is a great idea! I haven't really enjoyed bake mixes for a while, but I think it might be me, whenever my mom uses one it always tastes amazing...maybe she is using your tricks already!

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  21. I totally use all these tips ad tricks too! I wish it worked as well with canned frosting. Thankfully, homemade buttercream frosting is super easy to make!

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  22. I suddenly feel the need to eat some cake. I will have to try this recipe at home. It doesn't seem real difficult. I can do this!

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  23. Great tips! I'm not much of a baker but your ideas will make me seem like I am the next time I need to bake a cake!

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  24. I've heard of some of these tips, like mayo, but have never heard of the pudding one! I want to go bake some cakes and try these tricks out!

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  25. I have actually never made a cake before since I'm not really into cake much, but I'll have to keep this in mind in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Surprisingly, I am a terrible baker but you make it look so easy here. I love all sweets. I must give this a try!

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  27. Ooooo now this sounds like one awesome back!!! I will definitely be giving this a try next cake I bake!

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  28. I'm not really a baker, but I still like sweets. I think I'm more of a dinner and savory type of person. But I have tried the replacing oil with applesauce trick when I'm made cakes and cupcakes in the past!

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  29. Great tips for making a cake taste homemade. There's such a big difference between store bought and homemade with almost everything.

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  30. This is awesome! I usually don't have time to bake a cake from scratch so this is a great way to take a cake mix up a few notches. I will be trying this over the weekend.

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  31. I've never made a homemade cake before bc I'm too terrified! This definitely looks like something i could pull off tho!

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  32. Oh this is so clever! I love taking the mix and making it more custom. I love adding mayo and pudding for extra creaminess too!

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