When it came to preparing cakes and pastries for family and friends, no one spent more time looking up Pinterest recipes and baking them to “perfection” than me. Although I am a complete amateur home baker, I have spent countless hours searching for the most delectable “from scratch” recipes and executing them to perfection. Never did I think I would bake a cake with a box cake mix.
December 2nd, 2016 changed all that. On that day I gave birth to my sweet, gorgeous baby girl, and she changed my world. All of sudden instead of baking “from scratch” on my free time, I was consumed with taking care of my daughter, husband, and home.
With my husband’s birthday around the corner, I had some serious thinking to do. Would my husband rather have a showered wife with nice looking clothes on or a beautiful “from scratch” cake waiting for him? Since appearance is important to me, I decided to buy a boxed cake and try to spruce it up. I was pleasantly surprised that with a few changes and additions, the box cake mix turned out pretty delicious! It was so yummy that I decided to share it!
Since my audience are moms looking to save time in the kitchen, I will emphasize that this recipe is very flexible and can be adjusted to what you already have in your pantry. Try to use what you have instead of going grocery shopping. What you need to begin is a boxed cake. It can be yellow, white, chocolate, lemon, or pineapple box cake mix. It really doesn’t matter, because what is important are the substitutions and additions you will be making. You will still have to follow the instructions of how to bake and for how long to bake according to the box. To know what you need for your cake, simply turn the box over and see what it asks of you.
Water: Most box cake mixes ask for water. Instead of water, substitute with any liquid of your choice. I went with whole milk, but you can choose your milk of choice. You can even make it a boozy cake by adding some Irish Creme Liquor such as Baileys or Kahlua. Make sure that your liquid is the same amount as the water needed. So if it asks for one cup of water, make sure you put in one cup of your choice of liquid. Instead of oil, add in melted butter. The butter can be equal or double the amount of the oil it asks for. Butter has such a delicious taste that oil misses. You can melt your butter in the microwave.
Butter/Oil: Instead of oil, add in melted butter. The butter can be equal or double the amount of the oil it asks for. Butter has such a delicious taste that oil misses. You can melt your butter in the microwave.
Eggs: Look at your box and see how many eggs it asks for and add one extra. This will make your cake look rich. Make sure to not add two eggs extra, because this can make your cake too dense to rise properly.
Chocolate: You can get pretty creative with your additions. If you have any dark, milk, or white chocolates you can add about a cup of it in the batter.
Nuts: The same logic goes with nuts. If you have any leftover in the pantry, you can chop it up and add a bit into the batter.
Flavoring: Most pantries have vanilla flavoring, but you can also add almond extract and even butter flavoring.
Preheat your oven according to the box’s directions. Then mix in your ingredients, except for the chocolates and nuts.
Once you get that nice consistency, carefully mix in the nuts and chocolates. I decided to go with walnuts and milk chocolate chunks. I have about one cup of each, but you can adjust according to what you have in your pantry.
At this point, choose a pan of your liking. Butter and flour your pans, then pour the batter in. Cook according to the directions listed on the box and decorate with icing of choice.
- Any one box cake mix
- Melted Butter (equal amount of oil as listed on box)
- Eggs (one extra as listed on box)
- Milk (equal amount of water as listed on box)
- 1 cup Chocolate chips
- 1 cup Walnuts
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Preheat your oven according to the directions listed on the box.
- Butter and flour the cake pans you will be using. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix in the cake mix, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and melted butter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or by hand for 4 minutes.
- When you have a smooth batter consistency, mix in the chocolates and nuts.
- Pour batter into pans and bake according to the directions listed on box.
- Let cakes cool in pan for 10 minutes then on cooling racks for another 20 minutes.
- Frost cakes with choice of frosting.
I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine did! Let me know if you have any other tricks and hacks that allow your box cake mix to shine like a home baked cake. Leave in the comments below how you cut corners to bake a beautiful cake from a box mix. I would love to hear from you!
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