Five things to make your box cake mixes better. Use your favorite box cake mix and elevate it to a bakery level of delicious! Make them gluten free or vegan.
Box cake mixes: Are you a fan or do you tend to avoid them? Living with so many allergies, it is sometimes difficult to find a cake mix that I can use. But there are a few that I love and I’m all about taking shortcuts in the kitchen when I can! Plus, they are a great place to start if you are just beginning your food allergy journey. You don’t need to buy 7 types of gluten free flours; you just need to purchase 1 bag of mix.
Here are my five favorite ways to make a box cake mix taste better. And in this article you can see how I made my cinnamon muffins using the Krusteaz Gluten Free Cinnamon Cake more delicious following these tips. Enjoy!
5 Ways to Make Your Box Cake Mix Better
1. Room Temperature is better!
Let your ingredients come to room temperature if you are using eggs and butter.
At room temperature, eggs break more evenly, letting them be mixed into the batter better. Eggs also will whip up to a larger volume when at room temperature.
Similar to eggs, when butter is room temperature you will also get a better mix and more volume. This is especially important in the creaming process of the butter and sugar. The room temperature butter will become aerated by the sugar crystals, making little air pockets.
More air in your baking dough means a lighter and fluffier cake! Just like magic.
2. Add Some Extras!
Don’t limit yourself to just what they give you in the box. Spice it up! Here are some ideas of what to add into your cake mix.
For all cake mixes: add extra vanilla and an extra egg (if you can eat eggs)
Spice cake: almond, orange extract, rum
Chocolate: coffee (1 tbsp cooled) or cinnamon ¼ tsp
Brownies: nuts, chocolate chips
Muffins: extra half banana (mashed), shredded carrots or zucchini, nuts, chocolate chips
3. Ingredient Swap
If a box mix calls for water, swap it out with an equal amount of your choice of milk. More fat equals more flavor!
Most box mixes call for oils to use as a fat in the cake. Canola and vegetable oils are fine, but the problem is they are neutral tasting and so impart no flavor into your cake.
If your box mix calls for oil, use butter instead. Both plant based and cow’s milk butter will replace the oil in a recipe. Melt the butter in the microwave and use double the amount of oil that is called for in the recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for ½ cup of oil, use 1 cup of melted butter.
If you are avoiding butter, you can add fats and flavor in another way: Yogurt. Add 2 tablespoons of your favorite plain or vanilla flavored yogurt. Both cow milk and plant-based yogurt will work for this tip.
4. Add Moisture!
Add 3 tablespoons of applesauce in every cake mix to make your cakes rich and moist. This is especially important in gluten free baking! I have used this applesauce trick for years and always get compliments on my cakes.
If you don’t have applesauce, you can also add in 2 tablespoons of sour cream or yogurt. These will work especially well in coffee cakes, muffins, and cookies.
5. Make the Frosting Homemade
Finally, make your frosting from scratch. There is something special about a homemade frosting and it imparts itself onto your cake. Even if you make the boxed cake mix exactly and do none of these other tips, by making the frosting on your own, you will fool most people into thinking you made the whole thing from scratch!