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Boxed Cake Mix Hacks: How to Doctor Up a Cake Mix

01 March

 Learn how to doctor up a cake mix with boxed cake mix hacks.  With just a few simple additions, you can learn how to make a box cake taste homemade to save time with a semi-homemade recipe.


We just finished up birthday season.  Most of our family has birthdays from September to February.  In an effort to stick to a budget, we make our own cakes.


A made from scratch cake tastes yummy, but those $1 boxes of cake mix sure are tempting.  





Unfortunately, those $1 boxes of cake mixes taste like, well, a $1 box of cake mix.


Learn how to make a box cake taste better with these boxed cake mix hacks.  


How to Doctor Up a Cake Mix


I posted my semi-homemade alfredo sauce recipe several years ago, and it's been popular since them.  So I know that you are all my people.  


We're all busy, and we all want to save some money.  


If you can get boxed cake mixes cheap or just want to save time, use these boxed cake mix hacks to learn how to doctor up a cake mix for a delicious cake that tastes like it came from the bakery.


Also check out these 47 recipes from box cake mix for more easy dessert ideas.


How Do You Make a Box Cake Taste Like a Bakery Cake?


There are several boxed cake mix hacks that you can use to learn how to make a box cake taste better.  This can including adding more egg, replacing oil with butter, or using milk instead of water.


What Can You Add to a Box Cake Mix to Make it Better?


You can add eggs, milk, butter, chocolate chips or candy bits, or even Jell-O gelatin for boxed cake mix hacks.


Which is Better Cake Mix Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines?


Personally, I prefer Duncan Hines.  I think it rises more and is moist.  Betty Crocker tends to be drier.  


I also use Aldi brand and like that mix.


However, you can learn how to make a box cake taste better no matter which brand you start with.  If you like Betty Crocker or can get it cheap with coupons, it's still a great cake mix.


How to Make a Box Cake Taste Better


Here are several boxed cake mix hacks that you can use.  Use one or two of them, but don't use all of them. 


While that may be an interesting cake for sure, you'll only need to make one or two modifications to learn how to doctor up a cake mix.





Add an Extra Egg


Adding an extra egg will make your boxed cake moist and taste richer.  For best results, add two extra egg yolks in addition to what the box calls for.  


For a lighter cake, use only egg whites and use an extra tablespoon of melted butter for each egg yolk you don't use.  


You can also just add one whole egg to your boxed cake mix.  Adding an extra cake is one of the easiest ways for how to make a box cake taste homemade


Don't Use Water


If your boxed cake mix calls for water, try replacing it with something else.  Milk, buttermilk, almond milk, and coconut milk work really well in place of water.


The milk has extra fat, which makes your cake more dense.  Use buttermilk for a bit of a tangy taste.  This an easy way to learn how to make a box cake taste homemade.


Coffee or Pop


Replace the water with coffee for chocolate cakes to enhance the chocolate flavor.  You can also use a root beer soda for chocolate.


For a white cake, use a lemon lime soda or ginger ale.


You don't want to use this tip for how to make a box cake taste homemade on all flavors, but it can be yummy for chocolate or a flavored cake.





Add Liquids Hot


If you are making a chocolate cake mix, you can learn how to make a box cake taste better.  Simply heat up the liquid and add it hot. 


This helps the cocoa develop a stronger flavor than if you add a cold liquid. This an easy way for how to make a box cake taste homemade if you are making a chocolate cake.


Mayonnaise


I'm not a fan of mayonnaise, but it is just eggs and oil.  More oil makes a boxed cake tender, and the tang from the vinegar complements the sweet flavor well.


Add two tablespoons of mayonnaise to the boxed cake mix.


Greek Yogurt


To make your cake mix lighter, add 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt to the cake mix.  You can use plain or vanilla.  


Get creative and try flavored Greek yogurt with different kinds of mixes.





Banana


Similar to adding Greek yogurt, add 1/2 of a mashed banana to replace the egg.  This will reduce some of the fat and add a little bit of vitamins and minerals.


Sour Cream


Sour cream will make your cake taste richer, and it will be thicker.  Add 1 cup of sour cream to the boxed cake mix.


Add Fat


Learn how to make a box cake taste homemade by replacing the fat.  Most boxed cake mixes use a vegetable oil.  Vegetable oils are cheap, but they don't have any flavor.


Instead, use the same amount of melted butter for a richer cake.  


Additives


One of the easiest ways to learn how to doctor up a cake mix is by using additives.  Try adding chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, or coconut to your boxed cake mix.


Extracts


Try adding 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of an extract to your boxed cake mix.  Vanilla extract is the obvious choice, but you can also add rum extract, almond extract, lemon extract, or any flavor you want to.


Learn how to make vanilla extract or make Instant Pot vanilla extract.  





Spices


You can also learn how to make a box cake taste better with spices.  Try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to a chocolate cake mix.  


For a yellow cake mix, add 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.


This tip for how to make a box cake taste homemade doesn't work on all flavors, but it does work really well on select flavors.


Pudding


Boxed pudding mixes are excellent for learning how to how to make a box cake taste homemade.  Don't make the pudding, just mix in a 3.4 ounce box of dry putting mix into the cake mix.  Then make the cake as usual.


Adding pudding adds more flavor and makes your cake denser and moist.


Try using chocolate pudding for chocolate cake and vanilla for a white or yellow cake.  You can also use strawberry or any other flavor.


Layers


Even if you don't add these boxed cake mix hacks, making the cake in layers will make it look like a bakery cake.


For more moisture, brush each layer with a simple syrup or add a jam or jelly.  


You can also use icing between layers or even sliced fruit, whipped cream, or a chocolate ganache. 


You can use one of the other ways to learn how to make a box cake taste homemade along with layers for a fun and unique cake.





Filling


Even if you don't do layers, you can cut your cake in half and add a filling.  Depending on your cake flavor, you can add fruit, whipped cream, chocolate chips, or Bavarian cream.


Poke Cakes


Learn how to make a box cake taste better by turning it into a poke cake.  Poke cakes are fun to make and taste really good.


Simply use the handle of a wooden spoon or something about that size to poke holes all over the cake.


Then prepare a 3.3 ounce box of Jell-O gelatin as directed on the box.  Pour it over the cake. 


Place the cake in the fridge for 4 hours.  Then serve and enjoy!


Homemade Frosting


My final tip for how to make a box cake taste homemade is to use a homemade frosting.  Even if you don't use any of the boxed cake mix hacks, this alone will take your cake to the next level.


I usually use a basic whipped buttercream icing.


And now you know how to make a box cake taste better!


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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, and several chickens. She loves Gilmore Girls, glitter, coffee, and her kids. But not in that order.

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