Five tricks to doctor up boxed cake mix
Simple ways to make store-bought mix taste like your own
Boxed cake mix is a quick fix for anyone's sweet tooth. For those times when you don't feel like breaking out all of your mixing bowls, measuring cups, and carrying an overload of ingredients to the kitchen Rachael Ray-style, it is a decent solution when you want dessert in a pinch. Maybe a boxed cake mix is all you have on hand, but you still want to add your own touch to it.
Most cake mixes only need water, oil, and eggs added to complete the batter. There are plenty of minor ingredient additions you may already have in your kitchen for these tricks. Try one at a time or add a couple together! These are five ways to doctor up a boring boxed cake mix and make it your own.
Adding a box of instant pudding mix creates a more robust flavor and adds density. It's that little extra something for a homemade taste. This is also a popular addition to many cookie recipes. You can add vanilla pudding mix to vanilla cake, chocolate to chocolate, and so on. Try mixing up the flavors, such as vanilla pudding with lemon cake mix.
2. Sour cream
This ingredient seems odd at first, but it's one of the most popular tweaks of all time. Sour cream adds a nice richness and moistness to the batter. It creates a melt-in-your-mouth texture like an expensive bakery-style cake. One half cup of full fat sour cream should do fine for one box of cake mix. Don't use anything less than full fat or else the batter will be too runny.
3. Dried fruit and chocolate chips
Once you prepare the batter as directed or by adding one of extra ingredients above, throw in some of your favorite dried fruit or chocolate chips. Dried cherries are delicious in a vanilla cake! Coat them in an ultra light dusting of flour before folding them in. This prevents them from sinking to the bottom when baking, unless that's something you want. You could also sprinkle them over the top.
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4. Homemade frosting
Store-bought frosting is highly processed with sugar and questionable additives. While the boxed cake mix isn't the most healthy either, homemade frosting at least removes some of these sinful calories and hides the otherwise bland taste. The most basic buttercream frosting uses confectioner's sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk. Cocoa powder can be added for chocolate buttercream frosting.
5. Use it to make something other than a cake!
Boxed cake mix does not have to be used to make only cake! If you look on some boxes, they might have instructions for cake-mix cookies and/or quick bread that tweak the ingredients already needed for the cake. You can also make donuts simply by using a different type of pan. Prepare the cake mix as directed, then fill donut molds with the batter. You can also make waffles using your favorite mix, 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup water, and 3 eggs. Prepare them in a waffle iron as you normally would.
These five tricks are easy ways to spice up a rather plain boxed cake mix, and they all use ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Baking is about making your creations your own and tweaking things to how you like it. Don't let a single box of cake mix stop you from your adventures in kitchen experiments and creativity!