Boxed cake mixes are an incredibly convenient pantry staple to have on hand when you need a cake quickly. For better or worse, box cakes inevitably, without fail, taste like box cakes. They can practically be identified from a mile away by their moist crumb and sweet, sugary, slightly flat flavor. While cakes that are made from scratch are clearly superior, there are ways in which one can elevate a box cake to make it taste less generic and more homemade. Simple substitutions can make all the difference! Read on below for some super-simple ways you can make the most out of a box cake situation.
Instead of water, use buttermilk! It will add richness and a make the texture a little denser and wonderfully moist.
Like with buttermilk, using sour cream instead of the water listed will result in a delightfully dense and moist cake that tastes much more homemade.
Replace any canola oil the mix calls for and use melted butter instead.
All desserts benefit greatly from a pinch of salt! Always add a generous pinch to give your cake a great depth of flavor and to cut the sweetness, which can make your cake taste charming and delicate rather than treacly and overpowering.
Extracts and Flavorings
Vanilla extract, lemon zest, orange zest — whatever you fancy! Adding your own flavoring to a boxed cake mix will allow you to turn a vanilla cake into almost anything. Rather than buying a store-bought lemon cake mix, use a white or yellow box cake, and add the juice and zest of a fresh lemon for a citrusy flavor that is far superior to anything found in a box!
For more box cake inspiration and to learn 13 things you didn’t know you could make with boxed cake mix, click here.