While nothing beats a cake made from scratch, a boxed cake mix makes a pretty amazing cake too. Not only that, but there are other pros to a boxed cake mix, like how it comes in handy when there is not a lot of time or how it is an excellent way for even a culinary novice to whip up a delicious treat.
But what if it is possible to take a step up and make a cake from a boxed cake mix even greater? Well, it is, with the help of just a few simple tips and tricks.
So, let’s learn how to improve a boxed cake mix in this article. Read on.
Improve a Boxed Cake Mix | Simple Ways
If you want to know the process of improving a boxed cake mix, you have come to the right place. Because here are some ways to do just that.
1. Add in Some More Eggs
Most boxed cake mixes require an egg or two, but some more eggs make all the difference in the world. So go ahead and add them in.
For some extra moisture and richness, take just the yolks and add in one or two. And for some lightness and aeration, add only the egg whites.
Remember that the use of no extra yolks leads to a lack of fat content, so make sure to replace every yolk with a tablespoon of melted butter.
2. More Butter, More Flavor
No other ingredient comes close to butter in richness. So to create a genuinely sublime cake from a boxed cake mix, butter is the way to go.
Whenever boxed cake mixes ask for oil, replace with melted butter. And if they ask for butter, then just add in some extra few spoonfuls.
3. No More Water
While water is great and everything, water also tends to taste like… Well, water. So basically, no taste at all. Goodbye to water then. Swap out for other liquids with flavor.
Replace water with milk at a one-to-one ratio. Milk contains water and fat, and so adds both moisture and texture to the cake. And, of course, a lot of flavors too. For more depth in flavor, use buttermilk instead of regular milk.
A tip is to slightly warm the liquid beforehand to truly develop the flavors in the boxed cake mix.
4. Time for a Coffee Boost
This one is specifically for the chocolate boxed cake mixes out there: wake the flavor up with a touch of coffee.
Coffee and chocolate work so well together that they may even be a match made in heaven. Just some of each with the other, and the flavors really pop.
So instead of water or even milk, add in some coffee. Make sure that the drink is slightly warm in order to boost the flavor even more.
5. Amplify the Flavors
Boxed cake mixes come in many different flavors—jazz things up to amplify them.
For example: in simple vanilla cakes, bump the flavor up with half a teaspoon or a full teaspoon of vanilla essence or extract. To amp the flavor up to a higher level, get some vanilla beans, scrape the seeds out and into the mix.
In regular white or yellow cakes, use some lime or lemon zest, juice, or even soda for some fruitiness to shine through. And in chocolate cakes, make use of oranges in all their forms. Another great addition is mint. And of course, there is always coffee to work with.
Oh! And do not forget about all the goodies in the pantry cupboards! Takedown all the tea, chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruits from the shelves and throw them in as well. Especially if there are sprinkles, use some to make a funfetti cake.
6. Spice Things up
Boxed cake mixes are available in only so many flavors. However, some spice here, some over there, does the trick to break the monotony.
Find flavors that go well together, like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and the like. Pair them up with some almond or maple extract to really pack a punch. It is possible even to add some chili powder and turn the cake into a Mexican one.
7. Sugar on Top
Nothing ever goes wrong with some extra sugar.
Once the boxed cake mix ends up as the most perfect cake batter, all set out in the pan, ready for the oven, take some sugar and sprinkle on top. After the sugar melts and creates a sweet, slightly crunchy layer, the cake reaches a new dimension in flavor.
8. Poke & Soak
While the cake bakes, make a simple sugar syrup. Mayhap even add flavors like citrus, honey, herbs, tea, coffee, anything really.
Once the cake is out of the oven, take anything with a pointy end, like a toothpick, a skewer, or a fork, and poke holes into the treat. Brush the cake with the syrup, or pour the syrup all over the cake. Allow it to soak. Not only will the cake gain a gentle sweetness, but also moisture and flavor.
9. Touch up the Layers
After the cake is baked and cooled, slice horizontally into multiple layers. Take each layer and experiment with ways to make them special. Maybe spread some jam or jelly on the layers. Perhaps drizzle over some syrup.
Chocolate ganache, lemon curd, orange marmalade, anything works as long as they provide the cake with more flavor.
10. Finish with Frosting
If the frosting is a failure, then the cake is too. So make sure to ensure the quality of the frosting.
A great way to do so is to make the frosting at home. From the standard buttercream to the airy whipped cream to the fluffy cream cheese, there are many options to choose from. Just make the best one for the cake.
Pipe the frosting between the layers, cover the entire cake. Make some decorations as well. With the help of the homemade frosting, elevate the cake to brand new heights.
11. End with a Tang
Love up the end result with some tidbits.
Make some chocolate sauce and trickle over. Cut some seasonal fruits and place them away. Grab a handful of sprinkles and scatter on top. Pave the way for the grand finale the cake deserves.
12. Anything Else, Really
Now, there are no real limits to what else can be done with boxed cake mixes. Anything from pudding mix to melted ice cream can be used to add some moisture, texture, and most importantly, flavor to boxed cake mixes.
Another great way to improve boxed cake mixes is not to stay limited to just cakes.
Stir some mix into basic ice cream base and churn into creamy ice cream. Whisk some mix into cookie dough and bake into cookies. Pour some batter into a waffle maker and make some delicious waffles. Scoop some batter into a slow cooker and cook into the softest delicacies.
Really, the possibilities with boxed cake mixes are endless.
Now that you know how to improve a boxed cake mix, there is no need to stick to the original ways. Instead, don your white apron, fix your chef’s hat and whip your spatula out to make magic in the form of the most delectable treats, all from boxed cake mixes.
Just do not forget to get rid of the box once you are done!