Are you pressed for time but actually need to make a dessert for something? Or do you just want to make people think you’re a super fancy and impressive baker? Whatever your reasoning for being here, let me tell you upgrading your store bought cake mix recipe is super duper easy!
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We all want to create that bakery-style perfectly decadent cake for our nephews birthday. We all would love it if our friends asked how on earth we made such a tasty cake from scratch. Because you know, we all like to seem fancy but most of us are just too lazy.
(Lol, I feel like this site is just becoming the perfect round up for lazy women’s recipes….I guess we can call my baking aesthetic delicious but lazy.)
Anyways, modifying your cake mix recipe the way I’m about to explain creates a moister, fluffier, and tastier cake. It has extra layers of flavors that you never find in any store bought mix and is definitely worth the extra calories from all the butter. (Seriously, so. much. butter.)
Essentially, you still follow the box instructions. However! We are going to make some substitutions.
Upgraded Cake Mix Recipe
First we are going to replace the vegetable oil with melted butter and double the amount. So if your box calls for a third cup of vegetable oil, we’re going to change that out for two thirds of melted butter.
Here’s the deal with butter. Butter makes your cake airier and fluffier. It also has a better, richer taste. Butter really does give it that luxurious bakery taste and texture. We double the amount to keep the cake moist and delicious.
The reason cake mixes call for oil instead is for 2 reasons: 1. since vegetable oil is pure fat, it makes the cake moister. 2. it extends the shelf life of a cake. Of course vegetable oil doesn’t taste quite as good nor is it quite as fluffy – hence the preference of butter over oil.
*Note! Something like carrot cake is supposed to have that very moist texture and butter makes them taste off. But for most cakes like your traditional chocolate, vanilla, and fruit flavored cakes, butter is the winner.
You need a certain ratio of liquid in a good cake. Water is well, water…it doesn’t have any carbs, sugar, fat, or any of the things that makes life sweeter. (I mean the only thing it does is keep us alive but what’s that honestly do for our taste buds?!) But using water in a cake tends to make it dryer and more crumbly.
Replacing the water with milk improves the flavor and increases the fat content. Increasing that fat content is the important thing. Fat melts at a higher temperature which means it evaporates at a higher temperature too. So while water evaporates rather quickly, the milk lingers and makes your cake smoother and much moister.
Adding the eggs
Okay this is important so listen up! IF YOUR BOX ALREADY CALLS FOR 3 EGGS DO NOT ADD ANOTHER. Unless you’re into stiff, almost spongy, eggy-tasting cake – which honestly…gross.
When you whisk an egg you are unraveling all the proteins in it. Those proteins give your cake structure. And as they unravel they make the cake fluffier by adding pockets of air. Adding an extra one (if the box calls for less than 3) makes your cake fluffier, lighter, and less heavy as you eat it.
Boom! There’s some baking science for you! You’re welcome!
Send Your Cake Mix Recipe Through the Roof
So you’ve created a super upgraded and delicious cake already. But, do you want to know my secret to make a store bought cake mix so good that you’ll have people requesting your cake for years? Yeah, you do.
All these last 2 tips do is add an extra dimension to the flavor of your cake that takes them from great to swoon worthy. So these are optional, but highly recommended.
If you’re making a chocolate cake mix recipe, add in a half teaspoon of instant espresso powder. The bitterness of the espresso powder balances out the sweetness of the cake and is simply divine. Get the exact espresso powder I use here!
Vanilla or Fruity Flavored Cakes:
Any white, yellow, or fruit flavored cakes (like strawberry, cherry, lemon, etc) are so amazing with a half teaspoon of almond extract added in. It gives a lighter flavor that gives us thoughts of summer and perfection.
Upgraded Box Cake Mix
- 1 box cake mix of your choice
- Butter melted, unsalted
- Preheat the oven to whatever the box suggests + grease your baking pans.
- Add your mix to a large mixing bowl. Then replace the vegetable oil with melted butter and double the amount.
- Replace the water with milk (I use almond milk because that's all that I use but regular milk works as well)
- You can also add an extra egg but I wouldn't do this if the cake mix already calls for 3 or more eggs. Adding more than 3 eggs can make your cake super dense and almost a pound cake consistency.
- If you have a chocolate cake mix add 1 tsp of espresso powder to the mix. This is optional of course but boy does it take the flavor to magical places.
- With a yellow or white cake mix you can add 1 tsp of almond extract for that same boost in flavor.
- Mix it all up in a large mixing bowl.
- Follow the cake box instructions for bake times and such.
So make it, share it, and then tag me (@thefulfillmentpill) in your awesome Instagram worthy photos of it.
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