I was in a rush the other day…so I gave in and grabbed a boxed cake mix from the shelf. (I know, gasp in horror!) But I still wanted it to taste great.
I’ve learned a lot about cooking in the last two years, so I knew that with the right ingredients and substitutions, I could make even a boxed cake mix taste fantastic.
(Unfortunately, I didn’t grab a picture of the final product. Because I honestly didn’t expect it to taste that good!)
I started with a boxed carrot cake. I personally did the following:
- Used milk instead of water. A lot of sites will recommend whole milk or buttermilk…but I didn’t have that on hand. Skim worked fine for me.
- Used melted butter instead of oil. I would have done this even without the whole “research before I post” thing. I cannot dump oil into a cake!
- Used an extra egg. Box called for 3, I used 4.
- Instead of making a 9″ x 13″ as I normally would, I made two 9″ rounds, and made a layered cake out of them.
- I confess…I even grabbed canned frosting. But I added 5-6 drops of vanilla extract, whipped it well, and then used it as frosting. You would not believe the different a few drops of vanilla makes!
In addition to the tips above, here are a few I’ve heard from different bakers. I can’t personally vouch for them…but I’ll probably try them in the future.
- If making a boxed chocolate cake, use hot water instead of cold. (This kind of conflicts with using milk instead of water above…your choice).
- 1 tsp. of flavoring that matches the cake: vanilla for a white cake, almond for a yellow cake, lemon for a lemon cake, coffee liqueur for chocolate. (Though I don’t know who has lemon flavoring around…I’m just passing on the advice.)
- If you have time and a good recipe: Homemade Frosting! The frosting is at least half of the cake experience.
- One person recommended doubling the amount of butter. Not sure…but I might try at least adding another half.
- Use an extra egg white or two for a very fluffy white cake.