Are you looking for an easy way to make a box cake mix taste like a bakery quality cake? Adding pudding to cake mix makes the cake more moist, dense, and flavorful. It is perfect if you want a nice quality cake, but lack a lot of time or experience.
First, let me say that I love cooking from scratch. I love to know what is going into my food, but have found very few cake recipes that can stack up to a doctored boxed cake mix in flavor and moistness. Plus, it’s easy and can be really cheap if you can find the boxed mixes on sale.
Which is the best boxed cake mix to use?
Brand names really don’t matter. I tend to buy whatever is on sale at the time.
In general, you want a boxed cake mix and a boxed instant dry pudding mix.
If you want to really have fun with it, mix the flavors. Butterscotch pudding would be great with yellow cake mix.
I like to use French vanilla pudding mix with plain vanilla cake mix. It gives it a definite vanilla pudding flavor. It is delicious.
I stick to traditional cake flavors (vanilla and chocolate) when doing a sheet cake for a party. Although, I will say that I prefer German chocolate cake mix as opposed to regular chocolate cake. It just has a richer flavor. If I’m going to eat chocolate cake, I want it to be good.
Can I really add pudding to cake mix?
Keep in mind that you are adding the dry pudding mix, not pre-made pudding; however, pudding makes an excellent filling between layers of cake or inside of cupcakes.
What does adding pudding to cake mix do?
It is the added fat from the dry pudding mix that makes your cake mix so moist, plus the added flavor that makes it so delicious.
We add the additional oil and egg because of this added dry mix. We need the extra moisture to balance it all out.
What type of oil should I use in the cake mix?
Originally, I used vegetable oil in this recipe. Now, I use coconut oil because I’m trying to get away from processed vegetable oil.
You will probably need to heat the coconut oil slightly to get it in it’s liquid form. Coconut oil has a very low melting point, so it won’t take much. Don’t get it hot, or it will cook your eggs. Mine is usually a liquid at room temp in the summer.
I’ve seen people suggest butter in place of the oil. The only problem you may have with using butter is that butter has a higher moisture content than oil. It may not be enough to really make a difference, but your cake batter will definitely be thinner.
If unrefined coconut oil has too much of a coconut flavor for you, try refined coconut oil.
How many boxes of cake mix do I need?
A 15.25 oz box of cake mix is designed to filled one 9″x13″ baking dish, which is equal to a quarter sheet pan. The added pudding doesn’t add a significant volume to the cake batter when you’re talking in terms of a sheet cake. If anything, you may end up with a few extra cupcakes.
You’ll notice the biggest difference in terms of the height of your cake. You can also add height to your cake by slicing the cake horizontally into layers and adding filling.
So as an easy reference guide, here is how much cake mix I recommend for sheet cakes:
- Quarter sheet cake – 13″ x 9″ x 2″ – 1 box cake mix & 1 box pudding mix
- Half sheet cake – 12″ x 18″ x 2″ – 2 boxes cake mix & 2 boxes pudding mix
- Full sheet cake – 18″ x 24″ x 2″ – 4 boxes cake mix & 4 boxes pudding mix
You will probably need to experiment with adding pudding mix to cake mix to determine exactly how much you will need based upon the size of cake that you care baking, but this is a general guide to get you started.
Recommended Cake Baking & Decorating Tools
Here are a few tools I recommend to help with your cake and cupcake making:
Stainless Steal Mixing Bowls – the silicone bottoms make a huge difference with these bowls
Electric Hand Mixer – there’s really no point in dragging out the big mixer for a single cake mix. Save the big mixer for the icing.
9″ x 13″ Cake Pan – good size if you want a smaller sheet cake. The straight sides of this pan make the cake easy to decorate.
9″ Round Cake Pan – perfect for smaller cakes
Cupcake Tin – for standard sized cupcakes and muffins
Large Cake Decorating Tips – I consider these tips to be the basics for anyone decorating cakes and cupcakes
Decorating Tips for Details – these are great for borders, flowers, and writing
Disposable Pastry Bags – I find reusable bags too difficult to keep clean and I worry about bacteria breeding in them. I feel safer using disposable pastry bags.
Paper Mart – If you’re gifting or selling your baked goods, I’ve found Paper Mart to be a really good resource for packaging.
Pin this recipe for later:
1 – 15.25 oz (432g) box Cake Mix
1 – 1.85 oz (52.5g) box Instant Pudding
1 extra Egg
1 extra oz oil (I use coconut oil)
Follow the directions for the first step of the cake mix. Add the ingredients listed on the box. To add pudding mix, you will want to add the powdered mix from the box, one additional egg, and one additional ounce of oil. Using an electric mixer, mix the batter on medium speed until all of the ingredients are just incorporated.
Do not over mix your batter. It is ok to still have some lumps, but you do not want a lot of bubbles. Do not mix for more than 2 minutes.
Pour the batter into a cake pan or cupcake liners. Bake according to the directions on the back of the cake mix box. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake or cupcakes to cool completely before you apply icing.
Note: If you have concerns about the ingredients in boxed cake mix and instant pudding, Thrive Market has some great organic and gluten free options.
Doctored Cake Mix
Adding pudding to cake mix makes the cake more moist, dense, and flavorful. It is perfect if you want a nice quality cake, but lack a lot of time or experience.
- 1 - 15.25 oz (432g) box Cake mix
- 1 - 1.85 oz (52.5g) box Instant pudding mix
- 1 extra Egg
- 1 oz extra oil, I use coconut oil
- icing, for decoration
- Follow the directions for the first step of the cake mix. Add the ingredients listed on the box, then add in the pudding mix, one additional egg, and one additional ounce of oil.
- Using an electric mixer, mix the batter on medium speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Do not over mix your batter. It is ok to still have some lumps, but you do not want a lot of bubbles. Do not mix for more than 2 minutes.
- Pour the batter into a cake pan or cupcake tins. Bake according to the directions on the back of the cake mix box.
- Ice the cake or cupcakes after they are completely cool.
Calories and cooking times are approximate. Actual times and calorie content will vary depending upon ingredients used. Follow baking times and temperatures recommended on the cake mix package.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 12 Servings
Amount Per ServingCalories 255
Thursday 2nd of March 2023
I use pudding mixes all the time. I've never seen a 1.85 oz box of pudding? Did you order it special from somewhere?
Tuesday 8th of November 2022
What what is my cake mix calls for three egg whites instead of three eggs would that affect the consistency of the cake mix when I add the pudding
Tuesday 7th of February 2023
@Bonnie, Hello I want to make a classic vanilla duncan hines cake and add vanilla pudding. The lady above asked about adding 3 large egg whites, but in the past I've used the whole egg which turns the batter yellow. Not an issue. So, can I add the total of 4 whole eggs to make the cake yummy? Claudia
Tuesday 8th of November 2022
Is it an angel food cake mix? Egg whites are very light, so I would worry that the cake mix doesn't have enough leavening agent. Typically cake mixes that use egg whites have you beat them until they are light and airy, which is what gives the cake its volume. If that is the case, then I worry that adding the pudding mix would make it too heavy and it wouldn't rise.
Saturday 15th of October 2022
The smallest box of pudding I’ve found is 3.4 ounce. I used it in the cake mix for cupcakes. My cupcakes sink in the middle. I’ve tried butter and oil. I’ve tried milk and water. Extra egg always. Yet they sink. Tastes great. I fill in with frosting, so presentation is passable. Yet I don’t know 🤷🏽♀️ why they sink. I don’t have this problem with from scratch cake.
Wednesday 26th of October 2022
It's probably because you're adding double the amount of pudding mix. You would either need to add half as much pudding mix or twice as much cake mix, oil, and egg.
Thursday 6th of October 2022
Can I use this recipe to make a pound like cake to go into a lamb cake mold.?
Tuesday 11th of October 2022
It's not quite as dense as a pound cake, but it works great for molds.
Tuesday 30th of August 2022
I have a 3.4 oz. And a 5.1 oz. Instant pudding. Never saw a 1.85 before. Can I use the smaller one?
Thursday 22nd of September 2022
Those sound like the larger boxes. You could use half of it (weight out 1.85 oz), or you could double your cake recipe. Just be sure to also double the eggs and oil.