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How Adding Pudding to Cake Mix Makes It Taste Better Than Homemade

Are you looking for an easy way to transform a box cake mix into a bakery-quality delight? Adding pudding to cake mix is a simple trick that makes your cake more moist, dense, and flavorful. It’s perfect for those who want a high-quality cake but might be short on time or baking experience.

While I love cooking from scratch and knowing exactly what goes into my food, I’ve found few cake recipes that can match the flavor and moistness of a doctored box mix. Plus, it’s convenient and cost-effective, especially when you find mixes on sale.

Glass mixing bowl with two egg yolks, whisk, and cake batter, top view with bowl on blue table

Benefits of Adding Pudding to Cake Mix

Adding pudding to cake mix is a simple yet transformative technique that elevates the quality of your cakes. By incorporating pudding, you can achieve a superior texture and flavor, making your cakes stand out whether you’re baking for a special occasion or a casual family dessert.

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Enhanced Flavor:

  • Pudding adds an extra layer of flavor, complementing the cake mix and making the taste more robust.
  • Using flavored pudding allows for creative combinations, such as chocolate pudding with chocolate cake for a double chocolate delight, or French vanilla pudding mix with plain vanilla cake mix to give it a distinct vanilla pudding flavor.

Increased Moisture:

  • Pudding introduces additional moisture to the cake, preventing it from drying out.
  • This is particularly beneficial for cakes that need to stay fresh for longer periods, such as birthday cakes or event cakes.

Improved Texture:

  • The addition of pudding creates a denser, more velvety crumb, resulting in a cake that is both soft and satisfying.
  • This texture change can make the cake feel richer and more luxurious, enhancing the overall eating experience.

By understanding these benefits, you can see why adding pudding to your cake mix is a popular trick among bakers. Now that we’ve explored the advantages, let’s delve into the types of pudding you can use to create the perfect cake.

Jello instant chocolate pudding mix box on wood table with wood background

Types of Pudding to Use

Choosing the right type of pudding to add to your cake mix can make a significant difference in the final product. Using instant pudding mix is essential for this method, as it blends seamlessly with the cake mix, enhancing flavor and texture without any additional preparation. Yellow cake mix pairs well with butterscotch pudding or French vanilla pudding mix to create unique flavors.

Instant Pudding Mix:

  • Ease of Use: Instant pudding mix is perfect for adding directly to the cake mix. It requires no prior preparation, ensuring a quick and simple baking process.
  • Variety of Flavors: Instant pudding mix is available in numerous flavors, allowing you to experiment and find the best combination for your cake:
    • Chocolate: Adds a rich, deep flavor to chocolate cake mixes, intensifying the chocolatey goodness.
    • Vanilla: A versatile option that pairs well with almost any cake mix, providing a subtle, creamy enhancement.
    • Butterscotch: Ideal for spice cakes or when you want to introduce a warm, caramel-like sweetness.
    • Lemon: Perfect for lemon or white cake mixes, contributing a bright, zesty flavor.
    • Strawberry Cake Mix: Pairs well with cheesecake pudding mix to create a moist and rich cake.

By carefully selecting the type of instant pudding mix that best complements your cake mix, you can tailor your baking to achieve the perfect flavor and texture. Now that we’ve covered the types of pudding to use, let’s move on to a step-by-step guide on how to incorporate pudding into your cake mix for the best results.

Step-by-Step Guide to Adding Pudding to Cake Mix

Incorporating pudding into your cake mix is a straightforward process that significantly enhances your cake’s flavor and texture. Follow these steps to ensure your cake turns out perfectly every time.


  1. Prepare Ingredients:
    • 1 box (15.25 oz) cake mix
    • 1 box (1.85 oz) instant pudding mix
    • 1 extra egg (in addition to the eggs required by the cake mix)
    • 1 oz extra oil (coconut oil recommended, in addition to the oil required by the cake mix)
  2. Mixing:
    • Combine the cake mix and instant pudding mix.
    • Add the ingredients listed on the cake mix box, plus the extra egg and extra oil.
    • Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until just incorporated. Avoid overmixing; some lumps are fine.
  3. Baking:
    • Pour the batter into a cake pan or cupcake liners.
    • Bake according to the cake mix box instructions.
    • Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.

By following these steps, you’ll create a cake that’s moist, flavorful, and perfect for any occasion.

cream and pink decorated vanilla cupcakes - how adding pudding mix to cake mix makes it taste better than homemade

Doctored Cake Mix

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

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


  1. 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.
  2. Using an electric mixer, mix the batter on medium speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour the batter into a cake pan or cupcake tins. Bake according to the directions on the back of the cake mix box.
  5. 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 Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 12 Servings
Amount Per ServingCalories 255

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Next, let’s explore some creative cake recipes using pudding to inspire your baking adventures.

a slice of red velvet cake on a plate

Creative Cake Recipes Using Pudding

Incorporating pudding into your cake mix opens up a world of delicious possibilities. Here are a few creative cake recipes that use pudding to elevate the flavors and textures of your cakes. Using a Bundt pan can enhance the texture and aesthetic value of your cake.

Chocolate Fudge Cake:

  • Cake Recipe: Chocolate cake mix, chocolate instant pudding mix, eggs, oil, water.
  • Flavor Profile: Rich, fudgy cake with an intense chocolate flavor.

Lemon Delight Cake:

  • Cake Recipe: Lemon cake mix, vanilla instant pudding mix, eggs, oil, water.
  • Flavor Profile: Refreshing and zesty lemon with a creamy, sweet undertone.

Spice Cake with Butterscotch Pudding:

  • Cake Recipe: Spice cake mix, butterscotch instant pudding mix, eggs, oil, water.
  • Flavor Profile: Warm spices with a delightful, caramel-like undertone.

Vanilla Bean Cake:

  • Cake Recipe: Vanilla cake mix, vanilla instant pudding mix, eggs, oil, water.
  • Flavor Profile: Rich and aromatic double vanilla.

Red Velvet Cake with Cheesecake Pudding:

  • Cake Recipe: Red velvet cake mix, cheesecake instant pudding mix, eggs, oil, water.
  • Flavor Profile: Tangy richness that enhances the classic red velvet taste.

Each of these recipes showcases how adding pudding to cake mix can create unique and delicious variations. Now that you’re inspired by these creative ideas, let’s address some common issues and troubleshooting tips to ensure your cakes come out perfect every time.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Baking with pudding-enhanced cake mixes can sometimes present challenges. Here are some common issues and tips to ensure your cake turns out perfectly:

Dense Cake:

  • Cause: Overmixing the batter.
  • Solution: Mix until just incorporated; some lumps are fine.

Cake Sinking in the Middle:

  • Cause: Too much moisture or incorrect oven temperature.
  • Solution: Ensure accurate measurements and preheat your oven properly.

Uneven Texture:

  • Cause: Inconsistent mixing.
  • Solution: Use an electric mixer on medium speed, ensuring all ingredients are well combined without overmixing.

Dry Cake:

  • Cause: Overbaking or incorrect ingredient ratios.
  • Solution: Follow baking times precisely and double-check ingredient quantities.

By addressing these common issues, you can bake a delicious and moist cake every time. Next, let’s look at some tools I recommend to improve your cake baking endeavors.

a person decorating a cake with liquid chocolate from a piping bag

Having the right tools can make a significant difference in your baking and decorating experience. Here are some essential tools to consider:

Baking Tools:

Decorating Tools:

If you’re gifting or selling your baked goods, Paper Mart is a fantastic resource for high-quality packaging materials.

These tools will enhance your baking process and allow you to create beautifully decorated cakes.

Which is the Best Boxed Cake Mix to Use?

When choosing a boxed cake mix, brand names are less important than selecting a good quality mix and instant dry pudding mix. Here are some general tips to ensure you get the best results:

  • Quality of Ingredients: Look for cake mixes that list quality ingredients and avoid those with excessive preservatives or artificial flavors.
  • Type of Cake: Choose a cake mix flavor that complements the pudding mix you plan to use. For example, chocolate cake mix with chocolate pudding or lemon cake mix with vanilla pudding. Yellow cake mix is a versatile option that pairs well with various pudding mixes, such as butterscotch or French vanilla.
  • Sales and Availability: Opt for whatever is on sale or available at your local store. Most standard boxed cake mixes work well with the addition of instant pudding.
  • Moisture Content: Ensure the cake mix includes instructions for adding eggs, oil, and water, as these will blend well with the pudding mix to create a moist and flavorful cake.

By selecting a good quality cake mix and pairing it with a complementary pudding mix, you can create a delicious and enhanced cake without being tied to a specific brand.

Can I Really Add Pudding to Cake Mix?

Yes, you can definitely add pudding to cake mix! This simple addition can transform your cake by enhancing its flavor, moisture, and texture. Instant dry pudding mix is the best choice as it easily incorporates with the cake mix ingredients. Here’s why you should consider adding pudding to your cake mix:


  • Enhanced Flavor: Pudding adds a richer taste to the cake.
  • Increased Moisture: It helps keep the cake moist for longer.
  • Improved Texture: Results in a denser, more velvety crumb.

Adding pudding to your cake mix is a tried-and-true method to elevate your baking. Give it a try and enjoy the delicious results!

yellow baking oil being poured into a bowl - what kind of oil to add to cake mix

What Type of Oil Should I Use in the Cake Mix?

Choosing the right oil for your cake mix can enhance both the healthiness and flavor of your cake. Here are some recommended alternatives to processed vegetable oil:

Coconut Oil:

  • Health Benefits: Rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Usage Tips: Melt slightly to liquid form before mixing. Avoid overheating to prevent cooking the eggs.
  • Flavor: Refined coconut oil for a milder taste; unrefined for a slight coconut flavor.

Olive Oil:

  • Health Benefits: High in healthy monounsaturated fats.
  • Usage Tips: Use mild-flavored olive oil to avoid overpowering the cake’s flavor.


  • Flavor: Adds a rich, creamy taste.
  • Usage Tips: Directly substitute for oil; be aware of its higher moisture content which can make the batter thinner.


  • Health Benefits: Low in calories and adds natural sweetness.
  • Usage Tips: Use ¾ cup of applesauce for every cup of oil.

For more detailed information and additional alternatives, you can visit My Baking Heart

How Many Boxes of Cake Mix Do I Need?

The number of cake mix boxes needed varies based on the cake size and type. Remember to include a box of instant pudding mix for each box of cake mix.

Quarter Sheet Cake:

  • Size: 9×13 inches.
  • Boxes Needed: One box of cake mix and one box of instant pudding mix.

Half Sheet Cake:

  • Size: 12×18 inches.
  • Boxes Needed: Two boxes of cake mix and two boxes of instant pudding mix.

Full Sheet Cake:

  • Size: 18×24 inches.
  • Boxes Needed: Three to four boxes of cake mix and three to four boxes of instant pudding mix.

Standard Cake Pans:

  • 8-inch or 9-inch Round Pans: One box of cake mix (and one box of instant pudding mix) fills two pans.
  • 13×9-inch Pan: One box of cake mix (and one box of instant pudding mix).


  • Standard Cupcakes: One box of cake mix (and one box of instant pudding mix) makes about 24 cupcakes.

Icing Your Cakes and Cupcakes

To complement your delicious cakes and cupcakes, try using Swiss Buttercream Icing. This icing is known for its smooth texture and balanced sweetness, making it perfect for both cakes and cupcakes. It’s silky, not overly sweet, and holds up well at room temperature. For the detailed recipe and step-by-step instructions follow this link: Swiss Buttercream Icing Recipe

Use this versatile icing to frost and decorate your baked creations, adding both flavor and elegance.

Final Thoughts and Serving Suggestions

Adding pudding to your cake mix is a simple yet transformative technique that can elevate your baking to new heights. This method not only enhances the flavor and moisture of your cake but also provides a delightful, dense texture that everyone will love. Whether you’re making a classic chocolate fudge cake or a zesty lemon delight, incorporating pudding ensures a delicious result every time.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Frosting: Top your cakes and cupcakes with Swiss Buttercream Icing for a smooth, luxurious finish.
  • Decorations: Add fresh fruits, chocolate shavings, or sprinkles for an extra touch of elegance and flavor.
  • Pairings: Serve your cake with a side of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for added indulgence.

Try experimenting with different pudding and cake mix combinations to discover your favorite flavors. Happy baking!

decorated vanilla cupcake with pink icing, cherry, and sprinkles - adding pudding to cake mix to make it taste better than homemade


Sunday 18th of June 2023

Is this amount of pudding mix equal to about 1/2 package of a 102 g package of pudding mix? I am not familiar with this size. Also can I use a Betty Crocker cake mix as it is more difficult finding Duncan Hines where I live. Betty Crocker already has pudding in the mix and wonder if this might cause the cake to be too moist or sink in the middle


Monday 19th of June 2023

Yes, it's half of a package. I used to always use the Royal brand, which had the smaller packages, but they have been really difficult to find since the pandemic. I'm going to re-do this recipe using the larger boxes, I just haven't gotten a chance yet. The biggest thing is to ensure you have enough liquid from the eggs and fat from the oil. But obviously, you don't want too much either, which is why I need to do some experimenting in the kitchen.

You can still use the Betty Crocker mix with the pudding. I still find that adding extra pudding mix makes the boxed mix exceptionally better. The box instructions allow for the pudding mix that has already been added (which is minimal in my opinion), but you'll need to add the extra egg and oil when you add the additional pudding mix.

Bridget Mary

Friday 19th of May 2023

do i need to add extra liquid or egg when adding dry pudding mix to dry cake mix


Thursday 25th of May 2023

Yes, before baking you'll need to add extra oil and extra egg.

Sara W

Wednesday 5th of April 2023

If using milk instead of oil, would you still add extra milk like you would the oil? If so would it still be 1 oz?


Wednesday 19th of April 2023

Milk would not be a good substitute for oil because of the moisture content. You'd be better off substituting with butter.


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?


Wednesday 19th of April 2023

I've always used the Royal pudding brand, which does come in 1.85 oz boxes, but I've noticed that it's getting more difficult to find. I need to redevelop the recipe for larger boxes since I've had several people complain about this recipe being too dense with the larger boxes.


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

Claudia Haney

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.

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