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.
Brand names really don’t matter. I tend to buy whatever is the cheapest 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.
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.
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
Cake Decorating Tips – I consider these tips to be the basics for anyone decorating cakes and cupcakes
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.
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.
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.