12 Genius Cake Tips to Make a Box Cake Mix Better!

I love the thought of making a box cake mix better…much better! Box cake mix can be incredibly convenient and inexpensive, but you give up a little of that scratch cake taste we all love. Here are some easy tips to making your box cake mix better with just a few tricks!

cake tips to make the average box cake - something amazing on a fork!
Grab the melted butter…let’s turn that box cake mix into a yummy bakery tasting cake!

I like baking, but often don’t have the time to bake scratch cake.I love using a box of cake mix that has all the dry ingredients, add a couple of simple ingredients…and viola! Cake!

Now let’s look at how to make box cake better You can think of it as the best way to achieve next level cake mix flavor through tweaks of your cake batter.

How to Make Box Cake Mix Taste Like a Bakery Baked Cake

Here are some cake tips of simple things that you can do next time to make your boxed cake mix taste like it came from the fancy-schmansy corner bakery with little effort.  I love bakery cakes, but don’t have the time to scratch bake most of the time.  I also love the ease of using a box cake mixes.

But the box cake taste isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea because you can often tell it isn’t a scratch cake, it lacks homemade taste. So try out some of these tips to get an even better flavor, and watch everyone’s face when you tell them that it isn’t a bakery cake, but a cake YOU baked.

Yep! You can make your box cake better with these cake baking tips…

1-3. How to Make a Moist Box Cake

Making a moist box cake starts with the ingredients in the cake batter. Here are our top 3 cake batter ingredient tips for the best moist cake no matter what the box calls for when it comes to wet ingredients. Try one or try them all ignoring the back of the box…

1. Add an Additional Egg to the Cake Mix

To make a box cake mix a more moist baked cake, add an extra egg. Adding an extra egg then the recipe calls for to your cake mix will make your cake slightly more dense, more moist and less likely to crumble. The extra egg yolks and egg whites make a big difference!

Tasty…and moist!  

2. Use Melted Butter in the Cake Batter

Another way to make sure your box cake is moist is to substitute any oil the recipe calls for on the back of the box with melted butter. Real butter makes your cake SO moist!  Melted butter makes it easy to manage like oil.

Related: Check out the recipe – 1 Batter, 10 Cupcakes.  

Use butter, real melted butter is the secret!

3. Substitute Milk for Water on Box Ingredients

Use Whole Milk

Use whole milk instead of water called for in cake mix recipe. It is crazy how much richer the cake batter will be. If the consistency doesn’t seem right, dilute with a little water or use 2% milk instead.

When you don’t use whole milk daily, it is easy to forget how rich and creamy baking with whole milk can be!

Use Coconut Milk

For an even more delicious cake consider substituting coconut milk for cake batter when the cake mixes call for water to eliminate the boxed cake taste! If you are baking a cake flavor that would be enhanced by coconut milk, give it a try!

4. How to Get the Cake out of the Baking Pan

Create a Non-stick surface so cleaning pans is easier.  After greasing your cake pan, dust it lightly with flour before pouring in your cake batter into the cake pan or sheet cake pan.

Cleaning your cake pan will be a lot easier! This has been a lifesaver, I had a problem with my cakes sticking to my cake pans. These easy steps will save your cake and your patience, they did mine!

5. How to Make a Box Cake Mix Healthier 

If you are looking for healthy fats, or for less fat, consider replacing the oil in your recipe with either applesauce or a mashed avocado.  

You now have a healthier cake that still has the fat content. Start with a one cup oil to one cup replacement ratio. I also think this makes it surprisingly moist! Healthy changes are a good thing , even in dessert!

a dozen cake tips for the lazy baker - tips for making box cake mix taste better like adding eggs, butter and dusting with flour
Easy cake tips to make box cakes taste better…and be more moist!

6. What to Add to a Box Cake Mix to Make Cake Springy

Add 1/2 cup of Angel Food Cake Mix, and 1 tablespoon of water, to any other cake mix.  Your cake will become a lot more fluffy and spongy. And I just love the hint of a flavor the angel food cake gives!

It really shines if you’re using a white cake mix or a yellow cake mix. The flavor is a bit more subtle in say Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix or something similar.

7. How to Save an Over-baked Cake

Pudding. It will cure any dried out cake.  Did you bake your cake too long? Or a day earlier than you needed it?  

Poke a BUNCH of holes into the top of your cake. Whip up a box of instant pudding mix and as the pudding is still warm, pour it over your cake.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours and you will have a super rich cake and can enhance the flavors by adding something like a chocolate pudding.

kab cake hacks for the rest of us - how to make an easy cake at home from a mix
Let’s make what tastes like scratch cake from a mix! –Thanks to Ginny for the image!

8. How to Make a Box Cake for One Person

2 Minute Single Servings of Cake – All you need is two boxed cakes (this Hot Chocolate Cake uses Chocolate and Angel Food), water and a microwave.

It is perfect when you only are making for one person.

This is one of my most favorite box cake mix hacks because quite frankly sometimes I want cake without having a whole cake sitting around.

Don’t forget to add some powdered sugar on top or some homemade frosting!

9. How to Make Sure Your Cake Bakes Evenly in the Oven

Drop your pan before you bake it.  Not a big drop, just a half inch or so.  The act of dropping the cake batter will force all the air bubbles out of your cake batter and your cake will bake more evenly now.

10. How to Prevent Splatters When Mixing a Cake Mix

When whisking your cake mix, don’t wear it. Poke your electric whisks through a paper plate before turning it on.

The plate will block the cake batter splatters. What a handy little trick. 

Mix two boxes of cake together for fun flavors - shown is a strawberry chocolate cake here on Kids Activities Blog
Mix two boxes of cake mix together for fun and yummy homemade results…

11. How to Make the Box Cake Mix More Flavorful

Combine flavors to enhance the flavor of your cake. You can mix two box mixes together by layering the batter, or by simply mixing the two flavors of batter together.  

We did that recently with two boxes of Betty Crocker Cakes.  Strawberry chocolate is tasty! 

Try French Vanilla Butter Pecan cake mixes together too! Yum.

12. How to Decrease the Time Needed to Bake a Box Cake Mix

Make a boxed cake into cookies.  Cake mix cookies have extra moisture and turn out so good.

For best results, we add a tablespoon of flour when we mix up a batch of cake cookies and use the melted butter instead of oil.

This is a great way to make a box cake better, my all time favorite cake cookies is strawberry with chocolate chips which is a surprisingly easy recipe.

13. Don’t Have a Cake Box Mix, But Need Easy Cake?

Don’t have a cake mix, but you still want an amazing cake?  Or did you accidentally leave the ice cream out on the counter till it became soup?

Here is a great recipe for Ice cream Cake.  You dump the melted ice cream along with 3 Cups of self-rising flour and bake. Perfect.

14. How to Carry a Cake

And if you are taking your cake to school or a party, you will need something to carry it in.  We love these (affiliate) Pie and Cake Carriers….and they come in fun and colorful designs.  Just like our favorite kitchen gadgets, they do all the work.

These hand kitchen gadgets your the cake you spent so much time making will stay looking like the best cake ever.

box cake mix tips to make them taste amazing from Kids Activities Blog - kid licking cake batter
OK, this might be the best part of making cake batter..

More Cake Tip Fun from Kids Activities Blog

  • Make homemade pancake mix – it is way easier than you might think!
  • Let’s say you decide you don’t have time to make a box cake mix, check out our information on Costco cakes…shhhh, we will never tell!
  • Use all these box cake mix tips to transform your cake into one of these many Star Wars cake ideas!
  • Box cake mix can be used for these fun rainbow cupcakes too!  Or what about mermaid cupcakes?
  • You can also make your own homemade cake mix…we promise we found an easy way!
  • Looking for some more cake mix recipes?  <–We got over 25 of them right here!

Mmmm…have fun baking cake!  And eating cake!  <–that is my favorite part! I am just about to go make some melted butter…

Note: This article has been updated multiple times since it’s original publication years ago as we find more useful tips on how to make box cake better.

If you have a cake mix tip or trick to make a box cake better, please leave it in the comments below!

33 Comments

  1. Dump a half a bag of instant vanilla pudding into your cake mix, makes it super moist

  2. elena herrera says:

    I replace the water with whole milk. Always come.out more rich in flavor. And taste sooo good more like bakery made !

  3. I love your recipes. But I have1 question on one! And that is the Ice Cream Cake. And I was wanting to know is what size of Ice Cream it is that it is u use? Does anyone know?

  4. I just need to find out what size of Ice Cream container for the Ice Cream Cake!

  5. You can also use sour cream in the cake batter to make them come out super moist

  6. I use sour cream in the cake batter to make it super moist

  7. What can you do to make a larger cake since the contents of the box cake mix have been reduced?

  8. Unsalted or salted butter?
    If the box says 1/2 cup oil,then use 1 cup butter, right?

  9. Gisele Hall says:

    I use light coloured metal cake pans and bake at 325 deg. instead of 350. Cake is more moist. Higher temperature causes my cake to dry out,

  10. C. Lemmetty says:

    Cake mix boxes used to have a “light” recipe. I still use it, and the cake comes out moist and delicious:
    1 1/2 c. milk and 2 eggs. That’s it.

  11. Love the idea of covering beaters with a paper plate before mixing. My batters usually ends up on my counter and whatever is near me. Thanks

  12. Use a 1 teaspoon of instant coffee in the choc cake mix & also the choc frosting. Brings out the chocolate flavor.
    .

  13. How much sour cream do you put I Your cake

  14. Colleen E Crewdson says:

    I add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 extra egg and 8 oz. sour cream. Rest of instructions on box the same – this makes 7 cups of cake batter – it tastes like homemade and increases the yield for larger pans or extra cupcakes.

  15. Lynn Simon says:

    If you dust your greased cake pan with cake mix powder before you mix the cake, it will not leave a floury taste to the bottom of your cake and will still make for easier cleanup.

  16. MommaNancy says:

    I have tried a few of these, (cake mix recipes) but you have given me some great tricks to make a boxed cake taste fabulous! It’s the Holidays & I’ll be using the cup of “angle food mix”, “butter” & “milk” tonight ! Thank you for your wonderful tricks & recipes, I truly can’t wait to start BAKING ! !

  17. Line the cake pans with parchment paper. Zero clean up and cakes come out beautifully, also you can re-use the paper.

  18. Mike Robidoux says:

    Best tip of all is just make it as per box ,but add a heaping serving spoon of mayonnaise…..cook a little longer but super moist cake that is a family favorite.

  19. Kristen Yard says:

    I haven’t heard of that one before! I will have to try it! Can you taste the mayo at all in the cake?

  20. Candy Knutson says:

    I always use parchment paper to keep my pans looking new and get the cake out easier. My Mom taught me the box cake tricks in the 60s. It doesn’t matter if you use salted or unsalted butter. Use what you have. She also said to add an extra tsp..of vanilla or a forth of a cup of leftover coffee if it was chocolate cake. She must of read this stuff somewhere because she baked from scratch.

  21. Actually none of these are required. Box mixes taste great. I have never had any complaints on any cakes and they’re usually devoured in seconds. I make most all my cakes with box mix. So do I really need to change anything?

  22. Tanqa C Davis says:

    Only use mayonaise in chocolate cake. You can not taste the mauonaise. it did not work for my yellow cake mix.

  23. Kristen Yard says:

    Good to know! Thank you for the tip!

  24. Kristen Yard says:

    You definitely don’t have to, but it’s fun to switch things up sometimes 😉

  25. Kristen Yard says:

    Yes, I love parchment paper! It’s a baking must! Aw, it sounds like you have some wonderful baking memories with your mom!

  26. Kathy Yost says:

    Thank you everyone for your suggestions! They all sound wonderful. I make a bunt cake during the Fall. This year I used a gluten free cake vanilla because I couldn’t find a spice cake mix. I just added cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and a small box of instant butterscotch pudding plus dark chocolate chips. The cake mix brand is Krusteaz and it’s amazing. It calls for a stick of melted butter, milk and 3 eggs so you know it’s already going to be fabulous! I just make a glaze with orange juice. Zest and powdered sugar. A huge winner!!
    Kathy Yost

  27. Kristen Yard says:

    Hi, Kathy! That sounds delicious! I actually have to eat gluten free, myself, and have been craving spice cake. I will have to try this! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  28. I wouldn’t use more than 1/3 cup applesauce and then add the remaining amount of oil or other fat.
    Canned pears can sub for the applesauce. Just drain the juices and purée.
    Eliminate greasing and flouring your pans! Make pan grease, instead and mix 2 parts shortening to 1 part flour. Liberally brush on cake pans. (I store extra in fridge.) To make your pans more nonstick, cut parchment paper to fit the bottom and brush on the pan grease over. To prevent the paper from slipping, just apply a little of the grease underneath.

  29. Kristen Yard says:

    Thank you for the tips, Linda!

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