skip to content

FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $60! *Limited to domestic U.S. orders only.

Discussion Forum

Topic: How to make box cake taste home made.
sugar02 06/18/2009 7:04 PM
Hi, can anyone please tell me how to make a box cake taste like a home made cake.
I only know how to make home made cake, since prices gone up I'm thinking on making box
cake, sometimes.

thank you
Jeanne G 06/18/2009 7:24 PM
I use box mixes because I like the taste and texture better than most homemade recipes, so for me to try to make a box mix taste homemade would be a step backward.

There are lots and lots of ways to change the flavor and/or texture of cakes from mixes. Can you explain what you are trying to change, in what flavor? It is likely that someone will have suggestions to achieve it.
riverchild 06/19/2009 10:05 PM
I used to make everything from scratch before I started decorating alot. Now that I'm baking more, all I use is cake mixes unless someone requests a scratch cake. I use Betty Crocker cake mixes and love them though Pillsbury and Duncan Hines are okay too. I learned from someone here on the forum (can't remember who) a way to enhance the mix and it has worked great. One girl at church says she can always tell if it's a box cake and that she won't eat it, but she eats mine everytime because she thinks it's a scratch cake.

When using a cake mix add one additional egg, a box of instant pudding, double the oil and cut back the water to 1 cup. I love adding the cheesecake pudding mix to my chocolate or vanilla cake mix. I also cut back the temp to 325 and bake a little longer.
ohhaiitssam 06/19/2009 11:18 PM
Ah beanie70 that is SUCH a good tip! I love making cakes but from scratch can kind of be time consuming!
sweetgrandma 06/20/2009 12:01 PM
I always add extra ingredients to my DH mixes and I had a lady at a church meal compliment me on a doctored up cake I brought. She said "And I can tell it's not one of those old bought mixes."
I just smiled.....
She didn't ask so I didn't tell!
binkbink 06/20/2009 12:02 PM
So is it safe to assume that I shouldn't add a pudding mix to a cake that already has pudding in it?

For years when ever I used a box cake it was always Pillsbury with pudding in the mix, but a lot of you speak highly of Betty Crocker, I think I am going to try it.
Jeanne G 06/20/2009 1:02 PM
Sweetgrandma, the president of the consulting firm I work for loves my cakes, and always says things like "and you can tell it is homemade." I always use mixes, but I consider it impolite to contradict the president of the firm that gives me my paycheck. Once in a meeting he put me on the spot, and turned to me saying "And it's homemade, isn't it Jeanne?" I assured him that I made it right in my own home.

Binkbink, I think it is safe to assume that cake mixes, now nearly 70 years old, have the ingredients they need to produce a tasty, predictable, moist cake. If Betty and her friends haven't figured it out in 7 decades I doubt we are going to stumble upon the correct adjustment by trial and error!

I've been using mixes for 5 of those decades, and I think in the early days they did need a little help to overcome a paper-box taste or coconut oil fat, etc. but the current generation of mixes doesn't really need help whether the label claims "pudding in the mix" or not.

That doesn't mean I never "doctor" my mixes -- but it is not because they are inadequate, it is to change the texture or flavor for a specific outcome. As far as I can tell, it doesn't really make a lot of difference which brand I start with when I add things like sour cream or a pudding mix or apple pie filling. There may be differences I haven't come across or that are too subtle for my tastes, but so far I haven't had a problem with enhancing any of the mix brands.

binkbink 06/20/2009 2:28 PM
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences you make a lot of sense
sugar02 06/20/2009 3:52 PM
Hi Jeanne G, My problem is texture and flavor, because when I try making box cake, everyone can tell
it comes out to moist and soft, and the flavor you can tell it's box. Jeanne G I'm looking forward for your response. Thank you

Jeanne G 06/20/2009 4:10 PM
Well, yes, that is why I like cake mixes better -- I like a moist cake and I like cake mix flavors (for the most part). I don't know how to adjust a mix to make the cake less moist.

If you are looking for better economy ("since prices gone up"), I'm not sure that cake mixes are the way to go. The basic mix is probably a good value compared to buying the ingredients yourself, but by the time you add in extra ingredients to alter it, you probably haven't saved any money compared to a similar cake from scratch.

I use cake mixes because I really like the results. If you don't really like the results, then it probably isn't a good choice for you.

From the comments in this thread you can see that many of us bake for people who love our cakes from mixes. If the people you bake for don't, then that is what is important to your situation.

There is room for all kinds of approaches to cake baking and cake decorating. You need to go with what works best for you.
MARIE J 06/20/2009 6:45 PM
sugar02 - what kind of from scratch recipe do you use ?? I make mine from scratch all the time, & I've never had a problem with them being dry - I've added all kinds of things to my mix - choic chips, sprinkles, cocoa powder, etc.

I have posted the recipe several times on the forum here, if you do a search by my name, you should find it

(I haven't figured out how to do that yet !! )
Jeanne G 06/20/2009 6:48 PM
MARIE J, I don't think sugar02 has a problem with cakes being dry ... she has a problem with cake mix cakes not being dry enough (if I've understood her correctly).
MARIE J 06/20/2009 8:54 PM
duh !!!!!!
Sorry - ignore my posting then !!
MARIE J 06/20/2009 8:57 PM
Thanks Jeanne G - I totally misread this one !!
bunnywoman 06/21/2009 10:07 AM
I guess I never wanted to make a cake dry...................... on purpose!

Gosh my only thing I could tell you would then be to bake it longer. You will make a dry cake if you bake it too long!!!!!!! That is guaranteed.

Scratch cakes tend to be drier to me. You could buy your ingredients in bulk like at Sam's Club, Costco etc to get more for your money.

Gosh.....I have never had someone ask to make a dry cake. Most of the time it is the other way around that they have already made a dry cake and need to make a cake more moist........

Good luck to you
sugar02 06/21/2009 10:32 PM
Jeanne G, I do not want a dry cake, no body likes dry cakes. I bake from scratch and my cakes is perfect
nice texture rich and moist. I want to make cakes from box sometimes, to save cost. I dont know how
you do it but, like I said, my box cakes comes out extra moist it crumbles while icing and they do taste box
even though i add falvor. I still would like your help please.

Thank You.
Jeanne G 06/21/2009 10:36 PM
I think that your best bet is to continue to make your cakes from scratch. It sounds like you are very happy with your results. Why fix it if it ain't broke?
riverchild 06/22/2009 6:09 AM
sugar02, have you tried adding the extra oil, egg and box of pudding and cutting the water back to one cup? I never have a problem with mine falling apart or being "too moist" or tasting like a box. I always get compliments on my cakes also. If you haven't tried it, please do. I use the BC mix with the pudding in the mix and I still add the additional pudding.

I used to think nothing would compare to a scratch cake, but since using the additions to the mix, I have definitely changed my mind.
tjfelty 06/23/2009 3:49 PM
I only use Duncan Hines. I have tried others, but keep coming back to them. I also freeze them warm. I cut off their tops(to level them) wrap them in foil and freeze them. I than take them out of the freezer and ice them frozen. Put them on a cooling rack so the air can get under them (so there are no air bubbles in the icing) Leave them over night and I decorate them the next day. It makes them so Moist and people rave about them. Try it, I think you will like it.
Tara64 06/24/2009 1:30 PM
I always freeze mine to. Everyone always says how moist they are. It also makes them easier to work with. I but them while they are frozen. Less crumbs.