Pastry cook’s favorite ingredients to make cake mix better – Insider

  • I’m a former pastry cook, and I think cake mixes are a great low-effort but delicious dessert.
  • To amp up a boxed mix and make it taste homemade, I’d add sprinkles, extra eggs, or extracts.
  • You can also take the cake to the next level by topping it with homemade frosting. 

As a former pastry cook, I stand firmly in the belief that pie is vastly superior to cake. But when an occasion necessitates a cake, boxed mixes are a great way to deliver a surefire success with minimal effort.

Read on for some of the best hacks I’ve learned for making boxed cake mixes taste homemade. 

Try using melted butter instead of oil

It’s no secret that butter makes everything better.

Instead of using the oil the boxed recipe calls for, simply swap it for the same amount of melted butter.

It’s an easy way to create a delectable cake that tastes homemade.

Adding an extra egg makes a cake super moist

You can also add an extra egg yolk.


For an extra-moist cake, add one more egg than the boxed recipe calls for.

The fat in the eggs lends richness to the final product, making it a more decadent experience.

If you really want to go over the edge, throw in an additional egg yolk, too.

Using milk will result in a richer flavor than water

If you have dairy or nondairy milk in your fridge, sub the water the box calls for with it.

Whole milk will add extra decadence to your cake. But I also love using buttermilk for chocolate cake mixes or coconut milk for a tropical spin.

For special occasions, put a little extra effort in by making your own frosting

Even if you make the mix as directed, homemade frosting adds flair to a cake.

Kristen Griffin

I am a huge advocate of cutting corners — it’s why I love boxed dessert mixes. But if you’re whipping up a cake for a special occasion, put in a little extra elbow grease by topping it with homemade frosting.

Even if you only use this one piece of advice, you’ll trick people into thinking you went all out on your dessert.

Mayo is the secret ingredient for richer cakes

If you’re not a Midwesterner who grew up on Portillo’s chocolate-cake shakes, mayo in a cake may sound gag-inducing. But hear me out.

The eggs and oil in …….


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