So, you’re watching your favorite baking show on Netflix, and a craving strikes you. You simply need to have some delicious, fluffy, moist cake piled high with chocolate ganache and buttercream icing, stat. The only problem? It’s 10 p.m., and your local Raleigh bakery is closed for the night. So you turn to your pantry and discover a humble $2 box of cake mix. Will this be enough to put your sweet tooth to rest?
The answer, of course, is yes! Although there really is no substitute for a professional bakery cake, just a couple of simple ingredient swaps can make a regular cake mix taste like you’ve paid much more for it. Keep reading to learn how to turn a standard box cake mix into a buttery, delicious treat.
Adding two additional egg yolks to the eggs the recipe calls for will almost always make the cake extra rich and moist. To avoid waste, save the egg whites to make meringues later. For a lighter, airier cake, use only the egg whites, and save the egg yolks for creme brûlée.). Remember, however, that taking out the yolks decreases the amount fat in the cake, so make sure to replace every yolk removed with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
Water is, well, watery. Swapping it out for another liquid will add more density and fat to the cake, and therefore a better taste. Try substituting whole milk or your favorite non-dairy milk, like almond and coconut milk. For ultimate richness, swap whole milk for buttermilk. Be sure to add a few more tablespoons than the recipe calls for, though, because buttermilk is extra-thick.
Most box cake mixes call for vegetable or canola oil. While these oils are cheap and widely available, they’re also practically flavorless. Try boosting your cake’s richness by adding an equal amount of melted butter. For extra decadence, add two tablespoons of mayonnaise. Yes, we said mayonnaise! Remember, mayonnaise is just eggs and oil – two things already in your batter.
The cocoa powder, vanilla powder, and any other flavorings that came in the box are likely cheap and possibly stale. You can amp up the flavors by adding a bit of vanilla extract, or rum, almond, or orange extract, depending on what you’re making. If you’re making a white or yellow cake, add a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon or lime zest to give it some pep. If your cake is chocolate, you can make the cocoa powder “bloom” by adding hot water instead of room temperature water.
It’s hard to argue with the convenience of a box mix cake, especially when you’re short on time and/or cake-baking expertise. But if you want it to really taste like you really made it from scratch, stop by our Raleigh bakery for quality you just can’t get from a box! If you’d like to order a custom wedding cake, birthday cake, or other type of treat, please click here to schedule a consultation with our master baker.