7 Box Cake Mix Hacks (How to Improve a Boxed Cake Mix)
One of the easiest and most reliable ways to bake a cake is to use a baking mix - we all know that. Baking mixes are cheap, they are easy to put together, and they almost always turn out perfectly.
So why mess with perfection? Well, maybe you want to bake a cake that's a little more creative. Maybe you want to jazz up the baking mix so no one knows your cake was really made by Betty Crocker. Or maybe you just think a ready-made cake can be just a little bit better. I'll show you a few tasty and easy tricks you can use to make your baking mix even better.
1. Goodbye Water
Most baking mix recipes include water. However, water is not enough if you want a nice, rich cake. So, skip the water and replace it with whole milk (read up on the differences between milk and buttermilk in cakes). Adding whole milk will add more fat to the cake, giving it a better mouthfeel and smoother flavour. If you do not have whole milk, two percent or skim milk is perfectly fine - anything is better than plain old water! Avoid heavy cream or half and half as those are a little too rich (too much fat can mess with your recipe is a negative way so stick with the milks rather than the creams).
If your recipe asks for one cup of water, simply use one cup of milk. Tada- a box cake that tastes like it is straight off a bakery shelf just by changing one ingredient!
2. Coffee in the cake?
If you are baking a chocolate cake, be sure to replace the water with coffee. Adding coffee will enhance the chocolate flavor and make the cake taste even more luxurious. Surprisingly, you will not taste the coffee at all, just more chocolate! Replace the water in the recipe with the same amount of coffee for this easy hack. This is also a great way to use leftover coffee...
3. More eggs!
Most baking mixes call for the addition of one or two eggs, but what if you added one more? What would happen then? Magic, that's what. Adding an extra egg will make your cake moister and denser in a great way. The extra egg thickens the cake and makes it taste like it was baked from scratch - no box in sight! Use just one extra egg and your cake will be transformed. If you do not want to use eggs, be sure to check out these egg replacers for cakes!
Sometimes it's just a tiny extra ingredient that makes all the difference in baking. In this case, we are talking about adding lemon zest to your ready-made cake. A teaspoon of lemon zest will turn your plain vanilla cake into something extra special. Bright fruit flavors will shine in every bite of the cake, adding your own personal touch. While lemon zest is great for vanilla cakes and white cakes, orange zest goes better with chocolatey cakes.
This little trick is more about how to get your cake faster. After you mix and measure the cake, you'll probably want to eat it right away - no one wants to sit around while the cake bakes! The easy solution to getting the cake ready to eat right away is to pour the batter into a waffle iron. Waffle irons are pretty inexpensive and you can easily order them on Amazon if you do not already have one. They are definitely a great tool in the kitchen and there are a lot of baking hacks you can use them for.
Waffle irons cook cake batter in about 3-5 minutes and produce golden brown waffles.
No more waiting for the cake - from opening the package to the first bite only takes about 10 minutes thanks to this ingenious hack.
6. Cook in Slow Cooker
Place the cake mix directly into a slow cooker along with any can of fruit filling (a can of cherry filling for a chocolate cake mix, a can of strawberry filling for a strawberry cake mix, or perhaps a can of pumpkin for a vanilla cake mix).
Turn on the slow stove and walk away. Four hours later, you'll be eating one of the moistest pies you have ever tasted!
Slow stoves lock in moisture, so no moisture escapes as the cake cooks, as it does when baked in a regular oven. The fruit filling also adds a lot of moisture to the cake.
Soft and gooey, this is a whole new way to 'bake' a cake!
7. We want butter!
Most baking mixes call for the addition of oil, but you know what's better than oil? Butter. Plain and simple, butter is always better.
Substituting butter for oil gives the cake mix a more complex flavor and a nice richness that you can not get with oil.
If you use butter, be sure to melt it before adding it to the batter. You should also use twice as much butter as oil. If the package says half a cup of oil, you need 1 cup of butter.An easy swap for a richer cake!