Enjoy this fool proof way to bake the cake of your dreams. It’s called the box cake cake mix hack. I made mine with strawberry frosting.
So I know what you’re thinking. Why, Patty. Why are you sharing a cake mix for a recipe today? Isn’t that sort of lame? Well, let me tell you. I thought it was, too, until I tried it out. When I say this is the cake of your dreams, I’m not kidding. This box cake cake mix hack is nothing new or unique, but I had never heard of it until I saw something pop up on youtube. So I wanted to try it out. I do recommend making the frosting from scratch, though. There really is no substituting a homemade frosting. And that part is pretty easy.
Isn’t that a beautiful cake? Admittedly, fancy sprinkles make any cake better looking. And since we eat first with our eyes, always add the sprinkles! I used coupons and got these for free at Joann Fabrics. The new Joann’s is a craft lover’s paradise. Hopefully you have a remodeled store near you, because they are amazing. I shared a tour of mine here if you would like to see it.
But first. CAKE!!
Baking a cake from scratch requires a little bit of planning. And it also requires having a lot of different ingredients on hand.
My instagram fam let me know that they never bake cakes or cupcakes at home BECAUSE they don’t want to buy all that extra stuff, because it goes bad in the cupboards. Stuff like baking soda and baking powder loses its potency within 6 months. So if you are not baking a LOT, it winds up going out with the garbage. Which is such a a waste. But in using a Box Mix, everything but the wet ingredients are already measured and ready to go. You can even use canned milk, which is what I use since we never use really dairy milk anymore, and buying a quart is a total waste for us.
Also, cakes can be temperamental in the mixing process. With this, you are literally dumping everything in a bowl and mixing it up following the instructions on the box. Personally, I mix all my wet ingredients first so they are all well combined before adding the mix. But I see plenty of people dumping it into the dry mix and mixing away. I do suggest a hand mixer to get this just right, but you could use a whisk if you have the arms for it. You will need the mixer for the homemade frosting, so just go ahead and invest in one. So worth it.
Just look at the crumb and texture on this baby.
The real impetus behind me trying this recipe out was for a good friend’s birthday party.
She had a kind of wild girl’s night out party at a pole dancing place designed for ladies to go and have some fun. Kristin works extremely hard, and this was a BIG birthday so she wanted to let off some steam. I went, and no, I did not get on the pole! I don’t need to hurt myself, so I volunteered to be the party photographer, which was really fun. Here’s the party if you are intrigued. I’m including a couple of highlights below. I have to say how much fun it was to be the photographer at an event again. Once upon a time I did all kinds of parties and functions, but that seems like a million years ago now. I really had fun capturing the fun of this party. And let’s be real. How many times does one visit a crafting website and get to see a cake recipe with a pole dancing class in one place? 10 points to Hufflepuff for originality.
Kristin is a well known model here in the area, and I have been lucky enough to have < href="https://pattymacknits.com/black-cat-for-halloween/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">her beautiful face appear on my website>. I’ve also worked with her darling daughters! And we have been to a few Harry Potter events around town together. I think of her as a friend, and she’s such an incredible human being, I consider myself blessed to be able to say that. She is true Gryffindor through and through and balances my Hufflepuff very well! She also works a very responsible grown up job as a high level professional, and she is an amazing mom. Yes I’m gushing over her, because she deserves it.
But back to the cake!
I made this recipe as a test for the party to see how the other women liked it. They were blown away that is was something I had baked at home! Lots of the ladies wanted the recipe, so here it is girls! I will say, the homemade frosting is what makes it. Kristin requested strawberry, so I had to figure that one out. I started with the recipe by Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction which you can find here, and I only made a slight alteration. Sally is my go to for any kind of baking related recipe or question, and I cannot recommend her and her website highly enough. She is another hard working mom we should all support!
But the cake was totally inspired by youtube videos. I made my own recipe videos which I hope you will watch. I’m including them below and the written recipe afterwards. If you are not already, please be sure to subscribe to my channel! Your subscription and likes and comments on those videos help me and the channel tremendously. And while we’re here, be sure to subscribe to my email list while we’re at it! That way you won’t miss any fun updates or tips.
Here’s how I made the cake:
And here’s how I made the frosting:
And here’s the full recipe. Enjoy!
Turn a Box Cake Mix into a Bakery Confection! And a bonus Strawberry Frosting Recipe
For the Cake:
- Box Cake Mix
- 2 tsp. Vanilla
For the Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 8 tbsp room temperature butter
- 400 grams (2 cups) Powdered Sugar
- 17 grams freeze dried Strawberries (half the bag)
- 2 tsp vanilla
For the Cake:
*Substitute milk in the same measurement as the water listed on the box.
*Add an extra egg.
*Take the oil part of the recipe and double it. Most people use melted butter for this part, so that’s also what I did. But you could use a vegetable oil. Using oil in cake baking is a fairly standard thing, so I don’t see any issue in using a good quality oil. But this was as experiment to see how this thing worked, so I followed the instructions I have seen in other videos.
*I also added an extra vanilla, because that is always delicious.
*I combined all the wet ingredients first. Milk and butter, then one egg at a time and then vanilla.
*Add the cake mix all once to the mixed wet ingredients.
*Mix on medium high following the instructions on the box. Mine called for 2 minutes, so that’s what I did.
*Bake following the box instructions. Everybody’s oven and climate is different. So, start with the box time and then check your cakes to see if they are baked.
*I buttered and floured my cake pans so the cakes would pop right out.
*I chilled the cakes in the fridge over night, and frosted them the next day with my homemade strawberry frosting.
For the Frosting:
*Allow butter and cream cheese to sit on the counter about 30 minutes.
*Beat butter and cream cheese together on medium high for 3 minutes.
*Add the vanilla somewhere at the 2 minute mark.
*Pulverize strawberries in food processor to a fine crumb. Combine this with the sugar.
*Add sugar and strawberry mixture to butter and cream cheese mixture in two additions. The first just the sugar and the second, put the strawberry powder on top of the sugar and sift in together.
*Combine the sugar with the butter and cream cheese using the paddle before returning to the mixer. It will cut down on sugar going everywhere.
*Mix on medium high for 3-5 minutes.
For the Cake:
I combined all my wet ingredients first. Then I add the dry. That way, I know the eggs and milk proteins and butter fat are evenly dispersed in the batter.
For the Frosting:
*When I add a lot of dry ingredients to a wet mixture like this, I put the mixing bowl in the sink and do the sifting and additions into the bowl in the sink. It helps to catch the mess, and I all I have to do is rinse the sink.
*I will roughly combine the sugar and creamed mixture before returning it to the mixer. This helps to cut down on the sugar flying out of the bowl and all over the kitchen.
*I used this frosting to make a layer cake with two layers. I put a third of the frosting on top of the first cake for the middle layer of frosting, put a third on top and used the rest on the sides.
*I put the frosting on using a silicone spatula and then smoothed it out with the offset spatula. I was not going for the perfect smooth look of a professional cake. Just something pretty. I’m ok with it looking homemade, because it tastes sooooo good!!
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