How to convert that basic boxed cake mix into a moist, delicious bakery cake in minutes!

Yesterday was my oldest son’s 5th birthday! Happy Birthday, EJ!

I asked him if he wanted anything special for his actual birthday (we had a big party for him the day before) and of course, as any 5 year old would, or rather, should,  he requested a birthday cake! On most days this is something I jump at the opportunity to do and play around with different ingredients and style cakes, but we are all fighting off a sickness that has stuck with our entire family for over a week now and frankly my body and everything in me is telling me that I’m exhausted and just no. I thought long and hard about whether I would just crush his dreams and don’t bake anything or make a boxed cake. I hate box cakes, they are usually so bland to me. But, in a magical moment, a thought crossed my mind and so I did the next best thing. I grabbed one of my handy dandy tucked away box cake mixes for those days that I’m in a pickle and with a few small tweaks, made it into a delicious, moist, bakery-style cake!

Here are some common questions I’ve received since this post went viral:

Q: What kind of mixer do you recommend? A: I love my Kitchen aid and use it often. I had the smaller version, but ended up using it till the motor went out on it, and found a killer deal at Costco for the bigger one and upgraded. I’ve regretted it since.. I like the smaller one more because it tends to get the bottom of the bowl better mixing all the ingredients together. Q: I tried making this cake but it turned out bland. The texture was excellent but it tasted like nothing. How would I fix this? A: This is an easier fix then we sometimes think! Try adding in a little almond extract or vanilla extract. If your using a white cake mix you can even spice it up a bit with different flavor extracts. Maybe even a rum cake?!
Q:I don’t have a stand mixer, what else can I use?
A: I’m a big kitchen-aid fan, I love this handheld mixer and appreciate that it’s not super heavy so my hand doesn’t get tired.

How did I do that you may wonder?

Well friends, it is much easier than it seems.  You swap a few ingredients and add in an extra egg and there you go. Bakery style cake!

Here is how to make the magic happen in 5 easy steps:
  1. Read the instructions on the box.
  2. Add 1 or 2 more eggs, depending on your preference. My box asked for 2 eggs, so I added one more.
  3. Replace the amount of oil with melted butter, but double the amount. 
  4. Replace the water with milk – if it asks for 1 cup water do 1 cup milk. Make sure it’s the same amount, otherwise you’ll have really runny batter.
  5. OPTIONAL – you can also add in some sour cream!
  6. Bake as directed on the box. 

Now, this isn’t something I came up with myself, but found long ago online and have utilized it as a back pocket cheat sheet on those days that making something from scratch literally sounds like the worst idea ever. I don’t actually know who thought of this originally either, otherwise, I’d tag them here, so if you know, let me know so we can thank them for being so incredible!

Here are some of my FAVORITE tools that I’ve used to make cakes like this.

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