Take your box cake mix to the next level by using my 10 Tricks To Make A Box Cake Mix Taste Homemade. If you’re ever wondering how to make your box cake mix taste better, this post is for you!

There’s just nothing like a big piece of homemade chocolate cake with creamy, chocolate frosting, and a tall glass of milk.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have time to make a recipe from scratch. And If I do have time, will it turn out awesome every time? So, I have a little trick up my sleeve on How To Make a Box Cake Mix Taste Homemade!

I turn to a doctored up cake mix to get the best cake and cupcakes around!

10 Tricks to Make A Box Cake Mix Taste Like Homemade

How To Make a Box Cake Mix Taste Better

Did you know that most professional cake makers use boxed cake mixes? They do!

I had no idea until I saw one of our town’s biggest wedding cake bakers checking out at the store with powdered sugar, butter, eggs, and several boxes of Duncan Hines White Cake Mix!

I could have sworn her cakes were homemade! Nope. They are all about how to make boxed cake mix better when they’re creating a wedding cake.

If you’re ready to learn how to make a box cake taste like a wedding cake – you’ve come to the right place!

Come to find out from a trusted friend that is known for her amazing cakes, that they even teach bakers in classes that you really can’t beat a Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker Cake mix these days! It really is the best box cake mix.

Apparently, the box mixes include the perfect mix of ingredients for a perfectly finished cake – every time! So, you HAVE TO TRY IT! It’s the best way on how to make a box cake mix better!

box cake mix, eggs and oil

I decided it was time to put this little hack to the test and I pulled out a box cake mix, added in some ingredients that made it taste a little more “homemade”, baked it, and added my homemade buttercream frosting. (See me make buttercream frosting below! )

Yep! It tasted just like it was made from scratch! I was sold.

There is definitely a time for a homemade, from scratch cake – but there is also a time for doctoring up a boxed mix to make it taste just like homemade. If you want to figure out just how to make a box cake moist and fluffy, these tricks are just what you need.

So today I’m sharing the best cake mix hacks on how to make box cake taste better that you’ll definitely want to try!

 Here are THE BEST Tricks On How To Make Box Cake Better!

Make A Box Cake Mix Taste Like Homemade

Try adding a few of these tips to your box cake mix taste better!

  1. Use milk instead of water.
    Use whole milk instead of water. It gives it a denser texture like homemade with an improved taste. You can also use buttermilk in place of whole milk.
  2. Add extra eggs.
    To get an extra rich and moist cake, stir in two extra egg yolks along with the eggs the recipe calls for.
  3. Add sugar and flour to the dry mix.
    Add 1/4- 1 cup sugar and flour to your cake mix.
  4. Use coffee instead of water for chocolate cakes.
    For chocolate cakes, use strong brewed coffee instead of water to deepen the flavor.
  5. Sour Cream is perfect for adding moisture and rich flavor.
    Add in 1/2 cup sour cream to add a more dense, rich flavor. Or use mayonnaise and make Copycat Portillo’s Chocolate Cake!
  6. Pudding adds moisture and flavor. 
    Add a small instant pudding box to the mix to add moisture and flavor.
  7. Vanilla & Salt give the cake a more homemade taste.
    Add in a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of salt the mix.
  8. Butter instead of oil.
    Use melted butter in the place of vegetable oil for a richer taste. For an extra decadent cake, add two tablespoons of mayonnaise.
  9. Mix-Ins to personalize and level up the flavor. 
    Add a handful of chocolate chips, fruit, or nuts to personalize your cake.
  10. Homemade Frosting is a game changer!
    Make homemade buttercream frosting! This is a MUST for cakes. Either vanilla buttercream or chocolate buttercream will make all the difference in the world!

That’s it! Try a few of these tricks the next time you’re wondering how to improve boxed cake mix. I have a feeling you will be reaching for a box mix more often!

If you want to see some of these tricks in action, check out this video where I make this cake LIVE on Good Day Marketplace HERE

Winning Box Cake Mix Recipes

chocolate cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes (From a Doctored Cake Mix)

For super moist chocolate cupcakes, try this Chocolate Cupcakes (from a doctored cake mix) recipe. It really does make the absolute best chocolate cupcakes! Top with my homemade buttercream frosting and chocolate shavings.
4.14 from 218 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes


  • 1 15 oz. ounce box box devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding (dry)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat the oven to 325℉. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to fill cupcake liners about ¾ full.
  • Bake about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting.
  • Pipe on frosting with a large star tip for a swirl or just by hand!

Butter Cream Frosting



    Calories: 96kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 34mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

    CLICK BELOW for my FREE printable cheat sheet for

    Printable Cake Mix Hacks———-> 10 Tricks For Making A Box Cake Taste Homemade – Printable

    make a delicious cake


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    About Kasey Schwartz

    For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on Today.com, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


    1. Diane M. Mitchell says:

      3 stars
      Seems like reasonable suggestions. I’m going to look else where for my tips as I see there are many questions that don’t get responses. That is just a needless frustration.

      1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

        We apologize! We work to get to everyone’s comments.

    2. Martel Carter says:

      I’ve also used a pie filling to replace the water and oil.
      An example is cherry filling with a chocolate cake mix or an Apple pie filling with a spice cake mix

      1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

        That sounds like a great idea! We’ll have to give it a try!

    3. proxy private says:

      This site won’t render properly on my iphone – you might want to try and repair that

    4. Wonderful recipe and enjoyable chef!! Hope Ella had a great birthday bash!!

    5. My cake fell after i took it out of the oven, I was shocked. I baked it at 325 for 80 minutes to be sure it was done since it had extra ingredients.

    6. Brenda D. McNair says:

      I read what you posted I want to know about a lemon cake what should I do to get that lemon taste for my cake.


      1. Whenever a lemon recipe asks for water I substitute freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon flavouring (instead of vanilla) and grated lemon zest. Friends and family RAVE about the real lemony taste.

    7. Do you add plain or self-rising flour?

    8. Joy Hendrix says:

      5 stars
      I upgraded my boxed spice cake, as you suggested, with milk, extra eggs, extra flour, extra sugar, salt and vanilla. Added a little sour cream, ginger and nutmeg. Fantastic!

      1. Kasey Schwartz says:

        Good to know!!!

    9. I add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup of sour cream, to a cake mix besides what the box directions call for. Plus extra vanilla, this makes a wonderful & delicious cake with any cake mix! It makes a 9×13 a full pan, several more cupcakes also!!

    10. Susan Trager says:

      5 stars
      I used one stick of melted butter in place of the oil. I used everything else you suggested. The cake was super moist and delicious.

      1. Can I make a round cake out of this rather than cupcakes?

    11. Michelle Olsen says:

      Does these changes make the cakes less stable if I am making a tall cake?? I just don’t want it to collapse.

    12. When making aWhite Cake can you use ANISE EXTRACT instead of Almond or Vanilla Extract and if you do how much Anise Extract would you use to get the flavor of ItalianCookies(Anise) and would you use the ANISE EXTRACT in the icing and how much would you use if so.?THANKS

    13. Can I add both the pudding and the sour cream to the box cake mix? Also I would like to add the extra egg I need milk instead of water is that possible? Please advise as I need to make a cake this weekend. Thank you so much,

      1. Margaret Eisenberger says:

        Did she reply to you? I don’t see any answers to any of the questions. I wanted to know if I could do more than one of the hacks on the same cake, like use milk instead of water but also add sour cream, or if I add the sour cream too do I also need to have more dry ingredients, like more sugar and flour. If she never answers I guess there’s no point in asking and I’ll just experiment.

        1. Margaret Eisenberger says:

          So I tried it with a lemon cake mix that had pudding mix in it already. Added 1/4 C each sugar and flour, 1/2 C sour cream, and used milk instead of the water. The texture was great but the lemon flavoring was so diluted that I wish I’d added lemon extract too. Maybe using pudding would boost the lemony flavor but it doesn’t make sense to me to add pudding mix AND extra sugar and flour, so I’ll try another cake mix with just pudding mix and not sugar and flour but still do the other add-ins.

        2. You can 100% use multiple hacks on one cake. I always sub water with milk (coffee for chocolate), add extra eggs, sour cream, sub oil with butter (and usually double the amount). This produces a very tender cake. Great for cupcakes, bundt cakes, and your standard 2 layer 8” round cake. If I need more stability I like to add a little extra flour+sugar to make tall layer cakes.

          Hope this helps.

        3. HEY
          I too am on the “ever going ever wandering journey of cake hacks”. I actually have used MOST HACKS in many articles in the SAME CAKE and NO ISSUES. However! This is the FIRST ARTICLE OF MANY MANY MANY read which “suggests one consider” using extra flour and sugar in the dry mix. ALSO- I am personally confused about the flour and sugar. Are these MIXED IN EQUAL PARTS PRIOR TO ADDING? Then does one add a 1/4 cup? 1 + 1/4 cup? I have never seen it written like top #3 is written. It totally could just be me and the way I’m used to writing. If I recall it’s written like this in tip:
          “Add 1/4- 1 cup flour and sugar to dry mix.”

          I would love to try this because it’s a totally new hack which I’ve yet to try or even KNOW OF, but I just need clarification on it.

          Again- is this combined then measured out in 1 measuring unit? How much? How much of each? If combined, what’s the ratio?

          Also curious if this would make my cake drier in any way. I’m curious what its overall intentions are. Hahaha. It is a “suspicious” boxed cake hack tip!

          But I’m interested!!

          If anyone can help, we would appreciate it!!

          How many hacks DO YOU PERSONALLY USE?


          Personally, I love reading about hacks.

          I set out all cool ingredients on counter at least 90 minutes prior to mixing. Room temp. ingredients blend better and the less beating you do, the better. Only beat batter as much as it needs! THEN STOPPP!


          I regularly swap vegetable oil for butter (Irish butter if possible- anywhere has it but costs more. Yes, salted). This is a 1:1 ratio and a simple google search will tell you what you need to know- if it calls for 1/2 cup oil or 1/3 cup oil, just ask google how much “sticks of butter” that equals. You often get a fraction of a stick. Microwave it for 30 seconds or so, stir in any solid pieces until melted, mix into batter with milk and mix prior to adding egg so it doesn’t cook your eggs, (or allow to cool a bit but not until firm again).

          SWAP OUT THE WATER FOR WHOLE MILK. I always do this. I don’t even think I would make a cake if I didn’t have milk. And we only ever have whole milk in the house. 99% of the time it’s Organic and about 15% of the time I have grass fed in addition to regular organic. I would use the grass fed in my cake if I had it on hand. This is the same idea as the Irish butter tip- grass for cows makes MUCH FATTIER, CREAMIER, YUMMIER PRODUCTS. Butter IS cream scraped off the top of fresh milk left to sit (likely refrigerated! Lol) and separate. Grass fed milk I would personally assume is fattier and this is the whole point of using dairy in cake vs. water and oil. I have not much experience with buttermilk besides 1 time and was a long time ago. One website called for this hack ONLY W WHITE CAKE. I say this option calls for research? Or further comments on personal experiences? I’d like to hear comments on chocolate cake w/ buttermilk as well as vanilla & strawberry. Those are our most often made flavors in this house.

          Regarding eggs, I personally “Add an extra egg to what box already calls for.” I haven’t seen “copy recipe then add two egg yolks in addition”, (or whatever it said- sorry- memory) but curious to try!

          Sour cream- YES TRY IT. NO DON’T WORRY.

          Yes you can do all these hacks in one box cake without adding more dry ingredients.

          I personally usually just do the first 3 but I’m getting sour cream too for today’s cakes/cupcakes. I am making 1/2 recipes for both Choc and vanilla. This leaves me 1/2 recipes for another day! I like doing a 1/2 recipe even for just one box because it just saves on EVERYTHING, I have to shop WAY LESS and with so few people in house normally, a whole box is just too much.? Doing (2) half recipes today only because we want two flavors. Never could we handle two full boxes unless there was a large party!

          ***Clarification on the flour and sugar added to dry mix would be great!(i.e. How much of each per 1 boxed cake?

        4. I’ve made dozens of these cake mix cakes with pudding and sour cream and have never used extra flour or sugar. I always use a bundt or Angel food pan which ensures the centre is well cooked. As I mentioned before I use lemon juice instead of water and add zest to the cake as well in the icing. There are sooo many things you can do …like add fresh blueberries for a not quite so sweet as icing cake also.
          I add chocolate chunks or Reese’s pieces to a chocolate cake; white chocolate chunks and a white chocolate pudding mix to a white cake (You can add desiccated coconut too); crushed pineapple (drain the juice and add more pineapple juice to the required water ingredient…. INSTEAD of the water). Etc etc etc. your imagination is the limit

    14. I do have a question is this going to be the same amount of ingredients for the yellow cake mix and the chocolate cake mix. Or is the chocolate different. Or is it going to be the same amount of ingredient.
      I’m making 2 11×15 yellow Duncan Hines cakes. and and 1 8inch round dark chocolate cake.
      2 for April 3rd and one for April 4th

    15. I do have a question is this going to be the same amount of ingredients for the yellow cake mix and the chocolate cake mix. Or is the chocolate different. Or is it going to be the same amount of ingredient.
      I’m making 2 11×15 yellow Duncan Hines cakes. and and 1 8inch round dark chocolate cake.
      2 for April 3rd and one for April 4th

      1. You can use all these hacks for any flavor cake, but if you make multiple boxes you modify each box of cake mix. Additionally, some hacks lend more to a specific flavor. Like for chocolate cake, adding whole eggs and coffee is amazing, but for a white cake I prefer to add egg whites + mayo and milk rather than coffee. You really just have to play around.

    16. Judy Whalley says:

      For a vanilla box cake could you add the sour cream and the extra egg yolks or would this be too much?

    4.14 from 218 votes (195 ratings without comment)

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