Step-by Step Instructions on How to Jazz Up Boxed Cake Mix – Part 1

I’ll admit to using boxed cake mixes and I’m not ashamed of it. I’ve made cake from scratch and they just don’t have the same taste and texture as a doctored up cake mix. That being said, not all boxed cake upgrades are created equal.

I think I’ve mentioned it before but my go to mix comes from Hello Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Allan Richardson and while I’ve never made any of their fancy cupcakes I can attest that the recipes I’ve tried from book are all solid. I’ve received many compliments on the cakes/cupcakes and now my new go-to recipe is either their vanilla or butter cream frostings. They’re both easy to make, store well and spread onto cakes like a dream; did I also mention that they taste crazy good?

Now that I’ve got you all geared up to make a cake let’s get started.

First assemble your ingredients per Hello Cupcake!

Then follow THESE instructions (note: since we’re making a cake just ignore the cupcake instructions.)

The recipe calls for you to use an electric mixer (either the handheld type or a standing mixer works) but I was feeling ambitious and mixed it all together in a bowl. If I did it again I’d use my Kitchenaid and not abuse my arms for the required 2+ minutes of mixing but I’m happy to report that the cake comes out the same either way.

I forgot to take pictures of the next step but it’s a trick that I learned in my cake making class.

1.) Take your two cake pans and using parchment paper trace and cut out two circles.

2.) Next spray both pan with Baking spray (the generic is cheaper but I feel that the PAM brand works better).

3.) Place the parchment circles in the bottom of the sprayed cake pan.

I know the extra steps are annoying but trust me, they’re worth it. They makes getting your cake out of the pan so much easier and the parchment paper decreases your chances of tearing or breaking the cakes while you’re working with them.

Pour your cake batter into the two prepared pan and to even out the batter gently shake the pans back and forth until the batter is level.

Now bake the cake per the box’s instructions and when a toothpick comes out clean the cakes are done.

Once the pans are cool enough to touch, remove the cakes and let them cool completely on a rack.

Now that the cakes are cool you want to level them so that you have a flat surface to work with. There are ways to bake a cake so that it comes out flat but I’d rather use a knife or a cake leveling tool and just do it by hand. Don’t worry if it isn’t completely flat or if it takes you a few passes, it just need to be mostly flat.

To store the cakes (and make them easier to frost), cover the cooled cakes with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

Tomorrow I’ll put up Part 2 and I’ll explain how to make homemade frosting and then the final post, Part 3 will go up next week on to assemble the cake.

Yours Truly,


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