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Baking with Cake Mixes

Tips for Jazzing-Up Your Cakes

With today's very busy lifestyles, not everyone has time to make a cake from scratch. I find myself using more cake mixes. Why not? My husband sells food to restaurants and bakeries, and he sells a lot of cake mixes. The point is not that you use a cake mix, but what you do with that cake mix.

Here are some ways to jazz-up your cake mix cake.

  1. For a fluffier cake, add 1 tablespoon of meringue powder.
  2. Instead of water called for on the box use other liquids for added flavor. Some examples:
    • I almost always use milk instead of the water called for on the cake mix box. It makes a denser cake and it adds nutritional value.
    • Use lemon-lime soda to enhance the citrus flavor in a lemon cake.
    • Orange juice always works well in an orange cake.
    • Chocolate milk or flavored soda works great with a chocolate cake mix.
    • Exchange some of the liquid with chocolate syrup.
  3. Instead of vegetable oil use melted and cooled real butter for a richer cake.
  4. Enhance the cake flavor with extracts.Adding a teaspoon of vanilla or other coordinating flavored extracts to the cake mix won't make your cake batter overly wet. If more extract is desired, exchange it for some of the other liquid used in the mix.
  5. If changing from a scratch poundcake recipe to one using a cake mix, be sure to add 1- 3/4 ounce package of instant pudding (in a coordinating flavor). Up the eggs necessary to 4. Also be sure to include a total of 1 cup of liquid and 1/2 cup of oil or melted butter.
  6. If adding cut fruit, chocolate chips or nuts to a cake be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly.
  7. Use homeade frosting instead of store-bought.

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