boxes of cake mix on marble counter

3 Sneaky Ways to Hack a Cake Mix So No One Has a Clue

If I didn’t know better I’d swear that cake mixes reproduce in the dark of night on the shelves of my pantry. One day not so long ago, I counted 18 boxes. I did a happy dance. Knowing a few glorious cake mix hacks, one simply cannot have too many cake mixes.

boxes of cake mix on marble counter

Here’s how that happens: Cake mixes go on sale routinely. One week it will be Betty Crocker, then Duncan Hines takes its turn and so on. This week in my supermarket Pillsbury cake mixes are on sale for $1.39. That’s a great deal and a good reason to stock up!

Because no one my family is fond of plain, boring cake from a mix, my challenge has been to find better ways to use mixes than to simply follow the instructions on the box. What follow are my favorite hacks that disguise a mix so well, no one has a clue the delicious cake is not from scratch. And you can be my lips are sealed.

Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • yellow cake mix
  • eggs
  • butter
  • vanilla extract
  • milk
  • semisweet chocolate chips
  • nuts
chocolate chip cookies
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5 from 2 votes

Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grab a cake mix to stir up great cookies in just a few minutes!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Servings: 42 cookies
Calories: 101kcal


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter or margarine softened or substitute with 1/2 cup vegetableoil
  • 1 to 2 tablepoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350F (325F for dark or nonstick pans)
  • In a large bowl, beat cake mix, butter, 1 tablespoon milk, vanilla, and egg with electric mixer set to medium speed. Continue until smooth. If dough seems too dry, add 1 more tablespoon milk.
  • Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
  • Drop dough by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake cookie 10-12 minutes or until edges are set (center will be soft and cookies wil be very light in color). Remove from oven and cool 1 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store in a covered container.


1.  Because there are so many different kinds of cake mixes (with pudding, with double pudding, extra moist and so on), you may need to make slight adjustments to this recipe. For example, I’ve found that with some varieties of mix the dough is so stiff and dry it’s not possible to form the dough into cookies. When this happens I simply add one or two tablespoons of water until the dough is workable.
2. If you prefer a softer cookie, use only 1/3 cup butter and 2 eggs; omit milk.
3. If you need lots of cookies in a hurry, this recipe multiplies well. Just start with two cake mixes and double the additions.
4. If you want to cut down on fat, try substituting half the oil with applesauce (still 1/2 cup total—half butter, half applesauce).
5. Depending on the type of cake mix you use, these cookies may dry out after two days. To prevent this, store them in an airtight container along with a piece of bread. I don’t know why, but for some reason, this keeps the cookies just as fresh and moist as can be.
6. You can use just about any combination of cake mix and chips. Example: Carrot cake mix with white chocolate chips; chocolate cake mix with peanut butter chips; devils food cake mix with toffee bits chips; German chocolate cake mix with pecans and coconut.


Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 39mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Banana Pudding Cake Mix Hack

You will need:

  • spice cake mix
  • milk
  • banana instant pudding
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • bananas, mashed
  • white frosting or powdered sugar
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5 from 2 votes

Banana Pudding Cake

This may remind you of banana bread, but it is definitely a fabulous cake.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 352kcal


  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 3.4 oz banana instant pudding
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 can white frosting or 3 tblespoons powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Mix milk and instant pudding mix together in a large mixing bowl until pudding gets thick.
  • Add cake mix, oil and eggs to the pudding mixture and beat with electric mixer until fully incorporated.
  • Stir in mashed bananas. 
  • Pour batter into a greased and floured tube or Bundt cake pan.
  • Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Invert hot cake onto a platter. When cake has cooled, spread white frosting or sift powdered sugar over cake.


Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 376mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 146IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg

Melted Ice Cream Cake Mix Hack

  • white cake mix
  • melted ice cream, any flavor
  • eggs
  • powdered sugar
  • milk
  • sprinkles


birthday cake on white stand with candle and sprinkles
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5 from 2 votes

Melted Ice Cream Cake

This Melted Ice Cream Cake recipe is easily made with cake mix, melted ice cream and eggs. So easy! Cake and ice cream in one!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time36 minutes
Total Time46 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 327kcal


For the cake ...

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 2 cups melted ice cream measured when melted
  • 3 eggs

For the frosting ..

  • 1 cup confectioner's (powdered) sugar
  • 2 tblspns milk
  • sprinkles


For the cake ...

  • Remove ice cream from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature until melted. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly mist a Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.
  • Place the cake mix, melted ice cream, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix with electric mixer on low speed for one minute, scraping sides of the bowl and then beat another two minutes on medium speed. Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 38 to 42 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a small rack, then invert it again onto a second rack so that the cake is right-side up. Cool for 30 minutes longer.
  • Frost with your favorite icing or dust with powdered sugar. Serves 8-10.

For the frosting ...

  • Whisk together powdered sugar with the milk, adding enough milk until reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle icing all over the cake. Drop sprinkles over the top!
    Or instead of frosting, dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve.


Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 182IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 1mg


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15 replies
  1. Lava cake baked in microwave says:

    The frosting sinks to the bottom and the cake rises to the top. When turned over, the icing runs over the cake.

  2. Lydia Warden says:

    My favorite is to use a microwaveable rice cooker. Follow the directions on a chocolate cake mix. Spray the rice cooker, dump in the mix, add a can of chocolate frosting. DO NOT MIX. Place it in the microwave for 6 minutes. Remove and let sit at room temperature for 3-6 hours. Remove the lid, place a large plate or pan with sides over the opening and turn upside down. You have a chocolate lava cake that is AMAZING!

  3. Maggie21 says:

    I learned a new thing for a very moist cake using mix. Going by the box, but use canola oil instead of vegetable oil. My granddaughters friend made cakes for her and we loved them. Couldn’t figure out her secret. I tried it and it was very moist.

  4. Pat Weiser says:

    My favorite is rhubarb custard cake. Make a yellow cake according to instructions on box. Pour into 9×13 pan. Mix together 4 cups rhubarb and 3/4 to 1 cup sugar and sprinkle over raw cake mix in the pan. Take 2 cups heavy whipping cream and pour over it all. Yes, it will look like you are just making a mess. Bake at 350 for approximately 40 minutes….check every few minutes. When the top is set and a clean toothpick in the middle, it’s done. Chill. You will have a wonderfully moist cake with a rhubarb custard on the bottom. Ir doesn’t work with other fruit, it needs the enzymes in the rhubarb to work. I have added strawberries with some degree of success.

  5. Tracy Smith says:

    My favorite is one box cake mix, one box pudding, 1 cup sour cream, 4 eggs, 1/2 melted butter (or strong coffee if it’s a chocolate cake). It makes for a much denser cake; we love it! And it is so versatile! You can use a white or yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding (and of course all the other ingredients) in a bundt pan, place 1/3 of mix. The use cinnamon sugar for a ‘layer’, then do this 2 more times and it is a morning coffee cake! Or you can do the same substituting the cinnamon with chocolate chips. Or you can use a chocolate mix with peanut butter chips or no chips at all! We have been doing this for years and I have been asked for the recipe more than once! My all time favorite now is lemon blueberry poke cake. Lemon cake mix as noted above, then a blueberry sauce is 2 cups blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice in a pan, stirring until thickened. Once the cake and blueberry sauce has cooled, poke holes in the cake and drizzle the blueberry sauce over all of it. The icing is the cream cheese/powdered sugar, add lemon juice to taste. Delish! I am anxious to try your ice cream cake; that sounds delicious as well! Thanks for all you do and share, Mary! You are a highlight to my day! May God bless you!

  6. Lydia says:

    My favorite recipe requires one devil’s food cake mix plus ingredients to make it and one can of chocolate frosting.
    Mix the cake mix according to directions. Spray the inside of a microwaveable rice cooker and dump the cake in. Spoon the chocolate frosting on top. (Do NOT stir)
    Put the lid on and place in the microwave for 6 minutes. Do NOT remove the lid. Let sit for 1-2 hours – longer is fine. Get a large platter or a dish with sides (9X13 is what I use). Place the platter or dish on top of the open rice cooker. Quickly flip upside down. The melted chocolate will flow over the top of the cake. Use a spoon and dig in.


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