Diehard bakers may scoff at the idea of boxed cake mixes, but the quality and variety of these pantry staples are continuing to improve and provide great options for allergy sufferers or anyone who is short on time (and baking skills).
Using box cake mix has two major positives — convenience and consistency. Boxed cake mix has all of the dry ingredients already measured and mixed, cutting down on shopping time and meaning fewer dirty fewer bowls and measuring spoons at the end of a baking session. Because everything has already been perfectly measured, boxed cake mixes typically produce consistently delicious cakes, which is good news for people who don’t bake often and are still figuring out which cake recipe is best for their needs, including their oven. Like all cakes, boxed cakes can vary in cooking time and differ between individual ovens, but with a boxed cake, there is less margin for error because the measurements have been perfected.
Even with boxed cake mixes taking out much of the guesswork that goes into baking, there are still some important steps that bakers should take to get the best results. Wet ingredients, like eggs, water and milk, should be brought to room temperature. The batter should not be over-mixed and measurements for wet ingredients should be measured correctly to ensure that the cake does not come out too watery or too dry.
If your focus is more on the decorating aspect of baking, a boxed cake mix provides a great base for letting your imagination run wild with frosting and fondant. Most boxed cake mixes taste great on their own, but there are many hacks the bakers can use to up the yummy factor of their boxed cake, including increasing the fat content and decreasing the water usage.
Whether you are looking for a cake that will go viral or one that provides some comfort in a cup after a long day, we’ve got the boxed cake mix option for you. Check out some of our tasty picks below.
1. Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix
Betty Crocker has been a leader in cake mixes for decades and for good reason. The classic cake mix, which is available in a wide variety of flavors, is moist, easy to make, affordable and only requires the addition of water, vegetable oil and eggs. Great for eating on its own or as a layered cake, Betty Crocker has kept their recipe virtually unchanged for years aside from some important improvements, including the removal of all preservatives and artificial flavors.
2. Swerve Sweets Cake Mix Bundle
BEST FOR ALLERGENS
Dessert time is typically much less exciting for those with dietary restrictions. They are typically left with the option of a glass of water or a piece of fruit once the main meal has been served. That’s why we love the mixes from Swerve Sweets, which use Swerve, a zero-calorie, natural sugar replacement. Swerve is made using erythritol, a natural calorie-free substance made from sugar alcohol, which doesn’t affect blood glucose and tastes like sugar. It also uses Oligosaccharides, which are non-digestible carbs that include prebiotic fibers, which can help with digestions. The Keto-friendly, grain and gluten-free cakes have no added sugar, are low glycemic, plant-based, low carb and contain organic ingredients. A cake mix that is healthy and delicious? It’s real.
3. Godiva Molten Lava Cakes
BEST SINGLE SERVE
For a cake that can bake in less than 15 minutes and is sure to impress guests, we like the Godiva Molten Lava Cakes. Requiring only 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and one egg, the kit includes everything else aspiring bakers need to create 12 individual molten lava cakes, including individual baking cups. Ideal for serving to guests or freezing until you’re ready to eat one cake at a time, the cakes have the decadent and delicious chocolate that Godiva is known for.
4. Simple Mills Almond Flour Baking Mix
Going gluten-free used to mean dry and taste-less desserts, but thankfully cake lovers can finally have their gluten-free cake and enjoy it, too. Simple Mills has one of the biggest and best lineups of cake mixes that use almond flour to appeal to customers who are gluten-free. Made with rich cocoa and coconut sugar, the Simple Mills mix makes a delicious and moist cake that is plant-based and has no GMOs, grain, or corn and is paleo-friendly.
5. Tylina Tie-Dye Cake Mix
Tie-dye is officially making a comeback in clothing, which means there’s never been a better time to finally challenge yourself to make a tie-dye cake. With the Tylina mix, it’s easier than ever to create a cake that is both delicious and beautiful. The Tylina set comes with a moist cake mix and step by step instructions on how to use the three included colors gels to make a tie-dye cake that will wow guests. You can add your own icing, but with a cake this pretty, you won’t need to.
6. Annie’s Organic Confetti Cake Baking Mix
BEST FOR KIDS
Giving kids cake is a birthday right of passage, but for parents who don’t want to cringe with every bite their child takes, there’s Annie’s Organic Confetti Cake Baking Mix. Yes, the cake mix does still contain sugar, so bedtime may still be a battle on cake days, but the mix is made with USDA-certified organic ingredients and is free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors, synthetic preservatives, bleached flour and hydrogenated oils and corn syrup. Plus, it tastes great, which means kids will love it and parents can at least take some comfort in knowing that their newly energized child had ‘good’ sugar in them.
7. Duncan Hines Mug Cakes
BEST MUG MIX
Some days, you just need a piece of cake. We get it. That’s why we like the Duncan Hines Mug Cakes, which only requires three tablespoons of milk or water and about one minute in the microwave to produce a delicious ‘piece’ of cake. Available in a wide variety of flavors, including carrot, chocolate, confetti, lemon and strawberry shortcake, the mix even comes with individual frosting packs. Just because you’re eating cake out of a mug doesn’t mean you should scrimp on the frosting. It is a cake, after all, not a muffin.
8. Instant Pot Chocolate Chip Bundt Starter
BEST OVEN-FREE MIX
Having a cake baking in the oven is one of the best smells we can think of, but what about when you’re trying to cook multiple items at once? That’s why we like the Instant Pot Chocolate Chip Bundt Starter, an easy to use cake mix that bakes in the Instant Pot and frees up the oven for the main course. The kit comes with the dry ingredients needed to make a moist and delicious bundt cake, including ingredients for a chocolate glaze. The mix makes a cake that serves 12 and is ready in 40 minutes, making it an excellent option for hosts to bake while they are enjoying dinner with guests. Freshly baked cake for dessert? We’ll definitely have seconds.
9. Flour Shop Rainbow Explosion Cake Kit
Get out your phones because you are about to make the most Insta-worthy cake to ever come out of a mix. Williams Sonoma has teamed up with Amirah Kassem’s Soho-based Flour Shop bakery to create the truly decadent, truly impressive Flour Shop Rainbow Explosion Cake Kit. The kit includes all the dry ingredients bakers will need to craft the awe-inspiring rainbow surprise cake with cream cheese frosting. Filled with colorful candies and sprinkles, this cake is not only fun to make and delicious to eat, its paint-bucket-themed packaging makes it a great gift for the baker in your life. Just make sure they invite you over when it’s time to cut the cake.
10. Pooch Cake Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Cake Mix & Frosting
BEST FOR DOGS
Most pet owners spend their days trying to dissuade their animals from eating people food, but when it’s time to celebrate man’s best friend, treat your pup to a cake that is fit for a human but safe for a dog. Using all-natural ingredients, the Pooch Cake mix is made in the US and the cake can be baked in the oven or microwave. Free from corn, wheat and soy, the dog-friendly cake includes icing and can be made into cakes or cupcakes. Even better? It’s so good that humans can (and are safe) to enjoy a slice as well.