How to Add Flavor to a Store Cake Mix

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Boxed cake mix allows you to bake a cake without the hassles of a scratch recipe. While they're certainly convenient, they also may lack flavor. You can add some pizzazz to your store-bought cake mix and make it your own. Because these mixes are relatively forgiving, you can play around with different mix-ins and ingredients without the risk of completely ruining your cake.

Fat for Flavor

  • Store cake mixes call for oil and water. These ingredients help moisten and bind the dry ingredients, but don't add flavor. To boost taste, add milk or buttermilk cup for cup instead of water. For the oil, substitute melted butter cup for cup. The end result will be a richer, moister cake with a buttery flavor.

Extract Goodness

  • Your cake mix is likely to already have a dried flavoring added in, such as vanilla, strawberry or butter. Add your own extracts to give it a boost of flavor. For example, adding real vanilla bean to a vanilla or white cake mix yields a better tasting cake. Adding almond, lemon, orange, or even coconut extract works too. Add two to three teaspoons to diminish the store-bought cake mix flavor.

Mix It Up

  • Get creative with what you fold into the prepared cake batter. Crushed cookies, chopped chocolate, roasted nuts or even citrus peel can change the texture, appearance and taste of your cake mix cake. Pick mix-ins that complement the cake mix flavor. For example, mix crushed chocolate cookies with a vanilla cake or poppy seeds into a lemon cake mix.

Go For Yogurt

  • Add yogurt to your cake mix to change the flavor and density of your cake. Yogurt creates a moister, denser cake. When using yogurt, substitute 6 ounces of flavored yogurt for half of the oil. Reduce the amount of water by half to make up for the liquid in the yogurt. Pick your yogurt based on the cake mix flavor. For example, pair raspberry yogurt with a white cake mix or vanilla yogurt with a chocolate cake mix.

Fill and Frost

  • The frosting and fillings you put in your cake can help change the flavor as well. Frost your cake using flavored buttercreams, such as strawberry, lemon or peppermint chocolate. When you fill between the layers of cake, use something other than a vanilla frosting, such as peanut butter or chocolate frosting. Create more elaborate fillings by pairing fresh sliced fruit and frosting, such as chocolate frosting with layers of sliced strawberries or raspberries.

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