Recipes Using Cake Mix

Cake mixes aren’t just for making cakes.

They are incredibly versatile, they save time, and generally speaking, when using cake mix in a recipe, the chances of the recipe “turning out” are incredibly high.

The cake mix companies have been in business for a hundred years for a reason: cake mixes work.

Not to mention, certain flavors are incredibly hard to recreate on your own and even if you could, it’s a bit like re-inventing the wheel. Perfect yellow cake, Funfetti, strawberry, and devil’s Food cake come to mind.

The texture, the lightness, the flavor, the balance of flavor intensity to sweetness are all trade secrets are hard to nail perfectly.

15 of my favorite recipes using cake mixes:

and none of them actually make cake


Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars

Coconut Spice Cheesecake Bars

Cookie Butter Funfetti Triple Chip Bars

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars

White Chocolate Vanilla Marshmallow Cake Bars


Pina Colada White Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

Mounds Bar Chocolate Coconut Cake Mix Cookies

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes and Cake

3 Musketeers Marshmallow Candy-Stuffed White Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing – use a brownie mix rather than cake mix

Homemade Twinkies

Truffles and Chocolate

No Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles

Oreo Cookie-Stuffed Brownies with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting– use a brownie mix to make life easier


Vanilla Cake Batter and White Chocolate Chip Caramel Corn


Chocolate Cake Batter Milkshake

Do you like cake mix? How do you use it?

Recipe links welcome

Ironically, I don’t tend to make cakes with cake mixes. Everything except cakes.

I love the results from cake mix. There’s no shame in taking a shortcut.

And the smell of cake mix is intoxicating. I’d wear cake mix perfume if such a thing existed. Actually, years ago I had red velvet cake bodyspray by Calgon that I found at Rite-Aid and got tons of compliments on it from passerby. Apparently everyone loves the smell of cake.

However, I know some people like to make everything from scratch and more power to them.

Are you brand loyal to a certain mix?

Sometimes I grab what’s on sale and sometimes I choose with more intention.

Duncan Hines classic yellow cake mix, Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake, and any of their cake mixes are probably my top choice if all things are equal. Generally, they tend to be about 50 cents more per box at my grocery store.

I love Betty Crocker’s French Vanilla Cake Mix for white or vanilla cakes. The French vanilla flavor is deeper and I prefer it to other vanillas.

 Pillsbury’s Funfetti is one of a kind. Love it. Pillsbury Strawberry Cake Mix is so incredibly moist and the box says there’s “pudding in the mix” and I believe it.

Winner to be announced Saturday for the Ani Phyo Cookbooks Giveaway – Set of Two

Have a great weekend!

84 Responses to “Recipes Using Cake Mix”

  1. Stefania from Revitalize with Stefania — June 8, 2012 at 12:24 am (#

    Grew up eating box cakes, but try not to use them myself. The conventional ones have chemicals but the organic ones are more expensive. My one exception once in a great while are the trader joes mixes, but they have limited selection. To each their own. Your bars look delicious, I could try recreating them without!


  2. Paula — June 8, 2012 at 3:01 am (#

    I have never been a big cake baker, so I don’t have any boxed brand preference–I just go for what’s on sale. The mix I have waiting for the mounds bar cookies is a Pillsbury from the “scratch and dent” sale rack at Kroger (89 cents). It hasn’t expired but the poor box has seen better days! My stepdaughter’s high school graduation ceremony is tonight so some chocolate is in order.


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 8:58 am

      Cannot beat an 89 cent sale! You couldn’t even supply the flour + sugar + cocoa powder + other leaveners in the mix for 89 cents even if you wanted to make it all from scratch!


  3. luv what you do — June 8, 2012 at 5:01 am (#

    I LOVE cake mix recipes! They are so easy and fun!
    Cake Batter Puppy Chow is so unbelievably good…

    And I can not stop eating these Cake Batter truffles.

    Excellent idea for a post! It’s great to have one place to go when you are looking for a Cake Mix recipe!


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 8:56 am

      And I’ve seen both of those posts of yours and they both look amazing!


  4. marla — June 8, 2012 at 5:35 am (#

    Girl, you have waaaayyyyy too much fun in the kitchen ~ LOVE that!


  5. sally @ sallys baking addiction — June 8, 2012 at 5:42 am (#

    Averie, I am obviously loving this recipe round up! I am a HUGE fan of using cake mixes as a shortcut. In fact, i really don’t think I’ve ever actually baked a cake with cake mix… at least not on my blog! (Except for my pinapple upside down cake! yum.) You know I love cake batter, so I love using cake mix to get that cake batter taste in fudge, cookies, blondies, etc. I need to try your cake batter truffles! And that caramel corn!

    I am brand loyal to Duncan Hines + Betty Crocker!


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Interesting who you’re brand loyal to – I suspected those would be your picks. And yes, I know you love your cake mixes, too!


  6. Tracy — June 8, 2012 at 6:49 am (#

    When I was younger boxed mixes were the way we went. In my adult life (before I became Raw 1 month ago- today is my 1 Month Rawniversary!!! :D ) I only made things from scratch. My favorite recipe I had made back in the day with a box of cake mix were lemon cookies that also used pudding. They were soft and light from the cake mix, a little bit ooey from the pudding and nice and lemony!


  7. Melissa (Better Fit) — June 8, 2012 at 7:05 am (#

    Yay for cake mix. The more idiot free a recipe is for me, the better! You’re right- cake mixes work! :)


  8. Jen @ Savory SImple — June 8, 2012 at 7:07 am (#

    What a great list. Everything looks delicious!


  9. Heather (Where's the Beach) — June 8, 2012 at 7:22 am (#

    I love the simplicity of so many of your recipes. Beautiful, even elegant, but simple. I have used cake mixes (like a spice cake) to make mini-cupcakes for parties using pumpkin only, but that’s not really anything inspiring ;-)


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 8:54 am

      Spice cake mix is so good…it’s like carrot cake without having to shred any carrots or be bothered!


  10. CJ at Food Stories — June 8, 2012 at 7:25 am (#

    Averie … I love that you use cake mixes for everything but cake … Happy Weekend!


  11. Cassie — June 8, 2012 at 7:42 am (#

    Awesome roundup! I am Pillsbury all the way when it comes to boxed mixes. Love it!


  12. lynn @ the actor's diet — June 8, 2012 at 8:05 am (#

    my favorite kinda recipes! i’m all about the cake mix and adding sodas/alcohol too! i made the most amazing red wine cake:


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 8:51 am

      Red wine AND cake…in one. Now that’s some smart thinking :)


  13. Anna @ The Guiltless Life — June 8, 2012 at 8:07 am (#

    It’s amazing how many things cake mix can be used in that – like you said – are not cake! I heard of someone who even puts a tbsp or so in her protein shakes to make them taste like cake batter!


  14. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy — June 8, 2012 at 9:03 am (#

    LOVE. THIS. POST! Can we just talk for a hot sec about your cookie butter funfetti triple chip bars?!?!??!?! Those make me want to crawl through my screen and grab one! haha…seriously though, those are the most decadent and delicious looking things I’ve ever seen! thanks for a drool-tastic post! have a great weekend!


  15. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — June 8, 2012 at 9:13 am (#

    Can I have one of each, please?! Yum!


  16. Meghan @ After the Ivy League — June 8, 2012 at 9:42 am (#

    This is such a great round-up of recipes! Definitely hanging on to this post for cake mix baking inspiration!


  17. bakerbynature — June 8, 2012 at 11:08 am (#

    How did I miss your cookie butter funfetti triple chip bars? Well there goes the weekend diet…!


  18. Angela / Canned Time — June 8, 2012 at 11:21 am (#

    I tried a recipe last week that used a Gluten Free Cake mix ($4.00, ouch!) And I wasn’t sure at all how it would do but it worked great. The house smelled soooo good like you mentioned too. It was an Apple Berry cake with lots of cinnamon, tasted moist and had a good rise too. But the price? Do you know any plans the major brands have to make a Gluten Free option? That would bring the price down I’m sure and hopefully keep the quality like the one I used had.
    Made your Raw Vegan Caramels, and another batch again today if that tells you how good they were, thanks!


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Not sure about GF mixes…I thought that the bigger names like Pillsbury, D Hines, B Crocker, etc all had GF blends? Regular ones are about $2.50 a box so I don’t think $4 is “crazy” but yeah, I hear you!


  19. Lucy @ Porridge and Parsnips — June 8, 2012 at 11:57 am (#

    This post was great timing for me! :)

    I bought a box of cake mix a couple of weeks ago, for the first time ever, inspired by all the recipes I’d seen on blogs. But then it has just sat in my cupboard without me making anything…

    That changed when I read your post this morning – I went straight to the kitchen and made your vanilla cake batter truffles – delicious, thanks Averie! :-D


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Oh wow, thanks for LMK! GREAT timing, huh!


      • Lucy @ Porridge and Parsnips replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

        Definitely great timing! I’m thinking of making your creamy mixed berry white chocolate crumble bars tomorrow too, although as my husband doesn’t like berries those will have to be stored in the freezer, haha, they look like the type of dessert that I wouldn’t have much self-control around!! ;)

        • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

          Oh I’m excited for you :) Keep me posted!

  20. claire @ the realistic nutritionist — June 8, 2012 at 1:25 pm (#

    When it’s on sale, I buy it!! Love these different uses for it!


  21. Alysha @Shesontherun — June 8, 2012 at 1:43 pm (#

    I just got some of TJ’s Cookie Butter, so your funfetti bars are speaking to me!


  22. Sue/the view from great island — June 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm (#

    This is a great resource, Averie. I have always respected a great cake mix, Duncan Hines is my fave!


  23. kristen @ verbs and vignettes — June 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm (#

    oh my gosh. my favorite way to use cake mix is in your cake batter truffles. HOWEVER, it was one of those times i didn’t have “just a couple,” ate the entire batch in a night, had a slight breakdown of remorse, and vowed to never make them again when i know i will be alone in my apartment with them. :p

    for now, though, i’ve opened your cookie butter funfetti bars. they look like they might be a close second. hahaha.


  24. Baker Street — June 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm (#

    Everything looks so so good, A! I can’t wait to try out Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting!! Sounds divine.


  25. Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — June 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm (#

    I love all of your cake mix creations! Sometimes I feel guilty having a blog and posting recipes that use a mix, but at the same time, I feel like our creative ways with mixes need to be shared with the world. :) Whether you’re busy or just looking for a tasty treat, cake mix can save the day, lol!


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      Girl until someone blogs for a year(s) and is under the “pressure” of real life, of real life cooking, of coming up with NEW recipes every single day/multiple times per week and still juggles all the balls of life, NO ONE could/should sit in judgment of a blogger who uses cake mix. Ever. (rant over)



  26. Michele Sparrow — June 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm (#

    If I buy a cake mix, I usually buy Dr. Oetker’s boxes. They are pretty good! Since I usually have flour, sugar, eggs, etc. on hand, however, I like to throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl, mix it up and bake it like that. When I run low on all the ingredients, it’s nice to grab a box that I just have to add an egg or water to!

    I have a yellow cake mix and tomorrow I told Simeon that I would make your homemade twinkies! :-)


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Well I cannot wait for his thoughts! You’re such a sweet mama!


  27. Elana — June 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm (#

    I have only been reading your blog for about two weeks and I have already made 6 things! As a fellow San Diegan I have yet to be disappointed, and I am pretty sure we were born with exactly the same sweet tooth! I just made the candy stuffed cupcakes and the are oh so yummy! You are amazing :) Thank you for all your posts.


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 8th, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Well HELLO!!! Thanks for finding me, for saying hi, and for making SIX things in 2 weeks! Would love to hear what you’ve made, thoughts, reviews, what you’ve especially loved, if things worked out as indicated for you. I love feedback but no worries if you’re busy in the kitchen and just want to keep cooking :) And that you’re local! I live in Hillcrest and can be seen at TJs & Ralph’s loading my cart with sugar 3x a week :)


      • Elana replied: — June 11th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

        I live in Bankers Hill and I am always at the Hillcrest TJ’s and Ralphs afer yoga class at core power! Maybe we will bump into each other buying chocolate chips :) So far I have made the oreo balls (I had some jo’jo’s lying around i was tired of) and they were probably my least favorite, although my co workers liked them. I also made the vegan chocolate mousse and froze it, and omg I had no idea something vegan could be so delicious. I just made the avocado and banana soft serve and it is freezing, so after yoga class tonight i cant wait to try it…Even warm it was pretty good. I also made the white chocolate chip and candy cake mix cup cakes this weekend, they were good but very sweet and a little bit dry but i may have over baked them. I could only eat half at a time, but I did finish them all (note to self do not bake on Fridays when I cant give things to co workers!) I loved the cookie butter bars, but i omitted the coconut flakes because I dont like the texture and I think they were not as drippy as yours but they were amazing still (i used a stoneware pan so they were thinner and more cooked because of it). And if that wasn’t enough I also made the rice casserole dish with extra veggies from my CSA box and it was great. I added purplette onions, kale and carrots to it. Every time i see your recipes I am always really pleased to think, wow I have that already in my pantry and I dont have to go out and get anything new. We seem to like many of the same things. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog :) I will keep you updated on what I make, and any feedback I have.

        • Elana replied: — June 11th, 2012 at 6:36 pm

          Oh! i forgot I also made the compost cookies! Big huge hit at work, but not my absolute favorite cookie ever. Much better cooled off than warm, oddly.

        • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 11th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

          Ohmygosh, first, thanks for reading, finding me, making ALL those things, and reporting back! The mousse is amazing, one of my faves. The Oreo balls are one of those “fun” things that people tend to like, great for holiday parties. The vegan avo/banana soft serve, so creamy and good, I love that stuff. The cake mix cupcakes yes are sweet…with candy stuffed in the middle, they’re gonna be sweet :) And yes, cake mix tends to dry out so you really have to watch baking times. The cookie butter bars are awesome and again, watch baking times based on your oven and desired drippyness level. And yes, stoneware dries things out! Well, the carryover cooking time has to be taken into account; it keeps cooking long after you take it out of the oven so you have to budget that in. And the rice casserole, glad to hear you liked it. My next post is a TJ’s special…you’re gonna love it and yes to “shopping in your pantry” and having things on hand. That’s the best and I try really hard with my recipes to never call for random things or hard to source things that may only be used once or very infrequently. Please keep in touch and yes, we may indeed bump into each other one day :) I live in Hillcrest/Mission Hills (used to live in Bankers Hill)…small world around here!

  28. Molly — June 9, 2012 at 4:54 am (#

    Thanks for introducing me to Trader Joe’s Flattened Bananas!! The other day I used a Pineapple Supreme cake mix for another recipe. What about trying that in your Pina Colada cookies? I bet it would be SOOOOOO good!!!


  29. Amanda @ flecksofgreen — June 9, 2012 at 7:45 am (#

    I just smacked my hand on my computer screen because I went to grab your Cookie Butter Funfetti bar! It looks so heavenly that I just wanted to get my hands on it lol Thank you for sharing such great recipes. Most of them seem simple enough to make too…I’ll definitely enjoy trying to make a number of them! Thanks again :)


  30. Elizabeth — June 9, 2012 at 8:07 am (#

    I love that huge box of oatmeal in the first picture!


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 9th, 2012 at 9:00 am

      When you cook and bake as much as I do, a couple cups here and a couple cups of oats there, they go fast!


  31. Christine (The Raw Project) — June 9, 2012 at 8:45 am (#

    Very creative post, lots of inspiration! Truthfully I haven’t used a cake mix in ages, but love the idea of getting creative with leftovers pantry staple ingredients.


  32. Erin Motz — June 9, 2012 at 11:23 am (#

    i LOVE funfetti cake, but I find it so funny that’s it’s turned into this cultural/generational icon! Such a simple thing yet sooo popular and well-loved. Makes me wish it was my birthday so I had an excuse to make it… although your recipes are telling me no special occasion is necessary and I believe them ;) To Target I go!


  33. Katie — June 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm (#

    Cake mix is so versatile!

    Demeter makes all kinds of crazy fragrances – there are two cake scents on the first page:

    I had their tomato and mojito scents at different points – yum!


  34. Katie — June 11, 2012 at 8:24 am (#

    I can’t tell a difference from one brand to the other. They all just taste like sugar and that isn’t a bad thing!


  35. Jolene ( — June 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm (#

    I love cake mixes and I usually use them for cake pops or for a lemon or white cake. There are so many of your recipes that use cake mixes that I really want to try.


  36. mary n — June 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm (#

    i have another great ‘cake mix’ recipe… peach cobbler!
    1 yellow cake mix
    1 large can of peaches (don’t drain!)
    1/2 stick of butter

    pour peaches into a pan, cover with cake mix, slice butter into pats and cover evenly on top, and sprinkle with cinnamon. bake at 375 until juice has bubbled up into the cake (about 30 minutes). if there are dry spots you can poke a couple holes or melt a little butter and pour over the dry spots. AMAZING with vanilla bean ice cream! <3


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — June 15th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      you know I’ve seen something similar on Pinterest and other blogs and thanks for the reminder how good it sounds!


      • mary n replied: — June 15th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

        i found this recipe in an old dutch oven camping cook book forever ago and make it all the time! i highly recommend it!

  37. M Rapp — August 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm (#

    I am a busy woman. I have just spent 1/2 hour on your various websites trying to find a recipe for
    the “Berry Poke Cake”, which was mentioned right on the Betty Crocker White Cake Mix box.

    No Luck, and I am VERY frustrated. Couldn’t you just put it on the cake mix box???????


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — August 25th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      I think you have me confused with someone else. I’ve never made or blogged about a “Berry Poke Cake” and am a bit taken a back by the tone of your email. I hope you find your recipe and maybe something to help you relax a bit. Good luck!


  38. Julie — September 26, 2012 at 8:15 am (#

    A number of years ago there was a recipe on the side of a strawberry cake mix for a bar cookie that was like a chocolate chip bar cookie but used the strawberry cake mix. I have lost the recipe and have not been able to get help from the cake mix companies. They don’t even remember it! I would love to find this recipe again!


  39. Rick — November 15, 2012 at 8:36 am (#

    I’ve worked as a professional baker for many years, and creating wedding cakes is my “specialty”. When I first opened my bakery….I made ALL of my cakes “from scratch”. But that all changed two years ago….when I was approached by a charity organization…about donating a “pretty cake” to be “sold at auction” as part of a fund raiser. I agreed to donate a cake…..but failed to “write out an order”….and so I completely forgot about it, until the evening of the charity event!

    Not wanting to disappoint anyone… desperation, I quickly ran to the local grocery store…..and picked up several boxes of Duncan Hines Super Moist White Cake mix…..ran back to my shop….whipped up the cakes, baked them…cooled, assembled and decorated them….and delivered them to the event, just in the nick of time!

    The whole time they were “auctioning off” the cake….I was standing there….feeling EXTREMELY guilty and remorseful….about what I had just done.

    Long story short…..the cake was purchased by one of my most loyal and frequent customers…Who IMMEDIATELY announced that the cake would be “Shared” with everyone at the event!!

    So, at that moment… I was absolutely convinced….that my “deception” would be noticed immediately….and I would be embarrassed before everyone there!

    But….instead…..the rest of the evening…I received compliment after compliment about how beautiful the cake was….and how it was so “MOIST” and “Flavorful” it was! ( I finally got brave….and tried a slice myself….and they were absolutely correct!! )

    Since then…..although I do still make cookies and brownies and such “from scratch”…..ALL of my cakes…..come from a mix !!!! ( My theory….when you encounter “perfection”….don’t fight it…EMBRACE IT! )


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — November 15th, 2012 at 9:23 am

      Wow this is quite the testimonial for cake mix and there are times when I wish that from-scratch cakes could just nail the results you get from a box. I always say, there’s a reason why the boxes have been around for a century: they work and are easy!


  40. Hannah — March 6, 2014 at 10:34 am (#

    you can actually get cake batter perfumes,hand sanitizers, lotions, candles, etc at bath and bodyworks!!!


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