7 Ways to Dress Up Box Mix Cupcakes – Shhh! They’ll Never Know!

7 Ways to Dress Up Box Mix Cupcakes

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Ways to Dress Up Box Mix Cupcakes? Who doesn’t love a good cupcake, and yes, both kids and those who celebrate their inner child loves these delicious treats! We are going to chat today about how to dress up that box of Betty Crocker so your friends and family never now you didn’t whip up your tasty treats from scratch!

7 Ways to Dress Up Box Mix Cupcakes article cover image in hot pink

Boxed mixes have come a long way – and when on sale every 6 – 8 weeks at your local grocery store for about a buck? You really can’t go wrong. The end results are usually a very passable cake or cupcake, but they are still a little “off”from homemade.

Have you ever thought about the idea of what you might add to dress up these cupcakes to taste the way you desire? To have that added layer of flavor,or even be so moist that you think your tongue has gone to heaven?

If you find yourself pinched for time, needing to lean on that boxed mix, have no fear. We have you covered so your friends won’t find out the truth. Although, if they look a gift cupcake in the mouth, I think you need new friends…

7 Ways to Dress Up Box Mix Cupcakes

That all being aid, we have the perfect solution to helping you transform these box mix cakes into something you seem to have made from scratch…and no…we won’t tell anybody if you don’t!

Better Taste and Quality!

A lot of you may ask the question, ‘why would anyone want to dress up box mix cupcakes?’ but the answer is simple…it will create some outstanding results from that quick shortcut. The first major answer is that…it will taste much better! It will certainly give the mini cakes a boost!

How to Boost Your Box Mix Cupcakes

The average box mix cakes make delicious desserts, being used as a cheat not only for entire cakes or cupcakes, but I have seen them used for everything from cookies to pancakes! As I said, it isn’t the worst thing to use as a base for your treat – but to make the cakes as deliciously “home-made” as possible, you can try the following options…

Add More Eggs

You can easily give the cupcakes a little more moist by adding an extra two egg yolks in addition to the required amount of eggs for the recipe. You can save the egg whites to make your favorite meringues of breakfast the next day with an egg white omelette.

If you wish to have a lighter cupcake with more “fluff,” it is best then to use the egg whites and, on the flip side, save the yolks for your crème brûlée.

One thing to consider: whenever you remove the yolks from the eggs, it reduces the amounts of fat in the cupcake, so it may be great to add a teaspoon of melted butter for each yolk that you remove.  

I said BUTTER – not margarine. Seriously, you are making baked goods here – don’t skimp on something that basic. As for salted or unsalted butter? I leave that up to you. We do salted, but many swear by unsalted.

7 Ways to Dress Up Box Mix Cupcakes in blue

Use Less Water

Water generally has no flavor and it is funny that it is a staple ingredient to add to any boxed cake mix! If you add it to your cupcakes, don’t expect the taste to lift in any way, it won’t.

Instead, opt for another liquid with more “spunk” like milk, perhaps, or any other dairy product you like – almond milk fits in nicely! The milk will provide more fat for your cupcakes and, in the end, will bring more life and flavor along with some level of density to the overall finished results.

You can also use buttermilk, which will not only give it more flavor, but also give it more stability and sturdiness. Buttermilk is thick, so you can easily add a few more teaspoons than the recipe requires of the water.

There is also the option to add a superb twist to your cupcakes and leave your guests tasting something they have never imagined! Think carbonated beverages! Sodas, beer, even champagne are great alternatives for water.

Even orange juice, which would do well with your lemon-flavored cakes is a great option. The tip of the iceberg goes to adding a a hearty stout to your chocolate cake mix…try it, and you will have an instant new favorite cupcake!

Boost The Chocolate

When mixing your chocolate cake mix, instead of using tap water, use a little hot or warm water. This will enable the cocoa to get an extra boost and give it a more “blooming” texture.

Have you seen how coffee beans burst with flavor when mixed with hot water? Seriously that coffee bean soup is a morning staple at my house! It’s all about the same results with the chocolate.

By the way…why not just use some brewed coffee to mix your chocolate cake? These two ingredients, when combined, create a burst of glorious flavor!

Sprinkle It

There is no rule in the books that says you cannot add a touch of glimmer to your cupcakes to make them stand out from the ordinary results the box mix provides.

You can easily add some sprinkles to your mini cakes – either the ones you buy at the store or the edible glitter you made yourself. It will definitely excite those who enjoy them, and you can play around with the decorations to create something unique and tantalizing.

If you add about a cup of the sprinkles to your cupcake batter – you ave created “funfetti” cupcakes – that are a surprise to first bite into and register the bursts of color.

Pump The Flavor

The flavor of your cupcakes tell the whole story, and you sure don’t want yours to be a boring one. Every box mix comes with the required teaspoons of spices and flavorings that they already added to the mixture, but if you want to get more from your results, adding some extra certainly won’t hurt.

For your fruit-themed mix cake, for example, you can add some extra almonds and even a little rum to bring out more taste. Just think of that peach cake mix with rum – it would be like biting into a peach daiquiri!

For your lemon cake, add an extra teaspoon of lemon zest or juice along with a small tip of your favorite booze…you won’t regret it!

You can also reach in your cupboard for a few extra items you could add, like your nuts, dried fruits, and even chocolate chips.

Add Some Pudding

There are so many ways to boost your box cake mix, and one such includes adding pudding to the mixture. The pudding helps to give it a firm structure, and in addition to adding lots of moisture to your cake, it gives it a fluffy finish that you will love.

Instant Pudding has been around for 70 years! Check out this vintage ad

I am talking pudding MIX here – not ready to eat pudding. You add the dry powder of a 3 ounce (small) box to the cake mix powder, whisk them together quick, and then add your wet ingredients.

Think of the flavor combinations that are possible! Jell-O alone makes all of these different flavors:

  • Banana Cream
  • Boston Cream Pie
  • Butterscotch
  • Candy Cane
  • Caramel
  • Cheesecake
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate Fudge
  • Classic Turtle
  • Coconut Cream
  • Creme Brulee
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Devil’s Food
  • Double Chocolate
  • Dulce de Leche
  • Flan
  • French Vanilla
  • Gingerbread
  • Lemon
  • Orange Ice Cream
  • Oreo Cookies ‘n Cream
  • Pistachio
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • S’more Pudding
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Strawberry Creme
  • Tapioca
  • Vanilla
  • White Chocolate

That is 29 different flavors – to boost one cake mix!

Chocolate would be great with Candy Cane, Caramel, Oreo, or Turtle! How about Orange Ice Cream with a box of Spice Cake mix? Are you drooling yet?

How do you dress up a box cake mix?

I know I just gave you a bunch of fun and fancy ways to do it – but you can really keep it simple. Generally, there are four significant steps to creating the perfect cake mix. The next time you head to the kitchen to bake, try these simple tips for the best results…

Milk Instead of Water – We already covered this as well as other options.

Melted Butter Instead of Oil – There is something special about melted butter (not margarine) that does more than the oil will ever do. It somehow gives the mixture a little more fluff and has the right flavor to carry off your mix.

2 Extra Egg Yolks – Repeating myself here…

Coffee with Chocolate – Coffee always does the trick, and when mixed with chocolate, you are sure to get a heavenly taste like no other. Don’t worry, they won’t find your recipe in the store and nobody said you add to share your secret.  

What can I add to make cupcakes moist?

We can attest that we have had some really dry cupcakes that leave us craving for juice or water to get it past our throats. Well, you won’t have to fall into that batch as we have the perfect remedy to make your cupcakes moist and taste better than ever. Of course, you will use the same recipe outlined on the box but

Add a Dollop of Mayo

Nobody won’t know what you did, and it will do more than add moisture to your cupcakes. It will bring a nutritious flavor and also give that “spongy” feeling you desire.

Don’t Over Mix

Over-mixing the batter will get it too thin, and when baked, it will tend to become dry as most of the liquid texture would be gone. Bonus: the gluten in the flour will lead to a more chewy texture. You certainly don’t want your cakes this way.

Don’t Over Bake

Leaving your cake mix in the oven for too long will only leave to dry out and become too crusty. Well, a little crust on the edges is not such a bad idea, but too much will cause the cupcakes to become like a loaf of French bread: a harder shell on the outside and the softness all in the inside. That lack of balance is frustrating.

OK. I lied, I gave you a lot more than 7 ways to dress up your box mix cupcakes. Hopefully you now have at least a few ideas to try the next time you see yourself staring at that box in the grocery store.

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