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Boxed Cake on Steroids

Does anyone else agree that boxed cake mixes make lackluster cakes?  Yea, me too.  I find them crumbly and light in texture and flavor. So light that when you stab it with a fork, the bite falls apart and back on your plate. The only solution is to smash it onto the back of your fork and/or use icing or ice cream to collect the crumbs. Yes, I could make cakes from scratch, and I will now that I got a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. But sometimes you need something quick.

Since I started learning how to bake (see past baking days one and two with my sister), I was instructed that for her 60th birthday, I am responsible for making her birthday cake. The theme for her birthday is mountain hiking. Thus I must make a mountain cake.  I never made a scratch cake before, but I am less concerned about that than I am making it look like a mountain.  So when I recently saw a post on Buzzfeed about a Boxed Cake Hack on TikTok, I thought I’d give it a try. And make my first attempt at a mountain cake. Check this out…

The Boxed Cake Hack

Use milk (I used Half and Half) instead of water, use melted butter (and double the amount) instead of oil, and use five eggs instead of three. I know it sounds crazy and very fattening. But its cake!  And if you are eating cake, are you really worried about calories at that moment?

The Boxed Cake Preparation

You basically follow the instructions on the back of the boxed cake except with the substitutions and additions I mentioned above. Oh, and one other thing. Since the melted butter is hot, you need to add the eggs and the milk or Half & Half first. Then slowly pour in the hot melted butter so that you do not run the risk of cooking the eggs.

box cake

Note: I was supposed to use one and a quarter cups, but I grabbed the wrong one and added a cup and a third. It did not seem to matter.
boxed cake
Melted Butter – Doubled
boxed cake
Five eggs. That is two more than the boxed cake recipe requires.

boxed cake

The Boxed Cake Bonanza is Done. Now what?

Two Layers Does Not A Mountain Make

Yea, I know. So I am making a foothill. My biggest concern was icing and decorating the cake. That requires baking artistry and finesse of which I am severely lacking. But I digress. Let’s make the icing.

The Icing Debacle

I decided to make cream cheese and fudge icing. I had a recipe for chocolate cream cheese icing, but I did not have any baking chocolate. What I did have was microwaveable hot fudge. I substituted it. I thought it was the right consistency, but it was not.

See! It looks like it is a perfect consistency until you have to ice a vertical edge. Then it runs like lava on a volcano.

I should have named this, “The Melting Scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream Cake,” and I may have a grand prize here. But mountain or in this case foothill, it is not.

Bottom Line: Was the Hack Worth All Those Extra Calories?

YES. Yes. YES.  The cake is delicious. It is super moist and firm. It tastes rich and decadent. Would I do this again? Absolutely. And I may because I clearly have work to do in the icing and decorating department.

The cake is topped with chunks of salted, dark chocolate caramels and drizzled with hot fudge.

That is all for now.



Rick & Gary


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