The Instruction On Boxed Cake Mixes That's Worth Disregarding

Whether you are planning a party in a pinch or craving a speedy homemade baked good, a cake from a box is a convenient and tasty treat. With most essential ingredients already mixed into the powder, you only need to add the wet ingredients and pop the batter into the oven. It's a fuss-free and fool-proof process.


With the simplicity of boxed cake instructions comes room for customizations that can majorly elevate your final product. A common instruction is to add vegetable oil, which moistens the cake. While it is a tried and true addition that most people have stocked in their pantry, it is not the only oil or fat source you can use. You can add several substitutions instead of vegetable oil to help create a more robust cake flavor. Disregarding the instruction to add vegetable oil by swapping it with a richer-tasting fat is an easy, effective change.

Elevate a cake by ditching the vegetable oil

Vegetable oil is neutral in flavor, which allows the cake mix ingredients to shine, however, complementing the dry ingredient with a stronger-tasting fat is an easy way to round out the cake's flavor profile and make it taste more gourmet.


The rich taste and consistency of butter, for instance, can add a depth of flavor to a cake that a neutral vegetable oil cannot. Unrefined coconut oil also makes a sweet and fruity flavor alternative. When unrefined, the unique notes of coconut are left intact. Coconut flavor pairs nicely with a vanilla or chocolate cake, and it can carry a pineapple cake into piña colada flavor territory. For a slightly savory taste with an earthy flair, olive oil is a good way to go. Olive oil and dark chocolate is a combination commonly found in Spain, and it is distinctively delightful. Just be sure to look out for real olive oil to achieve that desired flavor.

Factoring in the features of other fats

While switching up your fat source is an easy and effective way to elevate a boxed cake, bear in mind that doing so may require an extra step of prep. Aside from its neutral flavor, vegetable oil is a go-to ingredient on boxed cake instructions because it is liquid at room temperature due to its lower saturated fat content. It requires no melting before mixing into the batter. 


Butter and coconut oil are higher in saturated fat and, therefore, solid at room temperature, so they will require that extra melting step before adding to the mix. If you choose to use a fat that requires melting, be sure to let it cool slightly before adding it to your cake mix to prevent partially cooking the eggs.

There are many more ways to make the most of your cake mix, including many non-cake uses. Though cake mix instructions are tried and true, they are not laws but rather suggestions. Grab your cake mix by the box and use it however you please.