Joy the Baker

Cake Mix Couture?

February 20, 2008

I think I’m supposed to hate cake mix.  I think, once you get a chef’s coat, you are supposed to turn you nose up at all things packaged, pre-mixed, and all around too good to be true.  Well the truth is, I don’t hate cake mix, or at least I don’t hate it as much as I should.

I could bore you with a pro and con list detailing my love hate relationship with cake mix, but I won’t.  I’ll just say this- I love cake mix because my Mom buys it for 35 cents and then passes it along to me, with that oh-so-great-I-found-a-bargain feeling.  Cake mixes are easy beyond belief, moist every time and really hard to screw up.  But the truth is, even easy to make, 35 cent cake mix isn’t really a bargain.  It’s filled with loads of oils and sugars that I can’t even pronounce.  If I can’t pronounce it, there’s a good chance my insides that don’t what to do with it either.  So, you win and you lose.  Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?

I whole heartedly reject what the directions on the cake mix box tells me to do.  If I’m going to make a boxed cake, I’m certainly going to do it my way.  I’m not sure if I can make cake mix couture, but I’m sure as hell going to try.   So to my yellow mix I added lime zest, orange zest, orange juice and toasted coconut.  Hmm…. couture enough?  I don’t know.  I’ll probably have to find a skinny French model wearing a skinny French couture dress to stand next to my cake… then I’ll be able to reasonably call it couture.  Yea…. that’ll do it.

Orange, Lime and Toasted Coconut- Haute Couture

Print this Recipe!

1 box yellow cake mix

1 box vanilla pudding

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 cup sour cream

zest of 1 orange

zest of 1 lime

juice from half an orange (a scant 1/4 cup)

1  cup toasted sweetened coconut

Lime Glaze

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup powdered sugar

Toasted Coconut for extra fanciness on top of the cake

1.  Mix all of the ingredients together in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, on low for 30 seconds, and then on medium for about 2-3 minutes.  Scape down the bowl as necessary to incorporate all of the ingredients.

2.  Pour the batter in a well greased and floured Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 39-44 minutes, or when a thin knife inserted in the cake comes out clean, and that cake has a nice golden color.

3.   Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

4.  Embellish with a lime glaze- The juice of 1 lime added to 1 cup of powdered sugar.  Whisk until no lumps remain.  Pour over Bundt cake, letting the glaze drip down the sides, and sprinkle with toasted coconut


7 Comments Add A Comment

  • I actually have a cookbook that makes different treats from boxed cake mixes. I’m trying to use each of my cookbooks this year, but I haven’t made it to this one yet. I wish this recipe was in my cookbook!

  • There’s something to the boxed mix taste. It doesn’t taste at all like scratch… but to be honest neither does Kraft Mac And Cheese, Pilsbury Sugar Cookies, or Little Debbie Fudge Rounds. All of those things I get cravings for from childhood because just like you can’t make a box mix taste like from scratch, you can’t make from scratch taste like a box mix, mac and cheese from a box, or a fudge round. Fudge Recipe Chocolate box mix!

  • Laurie and Nikki and CB- It’s true, cake mix is just nothing like the real deal. No matter how I tried to dress it up, it still had that cake mix taste. I always prefer cake from scratch, no question. The purity of flavor just can’t be matched!

    Doreenre- The cake was moist and sweet. It was a lovely golden yellow. It tasted orangey sweet…. pretty much like cake mix. Don’t get me wrong… I could have eaten half the cake on my own, but there is just no disguising the cake mix flavor. I’ve had good luck with this recipe from Epicurious.com. But instead of all buttermilk, I used 1 cup buttermilk, and 1/4 cup sour cream. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/109358. Also check the temperature of your oven with a oven thermometer- a over hot oven could dry out your cakes too quickly. You can make a delicious cake from scratch. I have faith!

  • What Laurie said. Boxed mixes just aren’t the same. :P

  • See…? I am like you! I think I am suppose to hate it but I haven’t reached that threshold (yet?). I don’t think there is anything wrong with cake mix BUT I will say that “from scratch” does taste better. btw lovely cake!
    -Clara

  • So how did it taste? It looks GREAT!

    More often than not, I doctor my cake mixes because EVERY scratch cake I’ve made was dry and flaky. I suppose I just need to search harder for moist and tasty scratch recipes.

  • I used to primarily make box mix. In the past year, I have gone from box mix lover to box mix loather. I cant stand to use them. Yes, they are cheap. And yes, you can dress em up. And in a pinch, okay, its easy as hell. But, I guess I just dont get the same, “I baked this” feeling with a box mix. KWIM?

    I like the toasted coconut on top for extra fanciness. Very nice. Just what the cake needed. :P

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