Saturday, October 22, 2011

Easiest, Best Cakes Ever (aka, How "Semi-Homemade SHOULD be Done)

When I first started getting interested in cooking, I was OBSESSED with baking. I churned batches of fudge, pies, cookies, brownies and cakes out of my kitchen nonstop. Then, I started broadening my horizons and cooking regular meals; baking became a rare, holiday-only occasion. 

I've made countless cakes from scratch. Some have been OK. Many have been dry, mealy, crumbly, and just all around NO BUENO. Thinking back to my childhood, my favorite cakes were ALWAYS just simple yellow cakes (from a box mix) with chocolate frosting (from a can). 

There's nothing wrong with using mixes. But this recipe adds a little extra to the mix; basically what Sandra Lee would do if she could stay sober long enough. So rich and moist (oh, how I HATE that word!) and decadent, nobody will be able to tell it's from a box mix! Use canned frosting, or, if you have a favorite frosting recipe, use it instead. I simply whip together a single can of frosting and some softened cream cheese - haven't had a complaint yet! 

For this post, I made two cakes. Well, technically one cake and a crapload of cupcakes. For the yellow cake, I used a yellow cake mix with French vanilla pudding. For the chocolate cake, I used a devil's food cake mix with chocolate pudding. 

Easiest, Best Cakes EVER
adapted from Kevin & Amanda

1 box cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
8oz sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 can frosting
8oz cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a LARGE bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, sour cream, milk and vanilla. Mix well to combine - batter will be thick.

*NOTE* For the chocolate cake, I stirred in 2 cups of mini semisweet chocolate chips after mixing the batter. 

Spread batter into your prepared (aka, greased) cake pan. Bake for 10 minutes plus whatever cooking time the box specifies for your pan. 

Cool completely before frosting. Whip the canned frosting and the softened cream cheese together; spread atop cake.


  1. I tried the chocolate version---delicious (and easy)! Thanks, Julia.

  2. You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Trying these right now!! I did however substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream...can't wait to taste them!

  4. OK, turned out fantastic...I used lemon cake mix w/vanilla pudding mix as well as the greek yogurt sub, delicious.

    1. Sounds yummy! That's what I LOVE about this recipe; you can really customize it with the different cake mixes and puddings :)

  5. Julia, thanks for adding to the cake extravaganza. Cheers

  6. Just would the classic vanilla frosting taste with the cream cheese mixed in...on top the chocolate cake?

  7. Gayle, I've done it, and it was DELICIOUS! In fact, I've done a dozen different combos of cake mix/pudding and frosting, and they've all been great. I even did an orange cake mix with vanilla pudding and cream cheese frosting. It was great!

  8. Thank you so much. this is my way of baking easy and delicious

  9. What size of instant pudding mix?

  10. What size of instant pudding mix?