When it comes to baked goods, pound cake is as classic as it gets! You can either make this timeless treat from scratch, or you can use a ready-made boxed cake mix if you’re short on time.
Though the shortcut way is easier, you may wonder how to improve boxed pound cake mix.
Personally, I use the following to give more flavor to the boxed pound cake mix: vanilla extract, butter, or citrus zest. Nuts, fillings, and frostings are also great additions too!
For a more enhanced texture and moisture though, add more eggs, flour, instant pudding mix, sour cream, or mayonnaise.
Read on to find out more about how you can take boxed pound cake mix to the next level.
Through my experience with boxed pound cake mix, I’ve learned that there are many ways in which you can take its richness, texture, and flavor to the next level.
Here are some of my favorite ones:
Most boxed cake mixes instruct you to add oil to boost the moisture and fat to your cake. I recommend taking a sneaky, alternative route.
If you use melted butter instead of vegetable or canola oil, you’ll get the same results of the oils while also adding a delicious buttery layer of flavor to your cake.
So, for a cake that’ll leave you wanting more, check the instructions on the box to see how much oil you’re supposed to use. Then, add the same amount of melted unsalted butter!
Pound cake mixes are prone to overbaking and quickly drying out when you bake them in your oven.
No shame in that, bakers! We’ve all been there.
Luckily, there’s a super easy way to avoid this:
By simply adding an extra egg to the amount the recipe calls for, your cake’s texture will fully transform!
Trust me, that extra egg infuses more moisture and fat into the cake. As a result, you end up with a softer and fluffier treat.
Taking a shortcut with baking doesn’t come without its sacrifices. And one of the biggest issues with boxed pound cake mix is that it often yields cakes that taste rather bland and flat.
Through experience, I’ve learned that adding some vanilla or almond extract to the batter gives it an added layer of deliciousness and kicks up the flavor profile.
In case you lean towards citrusy flavors like me, you can opt for orange zest or lemon zest to enhance your pound cake’s flavor too.
I’ve had many people use boxed pound cake mix and end up with a cake that has an excessively loose and airy structure.
How to avoid this, you ask?
I add half a box of instant pudding mix or a ¼ cup of flour to my cake mix—and voila! Fixed.
These additions give my cake a denser texture, which is exactly how I like my pound cake to be. This tighter consistency also reduces the risk of the cake falling apart in the baking pan.
Want to go the extra mile?
Line the bottom of your pan with coconut before pouring the batter into it. I’m certain you’ll thank me once you try this!
Since cake mix comes in a box, it sadly lacks the personality and flavor of homemade cakes.
That’s why you should add some flair to your cake by making some filling or frosting.
Don’t worry! This is an easy task:
To make a delicious chocolate filling for your pound cake, stir together ½ a cup of brown sugar, ½ a cup of chopped pecans, and a cup of mini chocolate chips.
Once you’ve poured half your cake batter into the baking pan, apply the filling, and then pour the rest of the cake batter over it.
As for making a frosting for your cake, you have two options:
The first is to buy some ready-made canned frosting. Although it’s convenient, this type of frosting isn’t that rich in flavor.
I prefer to make my own homemade frosting, though. After all, there are many recipes for pound cake frosting that you can follow that use simple ingredients and don’t take a lot of time.
I know I mentioned lining your baking pan with coconuts before pouring the batter in, but this idea is even better.
You can incorporate your favorite nuts into the batter itself! I usually add a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to my cake batter before I transfer it to my Bundt pan.
You probably did a double-take when you read the heading above. Sour cream and mayonnaise on a cake? What?
Adding sour cream or mayonnaise to your cake mix may seem weird, or even flat-out unsavory.
However, I’m here to tell you that these ingredients are perfect for giving your pound cake a richer texture and flavor.
Similar to melted butter, you should add these ingredients instead of oil, using the same quantity as that recommended for oil on the cake mix’s box.
Here’s a simple recipe that uses some of the tips I described above to make delicious pound cake from boxed cake mix:
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 box of yellow cake mix
- ½ a cup of milk
- ½ a cup of softened butter
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of sugar
Here are the steps to follow:
- Preheat your oven to 350℉ and prep a 10-inch x 10-inch bundt pan by greasing and flouring it.
- Use a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer to whisk the butter and sugar together until the mixture achieves a fluffy texture.
- Start adding the eggs one at a time. Mix on low speed after adding each egg.
- Add the vanilla extract to the bowl and mix again.
- Next, add the sour cream and milk and mix again.
- Now it’s time to add the cake mix and flour to the bowl. Mix them with the other ingredients until they form a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for around an hour. You can use the toothpick test to check if it’s time to take the pan out of the oven.
- Once you take the cake out of the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes, and then transfer it to a serving tray.
- Cut a slice and enjoy your freshly baked treat!
If eating healthy is a priority to you, then I suggest minimizing your use of boxed pound cake mix.
I say this because these cake mixes usually contain excessive amounts of sugar and are filled with preservatives and potentially harmful chemicals. Some cake mixes also contain trans fats.
Therefore, you should only use boxed pound cake mix when you’re short on time.
Some people believe that adding a teaspoon of baking powder to boxed pound cake mix makes the cake rise more when you bake it.
While this may be true, baking powder doesn’t help in enhancing the cake’s flavor. In fact, it can add an unappealing layer to its taste.
When you buy a cake from the bakery doesn’t mean it was baked from scratch.
While some bakeries do bake their cakes from scratch, others use boxed cake mix as their base ingredient. Sadly, they might be doing it even if they say they don’t.
Are you wondering how to improve boxed pound cake mix?
Using the tips I explained above, you can do just that. Whether you add extra eggs, nuts, or butter instead of oil, you won’t regret it.
Also, don’t forget to try out the recipe I included above!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.