In today’s fast-paced world, cake mixes are a staple in every pantry, even for a pro baker. The former is a quick, easy, and delicious way to please dessert lovers.
The best part is that you don’t have to stick to the box’s recipe. You can turn your regular store-bought cake mix into a creamy, rich pound cake.
In this article, we’ll show you how to make a pound cake with a cake mix in a few simple steps. So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned baker, keep reading for all the details!
Although both cakes contain nearly identical ingredients, pound cake is a lot denser and richer than a basic vanilla cake.
A part of that is due to the equal measurements of ingredients, which are one pound each. Additionally, the high-fat content and lack of leavening agents cause the cake to not rise as much as a regular shortened cake.
Since a pound cake is typically buttery, it contains light flavorings. People usually serve the former with a simple glaze or no toppings.
Regular cakes, on the other hand, are usually served with icing or frosting to make them richer.
Yes! You can use a cake mix to make a pound cake. If you bought a pound cake mix from the store, simply follow the box’s instructions to bake the cake.
Even if you bought other cake mixes, you can still use them in the cake’s batter. Typically, the former contains flour, sugar, flavorings, and leavening chemicals—all of which go into making a pound cake.
You’ll simply need to add the wet ingredients and adjust the measurements to be equal.
Here’s what you need to do to turn a cake mix into a pound cake:
While any store-bought mix would give you a satisfactory result, you should use a yellow cake mix for the best outcome. That’s because the former is richer than white cake mixes since it usually contains powdered egg yolks.
Additionally, the yellow cake batters are thicker compared to the latter, producing the traditional moist and dense texture of pound cakes.
Most cake mixes instruct you to use oil in the recipe. However, for a pound cake, butter is an essential component.
Not only does this fat add a creamy taste, but butter also plays a role in the cake’s texture and structure. It traps air, helping the batter rise in the oven. Plus, it adds moisture, resulting in a tender cake.
As a general rule of thumb, you can swap butter for oil at a 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind that you might need to add flour, depending on the packaging size you use.
For instance, a 15.25 oz cake mix is slightly less than a pound (0.95 lbs). So, you need to add around 1/4 cup or 1/8 pound of all-purpose flour to reach one pound.
Alternatively, you can swap the oil for butter and follow the instructions in the box. While the former solution won’t give you a traditional pound cake, it’ll still be a similar variation that’s equally delicious.
While this step is optional, a traditional pound cake is made in a loaf pan. So, if you want to follow the original recipe to a tee, use a bread pan to get the conventional cake shape.
It’s worth mentioning that a pound of each ingredient would most likely require more than one pan to bake all the batter. If you want to bake one loaf, reduce the measurements by around 50%.
Instead of a pound each, use 0.5 lbs of butter (2 sticks), 2 cups of flour or cake mix, 1 cup of sugar, and four eggs. Of course, you can add different flavorings, such as vanilla extract, lemon zest, or whichever suits your taste.
Typically, pound cakes take longer to bake than other cake batters. Thanks to its high dairy content, the former usually needs around an hour to cook in the oven at 350ºF.
For bundt pans, lower the heat to around 325ºF and bake for the same period mentioned earlier.
Here’s how to turn a cake mix into a pound cake:
Preheating the oven is crucial for the success of your cake recipe. If the oven’s temperature is too low, all your hard work to make the cake fluffy through mixing will go in vain.
That’s because the incorporated air will escape before the cake sets, resulting in a heavy, flat cake. Additionally, the cake might be undercooked since the oven’s temperature wasn’t hot enough for the first couple of minutes.
As the name implies, creaming the butter refers to beating it with sugar until it forms a creamy texture.
The former process creates pockets that trap air. When heated, the gas expands and helps the cake rise, producing a loftier cake.
However, make sure not to over-mix the cake, as incorporating too much air will make the cake rise quickly and then collapse in the oven.
Here’s how to cream the butter:
- Place softened, room-temperature butter in a bowl.
- Set the hand mixer at medium speed and beat the butter until it becomes lighter and creamier.
- Add the sugar gradually and continue mixing to dissolve it.
Although it’s optional, beating the eggs ensures you don’t weigh down the batter and let down all the incorporated air.
Simply crack all the eggs in a bowl and whisk them well. Then, gradually add the liquid to the butter without stopping the mixer.
Typically, a yellow cake box instructs to add a cup or a cup and a quarter of milk to the batter. You can use the same ratio as suggested in the instructions.
You can also swap dairy milk for sour cream or use a half-and-half ratio of both. The latter is rich in fats, which helps make the cake extra moist!
Gradually add the cake mix and blend it with the wet ingredients. Like eggs, adding the dry components all at once will weigh down the batter and cause the cake to flatten in the oven.
You can also pour the liquids on the cake mix and use a spatula to fold the batter. The former helps blend the mixture without knocking out the incorporated air.
After mixing everything, grease your loaf pan, pour the batter, and let it bake for an hour or until golden.
Overall, figuring out how to make pound cake with a cake mix is simple. You need to cream the butter, beat the eggs, and add dairy.
You’ll also have to adjust the measurements to make sure you add equal amounts of each ingredient.
With these few additions and tweaks, you can elevate a store-bought cake mix and turn it into a buttery, moist, flavorful pound cake that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!
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.