So you want to make a chocolate cake. You go to the store, grab a box of mix and drive home, ready to bake, only to find that you purchased brownie mix instead of cake mix. What to do now?
Going all the way back to the store would be a pain, but you still really need to make that cake. Well, I am here to help! Your cake dreams are not ruined yet!
On a related note, be sure to check out these tips for improving a brownie box mix.
Is It Possible to Make Cake from Brownie Mix?
Short answer: yes! To turn brownie mix into cake mix, you simply need to adjust the ratio of the fat, eggs, and leavener. We need to reduce the fat and increase the eggs and leavener.
Brownie mix and cake mix are very similar to each other (which is why it’s also easy to turn cake mix into brownies). When you look at what is in a box of brownie mix, you will find sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda or baking powder and maybe a few other small ingredients that are standard in packaged dry goods.
Cake mix on the other hand has sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda or powder and again, a few miscellaneous preservatives. Notice anything? The ingredients are the same!
Yes, the quantities may vary slightly but the basic ingredients are identical. Therefore, we should easily be able to transform a brownie mix into a cake mix.
Simply want to make cake-like brownies? Check out my previous article to learn how!
Difference Between Cake and Brownie
We all know that brownies are much denser than cakes. If you closed your eyes and someone gave you a piece of chocolate cake and a bite of brownie, you would definitely know which was which based on texture alone. Brownies are dense and chewy and cake is a little drier and softer in texture.
So when making a cake from brownie mix, you don’t necessarily want the density that comes along with a traditional brownie. You are probably looking for something lighter and fluffier.
So we will need to make the brownie mix lighter and fluffier somehow. This means branching away from the instructions on the box and finding our own way!
We will be saying goodbye to that chewy brownie texture in no time.
What to Change
There are three main things that will need to be altered in order to turn brownie mix into cake mix but the beauty of the whole thing, it’s not that hard! A few adjustments to the fat content, the egg quantity and a quick baking powder adjustment and that’s it.
The instructions on the side of the brownie mix box are going to serve as the basis of our new cake recipe but we will take a few liberties from there. Let’s take a closer look.
The first thing that is noticeable when comparing brownie mix to cake mix is the quantity of fat. Brownie mix calls for much more fat to be added to the mix, which is one reason brownies are more dense than cakes.
So to make a brownie mix lighter, we need to cut or replace some of that fat. One way to easily do this is to use unsweetened applesauce rather than oil or butter.
Applesauce will act in the same moisturizing way as oil but without the heaviness. So bye bye oil, hello applesauce.
Adding eggs are going to help with the texture of the mix as well. Adding one more egg to your brownie mix with instantly make it less chewy and more cakey when baked.
So get out those eggs and if your box of brownie mix says to add one egg, go ahead and add two. The texture is getting more cakey already!
If you prefer not to use eggs, you still have plenty of options!
There is probably already baking powder or baking soda (which aren’t the same thing) in the brownie mix but to make it more cake like, we are going to need to add more. A teaspoon of baking powder is all you will need to take the brownies up to cake height.
Adding baking powder will make the mix rise more as it bakes and make it much fluffier than any brownie.
Add the baking powder to the dry ingredients of the box mix and whisk it together before adding the wet ingredients. This will make sure you have no baking powder lumps in your batter.
Do you know how to make brownies without eggs, oil, cocoa, or sugar? Let me show you how!
Time to Bake!
Baking brownies and baking cake follow essentially the same rules. The brownie mix box will typically say to bake the brownies at a temperature around 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. This holds true to our newly created cake batter as well.
The best way to tell if your brownie cake is done is to do a toothpick test – stick a toothpick or knife into the center of the cake and see if it comes out cleanly, with no sticky batter attached.
A clean toothpick or knife means the cake is ready to come out of the oven! Let it cool and then flip it out of the pan.
What to Expect
Now that your brownie cake is complete, what will it look like and taste like? Well, it will look and taste just like a rich chocolate cake!
While making cake from a brownie mix will never result in a super light sponge cake or angel food cake, it will be much fluffier than a typical brownie.
The changes we suggested will make a much more cakey product for sure (no chewy brownie texture here!), and who doesn’t like a nice hearty chocolate cake?
No one will ever know that you used a brownie mix, I swear!
In the end, our answer to the question of whether or not you can make chocolate cake from brownie mix is a resounding yes. It is actually quite simple to transform a simple box of brownie mix into a nice decadent chocolate cake.
Both box mixes contain basically the same ingredients, so a brownie mix quickly becomes a cake mix with just the few adjustments we mentioned.
So next time you come home with a box of brownie mix by accident and really need to make a cake, don’t worry! You will be eating cake in no time!
Now that you’re in a baking hacks mood, check out my post about hacking a boxed cake mix.
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.