How to Make Box Cake Taste Like Bakery Cake

Listen, everyone. I’m a self-taught baker who has been whipping up cakes for the past ten years.  But I will be honest – sometimes I like the convenience of a boxed cake mix. That doesn’t mean I don’t jazz it up, though. If you want to learn how to make the box cake taste like bakery care, I can help.

To make the box cake taste like bakery cake, do the following: add an extra egg or two, replace oil with melted butter, replace water with milk, add half of a cup of sour cream, enhance the flavor with spices/seasonings, add some filling, and top with frosting and decorations.

Hey! My name’s Michelle. Do you want your boxed cake mix to taste like the real deal? Then I’ve got you covered. I have worked tirelessly to find the best and easiest ways to transform boxed cake mix, and I’m here to share how it’s done.

Let’s transform those boxed cake mixes, shall we?

7 Ways to Make Box Cake Taste Like Bakery Cake

There’s no denying that bakery tastes are incredible. That doesn’t mean you have to head out and order a cake at your local bakery, though. With a boxed cake mix in hand and a few tricks up your sleeve, you can make your box cake taste like it came straight from the pros.

Here are my top seven tips to make the box cake taste like bakery cake!

1. Add One or Two More Eggs

It’s true that you can bake a cake without eggs. That doesn’t mean that you should.

Eggs provide a hefty amount of moisture and flavor to cakes, especially in the indulgence department. They also help cakes maintain their structure, essential for a beautiful result. 

If you want your cake to have the same rich and delicious flavor as a bakery cake, your first step is to add an extra egg. 

Honestly, you can even add two extra eggs – why wouldn’t you?

2. Use Melted Butter Instead of Oil

Look, I won’t sit here and say I don’t use oil in my baked goodies. A lot of the time, I do. (And not only that, but I  have many different types of oils in my pantry as I enjoy cooking, too!)

But when it comes to making a box cake mix taste incredible, you’re going to have to scoot the oil over to the side.

Instead of using oil in your box cake mix, use butter.

Go ahead and melt the butter so that it has the same consistency as oil. Then, use it in a 1:1 ratio. 

Bonus tip: Double the amount of butter if you want to kick the richness through the roof.

3. Use Milk Instead of Water

Using water in a baked good?


There are very few times that I will ever recommend using water in your treats, including cakes.

The better option is to use milk in a 1:1.

Whole milk is going to have the best results. However, if you only have 2% or almond milk in your refrigerator, you can use that, too. It will still produce a better result than water alone.

4. Add a ½ Cup of Sour Cream

When most people think of sour cream, they don’t think of cake. They likely think of tacos and chips!

But let me tell you, sour cream is a game-changer when it comes to enhancing boxed cake mixes.

All you need to do is toss in ½ cup of sour cream with the rest of your ingredients.

The result? A tender, moist, and utterly scrumptious cake that tastes like it should be $10 a slice.

5. Add Some Spices/Seasonings

You won’t find spices and seasonings on a boxed cake mix or cake recipe. Yet, they’re a great way to enhance flavor.

Now, don’t think I’m telling you to add garlic powder and cumin to your white birthday cake.

I want to use spices and seasonings that enhance your cake’s flavor.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Add espresso powder to the chocolate cake for a richer flavor
  • Add a pinch of cayenne powder to the chocolate cake for a subtle kick
  • Throw some vanilla extract into the vanilla cake to up the vanilla flavor
  • Squeeze some real lemons into a lemon cake mix to enhance the taste

6. Add Some Filling

What can I say? Most bakery cakes are going to have some type of yummy filling.

So, if you’re looking to make your boxed cake mix taste like it came from a five-star bakery, you might consider adding some layers to your yummy cake.

What kind of fillings work best? 

There are many options. If you want to up the sweetness level, you can opt for buttercream frosting. If you want refreshing notes in your cake, some fruity jams and jellies can work like magic. Want something more subtle? Pudding and ganache are yummy filling choices!

7. Top With Frosting and Decorations

Bakery cakes don’t just taste amazing – they look amazing, too!

To finish off your “bakery cake,” you’ll want to add some frosting and decorations.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to frosting and decorations.

Some people prefer to simply frost their cake with a desired frosting, whether it’s buttercream or whipped cream frosting.

Others will enjoy covering their cake in fondant and making out-of-this-world decorations.

How you decide to cover your cake is entirely up to you. My biggest piece of advice is to make homemade frosting or go the extra mile to make store-bought frosting taste better.


Making a regular box cake taste like it came from a professional bakery isn’t complicated. In fact, it can be done in very few steps. If you want to learn more about this fascinating topic, here are a couple of frequently asked questions to pique your interest!

Do professional bakers use box cake mix?

Professional bakers do not use box cake mix. Most of the time, they’re made entirely from scratch. Don’t think you have to make yours from scratch, though. If you’re in a rush, you can use a box cake mix and utilize these tricks to make it taste better!

Is box cake better with oil or butter?

Box cake is infinitely better with butter than oil. Butter has far more flavor than oil and will give your box cake added richness and indulgence. To use butter instead of oil, simply melt the same amount and use it instead of oil. You can also double the amount if desired.

Is it better to use water or milk in a box of cake mix?

Milk is 100% better than water in box cake mix. Milk will add some added moistness and flavor to your cake, ensuring it tastes like it came from a bakery. You can use any type of milk, although whole milk is the recommended kind of milk.

There You Go – Doctored Up Box Cake Mix!

You don’t have to settle for the blandness of box cake mix. With a few simple swaps and steps, you can make a box cake mix taste like it came from the bakery. Start by adding more eggs, using butter and milk, and using fillings and frostings!

How do you make box cake mix taste like bakery cake?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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