Box Cake Mix Hack with Strawberry Frosting

Enjoy this fool proof way to bake the cake of your dreams. We call it a box cake mix hack, and I made this one with strawberry frosting.

A box cake mix hack is nothing new or unique, but I had never heard it called that until I saw something pop up on youtube. We always called this “doctoring up a mix.”

While the cake is from mix, I do recommend making the frosting from scratch. There really is no substituting a homemade frosting. And that part is pretty easy.

What a beautiful cake. Admittedly, sprinkles make any cake better. And since we eat first with our eyes, always include the sprinkles!

But first. CAKE!!

Baking a cake from scratch requires a little bit of planning. And it also requires having a lot of different ingredients on hand.

Some of my instagram fam let me know that they never bake cakes or cupcakes at home BECAUSE they don’t want to buy all that extra stuff. It just goes bad in the cupboards. Stuff like baking soda and baking powder loses its potency within 6 months, and if you are not baking a LOT, it winds up going out with the garbage. Which is such a a waste.

With a Box Mix, everything but the wet ingredients are already measured and ready to go. You can even use canned milk, which is what I used in this version.

Cakes can be temperamental in the mixing process. With a mix, you simply dump everything in a bowl and mix it up following the instructions on the box. I suggest at least a hand mixer to get this just right, but you could use a whisk if you have the arms for it. You will need the mixer for the homemade frosting, so just go ahead and invest in one. So worth it.

Just look at the crumb and texture on this baby.

The real reason I tried this recipe out was for a good friend’s birthday party.

I needed a good sheet cake, and I needed it fast, so I decided to try this recipe. Kristin asked for Strawberry, so I made Strawberry frosting from scratch, and used the doctored up cake mix for the cake. It was perfect!

Her party was at a place that is decorated like the 80s never left, complete with Bon Jovi and Poison on the HiFi. So a cake mix cake was kind of perfect here.

It was a fun party, and I’ll never turn down an excuse to crank the 80s tunes. The hair was not nearly as big as it was back in the day, but it was fun to feel like those good old days were still at least partially around.

But back to the cake!

I made this recipe as a test for the party to see how everyone liked it. They were blown away that is was something I had baked at home! Everyone wanted the recipe, and that’s always a good sign. I will say, the homemade frosting is what makes it.

Kristin requested strawberry, so I had to figure that one out. I started with the recipe by Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction, and I only made a slight alteration.

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pink layer cake on a cake stand

Box Cake Mix Hack

  • Author: Pattymac
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Turn a Box Cake Mix into a Bakery Confection! And a bonus Strawberry Frosting Recipe



For the Cake:

  • Box Cake Mix
  • Evaporated Milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • One stick (115 grams) of melted Butter
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla

For the Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • One Stick (115 grams) room temperature butter
  • 420 grams (4 cups) Powdered Sugar
  • 17 grams freeze dried Strawberries (half the bag)
  • 2 tsp vanilla


For the Cake:

*Substitute milk in the same measurement as the water listed on the box.
*Add an extra egg.
*Take the oil part of the recipe and double it. Most people use melted butter for this part, so that’s also what I did. But you could use a vegetable oil. Using oil in cake baking is a fairly standard thing, so I don’t see any issue in using a good quality oil. But this was as experiment to see how this thing worked, so I followed the instructions I have seen in other videos.

*I also added an extra  vanilla, because that is always delicious.

*I combined all the wet ingredients first. Milk and butter, then one egg at a time and then vanilla.

*Add the cake mix all once to the mixed wet ingredients.

*Mix on medium high following the instructions on the box. Mine called for 2 minutes, so that’s what I did.

*Bake following the box instructions. Everybody’s oven and climate is different. So, start with the box time and then check your cakes to see if they are baked.

*I buttered and floured my cake pans so the cakes would pop right out.

*I chilled the cakes in the fridge over night, and frosted them the next day with my homemade strawberry frosting.

For the Frosting:

*Allow butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature.
*Beat butter and cream cheese together on medium high for 3 minutes.
*Add the vanilla somewhere at the 2 minute mark.
*Pulverize strawberries in food processor to a fine crumb. Combine this with the sugar.
*Add sugar and strawberry mixture to butter and cream cheese mixture in two additions. The first just the sugar and the second, put the strawberry powder on top of the sugar and sift in together.
*Combine the sugar with the butter and cream cheese using the paddle before returning to the mixer. It will cut down on sugar going everywhere.
*Mix on medium high for 3-5 minutes.
*Use immediately.

Keywords: box cake mix hack

portrait of the author in her kitchen

Hi there, I’m Patty.

Sewist, Baker, Maker

I love figuring out new ways to use pom poms, where I can stash more fabric, and I’m always wondering what to bake next…chocolate or lemon? When not dreaming up new things to make (or bake), I love riding my beach cruiser on the Boardwalk, escaping to mid week movie matinees, and planting new things in my tiny but mighty container garden.

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