Improving The Flavor from Boxed Mixes

I’m sure if you are on Pinterest at all, you’ve seen the pin about improving the flavor of boxed cake mixes to make them taste homemade.

I’ve never tried that particular trick.  However, I do have a tiny tip (and easy way!) to improve the flavor from some boxed mixes as well as the canned frosting.


Not long ago, I made a cake for dessert for our dinner.  A simple white cake from a box.  As much as my family prefers the chocolate cake with white frosting, I happen to prefer white cake over chocolate.  I added a teaspoon of almond extract to the batter.

The boxed cake also needed frosting.  So I picked up a jar of frosting while I was out running an errand.

improving the flavor

This stuff needed some help.

I’m not a huge fan of this particular brand of frosting but it was on sale and happened to match the type of cake I had made.  I decided to use my trick for improving the flavor of ready made items on it.

improving the flavor

Extracts to the rescue!

In this case, I added a teaspoon of each extract, vanilla and almond, to the frosting and mixed in my kitchen aid for a bit.  By the way, I did not notice the volume of my canned frosting increase all that much.

Basically, if I want to improve the flavor of certain items, I add in a teaspoon of whatever extract I think will improve the flavor the most.  My favorite thing is to add one teaspoon of almond extract to the complete pancake mix.

It gives it just enough to make it taste a little better and not so much like it came out of box. My husband likes this addition to the pancake mix enough that he will actually purchase almond extract if we run out of it.

And yes, I realize in many cases it is just as easy to make some of these items from scratch.  However, a few ready-made boxed mixes and this tip can also save a “haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery store yet” busy kind of day.

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2 thoughts on “Improving The Flavor from Boxed Mixes

  1. Christine

    That’s an awesome idea! I’ve added coloring to boxed mixes or pre-made frosting, but I never thought to just add a little extract. I always thought to change the flavor, you’d have to have some kind of complicated conversion where you substitute one ingredient for another.

    Thanks for the idea!
    Christine recently posted..10 Ways Every Mom Can Find Time for HerselfMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      No, the only thing to consider (that I’ve found) is perhaps the liquid ratio but I haven’t found an extra teaspoon to make a difference in that regard.


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