DIY Yellow Cake Mix

By this time, most of you who buy boxes of prepared cake mix have noticed that those sneaky cake manufacturers have decreased the amount of cake mix in the boxes they are selling.  Previously, a box of cake mix weighed 18.25 oz.  Now, it ranges from 15.25 oz. to 16.5 oz., which is a significant percentage less than the original volume.  Somewhere The Cake Mix Doctor author is gnashing her teeth!

Now, it doesn’t matter, of course, if the only reason you buy a cake mix is to quickly bake up a batch of cupcakes for your kid to take to school for a party.  On the other hand, if you have, as so many of us do, recipes á la those in The Cake Mix Doctor’s book, this is now a problem.  I have several recipes I have made through the years that my family and I have enjoyed that call for a box of cake mix, a box of pudding and so on.  Most of these recipes will no longer work with the lower weight packages.

To solve this problem, I found a do-it-yourself yellow cake mix recipe that takes only a few minutes to make up which can be used immediately or stored in the freezer for up to two months.  An added bonus is that there are no chemical preservatives with names you can’t pronounce, much less spell.  Now that’s what I call a win-win-win!

The DIY cake mix bakes up into a cake with a fine, tender crumb which is moist, buttery, and quite delicious.  I am looking forward to making all my old recipes again.  Farewell, Pillsbury!  Good-bye, Betty Crocker!  So long, Duncan Hines!  It was nice while it lasted, but I’m moving on.

One year ago:  White Chocolate and Blueberry Brownies

DIY Yellow Cake Mix

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*Makes enough for two 9-inch layer cakes (bake according to recipe), or one 9×13-inch cake (bake for 30 to 35 minutes), or one 12-cup bundt pan (bake for 40 to 45 minutes), or 24 cupcakes (bake for 18 to 20 minutes)


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 tbl. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 16 tbl. (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tbl. vanilla extract


Process sugar, both flours, milk powder, baking powder, and salt in a food processor for 15 seconds to combine.  Add butter and vanilla and pulse until the mixture is fine and crumbly.

Freeze the dry mixture in a zipper-lock bag for up to 2 months or use immediately.

To make the cake, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour your pan of choice (*see the note above the recipe).

With an electric mixer, beat the prepared cake mix, 1 1/4 cups warm water and 2 large room-temperature eggs until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.  Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-27 minutes for two 9-inch layer cakes.  See the note above the recipe for alternate cooking times with other baking pans.  Cool the cake(s) in pan(s) for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Fran’s Notes

For my test run, I decided to make one 9” layer cake and 12 cupcakes.  I divided the batter evenly by weight using my kitchen scale but found that the dome of the cupcakes baked up over the top of the recessed area.  Next time I will plan to make a couple of extra cupcakes to avoid that happening again.

Source:  A recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café

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