White Cake Mix Substitute Recipe

Cake Mix Substitute Recipe

The Story:
Alright, there are a lot of haters out there. So this post is for you.
A common email I get is “Why do you use so many cake mixes?” Well, it’s for a few reasons.
1: It’s so EASY. A 99 cent box is worth the extra time measuring and making sure I have the ingredients for cupcakes.

2: It’s easy to for people around the world to duplicate my results Some cakes made from scratch can be tricky to mix the right way.  It’s hard to explain in a blog post the correct way to do everything.  And did you know most people don’t even measure flour the correct way?! It’s true.  You’re not supposed to just scoop out some flour from the bag using your measuring cup, you’re supposed to pour some flour into your measure cup and then scrape it level.  Such a silly difference can account for a lot of mistakes because some people can get 1 cup and other will get 1 1/4 cup.

3: It’s not cheating! Did you know a lot of bakeries actually use cake mixes.  Some really big and popular ones actually.  They call it “cake base” but it’s the same thing.

So here you go! Whenever any of my recipes call for a White Cake Mix, just use these ingredients instead.  The cake will be more dense than using a cake mix, so when a recipe uses buttermilk you can use just plain milk to help with that. Also, the batter is quite runny but bakes up just fine. [end-story]

White Cake Mix Substitute Recipe


2 1/2 C. flour
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. powdered milk


1. Sift all ingredients together.
2. Seal in a plastic bag and use in place of any recipe calling for "white cake mix"

White Cake Mix Substitute Recipe

Let me know if you have any suggestions to make this recipe better, I’m going to try to perfect it over the next few weeks as well as get a Chocolate Cake Mix recipe substitute as well.

Tired of using cake mixes... Use this Cake Mix Substitute Recipe

95 thoughts on “White Cake Mix Substitute Recipe

  1. 1

    I bet using just egg whites would help it not be denser than boxed mixes.

  2. 2
    Bailey says:

    oooo cool!!! thanks lizzy!

  3. 3
    Agos says:

    I like using cake mixes too. They’re super easy and taste great too! But can I disagree on point 2? I think a recipe using cake mix is harder to replicate around the world, because mixes vary so much from country to country. Even if the same flavor is available, the yield and ingredients may be different. So the recipes can be hard to adapt, at least until you get the hang of it (cause mixes are very versatile, really).
    Anyway, thanks for the substitute 🙂

  4. 4
    Casey says:

    This is awesome! This recipe will be really great to have laying around the house for whenever I need some cake mix but don’t have the boxed stuff. I would love it if you shared a chocolate variation as well!!

  5. 5
    Cerina says:

    Would adding meringue powder works? Or, simply adding an egg or two with some butter, beat it, and then add in all the dry ingredients, and then mix, it will still be one bowl, do you think this would work?

  6. 6
    Sammantha says:

    Ok I am so excited about this! I’ve always wanted a “cake mix recipe!” Quick question, what do i add to the mix if I just want to make white cupcakes and not use it as a add in to other recipes? Thanks in advance! I am making your tiramisu and oreo cupcakes for our baby shower next month. Super excited to try them out! 🙂

  7. 7
    Erica says:

    Thanks! I guess I was one of the “haters” since I asked about a scratch recipe, but it was because of a wheat intolerance, but now I can substitute a flour I can tolerate. 🙂

  8. 8
    Steph says:

    THANKS for this!!!!

  9. 9
    Diane says:

    To the haters out there… I have done both kinds of recipe, those from scratch and those from a mix. I have spent a long time on scratch recipes and they come out dry and dense. I love your cup of cake recipes because they never fail and are always delicious. I don’t think there is a better way and I am not a novice cook!

  10. 10
    karen says:

    I am a novice baker–or I was. Since I discovered Pinterest & your site, I have slightly elevated my status to one step past novice. I love cake mixes. I have made quite a few of your recipes in the past nine months so you keep right on sharing your ideas. I use to be simple by the back of the cake mix box and you have showed me that I can add other ingredients and really make some impressive cupcakes. So let the haters hate but this girl says thank you for the wonderful recipes. Might get brave & try this one!

  11. 11
    Roxann says:

    Thanks so much lizzy! Im one of the ppl that have been emailing because we dont have the cake mix off the shelf here. I always wanna try a recipe but dont have the cake mix, now i can! 🙂 cant wait for tyhe yellow cake mix sub. Thanks again!

  12. 12

    Where I live its very difficult to get cake mixes – and the few that you can get aren´t all that great – so I make everything from scratch , another problem I have is that I can´t get measuring cups either and your comment about how you fill a cup is true not everybody fills it with the same amount so I faithfully weight everything, in grams in my case, and I find using scales a much better and exact method, doing it that way when I repeat a recipe it always come out the same. I have a restaurant and some days I maybe bake between 8 or 9 cake s a day so by the end of the week I have baked quiet a few.

  13. 13
    Zahara says:

    Thanks Lizzy, this cake looks awesome, will difinatelytry this recipe, anyway how to make the frosting? Hope you don’t mind to give me the frosting recipe,.

  14. 14
    Jolie says:

    I’m an avid cake mix person (yes I love the one bowl easy thing too) and everyone thinks I’ve got some special secret recipe to make the perfect tasting cupcakes. I’ve always wanted a “cake mix recipe” just in case I want to step out of the box and try it. This is fantastic. Thank you for sharing! I love your site and all the wonderful recipes and ideas. Thank you so much for sharing, you are my go to person!

  15. 15
    Christina says:

    THANK YOU for posting this! I’m one of those haters, and have avoided all your cake mix recipes because of it. But now that can all change!

    I’ve made a few of your recipes before, and because they’ve always turned out, I nominated you for a Super Sweet Blogging Award. The rules are here: http://xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/and-the-award-goes-to/ I hope you choose to participate. Happy baking!

  16. 16
    nyla gregory says:

    I love using the cake mixes, but they can be quite different. Seems like I remember you saying you usually purchased Duncan Hines – is that correct?

  17. 17

    Thanks for sharing this! I love your recipes BECAUSE they are easy to follow, cake mix substitutions. I bake tons and tons of cupcakes. There is a time and a place to bake from scratch. I also worked in a bakery for several years and their most popular cake starts with a Duncan Hines mix, we used to get them in bulk 🙂 Love your blog!

  18. 18
    K says:

    I love love looooove using cake mixes. I always get major compliments when I bake from your site!
    I use Duncan Hines always. We don’t have pillsbury up in Canada, and Betty Crocker does not give the same results!

  19. 19
    Charlene says:


    Thank you for posting this substitute. I use the cake mixes as well, but will tinker with the recipe too so my kidlits can make them from both scratch and cake mix. Your cupcakes are delicious. We have a cupcake place in town and they are so dry they are definitely not worth what you pay. I like your cupcakes as all i have tried so far have been very moist and our family and friends love them. I am now the go to cupcake girl in the family and you are my go to website for making them 🙂 The haters out there just do not know good cupcakes!

  20. 20
    shanie says:

    have you ever heard of anyone making a cake batter from scratch and combining it with box cake batter? making both seperatly and basically doubling the batter by combining and for taste?

    • 20.1

      Nope, but I have head of “cake mix extender.” It’s sort of the same idea.

      • Jessica says:

        I like to use the recipe White Almond Sour Cream Wedding cake. I made my friends wedding cake and I did the baking 2 to 2 1/2 weeks ahead of time and put them in the freezer. When I needed them to fill and decorate I thawed them out and they where moist with out being soggy. She was getting compliments on the cake months after her wedding.

      • Vanessa says:

        I use a cake mix extender with my strawberry cake recipe. I use Paula Deen’s Simply Delicious Strawberry cake and because I like it to be 3 layers instead of 2, I add the following cake mix extender from a recipe on the wilton forum:

        1 cup flour
        1/2 cup sugar
        1 teaspoon vanilla
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        1 egg
        1/2 cup water

        It comes out great 🙂

        ** I just add all of the dry ingredients in with the box mix and stir it up with a whisk. You can sift this if you like, but I find the whisk works just as well and has less mess!

  21. 21
    Kelli says:

    My favorites are the recipes you post using a cake mix. I am gluten free so this makes it easy for me to substitute a gluten free cake mix in your recipe and I have wonderful results. No one ever knows they are gluten free unless I tell them!

  22. 22
    Kirsten says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I have used cake mixes for years for all kinds of cakes and cupcakes, they never fail to be moist and the most flavorful. I have my first paying cupcake order asking for some vanilla and some chocolate cupcakes. Didn’t realize how hard that would be, what they tasted before of mine were decadent specialty cupcakes. I can’t just show up with ordinary vanilla and chocolate with no pizazz, lol. They have to be rich, moist, and the most amazing chocolate or vanilla cupcake they ever had. I think your recipe is going to to the trick. Thank you again for sharing your recipes.

  23. 23
    lauren says:

    i find if you add melted butter instead of oil its not as heavy 🙂

  24. 24
    Mary says:

    I work on specialty desserts for my in-laws restaurant and when it comes to playing around with flavor combos or needing a thick enough batter to suspend things in while cooking, you can’t beat cake mixes. My own chocolate mix is fast and probably my favorite but it is way to liquidy to add things to and not have them fall straight to the bottom. I also love the flavor of my vanilla cupcakes but it is time consuming and not practical for playing around with over and over. I would like to know what is a good white or vanilla box mix to use for this though. I have tried: Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Duncan Hines but all the white and yellow mixes have such a chemical taste, I can’t get past it. I add the 4 eggs, cup sour cream, 1/2 c oil, 1/2 c water and then pudding.

    • 24.1
      Kate says:

      I have always used the Dunkin Hines Butter Recipe Cake Mix and I add in an extra egg and a tbsp of vanilla. My family raves about them. It just seems to work. Hope this helps! 🙂

  25. 25

    […] also have a great white cake mix recipe you can use if you don’t want to use a box […]

  26. 26
    Natasha says:

    Hi Lizzy. Just found your blog – WOW! So many cupcakes to choose from, I don’t know where to start! I had question though about what flour and sugar to us for the cake mix. Is it white sugar and all purpose flour? I’m in the UK so just want to be sure I use the right equivalent. Thanks!

  27. 27
    nancy says:

    I am just loving your blog. Would you be kind enough to tell me what icing tips you use? I am loving the tip you used on the chocolate icing for the white cake mix substitute, but would love to hear which ones you use. Also, can you provide me with a source as where I would buy them and the brand name. Most of the ones I have seem small and the results are not the same.

  28. 28
    mark says:

    have you come up with the chocolate cake mix substitute yet?

  29. 29
    Eliza says:

    Hey Lizzy! love your website, i was wondering what can be used instead of powdered milk 🙂

  30. 30
    Dani says:

    Hi Lizzy!! Greetings from Costa Rica! I love your blog, you have many delicious options. I could not do any chocolate cupcake so I like to know that I can replace the Devil’s Cake Box, you give me a recipe? thanks

  31. 31
    MBalaska says:

    Just ordered your book from AMAZON.com. It has taken me years to realize that truthfully, no one but me knows the difference between box cake mixes and homemade scratch cakes. As long as the cake is not ‘dry’. Every one has eaten thousands of cakes from commercial box mixes, they just don’t realize it. And that is what they are used to eating.
    Your photography is superb, really first class.

  32. 32
    Corky says:

    Hi Lizzy, i was just wondering would one batch of this substitute white cake mix be equivilent to one cake box mix when called for in your recipes. Thanks for your help x. Xx

  33. 33
    hidayah says:

    Hello Lizzy
    I am looking for ideas as I am doing a project on using any confectionary products and I have to select 6 ingredients. It source, processing, and refining details of the ingredients. Functions of these ingredients in the baked goods, then I have to identify a replacement /substitutes of similar quality and the I have to highlight the effects on the replacement/substitutes ingredients on the baked product, and to justify this ingredients replacement/substitutes. Now my problem is the replacement/substitutes to the ingredients to the confectionary products. Please, I need your help and tips on this project.


  34. 34
    yutong says:

    So, does this makes the equivalent of an 18.25 oz package?

  35. 35
    Pen says:

    Hi,this is so interesting. At Christmas we make a Christmas poke cake….with jello. It’s supposed to be made with white cake, but the mixes are expensive here in the UK, as we dint usually sell the here . They are imported.

    If you known the christmas poke cake recipe . Found here. http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cake/christmas-rainbow-jell-o-poke-cake-1980.html

    Could you tell me how to use your mix to make that cake please. Im trying it stay away from loads of egg whites. CEO dont want to make from,scratch.

    Hope you can help. We love this cake.


  36. 36
    Dannielle says:

    Heyy, what would you use as an egg substitute when using the pillsbury super moist cake..vegan and gluten free!!

  37. 37
    Linda says:

    Can you please tell me the difference in flavor using only egg whites as opposed to whole eggs.

  38. 38
    Gale says:

    I have a couple of recipes that call for spice cake mix and another for yellow cake mix,
    Do you have homemade cake recipes? I want to bake from scratch.

    Thank You,

    • 38.1

      Just use this white cake mix and add spices to make it a spice cake mix and as for the yellow, only use egg yolks when you make the cake (ad an extra one). It’s hard to really copy the yellow cake mixes though because they use powdered egg yolks, and those are tricky to find.

  39. 39
    Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for this! I LOVE your blog (and instagram, Facebook and pinterest..too far?) I love this post because sometime I use the box mix because of a time issue but if I have the time I love getting back to the basics. Recently all the recipes I wanted to take my time on all called for box mixes! Little frustrating BUT thats what makes you fantastic!

  40. 40
    susie says:

    Hi Lizzy, I want to congratulate you on your success. I am wondering if I can use cake flour instead of all purpose flour for this cake recipe? Thanks ahead of time, one of your many fans Susie in Cali

  41. 41
    michelle meehan says:

    Why the powdered milk in this one and not the chocolate…csn you use something else other then that or follow the chocolate just add more ur

  42. 42
    EL Greene says:

    Two questions: 1) since the manufacturer’s have decreased the weight of the boxed mixes, does this matter for your recipes? This may have been discussed earlier, but I did not find anything on this issue. 2) If I have some old, out-of-date boxed mixes, can I test them to see if they are OK? Should I just add an extra teaspoon??? of baking powder in case what is in the mix may not work anymore. Thanks for your site and for answering my questions. Good Luck!

  43. 43
    Crystal Rose says:

    Thank you so much for this! I bake about 200 cupcakes a month and use doctored box mixes most of the time. I feel like such a cheat! I can’t wait to try this out. Also, I am curious about what El Greene (above comment) asked too. I haven’t seemed to notice much difference in my doctored recipes, but wonder if yours will work out the same. Thanks again.

  44. 44
    JANET says:

    I love to bake, cakes and cupcakes of all kinds. I often reguraly use Duncan Hines Cake mixes. Especially love the white cake mix. I wish I could find a homemake cupcake receipe that was as moiste as these turn out. I always get such rave reviews on my cupcakes and I feel bad that they are not from scratch.

  45. 45
    Debra Morgan says:

    I dislike reading all these post from people who have not tried the recipe. I want to know how it turned out and not read comments like “sounds great, will try, like your blog”. Waste of comment space.

  46. 46
    Diana says:

    I have a question what brand of powdered milk do you use? Thank you

  47. 47
    Gia says:

    Hey there, You’ve done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  48. 48
    Claire says:

    Thank you so much for this! I got a cake pop maker for Christmas, and I wanted to start making my own recipes!

  49. 49
    Raymond says:

    Interesting. If I added a cup of powdered milk to my traditional scratch recipes, how would it affect it? What adjustments should I make to my original recipe?

  50. 50
    Ingrid says:

    What can I use in place of the powdered milk? I see the question was asked, but not answered. Thanks

  51. 51
    cake says:

    by mistake i put 3/4 cup of oil to duncan hines cake mix instead of 1/3, what can happen?

  52. 52

    Don’t mind about haters… I still love your mix cake..

  53. 53
    google says:

    Appreciation to my father who informed me concerning this webpage,
    this web site is truly awesome.

  54. 54
    Mandy says:

    This recipe is turly easy to make after I try it. Thanks for share such a good recipe here.My children like it very much.

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