Chocolate Cake Mix Substitute

Chocolate Cake Mix substitute

The Story:

When I first started this blog in 2011, I didn’t have a defined goal or idea of what I wanted to do with it.  At first, it was just for me.  A place to put my recipes and organize everything I made.  But now, it’s not for me anymore.  It’s for you.  I want to make it possible for every person to learn how to bake something delicious and beautiful.  Baking doesn’t have to be going to pastry school, using fancy language and take hours to do.  It can be simple, inexpensive, and not overwhelming.  That’s why most of my recipes use cake mixes.  In 5 minutes, your cupcakes can be in the oven!  I love that!  But I also know that a lot of people have been asking for cake mix substitutes.  I posted my White Cake Mix Substitute  a while back, and here is the chocolate version that can be used in place of any recipe calling for chocolate or Devil’s Food cake mix.

Chocolate Cake Mix Substitute

Chocolate Cake Mix Substitute


2 C. flour
1 3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. cocoa, unsweetened
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. shortening


1. Combine all ingredients using a food processor (the blades cut up the shortening and help to blend it in).
2. Store and plastic bags or jars until ready to use. (I had to pack it into my jar to make it all fit.)
3. Use in place of any cake mix recipe!

Cake Mix Substitute Recipe

chocolate cake mix substitute recipe

47 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake Mix Substitute

  1. 1
    Francesca says:

    Lizzy, what do you mean with “shortening”? is it lard?
    many thanks for your answer,

  2. 2
    kathleen says:

    Ok so what additional ingredients do you add. Each box cake is different with eggs and water and cooking time thanks

  3. 3
    Laurel says:

    Kathleen, I think she means that with any of her recipes posted here that calls for cake mix, you can substitute this mix, then add the other ingredients she lists in the recipe. 🙂
    And Francesca, shortening is the vegetable-based version of lard.

  4. 4
    xiaoxi says:

    If I don’t have food process, can I do it by hand? How long the shelf life for the cake mix? Thanks

  5. 5
    Trisha says:


    What is baking soda?

  6. 6
    Denise says:

    Thanks for the recipe!! This is probably how our mothers made cakes, using these ingredients. Nowadays, it’s so easy to grab a cake mix off the shelf. I like this version because I KNOW what’s going into my cake:) And a question, too: does using cake flour improve this cake at all or can I use standard bleached flour? Thanks, again, I use your site more than weekly! Cupcakes are my new favorite “gift”!

  7. 7
    Suzanne says:

    Do you have suggested baking times/temps for cakes and cupcakes with this mix pleasssssssssse?

  8. 8
    Sharon says:

    Boy, you are slick. You really have it all figured out and I love it!

  9. 9

    Love this! I could just top this off with my favorite cream cheese frosting!

  10. 10
    Moe says:

    It would make me SO happy if you did a Pumpkin Spice cupcake…!!!! 🙂

  11. 11
    Wanda says:

    I am Celiac – do you think it would work using Gluten Free flour instead ?

  12. 12
    Annie says:

    Firstly thank you so much! Can I substitute in butter
    and just keep it chilled?

  13. 13

    I’ve made a yellow cake substitute before, now I’ll have to try chocolate! Great to have on hand instead of relying on packages baking mixes. Not that I have anything against them, but homemade is alwaysa plus!

  14. 14
    Kelly says:

    So, I have to tell you that you totally saved my night with this recipe! I was using a scratch recipe this evening that is so stinking finicky about whether or not it decides to turn out right. I should add that these were for a wedding tomorrow! I made my cupcakes and it was a major fail! I panicked and then remembered the email I had gotten a few days ago (or whenever it was lol) about this new cake mix/scratch recipe. I rushed to my computer, printed off your recipe and thankfully had all the ingredients. Put it together, popped them in the oven and paced and prayed while they baked LOL! They came out BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS!!!!! Thank you a million times again for this recipe! Pretty sure this will be my chocolate cupcake recipe from now on. =) I love smart people like you that make baking so much easier, for people like me!

  15. 15
    Kim says:

    Hi. Are butter and shortening the same thing? If yes, can I just substitute it 1 for 1? Thanks.

  16. 16
    Shuchita says:

    Hi Lizzie
    Loving your blog.. Totally drool worthy 🙂
    Can you tell me what changes I might have to do to make an eggless version of the white n Chocolate cake mix..

  17. 17
    Lori says:

    Does this just make one cake?

  18. 18
    desiree says:

    do you have a vanilla cake mix substitute??

  19. 19
    robin says:

    What would you change to make it a GERMAN chocolate cake mix?
    AND…can I use butter or margarine instead of shortening?
    I live in a country that doesn’t have cake mixes or shortening.

  20. 20
    Veda says:

    Lizzie, i tried making your Oreo cookie using your “chocolate cake mix substitute”
    but it weighed a lot more than a boxed cake mix. Did I understand that I could use
    this substitute mix in all your recipes? A boxed cake mix weighs between 486 grams and 517 depending on which cake mix I used. This mixture weighs 730 grams. I have made your oreo’s using the cake mix and so I knew what the consistency of the batter
    should be like and this was wayyyyyy too dry, So I added another egg and some more oil. They are baking right now, so I will let you know how they turn out. I do Love your recipes and your site.

  21. 21
    Veda says:

    Lizzy, I just finished making the Oreo’s with both recipes. The one using a boxed mix and the chocolate cake mix substitute here. The boxed mix made 30 individual cookies (15 Oreo’s) and your mix made 50 (25 Oreo’s) After all was said and done with the changes I made, (above) I would say they were equal . Although I might add just a tad bit more oil. I only added 1/4 cup and maybe i would add just a Tbsp. more. I am one of those who grew up in the day when we were not allowed (by my father) to use cake mixes, however they have come a long way since then. Though I am a die hard and still shy away from them. I must say however that your recipes are winning me over. 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

  22. 22
    Kate says:

    I tried it this weekend but they came out super dry (probably because I left out shortening). They were really good when I took them out of the oven but in few hours they got very dry. Could it be just the shortening thing or maybe something else as well?

  23. 23
    Maddie says:

    How long does the mix last in a jar?

  24. 24
    cake eater says:

    hi lizzy how long will your ganache keep if I make it in advance,

  25. 25
    Savannah Martinez says:

    This was really helpful to me i hate using atore bought mixes thank you.

Speak Your Mind


Never miss a recipe! Sign-up for email updates!