A boxed cake mix can be a good starting point for delicious cupcakes. Although using a boxed cake mix alone produces delicious fare, a few simple embellishments may be added to improve the mix. Numerous variations can be added to spice up the cupcakes. The exact additions will depend on the type of cupcakes desired and the flavor of cake. Experiment with different variations.
Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract to the cake batter. Optionally, ½ tsp. almond or a fruit extract can be added.
Include 1 tsp. cocoa to the mix to add or increase the chocolate flavor.
Substitute melted butter for vegetable oil that the cake mix calls for. Melt the butter in a microwave oven and add to the cake mix.
Add instant pudding mix to the cake mix to give the cupcakes a lighter and fluffier texture. Add 3 tbsp. of any flavor pudding mix to the cake batter.
Replace the water with milk or buttermilk when making cake batter. The milk provides a richer texture to the cupcakes.
Create fruity cupcakes by adding citrus peel or fruit. Puree the fruit and reduce the water. Alternatively, grate the citrus peel and add to the cake mix.
Add spices to the cake mix. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or clove are popular choices to increase the flavor.
Consider adding a rich liquor to the cake mix. Rum is commonly used, but other liquors can be added. Use only half the water in the box cake recipe and use liquor for the other half.