Cake mixes cost less and might come together slightly faster than a homemade cake, but their flavor and texture can leave something to be desired. By making a few ingredient changes, you can manipulate a cake mix so it tastes homemade. A light, fluffy texture comes from the addition of egg whites, as well as the use of a light hand during mixing. Adding real vanilla or almond extract to the batter disguises any "cake mix" taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or to the temperature indicated on the box, for at least 15 to 20 minutes before you put the cake in the oven. The cake begins rising immediately in a properly heated oven, which encourages a light, fluffy cake.
Separate five eggs, reserving three of the yolks. Place five egg whites in a clean metal bowl. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks.
Combine the cake mix with the oil and water as directed on the package, plus three egg yolks. Mix the ingredients on low for 30 seconds or just until they combine. Beat the batter for an additional 1 to 2 minutes on medium; be careful not to over mix it or the cake will be tough.
Fold the whipped egg whites gently into the cake batter, just until combined. If you beat or stir the cake batter too vigorously, the egg whites deflate. Pour the batter carefully into greased and floured pans.
Set the timer for 5 minutes before you think the cake will be done. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. It's done when moist crumbs appear on the toothpick. Don't overcook the cake, which will cause dryness.
- The Kitchn: Make or Buy? Cake Mix Vs. Homemade
- The Cake Mix Doctor; Anne Byrn