Pudding has long been used to enhance the flavor of boxed cake mixes. Adding pudding to a cake mix can also improve its texture and consistency. Just make sure you follow the directions on the package.
Some cake mixes, particularly those labeled "extra moist," might come with a pudding mix. Read the label carefully and don't add another box of pudding if it is already included because it could make the cake too dense.
Adding Pudding to Cake Mix
When it comes to adding pudding to a cake mix, many pound cake recipes made with box mixes call for regular or instant pudding mix. This ingredient adds density to the cake.
For example, this 1972 advertisement for a Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Deluxe Cake Mix called for mixing 1 package of lemon instant pudding mix into the dry mix, according to Food Timeline. Add a half-cup of oil, one cup of water and four eggs to the dry mixture. The result is a dense but moist cake that is delicious and easy to make.
The University of Kentucky Extension suggests combining fresh blueberries, yellow butter cake mix and instant vanilla pudding mix for a tasty pound cake. Blend fat-free cream cheese and canola oil into a Bundt cake pan before adding cake mix and instant vanilla pudding mix, along with egg whites, whole eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the berries before baking the cake.
Making a box cake recipe with pudding is best done by following directions, either from a trusted cookbook or the package of the cake mix. A box cake with pudding baked into it needs fat — in the form of eggs and often oil — to make it taste better. When adding pudding to a cake mix, make sure you use a quality product. Some recipes call for instant pudding, while others do not.
Another way pudding can make a cake better is to make the pudding separately from the cake. This recipe for "Elegant Party Cake" from Oklahoma State University Extension on page 30 calls for instant vanilla pudding mix to be combined with milk, cream cheese and nondairy whipped topping to make frosting for a yellow cake (made from a cake mix). The online cookbook, "101 Uses for Cake Mix Recipes," includes numerous pudding-cake mix combinations, so check it out.
Read more: How to Moisten a Cake After Baking
Cake Mix and Pudding Basics
Many box cake mixes call for oil along with eggs to give the cake that extra moistness. If your recipe calls for oil, consider using canola oil or other healthy options, advises the Mayo Clinic. If it requires butter, like this Muscadine Cake made from yellow cake mix and instant vanilla pudding, then think twice before substituting the butter with margarine.
Harvard Medical School states that margarine is no healthier than butter when it comes to saturated fat intake. Be careful when replacing fats in a recipe. Changing the fat you use can affect the quality of the food you make, according to a study in the December 2018 issue of the journal Foods.
Cake mixes have been a staple in American homes since the 1920s, according to Food Timeline. But at first, they were a little dry, and manufacturers were looking to make them taste more like homemade cakes.
According to JSTOR.org, Arlen Andre, a food scientist who partnered with Duncan Hines, developed a cake mix in 1951 that he combined with real eggs. It was the eggs that gave the boxed cake mixes the moistness and light flavor needed to give the cakes that homemade taste. Combine that with pudding mix, and you have a moist but dense cake.
Pudding mixes were introduced in 1918, according to Food Timeline, while instant pudding first came on the American market in the early 1950s. Combine instant pudding mix with cold milk, blend with a rotary beater, and the result is a smooth, easy, cheap dessert.
It wasn't long after pudding mixes were introduced that they became ingredients for cake frostings and fillings. It also wasn't long before cake mix makers were including recipes that called for pudding mixes. Early instant pudding flavors were vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch, and those are still the most popular.
- Oklahoma State University Extension: "101 Uses For Cake Mix Recipes"
- University of Kentucky Family and Consumer Sciences Extension: "Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake"
- Food Timeline: "About Cake Mixes"
- Food Timeline: "Pudding Mixes and Instant Puddings"
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension: "Celebrate the Mighty Muscadine"
- JStor Daily: "Duncan Hines, Cake Mix Maker Extraordinaire"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Butter Vs. Margarine"
- Foods: "Fat Replacers in Baked Food Products"
- Mayo Clinic Minute: "5 Tips for Cooking With Healthier Oils"