It’s your grandma’s way of saying you don’t have to be a chef to host a party. We will say it again, there is nothing wrong with a boxed cake. It fills your space with the fantastic scent of chocolate and carbs, takes a fraction of the time (and mess) and allows us to feel like Betty Crocker without running the risk of a cake catastrophe. These horrors are real and if you’ve ever dared bake a fancy cake from scratch I’m guessing you feel me—cue cake layers that slide off the top, dimple and sink, or crack apart completely.
So in lieu of this blow to the ego—set a pretty table, pour the wine, and by all means order Postmates. The point is to enjoy time with friends, not to launch your food network career. And if you do feel like baking a la the domestic goddess that you are, consider a zhuzh on a box cake to kick it up a notch. Go crazy and make (more forgiving) homemade frosting or use a fancy bundt pan for some holiday elegance! Garnish with fresh flowers, sprinkles, chocolate shavings and voila! you emerge triumphant.
Swap the oil for butter: Try substituting oil with melted, unsalted butter.
Add coffee to chocolate: Adding in some instant espresso or coffee gives depth to the chocolatey flavor. Go for it and substitute some of the water for strong coffee.
Add dairy: For extra richness, substitute water with milk, buttermilk or even sour cream. Sour cream the perfect pair for a chocolate cake as it add a bit of fat and acid which brings out the chocolate.
Add a yolk: Adding an extra egg yolk adds flavor and richness to standard cake mixes. If you prefer your chocolate cake to be on the fudgey side, add an extra yolk.
Instant pudding for the win: While strolling the baking aisle for your mix of choice, grab a box of instant pudding too. Adding this to the mix makes the cake extra moist.
Toss in some chips, coconut, or citrus zest like confetti: Mini chocolate chips work better than regular chips since they don’t sink and incorporate into the batter much easier. But why stop there! Add sprinkles, lemon zest, coconut or what ever tickles your fancy.
Pair a boxed cake with homemade frosting: The real game changer is the frosting…homemade frosting is easy and pretty fool proof. Cream Cheese frosting is our favorite on just about anything.
DECEMBER 13, 2019