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This is the best way to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade! Use a convenient & inexpensive boxed cake mix along with a few staple pantry ingredients to “doctor up” the cake mix. The result will be a perfectly moist, fluffy, rich cake that tastes like it came from a bakery.

his is the best way to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade! Use a convenient & inexpensive boxed cake mix along with a few staple pantry ingredients to "doctor up" the cake mix. The result will be a perfectly moist, fluffy, rich cake that tastes like it came from a bakery.

** Thank YOU so much for visiting this post! It seems that this doctored up cake mix recipe seems to be hit or miss for most of you. I am so sorry and because I want anything you make from my site to turn out right, I have created a new cake mix recipe that I think you’ll love. So for all you who have had trouble with this version, hop on over to my newest cake mix recipe HERE. I don’t want to change or delete this one because it works so well for so many of you**


 I know some people don’t like the idea of a boxed cake mix, but when you need something quick and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen measuring, scooping, mixing and then crossing your fingers that it bakes and rises as it should, then you should definitely try out this “doctored up” cake mix method.

The cake rises perfectly, it’s so soft, and tastes rich & buttery. The added eggs, dry pudding mix, and sour cream help take a boxed cake mix to a taste-like-it-came-from-a-bakery cake.

his is the best way to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade! Use a convenient & inexpensive boxed cake mix along with a few staple pantry ingredients to "doctor up" the cake mix. The result will be a perfectly moist, fluffy, rich cake that tastes like it came from a bakery.

I love that the extra ingredients are staple pantry foods. I don’t know about you but I always seem to have those pudding and jello mixes all over my pantry. Plus, you just combine all ingredients and beat together until smooth! How easy is that!

his is the best way to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade! Use a convenient & inexpensive boxed cake mix along with a few staple pantry ingredients to "doctor up" the cake mix. The result will be a perfectly moist, fluffy, rich cake that tastes like it came from a bakery.

 Get creative with it! I used a pink cake mix + a cheesecake pudding mix. You don’t taste the cheesecake flavor. The most important thing is to make sure you get the same “color” of pudding mix and cake mix. Here are some ideas:

chocolate cake mix + chocolate pudding mix + 1 cup chocolate chips (triple chocolate!)

white cake mix + white chocolate pudding mix

red velvet cake mix + chocolate pudding mix

orange cake mix + french vanilla pudding mix

spice cake mix + cheesecake pudding mix

strawberry cake mix + cheesecake pudding mix

The options are endless. Just make sure the colors coordinate. So, I would not do a strawberry cake mix + chocolate pudding. You would then end up with a dirty color of “pink”?

Follow the cake mix directions for baking. You can do cupcakes, 2 round cake pans, a 9×13 pan, etc. As with any cake batter, make sure to not over-fill your baking dish. Because of the added ingredients you will end up with more cake batter. So instead of a 2 layer cake, maybe do a 3 layer cake so that you don’t overfill the pans. You want to only fill the pans about 2/3 full. 

his is the best way to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade! Use a convenient & inexpensive boxed cake mix along with a few staple pantry ingredients to "doctor up" the cake mix. The result will be a perfectly moist, fluffy, rich cake that tastes like it came from a bakery.
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How to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade {“doctored up” cake mix}

This is the best way to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade! Use a convenient & inexpensive boxed cake mix along with a few staple pantry ingredients to "doctor up" the cake mix. The result will be a perfectly moist, fluffy, rich cake that tastes like it came from a bakery.


  • 1 box cake mix (15-18 oz cake mix, any flavor)
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant pudding mix (one that matches cake flavor)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  • Beat together all the ingredients until a smooth and combined batter forms.
  • Bake according to package instructions.


Because of the additions to the cake mix, you will have much more batter than normal. Take care not to overfill your baking dish. You only want to fill it 1/2 - 2/3 full. It will rise while baking.
DO NOT get the cook n' serve pudding mix. This will not work and it's completely different from the instant pudding mix.
DO NOT prepare the pudding, just use the dry powder.
I've noticed that the cake box sizes are all different depending on what brand you get. Most of them are from 16 oz- 18 oz. So, basically, any cake mix will work as long as it's within that range.

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his is the best way to make a boxed cake mix taste homemade! Use a convenient & inexpensive boxed cake mix along with a few staple pantry ingredients to "doctor up" the cake mix. The result will be a perfectly moist, fluffy, rich cake that tastes like it came from a bakery.

recipe adapted from here

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4.61 from 104 votes (28 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. I made this and it was AMAZING!!! I made it for a bridal shower cake and every single person said they loved it, I got comments like that was the best cake!…do you do wedding cakes… Never had a cake that taste as good. I had a couple people wanting my card and I do not bake at all for a living.
    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Hi Rebecca! This comment seriously made my day. So sweet of you. And I am really happy that everyone loved it and thought you were a professional baker! That’s amazing. I don’t think I have ever made a cake from scratch ever since finding this tip. Thanks so much and thanks for coming back to leave your comment.

      1. Belinda Mua says:

        I’m making a pig eatin cake right now using your tips. This is for our Easter desserts I’ll let you know how it turned out!

        1. Pineapple upside-down cake in the oven using this recipe…. lots of butter on the bottom of the pan so I hope it works well…. Stay tuned for results.

        1. Together as Family says:

          That should work great!

    2. Hi I have a lemon cake mix with the pudding in the mix. It’s the 15.25 size. How can I use it with your recipe. Yours sounds delicious and I would like to add the extra ingredients. Thank you.

      1. Together As Family says:

        I believe that cake mix should work just fine. Just add the other ingredients as indicated. It’s the right size and everything. I have actually never compared this recipe using a regular cake mix vs a pudding cake mix. I’ll have to do that because I am not sure if it would change the end product.

        1. 5 stars
          I used this exact recipe with cake mix that already has pudding in it and add the additional pudding as instructed. It’s just great.


      2. 5 stars
        Hi, just made this for cupcakes. Made the whole mix before seeing your disclaimer. I just added about 2tbs of flour, and made sure not to over fill them. They turned out great! Very moist and they did not flatten Fall. Thanks for sharing this
        awesome recipe.

        1. Wish I had read the comments first about adding the flour. I followed the recipe exactly and my cupcakes were all flat and sunken. I used Duncan Hines French vanilla and instant cheesecake flavor pudding mix.

          1. 3 stars
            Mine did the same thing 🙁
            I did not see the disclaimer until after either…

      3. Miriam Maxey says:

        I use it with the pudding cake mix and it worked just fine.

      4. I have an extra vanilla cake mix that I use for adding more ounces to whatever flavor cake I’m making. I weigh out about 3 oz to bring the box mix up to 18 oz. The vanilla flavor does not change the flavor I’m using.

        1. Mary Hines says:

          I was planning on doing the same thing, just wondering about the idea. I have mixed two different kinds of chocolate cake mixes and they turned out great. Thanks so much for sharing! I will try it.

    3. I substituted the 1 cup sour cream with 1 cup plain Greek yogurt because I didn’t have sour cream on hand and it came out great!! Excellent recipe !!

      1. Together As Family says:

        Thanks for letting me know. So happy you love the recipe!

      2. 5 stars
        Going back in the kitchen after 5 year radiatikn/ chemo hiatus ….making this cake today could only find super moist white mix and instant chocolate pudding ….will eat it no matter what and substituting the sour cream etc….. worst scenario will just be a really good tasting cake and just over the moon happy to be back in the kitchen thanks for all the tips ❤

      3. 5 stars
        exactly question I was wanting answered thank you

    4. Lisa Gill says:

      I made cupcakes today using your directions and they turned out flat. Great taste but flat.

    5. Carrie Henderson says:

      5 stars
      thank u …trying it now!

    6. 5 stars
      Made this tonight and it was ahhhmazing!!!!!!

    7. What flavors did you use?

  2. I want to do this with lemon cake. Should i just do lemon pudding and lemon cake mix? Is there anything else?

    1. Together As Family says:

      I think the lemon cake and lemon pudding mix sound delicious. That would work perfectly!

    2. Together As Family says:

      If you don’t want the double lemon, you could always use the white chocolate pudding mix. It will keep the lemon cake mix yellow and the white chocolate pudding mix is good too. Just another thought 🙂

      1. Thank you! I think i will try both and see which is best. ?

        1. Tatia Randolph says:

          I forgot to pick up lemon to use with my lemon cupcakes so I used a French vanilla pudding mix that I had on hand and added some lemon zest since I had extra left from the frosting recipe. My family loved it and we are using it for my daughter’s wedding cupcakes. I’ll probably try the lemon pudding next time just to see if they taste differently.

          1. Together As Family says:

            That’s so good to hear. I think you’ll love the lemon cake mix and the lemon pudding even better! That’s one of my favorite ways to make it. Congrats on your daughters wedding. So glad you all loved these.

  3. Will butter work instead of the oil for this recipe? And if so, just equal amounts of butter? Thank you!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes, that would work. I’ve never done it so I can’t say for sure how it would change the recipe. The oil makes this cake really moist. If you do use butter then it is an equal substitute.

      1. I use applesauce in stead of oil. Cin. Applesauce when doing carrot cake muffins

        1. Together As Family says:

          I love that! Applesauce is such a great (and healthier) replacement for oil. Thanks for sharing your tip 🙂

      2. Ayanna Fulgham says:

        I use butter in equal amounts. Cake is rich and delicious! I made a small Pan with the extra batter and me and my husband ate it without even frosting it!

        1. Together As Family says:

          I love it! I agree, the cake does not even need frosting. It’s so moist and delicious!

  4. amy bloemhof says:

    Do you think you could use some fresh strawberries in the mix?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes, I’m sure that would be fine. It sounds delicious. I’ve never added fresh strawberries so I am not sure if it would make the batter too wet or not.

    2. be careful adding fruit as the moisture in the strawberries can make your cake soggy…

  5. Christina says:

    Do you ide whole milk ?

    1. Together As Family says:

      I always do. I think the higher fat content of the milk works better with baking recipes. I am sure the other milks would work, I just prefer the whole milk 🙂

      1. Danette B. says:

        Do you think heavy cream would ruin it?

        1. Together As Family says:

          No I don’t think heavy cream would ruin it. I have never used it but I don’t see how it could mess it up. I always use whole milk when baking.

  6. Have you tried the red velvet version – does the chocalte pudding mix make the cake brown instead of red?

    1. Together As Family says:

      That’s a good point. I have not tried chocolate pudding + red velvet but it seems like maybe it would make the batter brownish. You could try white chocolate pudding possibly?? Or, I have seen red velvet pudding in the stores. I think it was at Walmart that I saw it last time I was there. You could try and find that.

    2. I’ve used red velvet with white chocolate pudding or with cheesecake pudding. Both had outstanding taste and so moist.

  7. What purpose does the sour cream serve? I don’t have any…so I’m wondering if I could just leave it out? Trying this recipe for Easter cupcakes to gauge the reaction from family. If they love them, I’ll be making 50 for my mom’s birthday in May!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Sour cream makes the cake super moist. I have never made it without it so I am not sure how the recipe would turn out. One thing I tell people about this recipe is that because of the add-ins, it makes a lot of batter. So be sure and not over fill whatever you put it in. I always aim for about 2/3 full. I hope it’s a hit!

    2. merideth, how did recipe work without the sour cream?? I also have none.

  8. What about Key Lime— Use Lemon cake mix & Lime jello mix?

    1. Together As Family says:

      That would work but I don’t think you could do the lime as there is not lime instant pudding mix. I would do a lemon cake mix + lemon instant pudding. Now that would be delish 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      Yes that would work and add you a few drops of green food coloring. It cones out perfect for a Key line cake.

  9. Can I use sugar free instant pudding, will that change the out come

    1. Together As Family says:

      Good question. I am not sure as I have never used the sugar-free. I don’t think it would change the outcome but I can’t be certain.

      1. Texgal Sally says:

        I use sugar free pudding all the time. No change in results.

        1. Thank you, I will try it also

  10. can I double the recipe for a 11X15 cake pan?

    1. Together As Family says:

      I don’t think you would have to double it for that size. You would have way too much. If you want to double it for a crowd I would use a cookie sheet (13″x18″) pan with sides on it. That should work for doubling this recipe.

      1. Barbara Shoemaker says:

        I just made an 11×15 and doubled the recipe, it was perfect.

        1. Together As Family says:

          Good to know. Thank you!

  11. Awesome Cake!! I will probably never bake cake any other way again. I used Swiss Chocolate Cake Mix, Hershey Chocolate Pudding Mix . Beautiful even layers !! Frosted it with Cream Cheese Frosting. To top it off I toasted chopped pecans and coconut, placed on top and sides of the cake. My husband said he thought it was the best cake I had ever baked and I have been baking scratch cakes for over 40 years.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I LOVE reading stuff like this!! I love to bake from scratch too but this cake is like the thing that I love even more than homemade! So glad you guys enjoyed this. And your cake sounds amazing!! Now I’m hungry 🙂

  12. I am making this with the strawberry cake mix and the pudding. Buy the batter seems to thick is this normal?


    1. Together As Family says:

      It will be thicker than traditional boxed cake mix combined with the standard oil, water, and eggs. It should be thick but still easily pourable and then you may have to use a spatula to spread it out. It should not be so thick that it is really hard to spread into the pan.

  13. I baked lemon cake with lemon pudding cupcakes. Out of 4 mixes only one didn’t fall. Any idea what would Use this. Thanks

    1. Together As Family says:

      I guess I don’t really understand what happened? All the cupcakes fell except for 1? If that’s the case then it sounds like they were filled to full. Whatever you use; cake pans, cupcake pan, etc. it should only be about 1/3 (or a little shy of 1/2 full) of the way filled with the batter. This doctored up cake mix makes more batter because of the added ingredients, so it makes too much to fit it all into a 9×13 baking pan for example. Which I actually did this the first time. Put it all in the 9×13 dish and it was way too much batter 🙂 I hope that helps. So sorry they fell. Try maybe not filling them as high next time and see if that works.

      1. In one of your other replies you stated 2/3 full. So which is correct 1/3 or 2/3?

        1. Together as Family says:

          I suggest filling cupcakes 1/3 full and cake pans 2/3 full. 😊

    2. I just made this recipe and my cupcakes and cake fell horribly. I didn’t over fill the pan or cupcakes so I’m not really sure what I did wrong. I’ve been scrolling through all the comments hoping someone else had the same troubles as me. Most people said it worked great so I’m glad I’m not the only one who it didn’t work for.

      1. Together As Family says:

        Oh darn. If it’s not working out for some people it seems to be because of over filling. I only fill whatever I’m putting it in a little less than halfway. This batter rises quite a bit and it makes more batter than normal so you have to allow for that. If I’m making a 9×13 cake then I usually have enough batter for that and a smaller 8-inch baking dish too. Or, instead of a 2 layer cake I have enough batter for a 3 layer cake so I do that. Cupcakes are the same way too; it makes about 3 dozen cupcakes. Other than that I am not sure. I hate that it didn’t work out for you! ?

      2. I know this post is from a while ago. My cake completely fell. I believe it ended up being undercooked. Does anyone find the extra ingredients cause extra baking time?

        1. I baked this recipe once yesterday and it completely fell, I thought I under baked it, so i made 2 cakes today and both fell again and i only filled then 1/3 of the way, I have no idea why this is happening

        2. I just made this recipe for my first time. Yes, it falls due to being under baked. I did NOT over fill. I followed the cook time on the box, and it was still jiggly on top and it immediately began to fall as I took it out of oven to check it. I put it back in and continued to bake in increments of 2 minutes then 1 minute until toothpick came out clean. It took the max cook time one the box plus some extra minutes. But go slow since ovens are all different.
          Mine looks great, and I can’t wait to taste it!

  14. How about white cake mix and lemon pudding. Want to make a red, white & blue cake for this weekend. But white cake is just too plain for me to make

    1. Together As Family says:

      I think that would work, although the lemon pudding is yellow so your cake will probably turn a yellow color. They do have white chocolate pudding mix or even a vanilla pudding mix, I think one of those would work better with the white cake mix.

  15. Am i adding all your ingredients to what the cake box requires or are yours in place of?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Follow the recipe as it is stated. You use just the dry cake mix in the box. DO NOT add the ingredients called for on the box, just add the ingredients listed in the recipe. Hope that helps.

    2. When adding ingredients to a box mic you HAVE to add a few tablespoons of flour to the mix. If not it can cause the cake to fall, not rise, have an off texture etc. The flour in the box mix is measured appropriately for the other ingredients. When you add all the extras it throws the gluten content off. Remember like 2 tablespoons for each box of cake mix and flat, deflated cakes should not happen. Oh, check all ingredients to make sure they are not expired. I ruined a whole batch of dinner rolls with old yeast…that still ticks me off. Happy baking!

      1. 5 stars
        You’re exactly right! old cake mixes will cause your cakes to fall.

  16. Yasmeen Malik says:

    I made these with strawberry cake mix and cheesecake pudding mix then iced them with cream cheese frosting. They were AMAZING! No one could eat just one!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Strawberry and cheesecake sound amazing! So happy to hear they were a hit.

  17. I’m glad I reread this today. I tried making sample cupcakes with white cake mix and cheesecake pudding. One pan burned. They all fell. I am gonna make another attempt for my sons party tomorrow. This time I won’t worry about using all the batter. Gonna make a white cake with cheesecake pudding and a Devils food with caramel pudding. We tasted the original test ones I made and even though ugly they were delicious

    1. Together As Family says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry. I’ll double check that I made note of it in the recipe, but because of all the add-ins you’ll have more batter than normal. Aim to only fill a little less than halfway. I’ve actually had the same thing happen to me….. it spilled out all over the oven and it took me days to clean it all up ? I have to always remind myself not to just dump all the batter and bake. If you’re making a cake, this recipe fits really well into 3 cake pans for a 3 layer cake. Good luck!

      1. I didn’t fill it more than halfway this time but they still fell as they cooled. I hope to dr them up with frosting and a fondant decoration tomorrow.

    2. 5 stars
      Sounds like you just don’t know what you’re doing. Read the directions carefully and check your oven. Not every oven cooks the same. Some at 350 degree bake hotter than others. If you’re checking the cake over and over again, he advised you’re changing the temperature of your oven and will see less than stellar results. Perhaps you should include every step you took to bake the cake. I’m sure you made several mistakes.

      1. I always have problems with my oven being too hot at all temperatures. So I use a water bath underneath the cake pan on the rack beneath it just above the bottom level of the oven. (a water-bath is plain water in a pan 1/3 full).
        this creates moisture inside the oven so the cake does not dry out and it regulates the heat so your cake won’t burn. sometimes they hate rises to the top of your cake you may have to lay a piece of foil for the first 15 minutes of cooking time. do not fold it down just lay it on top flat.*just watch carefully and make adjustments the last 10 minutes you may have to remove the water bath.

  18. Taylor Nicole says:

    Hey great recipe!
    I had a question though all we have is sugar free pudding.. will that work ? Does it change anything or require adding something else?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Sugar free should work just fine. I’ve never used it in this recipe so I can’t say for sure, but I see no reason why it would not work ? Just add the pudding, it shouldn’t change any amounts of the other ingredients.

  19. Michelle Weller says:

    Do you still use the whole eggs if doing a white cake?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes you do

      1. I would advise not too unless you dont mind a slightly yellow cake instead of white. I use egg whites only and I whip them to peaks and fold into batter to help keep the rise

  20. I use Betty crocker and that brand is a little less than 16oz so I also add 6 tbs of flour and the cake comes out perfectly moist.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Great idea. Yes, I think the people having problems maybe need to add more flour possibly. Baking is so finicky with altitude and what not so I know it’s different for everyone. Thanks for letting me and other readers know. Hopefully this helps someone else too 🙂

  21. 5 stars
    I made a cake with this recipe. It was delicious for days. I saw where someone else asked about this but I will too, to see if you have anymore ideas. My cake mix was 15.25 oz. That’s what all the ones were that I saw. That’s the only thing different from your recipe. I followed everything exact. My batter ended up being so thick that just as I was going to turn my mixer off it quit working. The batter was creeping up the beaters and was almost to the bottom or my mixer, by the time I was done almost all the batter was on the beaters instead of in the bowl. I beat it exactly 2 mins like the directions say. It was definitely not pourable. It made for a perfectly flat cake though, which is what I wanted. I don’t want that for the cupcakes I am making for this weekend though. Any thoughts?

    1. 5 stars
      My pudding is also 3.4 oz.

    2. Together As Family says:

      You’re right. I think they recently changed all the sizing on the cake boxes because when I first wrote and published this post the cake mixes were that 18 oz size. I thought I had edited the recipe to reflect that, but I don’t think I did. I will go do that. I have made this countless times and I use the now 15.25 oz cake mix and the smaller box of pudding. Same size as you. The cake batter is thick but I’ve never had it be as thick as you described. So I am really not sure what happened. I agree with the cupcakes. This recipe does work better as a cake recipe.

  22. Is it okay to use a bunt pan for this recipe? And does it require an electric mixer?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes you can use a bundt pan. Just make sure to not over-fill it and watch the cooking time on it. I would follow whatever cook time the cake mix box says for a bundt cake. It should only be about 3/4 full. Instead of an electric mixer you can use a wire whisk or even a spatula to mix it all together.

  23. 5 stars
    I used black cherry Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I did not use vanilla. I would have used a cherry extract or liqueur if I had it. It was delicious! I had to bake it a lot longer than recommended. (Bundt pan used)

    1. Together As Family says:

      Black cherry yogurt sounds amazing! I would imagine a bundt pan would take much longer. So glad it came out well!

  24. I tried this recipe for the memorial holiday. Done actually what the recipe called for and my cup cakes rise but, soon after it collapse. Don’t know what went wrong. I’m hoping soon you can video on making it. Then I can for myself what I done wrong. I was so disappointed.

    1. Together As Family says:

      This has happened to me before too. I’ve determined that this doctored up cake mix recipe is best used for cakes. I have never had a problem with it when I am making a cake and I use 3 9″ round cake pans. When cupcakes deflate it’s usually because it was filled too high in the cupcake pan. Others have said a bundt pan works well too. So sorry to hear it did not work for you. I know that can be very disappointing.

  25. 5 stars
    Does anyone know what pudding pairs well with pink velvet cake mix by Duncan Hines…

    1. Together As Family says:

      I would suggest white chocolate or vanilla

  26. Jessica Pollock says:

    Hi! Can I use an 8 inch pan instead of a 9 inch?

    1. Together As Family says:

      If you mean an 8″ round cake pan then yes that would be fine. You will need 3 of them for a layered cake 🙂 If you are talking about an 8″ square baking dish then no that would not work. There is too much batter for that small pan.

      1. Jessica Pollock says:

        Yes the 8 inch round pan. Is this recipe enough for the 3 layers?

        1. Together As Family says:

          That should work just fine. The round cake pans I use are 9″ so 8″ pans are not that much different so I think it would be fine. Use 3 of them as the recipe calls for.

          1. Jessica Pollock says:

            Thank you so much for your help!

  27. Elsye Crouse says:

    If I am using 2 box cakes would I still would all ingredients? If so, is there any changes to the recipe? I am making a very large sheet cake.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I am not sure to be honest. Doubling everything seems like you would end up with a ton of cake batter. The recipe as is makes quite a bit with all the extra add-ins so I would just make the single recipe and see if it fits in the cookie sheet. I am thinking it will just fine.

  28. I have doubled the recipe for an 11 ×15 pan it was delicious

    1. Together As Family says:

      So good to hear! I’ve never doubled it before so thank you for coming back to share. I know others have asked.

  29. I’m having the worst time with any other flavors then chocolate. The chocolate did great but I’ve since tried a spice and vanilla mix and both have fallen. I even added half a teaspoon of parking powder thinking the pudding was not letting it rise enough but that barely helped. Idk what to do!

    1. Together As Family says:

      That is so odd. This recipe seems to be hit and miss for everyone. Myself included actually! I am actually in the process of reworking this recipe because the reviews are so mixed about it. I don’t really know what to say to your question. I’m so sorry! I have noticed that the recipe does not make cupcakes well. I have only ever had success with a layer cake for this recipe. Hence the reason I am reworking it to try and get it right so everyone can have success with it. I am so sorry you’re having trouble with this.

      1. 4 stars
        Try adding flour to the mix. The cake mixes are way smaller than they used to be. 15.25 instead of the 18.75 they used to be. or the 16.25. This recipe calls for a lot of extra fat and a small amount of milk. I am going to try it tomorrow but will add flour.

        I have made it before with 2 sticks of butter, 4 eggs, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 cups milk and teaspoon vanilla flavor or the flavor of your choice.

  30. 5 stars
    I have made layer and Bundy cakes. They have always turned out well. I always have to bake longer than the suggested time.

    1. I forgot to mention that I have varied the flavors many times. I add frozen blueberries to the yellow cake lemon bundt. This requires me to put less liquid, usually a little less milk.

  31. Is this recipe sturdy enough for stacking a layered cake?!

    1. Kate kain says:

      I made a 4 layer cake using 2 round pans cut in half. The cake fell as soon as I took it out of the oven but with the extra layers of raspberry jam and chocolate whip it was fine. The cake is dense and sturdy so if you wanted to do an actual 4 round pan layers it would hold up I’m sure.

  32. I plan to make a naked cake and want to make the cake ahead of time and freeze it. Do you happen to know if it will defrost well and not break apart because it’s a super moist cake?

    1. Together As Family says:

      It should work just fine being frozen. I have never done it so I can’t say for sure, but I think it would be fine. Just be really careful! 🙂

  33. Jessica Pollock says:

    Hi! Can I make yellow cake with vanilla bean pudding?

  34. Shanna Velasquez says:

    5 stars
    I didn’t read the full recipe all the way through before throwing all the ingredients into my mixer. Then I saw the “Update” say that this wasn’t the best recipe for cupcakes…which is what I was making. I read through the comments to find out why. Luckily someone one had recommended adding 6 tablespoons of flour if the cake mix was a 15.25 oz mix. I wasn’t ready to scrap the whole thing so I have it a try! I added 6 tablespoons of flour and my cupcakes turned out perfect! Not a single one fell!

    1. Together As Family says:

      So good to hear. Thank you for coming back to let me know. I need to change the recipe to make it clearer. This post was written before they changed all the cake mix boxes (they used to be bigger, now they’re smaller) so I definitely need to go back and rework the recipe. Thanks again for coming back to leave your feedback!

  35. 4 stars
    I was so excited to make this recipe. I used the combination of white cake and pistachio pudding mix. I filled the pans up with the recommended amount of cake mix. Taking it out of the oven, it looked so beautiful. I left it out to cool, only to come back and they had deflated. Completely. So… I went to the store and bought more cake mix and pistachio pudding to try again, this time putting less batter than recommended and using left over batter for cupcakes. Same thing. Cake deflated. I was so disappointed at first. So I cut each cake in half and filled and iced each layer with a homemade marscapone filling. While this wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing cake, the flavor….. the texture…. OH EM GEEEEEE! It was like biting into a cloud of moistness. Like a pudding. The family loved it and with the icing on I don’t think they noticed how it looked. The cupcakes on the other hand came out with no problem and were amazing as well. I’ll be making another soon, this time using chocolate cake and red velvet pudding and then again with strawberry cake and cheesecake pudding.

    1. Together As Family says:

      This recipe seems to be hit or miss for most people who try it. I agree, the flavor and texture of this cake is out of this world. I love the addition of the pudding. If you find that the cakes are deflating regardless of what you do, try adding a little extra flour to the batter and see if that helps. I would say add about 1/3 cup.

  36. 5 stars
    I made this recipe into cupcakes 3 times using Duncan hines, pillsbury, and betty crocker mixes. They are all 15..25 oz. The only one that the cupcakes did not fall was the duncan hines. I am going to attribute this to the fact that the betty crocker and pillsbury have pudding already in the mix as nothing else was different. I think it is just too much moisture for the cupcakes. I would suggest from my experiment, if you are doing cupcakes that you use duncan hines cake mix. Does anyone who had a problem with cupcakes remember what kind of mix you used? Has anyone had a problem with duncan hines and cupcakes? By the way cake with any of the brands turned out fine and this is an excellent recipe.

    1. Together As Family says:

      That is interesting. I am actually in the process of reworking this recipe because since posting they decided to decrease the package size of the cake mixes! I’ve tried several different ways and you’re right there is just too much moisture. I think that’s a great idea for anyone making cupcakes; to use the cake mix with no pudding in it. Thank you for coming back with your comment. It’s very helpful 🙂 I too have never had problems making a cake/layered cake with this recipe. Just the cupcakes.

    2. I’ve always used Duncan Hines Golden Butter cake mix for this cake. If memory serves, I got the recipe off of a DH box 40+ years ago. I’ve always used a bundt pan and have never been disappointed. My family favors French Vanilla pudding mix. Butterscotch with Spice cake mix.

  37. Kathy Robinson says:

    Has anyone tried this with a Gluten Free cake mix? I need to make a white sheet cake that is GF. GF is usually dry and gritty. I’ve got a trick for making a chocolate GF moist, afraid to try with white. Any hints appreciated. We’re new to this GF baking – three grandbabies GF intolerant.

  38. Melissa A. Miles says:

    4 stars
    In a spirit of experimentation (and because I had no pudding) I made this with lemon cake mix and regular lime jello, and substituted vanilla yogurt for the sour cream. Baked in a bundt pan for 42 minutes and a little pan for 30. It’s moist and tender, with a fine crumb, and perfectly scrumptious. Next up: white cake with raspberry jello!

  39. Denise Kellum says:

    Or does anyone know how many cups of batter you put in each of the 3-9 inch pans? Please answer soon.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Hey Denise. I just divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. They will end up being almost halfway full of batter. Maybe a little less. But the cake rises while baking so it works out. I hope that helps.

  40. 5 stars
    It is funny you said you don’t recommend to make cupcakes. I have used the recipe to strictly make cupcakes and my office requests them. We will have pot lucks and I get signed up for cupcakes every time.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Really?! That is so awesome. I’ve made the recipe using cupcakes as well, and it works for me. That was more of a *disclaimer* because there have been so many people that have not been successful with cupcakes. Not sure if it’s altitude or what it is, but this recipe gets a lot of hit and miss comments about it. I am so glad it works for you 🙂 It’s one of the first recipe posts I did on my blog, so it’s in major need of a redo….. thanks for letting me know it works for you.

  41. Can i use a three ten inch pans?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Sure! You can use any size you like, depending on what type of cake you want to make. Whatever you use, just make sure that the pan is not filled more than halfway as the cake rises while baking.

  42. Jennifer Caine says:

    5 stars
    pistachio cake turned out lovely!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Great! I love pistachio ❤️

  43. Ginny Bates says:

    1 star
    Made this today. EPIC FAIL! I’ve been baking for fifty-plus years and have never had such a failure. I was so disappointed. I used Duncan Hines Butter Cake, melted butter instead of oil, full fat sour cream, full fat milk, instant sugar free white chocolate pudding mix, extra vanilla and Princess flavoring (husband loves this) and the extra six tablespoons of flour some posters said gave them success. I baked in a Bundt pan at recommended temperature, but needed to bake longer. The batter was lovely, thick, and fluffy. The cake rose beautifully in the oven. The cake fell almost immediately when done. The flavor is very good, but the texture is very dense, almost like a steamed English pudding.

    Since I needed to take a dessert to a gathering, I cubed the cake and layered it in a pretty glass bowl with cherry pie filling and the cream cheese frosting I had already made. My husband thinks it looks nice and likes the flavors. We’ll see what the other guests think…

    My feeling is that, even with extra flour added, there are simply too many and too much of rich ingredients – namely, a lot of oil, sour cream, and milk.

    I’m glad this recipe works so well for many people. Too bad it didn’t for me.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I am honestly at a loss with this recipe! It works well for so many but then works absolutely horrible for others. I actually have been experimenting with the recipe recently. It’s interesting because I’ve had this recipe work wonderfully for me, but then other times it does not. So sorry it did not work well for you. This was one of the first recipes I ever posted on my blog, so that was a few years ago and I think it just needs a lot of rework. I’m working on it! ? Thank you for coming back to leave your feedback.

  44. 5 stars
    I made this recipe today. I used a 15.25 oz Betty Crocker Yellow cake mix & cheesecake pudding. I reduced the oil and sour cream to 3/4 Cup and did everything else the same. I added 2/3 Cup mini chocolate chips to the batter. I added 4-minutes to the boxed cook time and used a 13×9 Corning Ware dish. It came out excellent. Very pleased. Topped it with a chocolate buttercream and some more mini chips. Nice recipe.

  45. 5 stars
    I’ve actually used this recipe for cupcakes and it works!! I make sure NOT to open the oven for at least 22minutes, then I check and sometimes bake an extra 1-2 minutes . I get 24 cupcakes, perfect every time!

    1. Together As Family says:

      That’s so good to hear. For some reason this recipe either works really well or not at all for people!

      1. 5 stars
        Have you tried it in a bundt pan? If so, do you bake according to the time specified on the cake mix box?

  46. Kristen LaMorre says:

    When useing fresh fruits, do I use less liquid? ( Milk in this case? I would like to do the Strawberry Cheesecake with cream cheese filling and frosting, if I add fresh strawberries to the mix how much less liquid do I use. Thank you!

    1. Together As Family says:

      I am not sure. I have not tried using fresh fruit. I would make sure the fruit is well drained, and you may even want to dab it with a paper towel to make sure the strawberries are really dry. As far as the liquid, you might be fine keeping it the same if the strawberries are well drained. Or, reduce it by a couple tablespoons. I am not positive as I’ve never done it. I hope it works cause fresh strawberries sound fabulous!!

  47. Hi, I was wondering if the recipe listed is the revised recipe.

    1. Together As Family says:

      No. This recipe seems to be a hit or miss for people. This recipe works perfectly for me each time I make it, but lots of others are having troubles with it. Honestly, not sure what the problem is.

  48. 3 stars
    I’m not sure what happened but the middle of my cupcakes sunk quite a bit. I never had trouble with my oven. They tasted good though.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I’m so sorry Pat! This recipe is hit or miss and while they taste good I am not sure why it works for some and not for others. I know that it’s very disappointing when something does not cook as it should. It happens to me all the time.

  49. 5 stars
    I made cupcakes for a birthday, but they turned out flat. I didn’t have time to bake more so I sprinkled powdered sugar on them and then used a thin piping tip to frost them with squiggly circles. They ended up being a huge hit and everyone requested that I make them when it was time for their birthdays. One said it was the best cake they had ever eaten and two others said they were so good I should go into business. I have made many cakes/cupcakes but I have never had so many compliments! I read how to remedy the flat tops but they were so imperfectly perfect that I think I might continue to make them this way on purpose! Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    1. Together As Family says:

      That is so awesome that they were still loved even though they fell flat. I am so sorry about that! This recipe seems to be hit or miss for everyone. I agree, the cake is so delicious even when they’re not perfect. I would try adding a few more tablespoons flour next time and see if that helps.

  50. 4 stars
    Nice cake? I also added the zest, from the lemon, to the batter. I frosted the middle with lemon curd and frosted the rest of the cake in vanilla frosting. I might try it again and add zest and lemon juice to the frosting.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yum. I love your changes and additions. Sounds delicious, especially that lemon curd in the middle!

  51. EVA NICKS says:


    1. Together As Family says:

      Hopefully soon….. the recipe as is, works just fine for me and many others. This recipe seems to be hit or miss and I am not sure what to do about it. The only revision would be to reduce the amount of moisture in the cake. Less sour cream and less oil. It’s something that I have to play around with and see. For now, this is the recipe that I still make all the time and I apologize that it does not work for some people.

  52. Daphne Finnell says:

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday using Duncan Hines lemon cake mix and lemon pudding. I was out of vanilla flavoring….. thought I had some…. but…..the cake was delicious. Soo moist. The best pound cake I’ve ever made! Thank you!!

  53. 5 stars
    Hi. I am an English lady who has been doing this for years. I use one cup sour cream one cup instant pudding mix and one cup of coffee creamer plus a quarter cup oil. If making chocolate cake I use chocolate pudding and Bailey’s creamer or French vanilla cake mix with French vanilla creamer and so on, always comes out delicous. Hope this was helpful.

  54. Has anyone had to make any adjustments for altitude on this recipe?

  55. 2 stars
    I made this cake, it was nice and high when I took it out of the oven and then it collapsed. Not overly impressed! I just hope it tastes good.

    1. Together As Family says:

      So sorry it did not turn out. I say this to almost every comment on here, but this recipe is so hit or miss and I don’t know why! I hate it when recipes don’t turn out and I hate it even more when the recipes I post on my blog don’t turn out for others. It should taste good still but so sorry it collapsed. Thanks for coming to leave your feedback 🙂

  56. 5 stars
    Since this recipe increases the cake size, would this work a half sheet (12×18 sheet pan) approx 16 cups of batter? Thank you!

    1. Together As Family says:

      I would say yes it would fit in the half sheet pan. The recipe does make more batter which is maybe why people are having trouble with it falling, because there is too much batter in whatever pan they’re putting it in. I know the full recipe is too much for a 9×13 pan so that’s why I am thinking a half sheet would be perfect.

  57. TERESA CARROLL says:

    good morning,
    I want to bake a strawberry cake, can i use strawberry box cake mix ? Do I add vanilla pudding or strawberry ?
    Also I want to do a strawberry cream cheese icing.

    1. Together As Family says:

      If you can find a strawberry pudding mix then I would use that. But vanilla is always a good one to use if not. As far as a strawberry cream cheese icing I am not sure on that. It would be delicious but I don’t have a recipe for it. I would try googling ‘strawberry cream cheese frosting’ and I am sure lots of recipes will pop up. Good luck and hope you love it!

  58. 4 stars
    I just made a funfetti cake with sugar free banana cream pudding (not my first choice but it’s all we had on hand). My son tasted the batter and heart emojis popped from his eyes. We can’t wait to eat his birthday cake tomorrow!

  59. Shawnee Robinson says:

    2 stars
    When it came out of the oven it was nice and high. I was very pleased. Then they fell, like a pancake!! Followed your instructions to the tee. Not happy with the taste either. Should have tried it before baking my granddaughters birthday cake for her 1st birthday. I should have just used my regular recipe. Live and learn. Thanks, but no thanks…………..

    1. Together As Family says:

      Oh darn, so sorry it did that. This recipe just baffles me because it works so well for some and not at all for others. Thanks for coming back to leave your feedback.

  60. Hello Jessica, Just wanted to confirm, the eggs and oil in your recipe are not “in addition to” the eggs and oil on the cake box, but “in place of”, correct? Thanks!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes, correct. The eggs and oil in the recipe are in place of whatever it says on the box 🙂 Ignore the box and just follow the recipe.

  61. Just made cupcakes with this recipe. The only change was, I added 2 Tbls of flour. I was really afraid to make cupcakes, because so many people had problems, but my son-in-law wanted cupcakes. They turned out perfect. I made 24 cupcakes and had a little left over batter. I put it in a loaf pan. I just ate a piece. It is the most moist cake (without icing) I have ever eaten.

    1. Together As Family says:

      It is super moist, huh! I love this recipe but sadly it does not seem to work for everyone. I have retested this recipe so many times and never have a problem, so I am at a loss. So happy it worked out for you.

  62. 5 stars
    Well, don’t do what I did and read like 10 different “how to make a boxed cake mix better” recipes in a row, then not re-read the entire article on the one you chose! A lot of the recipes I looked up said to make the cake exactly as directed on the box, then add X,Y, and Z. Well, I made my cake mixes exactly as directed with 3 eggs, 1/3 cup oil, and however much water, then proceeded to add everything in this recipe as well (for anyone who lost count, that’s 7 eggs per box of mix!). Now, the cake wasn’t inedible, thank goodness, but it was more like a super dense, very moist, not thick or fluffy, eggy thing. On the bright side, I did one white, which I dyed orange, and one chocolate so I could do a tiger striped cake for my daughters “Big Cat” themed b-day, and the stripes turned out pretty good! The moral of the story: be careful how many recipes you read on pinterest in a row, so you don’t mix them up in your head once you actually chose one! I’ll try this one again (the right way!) and let you know how it goes LOL.

    1. Together As Family says:

      haha, this made me laugh 🙂 I do the same thing where I look up recipes and read several and then I get them all confused and forget which one I wanted to try. So sorry this happened. Yes, 7 eggs is a lot and would definitely make the cake dense! I hope it works for you when you try it again.

  63. 5 stars
    I’m making a white cake with white chocolate pudding but I don’t want to use the whole egg can I use just the egg whites and maybe add an extra white.

  64. Debbie levy says:

    Hi. I have a a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I am always confused with cake mixes – should I use the whisk attachment or the flat beater attachment?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Good question. Either one works fine. I usually always use the paddle attachment because you can use that one to whisk wet ingredients and mix everything together when you add in the dry ingredients (referring to a cookie recipe….). But for this recipe, either one would work just fine. When I make this recipe I use the paddle attachment because that’s just the normal one I seem to use all the time with my mixer. I hope that helps!

  65. 5 stars
    Hands down the best cake I’ve ever had home made. You are a God Send for this! I’ve made it like 5 times now, and every time it is a home run!! Thank you, thank you!!
    I am truly grateful, and in your debt because I now have a one up on my MIL for the first time EVER.
    That is life changing.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Oh, nice! That makes me happy to hear this, and so glad it helped out with your MIL 🙂 Thank you for coming back to leave your review.

  66. Has the recipe for this changed any ? I am needing to bake a 3 layer cake and I was ready to bake this one…but I was reading so many reviews on how it didnt work ?? I have to make this cake today so really cant afford to mess it up , do you have any revisions ?

    1. Together As Family says:

      The recipe as is works just fine for me as well as lots of others. Some have problems with too much moisture in the cake so you can reduce that. I would use 3/4 cup sour cream and 3/4 cup oil, instead of the 1 cup of each called for in recipe. But again, the recipe as is has worked great for most people, and I have never tried the reduced sour cream and oil, so I can’t say for sure as to the success. Good luck! I apologize this response is so late, I hope you found a way to make the cake.

  67. Cortney Lee says:

    5 stars
    I use this recipe any time I make cake or cupcakes and it is so good! Works perfect every time and so easy!

  68. 5 stars
    Doctored up a traditional favorite birthday cake for a family party and it was awesome!!! I’m going to stock up on instant pudding!! Thanks!

    1. Together As Family says:

      So nice to hear that this was a hit! I always make my cakes this way and they turn out perfect each time. It makes me sad that this recipe seems to not work well for some but great for others. Thanks for coming back to leave your comment.

  69. 5 stars
    I used butter yellow cake with caramel flavored pudding and it was divine! I frosted with a homemade caramel frosting. Definitely a keeper.

    1. Together As Family says:

      That combo sounds so delicious! And I am really happy this worked out for you. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving your review. I appreciate it 🙂

  70. Christine says:

    Can I sub with coconut oil?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes you can

  71. Hi! Will this recipe work for a naked layered cake? I’m using 10, 8 & 6 inch round cake pans… making 2 of each size and then cutting them in half.

  72. JANET SALZMAN says:

    Sorry, but most cake mixes are NOT 16-18 oz.! All of them are now 15.25 oz. And it’s best to add 6 Tbs. of flour and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of baking powder when you want to do this “Cake Doctor” thing of using cake mixes instead of doing fully SCRATCH recipes.

  73. JANET SALZMAN says:

    And one cup of oil is WAY too much! All you need is a half-cup! Who wants a greased-up cake? Blech!!!

  74. Hi! Can this recipe be used for a layered cake? I’m baking four different sizes … two cakes of each size and then cutting them in half. If not, what do you recommend for layered cakes.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I cut my cakes in half for a layered cake. That should work just fine for you.

  75. 4 stars
    I did a lemon cake mix with lemon pudding. My cake mix was 15.25 oz so I just added about 1/3 cup more cake mix from another box. Added some fresh lemon zest with the other ingredients and this turned out great!!
    I’m going to try Strawberry cake mix and cheesecake pudding tomorrow!!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Sounds amazing! So happy to hear it turned out for you.

  76. so I have someone that wants pink velvet cake and Duncan doesn’t make it anymore. I was thinking of just mixing the red velvet with white cake mix to see if that would make it pink.
    and help on this would be great

    1. Together As Family says:

      I think that would work. Maybe add some additional pink neon food coloring?? They have the pack of neon food colors in the baking aisle or use the Wilton jar of pink color.

  77. Making this recipe now for ‘voting day’s themed cake pops. I will let you know how it worked out. It seems like a great cake for that use. 🙂

    1. Together As Family says:

      Great idea! I’ve never tried cake pops with this so I’m interested to see how it works.

  78. Pingback: How to make a Boxed Cake Mix Taste Homemade ⋆ Growing Up Garza
  79. 3 stars
    I think part of the problem with the cake falling is the dairy/ fat ratio. I see you suggest sour cream and milk with more fast, such as vegetable oil.
    You then suggest pudding, which has additional fast.
    I think this is too much.
    I’ve doctored box cakes for years. You must be very careful in adding to box cakes as their make up already has the appropriate ingredients for rise.
    If anything, you want to create a more tender crumb.
    I suggest the following:
    1. Eliminate sour cream. Just replace the water with milk. If you use sour cream, then reduce milk.
    2. Use butter. Increase butter ratio to about a stick and a half.
    3. Don’t add the entire packet of pudding. If adding pudding make sure you but a cake that doesn’t have pudding in it.
    4. Sift the mix
    5. Cream your butter.
    6. Add dry and liquid ingredients alternatively
    7. Learn your oven ladies.
    Don’t over mix. Mix until just combined.
    Good luck.

  80. Islandgirl20 says:

    4 stars
    I read through every comment before making this cake. As others mentioned, mine too fell. Very expensive lesson to flop. Tastes just like making the original box mix which is great but nothing I can keep trying. Too expensive to try again. Thanks for the recipe. Really think it could be good if you could figure out why most of them fall. Made cKe not cupcakes.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I wish I could figure it out too! I still make this doctored up cake recipe all the time for birthdays and dessert, and many people I know use it with great success. It honestly baffles me as to why it works great for some and not for others. SO sorry I can’t help more.

      1. I’d already added the box obstructions :
        3 eggs 1/2 cup oil and 1c water 😬
        thinking old school could just add the pudding back when…so I added 1/4 cup sour cream , vanilla and the pudding … 2TBsp flour will see …:///.

  81. 5 stars
    These have an amazing flavor and are soo moist! I have trouble getting the center done without burning the bottoms? What am I doing wrong? I have dark pans, so I cooked them at 325 for 18min. My centers aren’t done but the bottoms are dark brown.. Thank you!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Try lining the cake pan with parchment paper. That seems to do wonders for cookies so I bet it would work great for this.

  82. Hi can I use cake mixes that already have pudding in them and still add the separate box of pudding? Not sure if it’ll be too much moisture.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I would try and use one without the pudding in the mix.

  83. Tammy Carpenter says:

    Can you tell me how to prevent my cake from shrinking back to the size of the batter. It comes out of oven well over the cake pan but shrinks back down as it cools.

    1. Together As Family says:

      It sounds like maybe it was not cooked long enough?? Possibly. I’m not entirely sure. So sorry. Or try adding a few tablespoons additional flour to the mix.

  84. What about using buttermilk?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Any milk should work fine, including buttermilk. The higher fat % is best.

  85. 5 stars
    Hi, I tried your recipe with a dark chocolate cake mix and a chocolate fudge instant pudding mix and it was amazing!!! So I ended up using a 9in round pan and was in a hurry that day so I missed the part where it should only be 1/2 or less filled. Mine was almost 2/3. ? So at 26 minutes when it wasn’t done I was worried. So I ended up cooking it for a total of 55 minutes. I thought it was going to be hard and over cooked but this batter was something else. I stuck a toothpick in and it came out clean. So I let it cool and trimmed the top so it was nice and even, and by my surprise the cake looked great in the inside. It was dense but light and fluffy. Don’t know how that’s possible but it was. So I tasted the trimmed top and wow it was great! I put a coconut and almond cream icing on top. Wow! The best cake ever!!! My mom and husband loved it. And my husband is not a chocolate kind of guy but he almost ate the whole thing himself. ? My daughter even said she wanted that cake for her birthday. I’m gonna try cupcakes and see how they go for me since a lot of people seem to have issue with them falling and will let you know how that works for me. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  86. 5 stars
    I used this recipe to make a bundt tonight with an orange supreme cake mix and french vanilla pudding. I was worried there might be a bit too much “wet” ingredients, so I reduced both the oil and sour cream by 1/3 (i.e. I used 2/3 cup of each). The cake turned out fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more moist cake in my life and the flavor was incredible. And my kids loved it too. I put a basic powdered sugar glaze on top, but it really didn’t even need it. Thanks for sharing this!!

  87. Melissa A. Miles says:

    I have made this twice with lemon cake mix, using regular lemon and lime Jello as the only change. They came out very slightly denser than usual but otherwise perfect.

  88. I’m sure that “together as a family” needs to hear about a few of her followers who have experienced their cakes/cupcakes sinking. Everyone needs constructive criticism in order to KNOW how to try to make things better. But don’t you feel enough is enough? The cake is simply amazing in flavor AND texture, not to mention so moist! Then what else is important? So what if the cake sinks a bit in the middle. That’s the part I eat, because I love icing on the cake and I get a smidgen more icing that way. Ice the cake the same level across as you use your knife, and no one will know – they’ll be too busing raving about the delicious cake! She is kind enough to put this recipe on the web so that we can try it or not. How many cooks/bakers do you who know will NOT share their recipes? Plus she responds to everyone, sometimes repeating the same information over and over again. Most bloggers will not respond and so sincerely? I know that NONE of you meant to be disrespectful or cause her lack of sleep because of disappointing others. As a rule, you all were kind and caring and meant the best. I’ve used this cake over and over so many times….and it is honestly better than the store bought cakes I’ve purchased in the past. So THANK YOU ” so much for posting this for all of us. I am baking a cake as we speak and the fragrance of this delicious treat is amazing!

    1. Together As Family says:

      You’re so kind Linda. Thank you. I get really nice comments about this recipe and then really nasty ones. So I guess it either works for some and not for others. It still baffles me why. I have seriously retested this recipe dozens of times and it never fails me. I love this blog and I love sharing recipes, and I even love it when readers leave comments. Good or bad 🙂

      1. 4 stars
        Hello, I just made the cupcakes, mine fell. I’m making them for a baby shower. I cooked some a little longer and they didn’t seem to fall as much. I’m going to try round two and add in more flour and a bit of baking soda. In all the years I’ve been baking, crap happens. Some days my stuff is amazing and other days, just doesn’t work out. I notice a lot depends on the weather outside, cupcake liners and your pans. Trouble shooting is how you learn. Thanks for sharing.

        1. Together As Family says:

          So sorry to hear this! I recently updated this recipe (with a new post and recipe) for all those having problems with this one. This one works for so many but also turns out terribly for so many. Try this new and improved cake mix recipe It turns out much better and I even made it into cupcakes a few days ago. Just be sure to only fill the cupcake cups halfway. Any more than that and they spill out the sides.

  89. Maggi R Blocker says:

    5 stars
    I want to make Monet’s favorite cake, le gateau vert, (as seen on great british baking show) but semi homemade to be less fussy, so I found your recipe by Google how to mix pudding mix with cake mix. I’m putting pistacchio pudding mix in a white cake mix. Thanks for doing the math on sour cream and other ingredients. 🙂

    1. Regina Kunschman says:

      5 stars
      Hi!!! I want to make the whitest cake I can for a wedding cake. I am even going to trim off ALL the brown edges and sides, top and bottom before frosting with a pure white buttercream frosting!!! I understand that I can just add egg whites instead of whole eggs to create an even whiter color… How many whites would you use to replace the whole eggs called for in this recipe?

  90. This looks so great! Can I use heavy whipping cream instead of milk? Or will that change the texture and flavor of the cake?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Any milk will work fine 🙂

  91. Do you still add the water to the cake mix? I know to increase the eggs & oil along with the other ingredients.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Nope. Just follow the recipe as given 🙂

  92. Hi- Can I use a gluten free box cake mix for this recipe?

  93. Instead of baking…i steamed the cake mixture for 30-35 minutes. Tastes great and cake texture was perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

  94. 5 stars
    I made this recipe using a yellow cake mix, white chocolate instant pudding, and added an additional 1.5 tsp of Orange Water, and an extra 1/8 cup of milk (the batter was thicker than I wanted.) It was amazing! What a great way to personalize a humdrum boxed cake!

  95. I made a red velvet version and the cake was very dense and fell… what did I do wrong? Over mix maybe?? I’d like to to some white chocolate cupcakes for easter but I dont want to screw these up… ideas?

  96. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice! Butter Pecan cake with vanilla pudding . The first time I made 2 round cakes which turned out so good. It was a hit at the birthday party. The second time I again made it with butter pecan cake and vanilla pudding but instead of doing cake I made cupcakes. My fist 12 cupcakes were good however, they were very light and fluffy and I was looking for a bit of a denser cupcake. I added 3tbsp of flour to the remaining batter and the remaining 24 cupcakes cake out perfectly. Thank you for the recipe and I will continue to use this for any future cupcakes or cakes I need to bake. 5 star review for taste and easiness of the recipe.

  97. Brittany Bourque says:

    I’m just curious if anyone has ever noticed a ‘tangy’ flavor to the cake. I did it with chocolate cake and pudding. It fell flat, but I’m layering and icing so not too worried about that, but I can’t decide if I did something wrong or not because it has a wierd tang to it (is that the sour cream). If so does anyone have suggestions to replace the sour cream?

  98. Donald Neil says:

    5 stars
    For all the frustrating times I’ve made box cake and always turning out dry no matter how many things I try to add to make it moist.
    Your recipe is spot on! Made a golden triple layer chocolate cake and it was perfect!
    Definetly making your recipe in other cakes in the future.
    Thank you so much.

  99. Willadale says:

    5 stars
    Can I add 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar to the batter?

    1. Together As Family says:

      The flour would be ok, but maybe not an entire cup. Start with 1/2 cup. Lots of people have had problems with the cake sinking so the flour may help that. I would not add additional sugar unless you want a really sweet cake 🙂

  100. Has anyone tried making this cake at high altitude? I live in Denver, Colorado (5,280 ft.) I’ve heard you should add more flour?? Any suggestions?

  101. Mine fell also. It occurred to me that adding all the extra oil, sour cream, and eggs (all heavy ingredients) that perhaps there should be more leavening agents (baking powder or soda)? I’m not much of a baker but that sort of seems logical to me.

  102. Keisha Johnson says:

    4 stars
    I am in love with the recipe, however it keeps falling. Plus is less leveling but I am sure it isn’t suppose to fall. I follow the recipe and added the 2 spoons of flower

  103. Pingback: Murder She Baked: Red Velvet Cake – Sweeten with Sunshine
  104. 1 star
    I followed the recipe exactly and tested my cake with a toothpick until it came clean and it fell as it was cooling. The consistency of the cake was very strange, dense, hardly any crumb, and flat. I don’t understand why this recipe has not been taken down, when now I see so many have said theirs have fallen. Waste of time and money.

    1. Together As Family says:

      I am sorry! Lots of had great success with this recipe. It works every single for me, so not sure why I should take it down. Sorry it did not turn out and thanks for leaving your review.

  105. Can i make this cake without sour cream?

    1. Together As Family says:

      You could try it. Or maybe substitute with Greek yogurt or plain yogurt.

  106. Roxsan Mottishaw says:

    I used COOK pudding before reading the directions… am I sunk? Waiting for it to cook now, although it smells delicious.

    1. Together As Family says:

      You want to use INSTANT PUDDING so I would guess the cook n’ serve pudding will not work but who knows?! I’ve never tried it personally, so I can’t say for sure. Hopefully it turned out ok. Let me know!

  107. I used to make this recipe back when the cake boxes were bigger…it used to be printed on the side of a Duncan Hines cake box years and years ago, but once the cake boxes got smaller, it seemed the ingredients weren’t working out anymore. I now use this similar recipe, which never fails and tastes delicious. I always use the Duncan Hines boxed cakes because they don’t have pudding in the mix and are great. This is how I make it now..
    1 box Duncan Hines cake mix
    4 large egg whites
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1/4 cup water
    1 small box instant pudding mix
    1 cup (8 oz) regular sour cream

    Make sure to match up your pudding to the cake flavor you pick. Also, mix the ingredient one by one, mixing for about a minute each until well mixed. Once all ingredients are mixed, thoroughly mix on medium for about 2 minutes. This will make a perfect 9 inch round cake! Or an 8×8 square pan or a bunny cake! The batter will be thick so make sure you tap your pan down on a counter to even it out and have no bubbles in the batter during baking. It works great for cupcakes too! Make sure you grease and flour pans as usual.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes I agree. They changed the cake mix box sizes which messes things up for sure. I recently reinvented this recipe with this current one that accommodates the smaller box sizes Yours sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  108. As your directions state to use 1 cup of oil is that too muc?

    1. Together As Family says:

      The 1 cup is correct. This recipe works amazing for some and then not for others. If you’re worried about the amount just reduce to 3/4 cup and see how that goes. A lot of people have problems with the cake falling, so reducing the liquid (oil) may help with that.

  109. JOANNE NEWMAN says:

    5 stars
    Wow, I just made this. I used what you did but added jello cheesecake instant pudding instead. Also almond extract instead of vanilla. I put it all in a 13×9 and it fell but we could careless. It tasted amazing! Thank you!

  110. C. Thompson says:

    I had the same problem of the cake falling after removing from the oven. I added 3 Tbsp flour and only 3/4 cup oil to the next recipe and it worked beautifully.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  111. HumblySweetLife says:

    I have been a from scratch baker for quite sometime, but a few years ago by SIL went gluten free and making from scratch GF cakes was the pits ! Texture was always meh, taste was always “gluten free” bleh. Thanks to this handy cheat I successfully used this recipe with King Arthur Gluten Free Chocolate Cake mix ~> 22oz cake mix. It has turned out wonderful, and literally perfect every time. I even used this recipe in bulk at a kids camp I volunteer at every year (a group of 6 of us cooks for 130+ for 7 days-breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.) So as I mentioned, I bulked the recipe and made 130 cupcakes. I filled them with whipped cream frosting and dipped the cupcake in ganache. Winner !
    I see a lot of complaints about the batter not being right, but if you have a food scale just buy two boxes of cake mix (I know around here Betty Crocker is cheap.) Then use the scale to get to the 18.25-18.50oz that you need. The remaining cake powder: just label and store in a airtight container. It shouldn’t go bad.
    Be blessed always !

    1. Together As Family says:

      So glad this one worked for you! I absolutely love the taste of this doctored cake mix. So yummy! Thanks for your comment.

  112. EPIC FAIL-followed the recipe; came out of the oven fine , had no fan on or AC; and after 5-10 min in the pan cooling, they both fell flat and I have to throw it all away…

  113. 5 stars
    Fantastic! I used a lemon cake with vanilla pudding because it’s what I had on hand. I baked it in a 13×8 and it’s moist and delicious. It did fall, but only a bit – definitely not enough to scrap it, but I’ll reduce the oil a bit next time around.
    I had store bought lemon frosting on hand as well, and this inspired me to try kicking that up a notch as well. I whipped it up and added 2 tbsp lemon juice, t tbsp cream cheese, a tsp vanilla, and ~1/2 cup powdered sugar. It was fantastic. The perfect recipe for when I don’t feel like making everything (or anything) from scratch!

  114. I had to make two cakes yesterday for Christmas for my husband’s family dinner. I was so worried because I never make cakes and his family is very picky! I was afraid they would be dry so I found this recipe that looked simple and they turned out great! I was so pleased with how they turned out so moist and how easy they were to make. I made these the night before and wrapped them pretty good and they were still super moist. I accidentally grabbed a box that said pudding in the mix and still added pudding mix anyway and it turned out just fine. Very pleased! Will use this for every cake from now on!

  115. 5 stars
    Hey! I found this the other night when I was looking for a good recipe. I saw the warnings about the pudding in the mix AFTER I had the cake in the oven so I figured it wasn’t going to be good. I am so happy to report that although I had to cook it about 20 min longer than the instructions said, this was the BEST CAKE I’VE EVER MADE! I will use this recipe from now on- and my mix did have the added pudding. I guess everyone’s ovens and local weather may affect things- for reference, I’m in Memphis, Tennessee and we love your recipe! Thank you ❤️

    1. Together As Family says:

      So good to hear this! Yes, I love this doctored up cake mix recipe but for some reason it either works really well or really horribly for people. So happy to hear it worked and that you loved it. Thank you for your comment and feedback cause I know it’s helpful for other readers too.

  116. Jacki Clark says:

    I literally just pulled my daughter’s birthday cake out of the oven 10 minutes ago and it came out looking perfect. I used chocolate cake mix with chocolate pudding and added milk and white chocolate chips I had in the freezer from Halloween. I used a 9×13 pan and it took about 15 minutes longer to bake, but came out moist and not flat. I of course cheated and took a small piece(a nibble, though lol!) for my husband and I and both so far love it. Thanks for the recipe! ❤

  117. Hi! I just had to take a moment to leave a comment, FINALLY, since I’m stuck in the house I have plenty of time LOL — 1st of all, I dont bake cakes! I am a great cook but always say “I’m no baker” — I usually just dont have the time to devote to it. About a year or so back my husband wanted a 10 layer cake (like his grandma used to make) — I HAD to do this for him. After digging around I decided to try your recipe for the batter — it was so good that it has been requested since (and I’ve been told its exactly like granny’s– the greatest compliment you could ever receive!!!)! That cake was 10 thin layers, with yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding (homemade chocolate frosting). Fast forward to my sons birthday (he is only 14!) But requested a homemade vanila cake — vanilla everything…..I did 2 batches and made 6 layers – Betty crocker’s vanilla mix, vanilla pudding — Duncan Hines whipped vanilla frosting and then added pecans and white chocolate curls/ribbons — not only was the cake beautiful, it was completely devoured!!!! Not one piece left over! I am making the vanilla cake again right now, as it’s been requested often. Sorry so long , I just had to leave a comment and tell you how much my family and friends have truly enjoyed this recipe! It may not be good for cupcakes as some have said. but it makes perfect flat,even layers for layered cakes …..and taste AMAZING! I will definitely continue to use this recipe and have even been told, I’m a pretty good Baker after all!! ♡

  118. Mikayla Carey says:

    I made it! So so so good! I think my pan was too tall though- it took me about 50 minutes to bake instead of 30. It tasted amazing!

  119. 1 star
    Made this as directed, but with sugar free pudding, and super disappointed! The cupcakes immediately caved in when they came out of the oven and sank about 1/4” overall. The cake tastes great and is very moist, but they’re so smushed you can’t even take them out of the wrapper to eat them ?

  120. I have a similar recipe; for a bundt cake, bake 50-60 mins on 350. If baking a 9×13 cake, normally 45 mins on 350 degrees.

    For cupcakes, I bake for 23-28 mins; depends on your oven. Also on 350.

    These times have been pretty solid for me when baking but of course oven and altitude vary.


  121. One cup of oil sounds like a lot?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Lots have made this cake with only 3/4 cup oil (because of the smaller size of cake mixes they have now) with great results. You could try that.

  122. Virginia Baldwin says:

    After making a scratch cake and having to throw it out because it was like cornbread, my son suggested a doctored cake mix recipe, I found this and I was so happy with the outcome. I followed it exactly using Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix and Aldi brand chocolate pudding mix…it was 3.9 oz tho. It was amazing. Please help me understand why so many say it fell and weren’t happy with that. Using a 9×13 pan, I baked it and timed it 28 min…then added 2 min intervals..I did this 4 times until perfectly done…I lowered the heat to 325 deg so the sides wouldn’t get too dark. It was high in the center but when cooled, it leveled out to the same thickness as the sides. Why is that a bad thing? It makes it easier to frost with the same amount of frosting over all of it. Please answer as I’m not understanding what the problem is! Thank you

    1. Together As Family says:

      I am so glad it worked for you. I am honestly still baffled by this recipe because I make it all the time, my sister makes it all the time, lots of people I know make it all the time but yet I get so many comments saying that it turned out horribly. I don’t know what it could be. But I am very happy it worked for you. Yay!!

  123. Can I make this without the instant pudding?

    1. Together As Family says:

      You could try it. I have never done it so I am not sure how it would affect the final cake.

  124. 1 star
    I followed this recipe to the “T” and it was a total flop. There was way too much moisture and the cake fell immediately after I removed it from the oven even though the cake tested done after 55 min. It wasn’t cheap to make and the whole thing went into the garbage can. I am an experienced baker and in all my 50+ years of baking have never had a cake fall.

  125. Deborah Johnson says:

    5 stars
    Turned out great! Can I use heavy cream in place of milk?

    1. Lucy Pulsipher says:

      Sorry I’m just replying! Your comment got lost but you can use heavy cream in place of milk- use half a cup heavy cream and half a cup water for every cup of milk.

  126. 5 stars
    This came out amazing! I used Pillsbury Sugar Free yellow cake mix, Jello Sugar Free vanilla pudding, and Daisy Light Sour Cream (plus remaining ingredients). It has such a tender crumb. I baked it in a Bundt pan for about 40 minutes. This will be a keeper!

  127. 5 stars
    Great easy recipe, I used a 10″ spring form pan. Add 4-6 TBSP flour, bake time was about 43 minutes at 350 degrees. Batter was very thick but baked up with a beautiful crumb and held its form spectacularly. Thanks!

    1. Lucy Pulsipher says:

      Thank you for sharing what worked for you with the recipe!

  128. Melissa F. says:

    Hi, I need to make a 3 layer 8in, is this amount good or would I need to double it? Thanks.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Because of the added ingredients it should work to do three 8” cakes. Fill the pans about 2/3 full. Let me know how it turns out!

  129. 5 stars
    Made this today and will make it again! I followed the recipe, but used water instead of milk. I was out of milk. Yellow cake mix with box of sugar free lemon pudding. It is delicious! Subtle hint of lemon went nicely with the chocolate frosting. Thanks!!

    1. Together as Family says:

      So glad you liked it! I love it when a substitution works!

  130. Laura Goode says:

    4 stars
    *I doubled recipe in a 11×19 and one round 4” pan for a birthday – my recipe is for a single bath 9×13 ONLY fill pan 1/3-1/2 full it rises a lot*

    -1 box Betty Crocker chocolate cake w/ pudding in mix
    -1 box 3.9oz instant chocolate fudge pudding
    -4 tblsp all purpose flour
    -3/4 cup oil
    -3/4 cup sour cream
    -1/2 cup whole milk
    -4 eggs
    -vanilla (I forgot oops)
    Mix is thick so alternate wet and dry when adding for mixing to keep pliable

    Baked on middle rack at 350° for 30-35 min at least before checking do not open oven soon!!! (I made a large cake and a tiny one total baking time for large was around 50-60min, small one was 40-45ish?) toothpick or fork clean!


    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you for sharing!!

  131. I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream in the strawberry cake mix and vanilla instant pudding mix. I used heavy cream instead of milk. I didn’t have (and I don’t ever use) vegetable oil so I used olive oil instead, but because it’s heavy I reduced the volume to 3/4 cup of the EVOO and balanced the gap with yogurt.

    I added an extra half spoon of vanilla extract, sprinkled the top with a cup of cream cheese flavored baking chips, and added a small package of frozen strawberries, which I pressed midway between the top and bottom of the Bundt pan.

    I baked
    Works beautifully and there’s a bite of strawberry fruit in every slice!

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you for your detailed comment! I love reading how people make a recipe their own. Love the idea of strawberry in every bite!

  132. I plan to buy two boxes of cake mix to have 18 oz. Using this amount, how many cups of cake batter would this recipe make? Thanks.

    1. Together as Family says:

      I don’t know for sure but I would guess 4-6 cups.

  133. Donna Belless says:

    everyone loves this cake. it is very easy.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Wonderful! So glad to hear it 🤗

  134. Hi just made your recipe for jazzing up a box cake mix. It is delicious! So moist, fluffy and just very moreish! I used Rainbow Bit cake mix and wondering what frosting might go well with it! Thanks so much for your recipes and blog!

    1. Together as Family says:

      You are so welcome! Thank you for your comment!

  135. 5 stars
    I used to have the Cake Doctor book and gave it away with one of noir moves. I’m so glad to find this recipe. The best backed I have ever made. Thank you.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you for commenting! So happy it worked for you.

  136. 5 stars
    I use this recipe all the time.It’s wonderful!

    1. Together as Family says:

      Yay! I love when a recipe earns repeat status.

  137. 5 stars
    love it! taste similar to the one my grandma used to make.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Wonderful! I love when recipes remind me of loved ones.

  138. do I mix cake mix to the box ingredients or follow the one that you have…because the box ask for a1/3cup of butter and a cup of water and 3 eggs

    1. Together as Family says:

      No need to add the ingredients listed on the box. Just add the ingredients the recipe calls for and follow the baking directions on the box. Let me know how it turns out!

  139. Christine G Bernier says:

    5 stars
    Very easy to prepare. Moist as can be, delicious.!
    Took a little longer to cook, I used a bundt pan.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you so much for your review!

  140. Can you substitute butter for the oil?

    1. Together as Family says:

      It will change the flavor and but I’m pretty sure the baking will be the same for the cake. Just do a 1:1 substitution and melt and cool the butter before adding it in.

  141. Charlotte Lee says:

    5 stars
    Made it last night and it turned out great ! did not have the instant pudding used regular pudding and it worked , one thing I did not do is open the oven door until 40 minutes into baking, cakes do not like a draft, my cake did not flatten .

    1. Together as Family says:

      Great advice for preventing a cake from flattening, thank you! Happy to hear the regular pudding worked.

  142. I just finished mixing this batter, chocolate cake mix and chocolate fudge pudding. The batter’s extremely thick consistency has me nervous and questioning whether or not I am supposed to add water per the box mix instructions. I did not add any water and I’m getting ready to fill cupcakes to bake now, so I guess the first batch will tell me the answer!

    1. Together as Family says:

      How did they turn out!? I hope you loved them 🥰

  143. while it was cooking looked beautiful..took out it all calapsed so disappointing the taste was Great

    1. Together as Family says:

      I’m so sorry it collapsed! The most common reason a cake collapses is because it’s undercooked. I’m glad you liked the flavor!

  144. Sue Wheat says:

    These are great ideas. I would like to have the recipes.

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you!

  145. Sportmom50 says:

    2 stars
    Cake fell flat after fully baking…..

  146. Cindy bua says:

    What flavor pudding to use for red velvet cake??

    1. Together As Family says:

      Chocolate pudding, white chocolate, or vanilla would all work great with red velvet.

  147. can i use apple sauce instead of oil?

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes you can, but using applesauce will change the texture of the cake. Almost more sponge like and not as fluffy if you were to use oil. But yes, applesauce is a common substitute for oil when baking.

  148. 5 stars
    This turned out so great !!

  149. 5 stars
    I am so excited you posted this because I thought I had left out the Instant Vanilla Puddinf Mix so dumped the mix back into the mixing bowl, added the Instant pudding, then looked again and it was supposed to go in the ICING! I googled cake mixes and found your great recipe. Even without the sour cream, it turned out great. Thanks again!!

  150. Miss Sittingpretty says:

    5 stars
    I followed your recipe exactly using pineapple boxed cake mix, cheesecake pudding and extra virgin olive oil and it came out great. I’m posting this for those of us who are trying to be health conscious in regards to the oil.

  151. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made a three layer yellow mix with vanilla pudding and frosted it with Vanilla Swiss Meringue. Best cake I ever made!