Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

In my efforts to eat a less processed diet, I’ve eliminated cake mixes from the lineup. It’s been painful, I can’t lie. There’s something about the no-fail moistness of a boxed mix that is appealing, but I’ve promised myself not to give in although it’s been hard. We’ve been through our fair share of dry homemade cakes as I’ve searched for the perfect replacements for the old boxed mixes.

You can imagine I was overjoyed when I saw this recipe for a make-ahead yellow cake mix! Not only is it  a snap to prepare, but it keeps in the freezer for up to 2 months. Along with that – it tastes fabulous. Buttery, moist and absolutely delicious.

I can’t wait to share with you tomorrow what I made with this delectable mix. So in the meantime, whip some up. Talk about feeling like a complete Becky-Home-Ecky, this cake mix made me happy that I’ve stuck to my guns about giving up the old kind. It is a hundred times more delicious and that’s a fact.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

P.S. I can’t wait to use this mix for the gazillion recipes I have that call for sprinkling a dry cake mix over this or that to create cobblers and crisps, etc. In fact, I’ll share with you a secret for one of my most favorite peach cobblers of all time. Here it is (and please ignore the fact that I’ve just gone off on a tangent about giving up processed cake mixes since this dessert is far from organic or healthy): lightly spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray. Layer peaches (canned or fresh) on the bottom of the 9X13 pan close together in a single layer. Sprinkle a yellow cake mix over the top of the peaches. Dot the top of the cake mix with one stick of butter. Open up a can of Fresca (I imagine Sprite or 7-Up would work equally well), drink half and pour the other half over the top of the cake mix and butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Relish in the fact that you are eating vitamin-laden fruit and zero-calorie soda, therefore constituting a healthy dessert. Peace out.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars
Two Years Ago: Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

Yield: Makes enough for two 9-inch layer cakes (bake according to recipe), or one 9X13-inch cake (bake for 30 to 35 minutes), or one 12-cup bundt pan (bake for 40 to 45 minutes), or 24 cupcakes (bake for 18 to 20 minutes)

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

Note: the recipe calls for cake flour, which I never have on hand so I substituted 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 3 tablespoons cornstarch for the three cups of flour called for in the recipe. It worked beautifully.


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Process sugar, flours (or flour and cornstarch if making the substitution for the cake flour), milk powder, baking powder, and salt in a food processor for 15 seconds to combine. Add butter and vanilla and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you want this much finer than, say, a pie crust). Freeze the dry mixture in a zipper-lock bag for up to 2 months or use immediately.
  2. To make the cake, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your pan of choice (see the note above the recipe).
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the prepared cake mix, 1 1/4 cups warm water and 2 large room-temperature eggs until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan(s) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-27 minutes for two 9-inch layer cakes. See the note above the recipe for alternate cooking times with other baking pans. Cool the cake(s) in pan(s) for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Country April/May 2010

170 Responses to Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

  1. Dalia says:

    Thanks Mel! This is exactly what I was looking for! I knew you’d have it on your awesome site! I have a quick question though. When you say ‘chilled butter’ do you mean straight out of the fridge?

  2. monica says:

    I never have powdered milk in my kitchen, hard to get in my area, would substuiting 1/2c of whole dairy milk for some of the warm water; when actually making the cake turn out alright? or would it have a neg effect on the cake texture? thank you

    • Mel says:

      Not sure – I haven’t tried using liquid, dairy milk in place of the powdered. Good luck if you experiment.

    • Kristen O. says:

      I never have the powdered milk either. I usually add 1/4C of milk and test the consistency. If it looks like it is still too thick, I add a little more. But I live in Florida where it is really humid so it depends on the day.

  3. Krisen O. says:

    Hi there,
    I just wanted to let you know that we LOVE this recipe. My daughter has some major food allergies and I have been able to make her cakes using your recipe. I have to leave out the eggs; but I just substitute with 1/2 c of plain applesauce and it works like a charm. Everyone always asks for the recipe so I send them the link to your web site. Thanks again,

  4. Cristi says:

    Hi. Any idea how it would turn out with whole wheat flour? Denser I assume. Any idea how to keep it light and fluffy? Just asking since we want to make this tonight and only have whole wheat flour on hand.

  5. Rhonda says:

    Hi! My recipe calls for box cake mix, 18.25 oz. golden butter cake mix. Then I have to add 1/2 cup of butter, 4 eggs and 2/3 c. water. If I use this dry mix recipe, would it be too much butter since this recipe already has 1/2 c. butter in it?

    Thank you.


    • Mel says:

      I’m not sure since I haven’t tried a variation/conversion like that but I probably wouldn’t add extra butter and would instead make this homemade cake mix according to the instructions in the recipe since I’m not sure how it will work out using other ingredients/variations.

  6. Sharon says:

    Ive made this cake recipe a few times and I love it!!! I wanted to use this recipe for cupcakes, which i see is possible from the comments at the beginning of the recipe. However, I want to make chocolate cupcakes. How much cocoa powder should I use in this recipe? Or do you recommend that I use one of your chocolate cupcake recipes instead? Thanks a bunch!!

  7. Elwin says:

    Bad idea with the Fresca. If it’s got Aspartame in it, Aspartame and heat together is not a good idea. It’s why you don’t see any commercial baked goods which use Aspartame as a sweetener. Heat makes Aspartame break down and what it breaks down into is even less healthy than aspartame by itself.

  8. Devorah says:

    What do you think about using soy milk in place of the milk in this recipe?

  9. Wendy says:

    The cake mix sounds wonderful and just what I have been looking for as I don’t want to use boxed mixes. Can I substitute oil for butter? I would decrease some of the liquid ( I need to look up the amount). I am also trying to get away from butter also.

  10. Will Marrow says:

    This is the best vanilla cake recipe ever! I use this for everything. I also add an extra 1/4 cup of water. It was by accident at first, but it seems to be a little more fluffy. The only thing I don’t like about this recipe is the use othe food processor… I hate washing all of the parts. I make this recipe in my 6 quart kitchen aid mixer. I add the dry ingredients to the bowl and Mix with the paddle until combined. Add the butter until it is a crumby consistency. While the mixer is running, I slowly add half of the water. Mix that until smooth. Then again with the mixer running, I add my eggs, vanilla, and remaining water. Then I mix it for 1 minute on med-high speed until it’s fluffy and light.

    I hope that helps some of you that don’t have a food processer!

  11. Wendy says:

    Mel, I want to use this instead of a boxed yellow cake mix but so many (Pillsbury) say they “already have pudding in the mix” so how would I adjust this recipe? I actually want to make a Kahlua Vodka cake but it calls for boxed mix with pudding already in it (plus additional pudding). Your thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      Wendy – You could try adding boxed pudding to the mix but I haven’t tried it. It if it were me, I would just make it as-is and add the pudding called for in the Kahlua Vodka cake. Good luck!

  12. Jillian says:

    Made this as is and loved it. Made more to freeze and left it in the freezer for a year!! Still tasted great. I also made a strawberry version by using puréed strawberries as the liquid instead of water. So yummy.

  13. johnson says:

    Hi mel I to like to make as many things from scratch as I do not like processed foods nor high fructose corn syrup. I am throwing a friend a baby shower and need to make a cake for roughly 50 or more I want to use your recipe to do it. I’m using a sheet cake pan I believe the dimensions are 11× something .
    How many cups of batter do you think I would need for the sheet pan. I’m going to layer the cake by maybe 3 layers

  14. Bessie Fielding says:

    Hi Mel, I have been looking (with no success) for one of your cake recipes using the homemade yellow cake mix.
    Please can you let me have the names of a few of your recipes.

  15. […] homemade cake mix is adapted from this recipe which she found here.  I’m in no way claiming this as ‘mine’ mine.  I just use the word my here as […]

  16. Bessie Fielding says:

    Thanks Mel, will definitely give this a go.

  17. Bessie Fielding says:

    Do you have a never fail chocolate cake recipe for me to try.
    Many thanks.

  18. Bessie Fielding says:

    Hi Mel,
    I would like to make a chocolate cake with your cake mix, what ratio of cocoa powder and liquid would I use.
    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes, your fluffy wholemeal rolls are to die for, I now make my bread 100% wholemeal.

    • Mel says:

      Bessie – I haven’t converted this to a chocolate cake mix. It is probably more involved than just adding cocoa powder. I don’t want to steer you wrong so you might need to google to find a homemade chocolate cake mix recipe. Sorry I am not more help!

  19. Shannice says:

    Hi, sorry again… quick question
    if i want to make 6 cupcakes (which is less than half of the cake mix) do i use one egg or skip the egg?

    • Mel says:

      Shannice – You will have to experiment. I’ve never converted the recipe to make just six cupcakes. I wouldn’t skip the egg altogether though. Another option is to make the full recipe and freeze the extra cupcakes for later. Good luck!

  20. Shannice says:

    can I use this mix and still follow the directions on a standard yellow box mix?
    Example: 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1 1/4 cup water?

    please let me know, I’m so confuse…

    • Mel says:

      Shannice – I’ve only ever made this with the prepared cake mix, 1 1/4 cups warm water and 2 large room-temperature eggs like the instructions call for. It will be different than the ingredients on a boxed mix. Good luck!

  21. vera says:

    I made a fresh apple dump cake using a yellow cake mix and it was so sweet we could not eat it. I used Stevia in the apples, cinnamon, apple cider & nutmeg that was in the bottom of pan, sprinkled dry boxed cake mix on top, and poured butter over it. I couldnt get pass the sweet sweet cake mix to even taste the bottom portion with the apples. I gave it to the boys next door. So I went looking for a box alternative and found your site. Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe as I am afraid it will turn out like the box mix, just too sweet. We just dont like a sweet sweet cake, I know that is a little odd, but what can I say.

    • Mel says:

      Vera – you can definitely play around with the sugar content. I’ve only made it as the recipe is written so I can’t tell you how it would work out but I’m sure it can be tweaked. For what it’s worth, I think this homemade version is a tad less sweet than boxed versions already.

  22. Mercy says:

    Mel-My best friend has been trying to get me to make cakes from scratch for years. Finally I found your recipe and decided to give it a go. OMG…what a great recipe. It is just the right consistency and tastes OH SO GOOD!! I’ve now used this recipe at least five times in one month..making cakes for two kids birthdays along the way. Thank you so much for your advice and all of the reviews from others who have dared to leave the world of “boxed cakes”!! Your recipe has made me a Believer!! Thank you!!! 🙂

  23. Bessie Fielding says:

    Hi Mel, I have just. Come across your homemade vanilla cake mix, please can you clarify if the cake mix is the same quantity as 1 box of shop bought?

  24. rose says:

    thank you for your response. i did find another query with similar question. should have carefully browse through it…i will let you know how it turns out. Simply can’t wait. Rose

  25. rose says:

    Hi Mel: i have a question here..it’s just the two of us. Instead of using 9×13, I use 8×8 square glass pan. I have been using Trader Joe’s vanilla baking mix, which weighs 1 lb, which calls for 8×8. I want to use this recipe instead of store bought if i can figure out the pan size. Thanks for your response…

    • Mel says:

      Hi Rose – you’d have to experiment a bit but if you used half of the cake mix with 3/4 cup water and 1 egg, that might fit into an 8X8-inch pan. Good luck!

  26. Sara says:

    Thank you for the recipe! I halfed the recipe and added vanilla pudding mix. I added more water to to account for the extra dry ingredient. It is currently in the oven, so I am hoping for good results. It smells great though!!! Thanks again.

  27. Dee says:

    Can anyone privide different flavor options you have had success with….maybe strawberry or a lemon? Great idea, definitely!

    • Jillian says:

      I made this with purred strawberries as the liquid instead of water. Just mixed the eggs into the strawberry purée and baked as usual. It was delicious!! Put strawberries and whip cream in the middle and frosted with whip cream. Fab.u.lous.

  28. roxy says:

    Mel, how much cake mix will render just one 9 inch round cake?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Roxy – I’m not sure since I’ve always made it according to the directions but if I had to guess it would be half of the prepared cake mix, one egg and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water.

  29. Maureen says:

    Just made this recipe….turned great and did not have any problems

  30. […] ever will.  But, if you want tips and instructions for that, then please head over to Mel’s fantastic post and read her suggestions.  For me, I have a different perfect yellow cake recipe (I have yet to […]

  31. What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience
    regarding unpredicted feelings.

  32. Heather says:

    Hi Mel!

    Thanks for posting this..I made thix mix because I, too, don’t like using boxed cake mixes but there are so many yummy cake batter recipes out there I wanted to make! I re-posted this on my site, bostongirlbakes.blogspot.com and gave a shout out to you on this..thanks again!


  33. newcleaneater says:

    Just a quick note… all purpose flour and granulated sugar are processed foods just like a box of cake mix.

  34. […] a boxed cake mix, here’s the solution for you: a recipe for your own cake mix from scratch! Click here to go to that site to see the […]

  35. MajorQuilter says:

    Question…could you please add/factor in/substitute using powdered shortening so we’d have a completly shelf-stable cake mix?

  36. I made this yesterday with my daughter and it was delicious. I’ve attempted making my own cakes before without a box, but have been disappointed each time. Hello, I guess it’s time for me to make a few extra mixes for the freezer. Thanks for this recipe.

  37. Lesli Dustin says:

    If I want to make this cake outright and don’t need to have a mix first, do I make it according to directions? Have you ever tried to do it the traditional cake way and cream the butter and sugar etc.? Today is Lincoln’s birthday and I have nothing but chocolate mixes in the food storage. He unfortunately didn’t inherit the chocolate genes.

  38. Mel says:

    Sunshine – the recipe is just for a dry make-ahead cake mix. If you read through the recipe, the last paragraph tells what to add for the cake.

  39. Sunshine says:

    How come there is no eggs added to this cake recipe? Maybe I missed something.

  40. Mel says:

    Hope – I’m sorry – I have no idea what the calorie count is on this. It’s worth a try on the Splenda but I’ve never tried it so I can’t guarantee the results. Good luck if you try it!

  41. Hope says:

    Any idea how many calories in this vs a bought mix ? And do you think I could substitute splenda or splenda blend for the sugar? I am diabetic.

  42. Mel says:

    Ariella – I haven’t tried that, sorry! You’ll have to experiment and see how it works out.

  43. Ariella says:

    any way to sub oil for the butter if I”m going to be using the mix immediately?

  44. Radhika says:

    Dear Mel,

    I found your website through the Brown Eyed Baker and tried your yellow cake mix. I’m a cakes from scratch kind of person but this blew me away! Its tender, tastes and smells wonderful. It also freezes firm and can be sliced beautifully to make thin and stable layers.

    I make the cake up with yoghurt or buttermilk and eggs. I find it really useful to have 2-3 batches of this mix, stored in my freezer for whipping up into a cake quickly. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. You’ve made me a cake-mix convert!

    You can see the lovely 5 and 6 layer cakes I’ve baked with your recipe in my brand new blog.

  45. […] do everything but break dance on my injured foot. The actual directions for using the mix are at Mel’s Kitchen Café . I ended up with approximately 6 cups of mix rather than the equivalent of a boxed mix which is […]

  46. […] I recently tried this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and was blown away. It is delicious! It is tender and tasty. […]

  47. […] from Martha Stewart via Magnolia’s Bakery, and the cake mix was a DIY cake mix from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe which is adapted from America’s Test […]

  48. […] fake in the boxed stuff, but I want that in my cake mix. So sue me! Then I found this cake mix recipe and now I’m a happy camper. My only complaint is that my food processor isn’t big […]

  49. Linda says:

    Great idea. I love it being made from scratch even if the ingredients are not unrefined or health food cake. I have my mind whirling. GF cake mixes are very expensive. Wonder if I can make a GF version using your non-cake flour version since cornstarch is GF. Also was thinking about your peach cobbler recipe and wondering how a healthier soda might bring it up a bit in flavor and bring up the quality a bit…say using a natural ginger ale soda? Thanks for some great ideas.

  50. […] Note: For instructions on how to make an actual cake with this mix, please visit Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. […]

  51. […] detailed instructions on how to make cakes or cupcakes using this mix please see the original post at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.  And come back later this week to see how I used my batch of yellow cake […]

  52. […] the cupcake portion, I went with a homemade yellow cupcake mix adapted from Cook’s Country (yellow cupcake recipe here). It’s a great go-to recipe, but feel free to use any recipe you’d like, or even boxed […]

  53. Christie says:

    Hi! This recipe sounds great – I make a WASC cake that calls for 2 boxes of cake mix. Does anyone know if using this recipe in place of the 2 boxes would Be something that could work? I’d really love to be able to say that the cake was made from scratch when people ask about the recipe. Thanks!!

  54. […] For instructions on how to make an actual cake with this mix, please visit Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. (Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country; originally seen on Pennies on a […]

  55. Carolyn Roman says:

    So, I made this recipe with the Magic Frosting listed under “Best Recipes”. I wanted to make a very special birthday cake so I thought this would be the best option for someone who loves white cake with white frosting. The frosting is delicious; very heavy, buttery with a hint of whip cream flavor. It is not the kind of frosting I would love everyday though.

    The cake recipe above turned out to be very heavy, a little sweet and tasted like a biscuit. This cake is moist but not ideal. The biscuit taste and hint of saltiness did not make for a fantastic birthday cake. In fact, I would not recommend it for a birthday cake at all. It would probably taste best in a strawberry shortcake recipe or something.
    The response I received from the 8 guests who tried my cake was “it’s good”. I was kind of embarrassed seeing as I really talked up my cake and the time I put into it.

    I looked throughout this sight for a fantastic white/yellow cake recipe but did not find one so if anyone has a recommendation please comment.

    Hope this helps. 🙂

  56. Carolyn Roman says:

    Please note that the ingredients do not call for eggs until you read directions so don’t forget to buy them.

  57. […] if you want to make your own homemade yellow cake mix, Melanie has a great recipe on her […]

  58. […] ever will.  But, if you want tips and instructions for that, then please head over to Mel’s fantastic post and read her suggestions.  For me, I have a different perfect yellow cake recipe (I have yet to […]

  59. sandy says:

    i just made this! as a regular cake with 1/2 cup of milk. i made a small 6 inch and it took like an hour to bake? nothing is wrong with my oven because i made cupcakes with the left over batter….and oh my! over perfection…as soft as a cloud. but for my taste not sweet enough, anyway what i did to the cupcakes was add 2 teaspoons of baking powder, worth a try for regular vanilla cupcakes, so great.

  60. Annette says:

    I’ve been making my yellow cake mix with vinegar. (It’s almost the same as my cocoa cake recipe, omitting eggs) and it comes out so moist!

  61. […] don’t want to use a store bought yellow cake mix, you can make your own cake mix at home with all-purpose flour or white wheat flour. Homemade cake mix presented in a jar makes a gift as thoughtful as it is […]

  62. Mel says:

    Tracy – I’ve never made those substitutions and haven’t baked with succanat before so you’ll probably have to experiment to figure out how the substitutions would work. Good luck – I hope it works out so you can have an easier way around your family’s dietary restrictions!

  63. Tracy says:

    Could you substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the flour and succanat for the sugar? I am asking, but I am going to try it if I don’t find a whole wheat cake mix recipe online. I can’t feed my family anything with white flour and regular sugar in it or two of the five go a little crazy (hypoglycemia and aspergers).

  64. Mel says:

    Cheryl – to make the full recipe, you’ll actually use the full amount of mix that the recipe produces. I’ve never made it in a bundt pan but it sounds like the 15-cup pan should be big enough.

  65. Cheryl says:

    I would like to make a bundt cake and just wanted to be sure that I don’t get confused with the correct amount of cake mix to be used. I believe you stated 3-1/2 cups of mix should be used. The bundt pan is a Nordic Anniversay pan that will hold 15 cups so I don’t believe I will have a problem of overflowing.

  66. Megan says:

    I LOVE this cake recipe! It is the only one I ever use now! I have been making it actually without a food processor- I’ve just been using a pastry blender to get the pieces as small as I could and then I just made sure to beat it long enough to blend all the butter into the mix. It’s been turning out just fine! I didn’t have a food processor when I first started making it, so I didn’t write that part down. Now that I have one, it sounds like it would make my life easier and this recipe way faster! Thank you! I am going to try a chocolate one sometime to experiment with- I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  67. Misa says:

    Thank you for this recipe. 🙂 I’m making a pumpkin crunch cake for Thanksgiving and the recipe calls for a box of yellow cake mix. It also calls for two sticks of butter (cut into pieces to sprinkle over the cake mix). Do i just mix the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and use the butter separately to sprinkle over the cake mix or do I still need to combine another 2 sticks of butter into the yellow cake mix and use another 2 sticks of butter to sprinkle on top, making it a total of 4 stick? yikes!! 4 sticks seems like alot, I’m not complaining. LoL!!

    • Mel says:

      MIsa – you could try and get away with just the 2 sticks. I’m not sure if prepackaged cake mixes already have fat (oil or butter) in them besides what is added separately. I’m sure it will work fine…I mean, 2 sticks is still a lot of butter! I’d say go for less and see how it works out.

  68. […] Cafe blog, where her food philosophy is exactly what I was searching for: cooking from scratch.  Mel’s Homemade Yellow Cake Mix recipe was exactly what I was looking […]

  69. Mel says:

    Lorena – apparently my sarcasm didn’t come through the post really well because I was just teasing on the “healthy” part of that dessert! 🙂

  70. Lorena says:

    Thank you for the cake mix recipe! I have been trying to eat cleaner – avoiding mystery ingredients in processed foods is a big part of it.
    As for your peach cobbler, I’m afraid I have to challenge your healthy rating there. It sounds really yummy, but when you eat it, with the white flour and white sugar and pop you have to just acknowledge it as a cheat.

  71. Gwenevere says:

    Thanks for doing all the experimenting for me. I have one recipe that I LOVE but it calls for yellow cake mix. I haven’t made it in a while because I didn’t want to use the mix. I can’t wait to try this out.

  72. andrea says:

    I’m wondering if you could make this lemon-flavored. I make a lemon-blueberry bar that calls for a lemon cake mix and I would love to be able to make my own mix.

  73. Darlene says:

    OK, I tried the half recipe. My food processor is not a full-sized one so I had to make the recipe a half batch at a time. The half-batch seemed like a good amount. I compared the half-recipe ingredient amounts to a quick cake recipe in my 1972 Joy of Cooking cookbook (recommended for a 13 x 9 pan) and it was very similar. I weighed the dry mix and it was about 20 oz, more than a box of cake mix that was 18.25 oz. But you have to add oil to the purchased cake mix so the weights are not really equivalent. I used your version without the cake flour (I don’t keep that on hand either) and after the mix was prepared I beat it up with one egg and half the water. After it was mixed it didn’t look like as much batter as you get with a cake mix. but I went ahead and poured it into a 13 x 9 pan and put it in the oven. I set my timer for 25 minutes and didn’t check it before that. It was definitely done by then. So next time I would check it earlier. But next time I would probably try the whole recipe because the half recipe turned out to be a rather shallow cake: only 3/4 inches deep. The flavor and texture are satisfactory though. Now the question is, should I only use half the liquid to make the tres leches cake??? Not sure whether I will just eat this cake as is, or forge ahead with the tres leches.

    • Mel says:

      Darlene – thanks for your extensive review of this recipe. If I were you, I’d only use half the tres leches liquid for the cake. That way it isn’t too soggy.

  74. Mary says:

    I’m confused. Surely this makes enough to be the equivalent of 2 boxed cake mixes? Does it say that somewhere above? When I mixed it up I had to send it through the food processor in two batches and it filled up my regular size mixing bowl (which probably holds 8 cups). When I google how many oz. in a cake mix box. it tells me somewhere around 2 – 3 cups total.

    After I made this up I used half of it (around 4 cups) for a “doctored cake mix” recipe called Raspberry Swirl cake that called for a one cake mix. It turned out fine.

    So now I’m wondering how to prepare the remaining 4 cups of “cake mix”. Do I only use 1 egg and and half the water listed above? I guess I’ll eyeball it and figure it out when the time comes.

    Regardless of my confusion today – I love your blog! Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Mary, believe it or not the recipe (originally from Cook’s Country) is only for one cake (or 24 cupcakes or two 9-inch round cakes). I have found, like you, that the dry mix makes a lot more than what is in a traditional boxed cake mix. I’m sorry for the confusion! I’ve been meaning to update the recipe and am sorry I haven’t yet. I use about 3 1/2 cups of dry mix whenever I’m using it in place of a boxed yellow cake mix that doesn’t have to be mixed up (like for a cobbler or streusel type application) or for a recipe that gives their own measurements on liquid ingredients for a boxed cake mix. To make a plain yellow cake, yes, I would suggest using half the dry mix and half the water and one egg and making one 9X13 or the equivalent. I still need to do a bit of testing in this area since I usually use the dry mix in other applications but that would be my recommendation.

  75. Wendy says:

    Great recipe! I just stumbled upon your blog and love it. Can’t wait to try out some of your recipes.

    Around My Family Table

  76. This is great! I’ll use a similar homemade mix in my favorite “Pumpkin Streusel” dessert (posted here: http://pccuisine.com/pumpkin-streusel-recipe.html)
    I’ll add the vanilla to the melted butter that goes on top. If I was to make extra of the dry mix to have on hand, I wouldn’t want to add the vanilla, as the moisture might react with the baking powder… although your idea of freezing it would work for shorter storage times, hey?
    (I’d add the butter later too, if only because I’d be melting it to drizzle on top…)

  77. Lisa says:

    Whoops, I accidentally posted this question on the wrong recipe:

    Would it be possible to substitute the milk powder for regular milk?

    • Mel says:

      Lisa, I’m not sure how it would work to sub regular milk in for the powdered milk since I’ve never tried it. I’m not sure how much milk you would want to substitute for the 1 1/4 cups water. I figure anything is worth a try, though, so my recommendation would be to omit the nonfat dry milk and then when making the cake, use 1/4 cup water and 1 cup milk. Let me know if you try it!

  78. Jake says:

    Could you substitute clarified butter, ghee or oil for the butter to make a shelf stable mix?

    • Mel says:

      Jake – I’m not sure since I haven’t tried either of those but it’s worth a try. If you have experience using clarified butter or ghee then go for it…let me know if you try it.

  79. […] 2 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoons vanilla and pour over hot cake.) Homemade Cake Mix Recipe by: My Kitchen Cafe Yield: one box mix worth NOTE: as mentioned in the post above, this recipe bakes wonkily in a 9 x […]

  80. Jeanette says:

    Melanie~ Seriously, are any of your recipes bad??? I have yet to find one. Made this cake mix last week and froze it to use this weekend. I don’t have a food processor like some of the other followers, so I cut the butter into tiny little chunks and mixed it in my hand. It took a little time, but worked out just fine. Then this weekend I made your peach cobbler. Oh my! Delicious! I added a little br. sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg over the fresh peaches, and it was absolutely delicious and so, so quick and easy. Thanks so much for another winner. When I am looking for new recipes to try, I always go here 1st. Cheers, Jeanette

    • Mel says:

      Jeanette – how sweet are you? Thanks for your review on this. I love your additions to the peach cobbler. I’m so glad this homemade cake mix worked out for it! Thank you so much for letting me know! (And thanks for the tips on using good old hard work instead of a food processor.)

  81. Kim F. says:

    SAVING FOR SURE! Thak you!

  82. Memoria says:

    Mel, as I stated in my blog post, I think the problem is with my powdered milk and the size of the granules. I’m going to try out the recipe again with liquid milk in place of the powdered variety and the water. Also, I mentioned that the problem could be oven. If you read my post carefully, you can see that I put blame on my own equipment, not the recipe. I even mentioned I would try it out again. I’ll figure it out on my end haha. Thank you again! So far it is still #1. The second cake we tried today didn’t make the cut haha.

  83. Kristel says:

    Memoria – I tried the cake tonight and had the same exact problems. How funny. My oven, however, bakes fine usually. Oh well, the family ate it and were happy for a treat. Mel – I’ve enjoyed your other recipes a lot! Thanks for posting them.

    • Mel says:

      Kristel – not sure what is happening with that cake! I’ve made it several times and haven’t had the edges burn/doughy middle…I’m sorry it didn’t turn out well!

  84. Memoria says:

    This cake didn’t turn out well for me :(. First, I could taste the milk powder in the batter even after mixing it for 2 minutes. Then, the sides burnt while the middle parts of the cakes were still not done. Even after testing for doneness, when I cut into the cakes, one of the cakes wasn’t done. On the plus side, the cake was moist and didn’t taste like dried-up cornbread like I’ve tasted before in other yellow cake recipes. It was buttery and had the right amount of sweetness. I know my oven has problems, so that is a factor. Maybe my milk powder is not good. I may try out this recipe again, because I know that your recipes are always fantastic. I am sure that the problem is on my end. Thank you for posting this recipe.

    • Mel says:

      Memoria – I’m so sorry this cake didn’t turn out well! I was sad reading your comment – I hate it when I’ve wasted ingredients on a recipe and it doesn’t work. I hope if you give it another go that it works out better!

  85. Sera says:

    Hi, I’m wondering if this recipe would work if I prepared the mix as stated without the milk powder and substituted for fresh milk when I baked it?

    • Mel says:

      Sera – I think anything is worth a try but I can’t give 100% results for what you suggested – I’m not sure how much milk you would need to add…if you figure out a way to make it work and try it, let me know.

  86. Meredith says:

    My husband came home with a crate of farm fresh Georgia peaches. I got an idea to have a Mel’s peach cobbler recipe throw down with Paula Deen’s recipe. Your cobbler won hands down in the blind taste test with my family. The yellow cake mix recipe with Fresca poured on top made a delicious delicate crust with a hint of citrus. Thank you! Would you happen to have any great peach salsa or peach chutney recipes? I still have a lot of fruit to use up quickly.

  87. Amanda says:

    This cake is sooooo soooo good! With two sticks of butter, how could you go wrong? I used it for Strawberry Shortcake and it turned out wonderfully! http://theskinnerscene.blogspot.com/2010/06/strawberry-shortcake-on-rainy-day.html

  88. […] with a cake mix.  If you are anti-cake mix you can check out Melanie’s great recipe for homemade yellow cake mix. With the addition of a box of pudding and sour cream this cake is nice and moist.  The creamed […]

  89. Kaleena says:

    Melanie, I know I’m annoying….I don’t have a food processor and am wondering how else I can mix it up to get the effect and consistency right??

  90. Kailee says:

    Thank you! This is great. My mother makes a wonderful chocolate chip bundt cake that uses yellow cake mix. I haven’t made it in YEARS because I’ve been weirded out by boxed cake mixes. I am so going to make it now!

  91. Ruchita says:

    I tried this recipe the other day without a food processer. First, I mixed the dry ingredients, butter and vanilla extract using my hand mixer to break up the butter into smaller chunks.

    Then I put about 1/2-1 cup into the blender to make the mix more fine. I had to stop the blender and scrape down the sides to get all the larger chunks broken up. The blades on the blender just weren’t big enough to cut through all the ingredients.

    Even after running the mix through the blender, the mix wasn’t as fine as the picture. I used the mix right away in the Coconut Tres Leches cake so made sure to mix the batter really well to remove any larger clumps. Luckily, the cake turned out great.

    I would say making this mix is doable without a food processer, but it took much more time and effort. I’m thinking seriously about getting a food processor because I will be sure to make this mix again!

    • Mel says:

      Ruchita – your review on this recipe is invaluable to those wondering if they need a food processor. Thank you so much for detailing your experience with the recipe!

  92. Melanie B. says:

    FYI, I attempted making this using a blender. I made cupcakes but they didn’t really turn out–they were flat and too crumbly to frost. However, they tasted great. Next time I make this, and there will be a next time, I will use a food processor because you’re right, the blender doesn’t cut it.

    • Mel says:

      Melanie – thanks for checking in on this recipe. I’m bummed it didn’t turn out better! I hope the food processor method results in better cupcakes for you next time.

  93. Patricia says:

    I made this over the weekend and it came out great and full of flavor. I could never go back to box after trying this. I just need this in chocoloate now – up for any experimenting, Mel? 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Patricia – I’ve been waiting for someone to weigh in on this recipe. I’m so glad the cake baked up so well! I’ll let you know if I get brave enough to attempt a chocolate version. Chocolate runs through my veins so it’s only a matter of time before I attempt it, I’m sure!

  94. […] was just as moist and scrummy as a cake mix? While considering this conundrum, I happened to see this recipe for a homemade cake mix and decided to give it a try. It smelled buttery and magnificent while mixing it up, just as it was […]

  95. Camille says:

    Could it maybe be mixed in a KitchenAid stand mixer using the whip attachment? That’s what I was planning to try…

    • Mel says:

      Camille – that’s a great idea. Let me know if you try it that way. I think the key will be to make sure the butter incorporates with the dry ingredients to form small crumbs.

  96. Melissa says:

    You cracked me up with your peach cobbler paragraph! I LOVE your blog. I haven’t been on for a while (been really busy!) but coming back I realize that I could seriously just make your food for the rest of my life and be a happy girl. Thanks for your hard work!

  97. Kaleena says:

    I don’t have a food processor…any suggestions if I want to try this?

    • Mel says:

      Hey Kaleena – sadly, I think this recipe definitely needs a food processor. If you were really daring, you could try doing it in batches in the blender but I have no idea if that would work. The tricky thing is the mixture needs to be ground finer than using a pastry blender (like for a pie crust) or two knives. Do one of your awesome neighbors have one you could borrow?

  98. […] guns about giving up the old kind. It is a hundred times more delicious and that’s a fact. Visit melskitchencafe.com to learn how to make this mix for your freezer or […]

  99. Melanie B. says:

    Brilliant idea! And I love the photo as well. You’ve got skills in the kitchen and behind the lens. I guess this means I won’t be buying anymore cake mixes.

  100. Cat says:

    I must be blind – I didn’t even see that you had two kinds of flour in your receipe. I’m looking forward to trying this. Now that I saw the Coconut TresLeches Cake recipe, I’m really chomping at the bit to pull out my baking pans! Your husband’s comments intrigue me.

  101. Allison says:

    This looks really yummy! I’ve pretty much eliminated cake mixes from our kitchen too, but I make an exception for lemon cake mix, to make the Lemon cake you posted last spring, with the lemon frosting & blackberry garnish. Have you found a homemade substitute for that one? Because I looooove that cake. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Allison – no, unfortunately, I haven’t found a substitution for lemon cake mix. You could always add the zest of a couple lemons to this yellow cake mix, but I don’t know if it would give the punch of lemon flavor you are looking for. Actually, as I’m typing this, I’m wondering if you could add a teaspoon of lemon extract with the vanilla extract – now that might work!

  102. Amy says:

    This is fantastic – thanks for the post. I love that your site offers a print with photo option!

  103. grace says:

    this is EXTREMELY useful, mel–thanks! although i don’t mind using a cake mix every now and again, it seems like many times i find an awesome recipe requiring one and i don’t have a box. maybe i’ll wean myself from them completely now. 🙂
    incidentally, fresca may be my favorite beverage ever.

  104. Mika says:

    This is such a smart idea!

  105. Christina says:

    This sounds so amazing, and so easy. I will definitely be trying this one out. Thanks for the great recipe!

  106. Cat says:

    Yes – I was wondering the same about the recipe and the amount of flour. The recipe (as posted) is for 1.5 c. flour. Did you mean to say that 3 cups? If we are to double the flour, are we doubling the rest?

    • Mel says:

      Cat and Rachel – The recipe as posted calls for three cups flour (1 1/2 cups all-purpose and 1 1/2 cups cake flour). If you want to avoid buying cake flour and use my recommended substitution (in the note above the recipe), the easiest way to make the mathematics of the recipe work out is to eliminate all three cups of flour from the original recipe (both the cake flour and the all-purpose flour) and use the 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and 3 tablespoons cornstarch instead (all added up, this substitution still equals three cups it just doesn’t use cake flour as part of it). Is that clear as mud? Let me know if you have other questions.

  107. Camille says:

    Sounds really good – can’t wait to try it! Be sure and let us know if you come up with any variations (such as chocolate). Mmmmm!

  108. Rachel says:

    Okay, I need some clarification! In the note about the cake flour you talk about how to get “the three cups of flour called for in the recipe”, but the recipe says 1.5 cups of cake flour. Does the whole recipe need to be doubled? Thanks!

  109. Katy says:

    Excellent, excellent, excellent. I can’t wait to start having this on hand (after I use the one box of yellow cake mix I have on my shelf, that is). Thank you for doing this! AWESOME!!

  110. Amber says:

    Awesome! Thanks!

    I had a friend who once gave me, as a housewarming gift, a huge Tupperware container of home made brownie mix that could be kept in my pantry. So i’m just curious, if the butter & vanilla were left out, do you think this would keep in the pantry instead of the freezer possibly?

    • Mel says:

      Amber – yes, it would keep on the shelf without the butter and vanilla. I’m not sure for how long, maybe a couple of weeks?

  111. Jenn says:

    I can’t wait to try this out! What a great alternative to the mixes, which I try to avoid as well.

    PS Love the photo! It is great!!

  112. Veronica M. says:

    Sweet! This is something I’ve wanted to start doing–making mixes at home. Not just for cake, for everything. Oh, and I see you’ve been submitting photos to Tastespotting! I hope you’re on foodgawker too. Aren’t they frustrating when they reject your photos? Or maybe you don’t experience that to the degree I do. It’s humbling. 🙂

  113. Alisha O says:

    You are hilarious. Love this recipe– and I’m def going to try the cobbler one soon!

    P.S. It’s ALL about the butter. I bet my thighs beat your thighs 🙂

  114. I’m so excited that you posted this, because my mom recently requested a cake from a cake mix and I just hate to use it, even though it’s moist and delicious. Love it!! I can’t wait to make apple kuchen with this, also!

  115. Becky says:

    Mel! This is brilliant! I can’t wait to try it!! Thanks for sharing! can’t wait to see what you make tomorrow!

  116. Tracey says:

    Holy cow! 2 sticks of butter?!! No wonder the cake is so moist! 🙂 It actually sounds really good though, and very handy to have. Just out of curiousity, do you always use actual butter for all of your recipes, or do you ever use margarine sticks?
    Also, I just made the Beans & Rice for dinner last night, and aside from the fact that I accidentally added double the oregano, it was very good. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful recipes!

    • Mel says:

      Tracey – yeah, in my experience, cake mixes aren’t necessarily low-fat, but this one sure tastes great! I never use margarine. I am an exclusive butter-girl (and have the thighs to prove it). Glad you liked the beans and rice!

  117. Julia says:

    Just today I was searching for a homemade box cake mix to use for cake batter ice cream. PERFECTO! Thank you.

  118. Lara says:

    I couldn’t live without Cook’s Country or America’s Test Kitchens -I’m glad you posted their recipe because its a good one! Everything I make from them is a winner!!

  119. Emily Marie says:

    My husband loves that peach cake you’re talking about, only we’ve never tried it with Fresca, we’ll have to do that now.
    This looks so great!

  120. I love it when you post recipes like this!
    The peach cake you’re talking about sounds like Dump Cake. Have you ever had that? It might be a Southern thing.

  121. cindy harris says:

    Have you tried this at high altitudes? Sometimes cakes and I don’t get along.

  122. megan says:

    yay! This makes me so happy! I love cake mix cakes, it’s true. they’re so predictable and good. I’ve made a few dry cakes as well, so I’m looking forward to trying this out! Thanks!

  123. Katie says:

    Do you have to make any adjustments to this for high altitude? I live at about 5500 feet, and haven’t had much luck making cakes or cupcakes.

  124. Liz K. says:

    Awesome! I have been reducing the number of processed/boxed items in my pantry too. Since boxed cake mixes aren’t that good anyway, they shouldn’t be to hard to give up. I am going to try a homemade granola bar recipe today. I will let you know how they turn out.

  125. Kim in MD says:

    I am trying to eliminate processed foods from my diet (trying to eat clean), and this home-made cake mix looks fabulous! What a great idea, and I bet you could adapt it to include different flavors (like add cocoa powder for chocolate cake mix).

    That’s it, Mel. I am subscribing to Cook’s Country today! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  126. Homemade cake mix?! That is too cool. I usually do make cakes from scratch, but they are recipes from my grandmother or mom. Many times they still come out dry. I gotta try this one!

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