Extras recipes

How to Make a Red Velvet Cake Mix Better

Recently I mentioned ways to make a bakery style cake when making box cake mixes. And usually those tips work great for most, if not all, cake mixes. However I also noted that October is Smith family birthday month, and at the end of the month we celebrated my youngest’s birthday. She wanted a red velvet cake, therefore I needed to know how to make a red velvet cake mix better.

I could have made her cake from scratch, but I’m busier than I think I’ve ever been before. Thus time was and is precious. So as long as the cake tasted good, I was fine with using a box cake. Consequently I did a little research, knowing ahead of time the add-ins and switches I was already planning on making and then discovering a couple of new things. The following is the recipe I used for my daughter’s birthday cake.

Ingredients for a better red velvet cake mix

red velvet cake batter in a mixing bowl
  • 2 boxes of red velvet cake mix
  • 1 cup of melted butter
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 c of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 large package of instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of lightly floured chocolate chips

Originally, when I was in the planning phase of this birthday cake, I wanted to make it a 2 tier cake like the last cake. However, when I went to the grocery store, there were only 2 red velvet box cakes left. So I bought those and 1 box of Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge. With this recipe you can either make a standard double layer round cake, a 13 x 9 inch single layer cake, or cupcakes.

Instructions for a better red velvet cake mix

red velvet and chocolate cupcake batter in muffin tins
  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Grease your pans with non-stick cooking spray
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, blend your first 9 ingredients together, starting on low speed
  • Increase your speed to medium, scraping the sides of the bowl
  • And beat on medium speed a minute more, a little bit longer if using a hand mixer
  • Next, stir the lightly floured chocolate chips into the batter
  • Then pour 5 1/3 cups each of the batter into your prepared pans

Remember, it’s important to measure the batter of your hacked cake mix, because if you don’t, your cake might overflow!

  • Bake 30-35 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Allow the cake(s) to cool ~10 minutes before turning it out, and a further 2-3 hours or overnight to completely cool before frosting
round double layer frosted and decorated cake

Furthermore, I made the cream cheese frosting, while Hannah decorated the cake and cupcakes.

red and white frosted cupcakes

It’s interesting to note that a lot of people, when doctoring their red velvet cakes, choose instead to make yellow cakes and add food coloring. There are many tasty ways to hack a box cake. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.

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