There’s no doubt about the fact that a shop-bought cake mix makes for a very convenient way to prepare the cakes you enjoy, particularly coming in handy when baking becomes more of a routine tradition. As a professional chef I know all about what it takes to prepare all kinds of foods with that “professional” taste, but I reckon that belongs in the professional restaurant space. Beyond that environment that homemade taste tends to be better appreciated. You know, when something tastes like one of the ingredients it was prepared with was that of love?
Shop-bought cake mixes in particular always taste as if they could definitely do with a bit of love added into them, something which can definitely be achieved with some easy tips and tricks.
Add a Little Liquor
I’m not by any means suggesting that you use cake mixes mixed with a little alcohol as a rite of passage for whoever is going to be eating the cake to get acquainted with alcohol. Besides, only a little bit of it would be required – certainly not even enough to intoxicate a mouse. Rum or whisky usually tends to work the best, but you can also try adding sweet red wine.
Add a Tasty, Edible Garnish
Kids don’t seem to have the low tolerance for sweet things that adults do, so if you’re baking for the kids then you can add the likes of condensed milk to the cake as an edible garnish or perhaps even something like Smarties. Naturally the garnish would be added to the baked cake when it’s complete, but even if the edible garnish added is in itself shop-bought, it does a lot to add that missing homemade feel to the cake.
Pair it With a Delicious Dessert
Custard, ice-cream or pretty much any other dessert goes really well with a cake baked using shop-bought batter, adding to it that much-needed taste of love.
Use it as Crumble
I suppose this is an extension of the suggestion of pairing the cake with a dessert, but it perhaps goes a bit further than that since using it as a crumble would mean you’re preparing a homemade dessert from scratch or just using only a little bit of the cake for your crumble. I for one love the unique taste that results from scraping off the crumbs of a slightly over-baked cake and using that as custard crumble.
Play around With the Ingredients
Adding a little more of a specific ingredient can add some interesting dimensions to the flavors typically associated with cakes baked with shop-bought mixes. I like to throw in some coconut for example, or in the case of cake mix which comes with the instruction to add in two eggs I prefer to substitute the eggs with overripe bananas.
Cook it a Little Differently
Instead of baking as usual, you could perhaps pour the batter into a waffle maker and bake what would resemble more of a cake mix biscuit than an actual cake.