Thursday, March 7, 2013

Doctored Up Chocolate Cake


For Peanut's first birthday party, I baked from scratch the most scrumptious organic, dairy & soy free vanilla bean cupcakes. I spent days working on them, along with vanilla bean cookies iced with all natural food coloring. Ahhhh, the good old days. Fast forward three years and an extra kiddo later & I'm in the baking aisle at the grocery store crossing over to the dark side making nice with new BFF Betty Crocker.

To ease my guilt (the "really? you're not making this from scratch" guilt…..the "look at all the additives in this" guilt is still going strong), I doctored the box mix with three simple additions:

  1. I swapped out the water for milk. In my opinion, this step gives a little more density to the cake.
  2. Add 3 heaping teaspoons of cocoa powder. The cocoa adds depth and richness while cutting the overly, sweetness common in box cake mixes.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, since vanilla just makes everything yummier.
I baked according to the box directions, only shortening the cooking time on account of my convection oven.  These dreamy desserts baked up looking like mini-lava cakes…it took all my restraint not to eat one or five of these right out of the oven.

I will be using this same "recipe" again for Peanut's chocolate birthday cake. I can't believe today is his last day as a three year old! I'm going to soak every moment in…..tomorrow a new chapter begins!


  1. Have you ever tryed using buttermilk instead of water? I think that helps to make it taste less "box-like" since it adds a nice tang to the cake. And please don't feel guilty! Three children means you have less time to get everything done. But it never means you have less love to give;)

    1. Buttermilk sounds like a great substitution. Thanks for making the suggestion!!! I am going to try it out when I bake the cake tonight. And a big hug for the encouragement….3 years ago may have been the "good old days" but I wouldn't change my life now for anything!!!


Thanks so much for taking a minute to share your thoughts with me! I love reading each of them. Have a great one.