Find the steps and tips to doctor a box cake mix and elevate it for a festive dessert for Easter.
I have an festive dessert to celebrate Easter that starts with a box cake mix!
I’m a fan of ‘doctoring the box’ when it comes to a cake or cupcakes, see -> Doctoring the Box: Carrot Cake from Spice Cake Mix..The dry ingredients are measured and ready to go which cuts down on prep time, and with just a few additions, your cake will taste homemade, especially topped with your favorite frosting recipe!
I used a Pillsbury Moist Supreme Strawberry Cake Mix for the pretty pink color for this cake, but feel free to use a lemon cake mix, white, yellow or even German Chocolate or Devil’s Food, if that’s your family’s favorite. Follow the box directions for mixing and baking with these additions and substitutions:
4 large eggs instead of 3
Substitute buttermilk for the water
Use melted butter for the oil
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix as directed on box, until moistened and then beat with a mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Tip: Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper for easy removal of your cake. Parchment paper also helps regulate the oven temperature and can neutralize hot spots as a barrier between the pan and your batter.
Spray your pan with baking spray then line your pan with parchment paper that hangs over the edge of your pan. The spray will keep your paper in place and from slipping. Parchment is nonstick so you can lift the cake out of the pan using the ends of the paper. Bake as directed on box in a 350 degree F oven for 34 – 38 minutes or until your cake tests done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I used metal binder clips to keep the paper from folding into the batter during baking and blocking the heat of the oven so it would bake more evenly.
When cake is cool, transfer to a serving platter or tray to decorate, using the frosting of your choice to cover the cake. I found these pretty enamel blue and pink cookie sheets at HomeGoods that I thought would also make a pretty serving tray.
I used wax paper to keep the tray clean while frosting the cake, tucking the paper under all four sides, then removing them to finish decorating.
Use the frosting of your choice to cover the cake to keep it moist and provide a base to decorate.
Here’s a favorite Cream Cheese Frosting:
Adjust amount of sugar to your taste and for your preferred sweetness.
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted so lump free
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Beat softened butter for 3 minutes on medium until light and creamy. Add cream cheese and beat on low until well blended. Add salt and vanilla; add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at time on low. When sugar is combined, beat on medium speed for 1 minute. If piping frosting, refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours to allow frosting to firm up.
Start with 3 cups of sugar, add more after tasting to desired sweetness. Use a quality butter and full fat cream cheese for best results as it has less water content.
Tint your frosting using gel food coloring to your desired shade. I used a triple star tip to pipe “grass” along the edge of the cake.
I used my Russian piping tips that I used for my Blooming Bunny Ear Cupcakes to add flowers to the cake. Place the tip at a 90° angle to the surface of the cake, then pull the bag straight up slowly releasing the pressure at the same time. Practice on a piece of wax paper first so you know how much pressure to use.
The trick to using Russian piping tips is in the frosting, which allows it to hold its shape. You’ll want to use an American-style buttercream recipe which has a 1:2 ratio of butter to powdered sugar. If your frosting too soft, the piped design will look like a blob of frosting instead of a flower. You can also doctor a can of store-bought frosting by adding 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar, so it will hold the flower shape when piped.
Find more on mixing your colors and how to fill your piping bag the easy way, HERE.
I used a leaf tip to pipe some green leaves to join the flowers and an open star tip to pipe a ribbon of pink frosting around the edge of the cake, topped with some Easter egg sprinkles.
Lindt mini chocolate chicks and bunnies hopped to the cake along with jelly beans and foil wrapped chocolate eggs for some Easter decoration. I found my Lindt mini Easter bunnies and chicks at Target and have also seen them at Publix and Walgreens.
A larger foil wrapped bunny sets on the tray at the top of cake.
If you enjoy cupcake or cake decorating and haven’t used Russian piping tips, I highly recommend trying them!
They’re more readily available when I bought mine several years ago. You can find them with the cake decorating supplies at the craft store. Affiliate links included below for your convenience.
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Hop over to find 16+ Easter Recipes for Sides, Salads and Desserts, HERE.
Happy Easter ♥