Not Your Average Box Cake Mix …

I have been making cupcakes like a mad woman the last few weeks, particularly this last week. My sister is having a celebration for her baby today and I had to make over 100 cupcakes for the event. Needless to say, I have been making cupcakes, freezing them and repeating. Being crammed for time, I like to take as many shortcuts as I can BUT still produce moist, delicious and perfect cupcakes. That’s where this amazing recipe comes into play. I made this chocolate cake recipe a couple years ago with my mom and the recipe has stuck with me. I like to adapt it to whatever flavor I am craving, which is what I did today.

You may remember a similar picture to today’s post from my Vanilla Bean Buttercream recipe. Well, today you get the cupcake recipe that goes along with the picture. Trust me, this is one cupcake recipe you are not going to want to lose!

Not Your Average Box Cake Mix Recipe! Click to find out how to take a box cake mix and make it extraordinary! These cupcakes are so moist and perfect! This is one cupcake recipe you are not going to want to lose!

Not Your Average Box Cake Mix Recipe
How to take a box cake mix and make it extraordinary! These cupcakes are so moist and perfect!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24 cupcakes
  • 1 box golden vanilla cake mix, dry
  • 1 (3.9 oz) box Vanilla INSTANT Pudding mix, dry
  • 1 cup oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cake Batter will be THICK.
  2. Fill cupcake tins about ⅔ of the way full.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until cupcakes are golden in color.

(recipe slightly adapted from Kevin and Amanda)

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  1. wendy condon

    Was just wondering how many ounces of cake mix you used since many of the large brands have decreased the amount in their mixes.

  2. This looks delicious! Does this work for all cake mixes? I have to make a lemon cake for hubby’s bday. Would you use lemon pudding instead of vanilla?

    • Chef in Training

      yep :) Thats what I would do, or you could use a vanilla pudding box to have a more muted lemon flavor :)

    • kelly

      These look Amazing! I bet they taste even better then they look!! Thanks for the recipe Nikki! :) P.S. You look gorgeous!

  3. Celine

    I made this last weekend with Devil’s food cake mix and chocolate pudding. It was fantastic! I got so many compliments on how moist and delicious it was! Thanks!

  4. Kristi

    I had high hopes for these…but for some reason, once out of the pan and cooling, they shrunk a tad, and sunk a little. Did this happen to anyone else? Ideas? I really wanted to love this idea!

  5. Jen

    I was wanting to know if you can do this to any cake mix? and also what if it has pudding all ready inside do you add more? It says on the box that with pudding mix

  6. Michelle Breck

    I made these and mine turned out weird and spongey. They fell as soon as I took them out of the oven. I bake a lot and don’t usually have any problems, I’m just trying to trouble shoot. Does it really require 1cup of oil, that seems like a lot with sour cream. I hope you might have some insight, mine are not edible:( love your blog though:)

  7. Leenieladybugg

    Same thing happened to mine. Please help. They are tasty but look totally weird. Good thing my kids don’t care how they look.

  8. Victoria

    To the ladies that had weird eesults- mine fell too. In 38 yrs of baking, never had that happen. I’m going to try again, but use a little less liquid. Probably omit the oil totally. The flavor of the cake was great- took it as bites to church last nite and everyone LOVED the taste. Was more like a wet pound cake in texture.. I will post my results.

  9. Gdiva25

    I made these.They came. Out very moist my family loved them !! Thanks a bunch
    I will never make regular box mix again love love love this recipe! !! Thanks again

  10. Suzanne

    Mine fell a little…but they were delicious. So moist! I had chocolate cupcakes at the party too and even the chocolate lovers were switching to these vanilla cupcakes. A true foodie at work (where I took the leftovers) said: “I think this is the best cupcake I have ever had in my entire life” – and is planning on make them soon. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Megan

    Mine fell and were very dense and spongy in the middle. Very disappointing, as my Son’s birthday party is tomorrow. What a waste of lots of ingredients, and now I have to stay up all night and make normal from a box cupcakes. No thanks for this recipe.

  12. shannon

    Just made these…they were absolutely perfect. My son said, “Mom, those are the best cupcakes I have EVER tasted in my whole life!” I agree. I will add that after reading the comments where people had trouble with the cupcakes falling, I baked mine longer – about 20-22 min. And like I said, they were wonderful…light, fluffy, moist, and soooo flavorful.

  13. Emma

    So, has any of you actually made it??? All the reviews say how nice it looks in the picture… I’m trying to find out how did it turn out for you, was it moist enough, was it sweet enough, did you change anything in the recipe….

  14. Ema

    This might be a silly questuon but how or where do I get vanilla bean seeds? Please , respond I’m making these for thanksgiving dinner.

  15. fmj

    What is you recipe for the icing in the picture? Also, I need to freeze mine. Do they freeze well and come out just as good?? How many days can I freeze without messing them up?

  16. Nora Murphy

    I would this recipe 2 stars out of 5. Mine were very spongy and fell as well. I think it was because of too much oil. They tasted OK. Would not make again.

  17. Can you please post or email not your average vanilla boxed cake please? I have misplaced it or accidentally deleted and i love this recipe..i would so appreciate it…thank u

    • Chef in Training

      so sorry about that. It should be displaying correctly now. Please let me know if its not. Thanks so much.