Upgrade Your Boxed Cake Mix :: The Only Birthday Recipe You Need

I enjoy throwing birthday parties for my kids but I also like to keep things simple yet special. I always intend to order a cake for my kid’s birthday parties but somehow I never manage to remember to do it in time. The plus side to my forgetfulness is that I save money and we all get to enjoy the long-held tradition of “dump cake.” Now, if “dump cake” doesn’t sound entirely appetizing to you, I get it. But give this recipe a chance. Its name is derived, so creatively, from the fact that all you do is dump the ingredients in a bowl, mix them, and bake. There’s no careful measuring. No flour sifting. Nothing complicated. But the result is what my mom made for our entire childhood and the recipe I go back to: a jazzed-up boxed cake mix. It never fails to surprise people if they are enjoying it for the first time and is always delicious. 

This cake is a beloved entry in the cookbook of the church I grew up in. It’s often made in a bundt pan but round pans work and it’s great in cupcake form too. When making the chocolate version, we love to top it with a hearty sprinkling of powdered sugar. I have also made it with buttercream icing. A recent delicious version was a chocolate cake mix with an espresso buttercream frosting. Amazing! My sister eats gluten-free so we’ve often made it for her with a gluten-free boxed cake mix and thoroughly enjoyed it! I can’t say a dairy-free version would work as sour cream is a big part of the enhancement. For one of my girl’s birthdays, I made it with strawberry cake mix and strawberry icing, this was a delicious combo! To customize the cake for each birthday, I just order some fun candles or cake toppers from Amazon or pick something up at Target. And voila! Themed cake, done. 

I’ll share the recipe below but basically, you’re starting with a boxed cake mix, any flavor, then adding eggs, sour cream, dry pudding mix, oil, water, and chocolate chips. The result is a moist, delicious cake. No dry bites here! I can’t emphasize how many times I’ve made this and how many times people have been wowed by it!

Obviously, you could make this for any occasion. One of the photos above was for a baby shower where I did a chocolate cake mix with a marshmallow cream topping. I truly think the flavor combinations are endless! Happy baking!


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