Start With Cake Mix

Applesauce Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Applesauce Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting.

The Spruce 

Did you know that you can start with cake mix and a few ingredients and have delicious cookies, bars, cakes, and even a dessert pizza ready in minutes? The cake mix contains all the dry ingredients plus some flavorings so you can skip all the measuring of flour, sugar, baking powder, and so forth.

Any brand of cake mix will work just fine in these recipes, as long as the net weight of the mix is the same as that called for in the recipes. Some cake mixes make only a single layer cake; these recipes all call for two-layer cake mixes.

As long as you stick pretty closely to the basic recipe, you can change the flavor of almost all of these desserts. Substitute white chocolate chips for dark chocolate. Add maple flavoring instead of vanilla. Use a different flavor canned pie filling or a different type of jam or jelly.

And these recipes are really wonderful ways to get your kids in the kitchen; with less mess (hopefully) and a lot of fun. You can even Make Your Own Cake Mix to control what your family is eating. Use 3 1/2 cups of this homemade mix in place of a two-layer cake mix.

Make a couple of these recipes for desserts this week. They're a great way to add a special touch to the simplest lunch or dinner.

Start With Cake Mix

  • Chewy Date Snack Bars
    These sweet and chewy bar cookies are packed full of dates and walnuts. Substitute chocolate covered raisins for the dates for an unusual treat.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake in a Cup
    With 1/2 cup of cake mix, some peanut butter, oil, and milk and five minutes, you can be eating this wonderfully flavorful cake. Yum.
  • Orange Creamsicle Cake
    Whether you call them Dreamsicles or Creamsicles, that combination of orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream is sublime. This recipe recreates those flavors in an easy dessert.
  • Butter Cashew Cookies
    Salted cashews are a fabulous cookie ingredient. And when paired with brown sugar, chocolate, and butterscotch chips and butter, the combination is sublime.
  • Cake Mix Cookies
    Use any flavor combination or add just about any cookie ingredient you like in these super easy cookies.
  • Candy Bars
    Chocolate chips, pecans, sweetened condensed milk; what's not to like in these easy bar cookies? And this recipe uses only five ingredients.
  • Decadent Chocolate Fudge Cake
    I think this is the ultimate 'makeover' of the chocolate cake mix. This dense, incredibly rich torte is spectacular and perfect for company.
  • Applesauce Cake
    I think this was the original 'low fat' cake recipe, which substitutes applesauce for butter and oil. It makes an excellent snacking cake, perfect for lunch boxes.
  • Easy Rum Cake
    This decadent cake has rum in the batter and is glazed with a rum-laced syrup. It's a good keeper and very popular at parties.
  • Dark Chocolate Cookies
    Cream cheese helps reduce the fat content of these easy, rich cookies. You can frost them if you'd like, or just eat them plain.
  • Peanut Butter Candy Cookies
    These easy and delicious cookies are a total hit with kids. Make some today and tuck them into lunch boxes throughout the week.
  • Chocolate Cherry Cake
    Canned cherry pie filling is the secret ingredient in this simple recipe. The cherries help keep the cake very moist and delicious for days.
  • Shortbread Bars
    These tender, slightly crisp bars really do start with a cake mix! Substitute chocolate chips or chopped toffee candy bars for the pecans if you'd like.
  • Crock Pot Cherry Cobbler
    Can you believe you can make this easy dessert in your slow cooker? Serve it warm with rich vanilla ice cream.

If you want to make a smaller cake, use half the box of cake mix and save the rest for another time.