|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 17g||22%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 43g||16%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 23g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Although some will argue that there's no such thing as too much cake, not all occasions require a whole box of cake mix. With our simple recipe, you can make a small cake, enough for four servings, or 12 cupcakes. By using half of the box of the cake mix of your choice you'll obtain the perfect small cake, and save the rest of the mix for another time.
Cake mixes typically come in 15.25- to 18-ounce boxes, enough for two 8-inch or 9-inch rounds for a layer cake, a 13 x 9-inch sheet cake, or 24 cupcakes. For a small family, or for an urgent cake craving, that'd be a lot of it. Or perhaps you need some cake for a trifle or to whip up cake pops? Half a mix is enough, and it's very easy to halve it, but make sure to read the instructions on the box if you are using a fancier type of cake mix that already has add-ins or requires extra ingredients. Usually it safe to just use half of the amounts listed, but double-checking the label is best.
The results can vary for different types of cake mix, so the resulting cake's quality will also depend on the cake mix you're using. In general, it's best to rely on doneness when baking rather than on a timer. By experimenting with half of the mix, you can also adjust your ingredients for the future, adding more or less water, eggs, or oil to obtain your preferred texture.
1 3/4 cups cake mix (half of a 15.25- to 18-ounce box)
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 large egg
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-inch square or round cake pan with a nonstick baking spray containing flour.
In a medium bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil, and egg. Mix until well combined, and then beat for one minute at medium speed.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Alternatively, this batter makes half a dozen cupcakes.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake should also be pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, then dust with confectioners' sugar.
How Can I Spruce Up the Cake Mix?
Although cake mixes make wonderful cakes, there are many ways in which you can improve the character of the batter and bring into the mix the flavors that you love:
- Use whole milk instead of water for a richer batter.
- Add more egg for a denser and more moist cake.
- Use citrus zest like lime, lemon, or orange to add some fragrance and a fresh tang.
- Add dry spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger or extracts like almond, vanilla, or orange to add a different character.
- Use high-quality butter instead of vegetable oil for a more luscious texture.
- Use a teaspoon of instant coffee in your chocolate mix batter to enhance the cacao flavor.
How to Store the Remaining Mix
The unused dry cake mix should be kept in a sealed zip-top plastic bag to keep it fresh until you are able to use it. It is wise to mark a date on the bag indicating when it was opened. Try to use the remaining cake mix within a couple of weeks. Even the small amount of air let into the packaging can start degrading the ingredients. This can result in the cake not rising as much. If you see any evidence of mold or discoloration, discard the unused cake mix rather than using it.
Before using the remaining mix, measure it. If you halve a 15.2-ounce mix rather than an 18-ounce one you won't have the full 1 3/4 of a cup of mix to make this recipe again.
Customizing this recipe is fun and easy. Stir in half a cup of any of our favorite add-ons for a flavorful and tasty cake:
- Chocolate chips or cacao nibs
- Peanut butter cups
- Slivers of almonds, or chopped cashews, pecans, or pistachios
- Dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins