Small Cake From Half Cake Mix

Small Cake From Half of a Box of Cake Mix

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
339 Calories
17g Fat
43g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 339
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 403mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 42mg 1%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


  • Baking spray

  • 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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Small Cake From Half of a Box of Cake Mix ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-inch square or round cake pan with a nonstick baking spray containing flour.

    greased cake pan

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. 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.

    combine the cake mix, water, oil, and egg

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  4. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Alternatively, this batter makes half a dozen cupcakes.

    cake batter into the prepared pan

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  5. 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.

    Small Cake From Half of a Box of Cake Mix in a baking pan

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  6. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, then dust with confectioners' sugar.

    Small Cake From Half of a Box of Cake Mix with powdered sugar on top on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  7. Enjoy.

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

Decorate with your frosting of choice and add some sprinkles for a festive touch.

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.