My sister has the best and the easiest go-to cake and cupcake recipes. They taste (and always look) like they came straight from a bakery. Would you believe me if I tell you the recipes start with a box cake mix?! This year for Finn’s birthday we are back living in Utah, that means a BIG family party! It was the perfect opportunity to have her show me her tips and tricks and all the yummy details! Excited to share them here, all in one easy to find spot, with TWO recipe printables cute enough to frame!
For his party, Finn knew exactly what he wanted, chocolate cake with white frosting. Since we are going to have a big group, we need lots of cake! We decided to make cupcakes with our favorite white cake mix too.
Grab a white cake mix- not vanilla. It’s gotta be white! Throw all your ingredients together and mix. These recipes are awesome because a normal box mix you get 24 smaller cupcakes. With these, you’ll get 33-35 nice and full cupcakes, that are super moist, never dry! Or, if you’re making a cake, you’ll get 2 extra full 8 inch round cakes. Or 3 perfectly portioned layers!
With either recipe you’ll want to fill the cupcake liners 1/2 way full. Then bake! Everyone’s oven cooks slightly different, our magic number is 16 minutes. When we touch the top and it stays firm we know we are golden and ready to pull out. Let cool before you frost! This frosting recipe is going to blow your mind…
You’ll start by cooking the flour and milk together. Thats right you’re going to cook your frosting and it has flour. *GASP* I told you, its getting crazy, but trust me, you’ll never go back to any other frosting again!!
You’ll continue whisking the flour and butter until it thickens up to frosting consistency. Just like the above picture. Don’t taste test it, this won’t be good. It’s just flour and milk friends. Take off the heat and let cool down. When its cooled you’ll add your almond extract (if you’re not an almond fan, do vanilla, but almond is the sweet spot- remember how you’re trusting me?!)
After you’ve got your flour mixture all put together, you’ll add it to the butter/sugar mixer you’ve already prepared. Then turn on that mixer and sit back and watch the magic happen. It will turn into the lightest, fluffiest, best ever, frosting! (about 5 min of whisking)
Time to frost! My sister loves to use this 1M star tip. She says these piping bags are where its at. They are really so easy to use and are strong bags, so as you’re squeezing the frosting, the bag won’t break. You don’t have to get all fancy here- cut the tip off of the bag and ram that star tip out the opening. You can also just use a ziplock bag. Sometimes the tip pops through or the bag busts open, but most of the time they work just fine!
In the pic above, see how she starts piping the frosting from the edge of the cupcake? She goes all the way around the edge then works her way into the center doing a circle pattern. Then to finish, once she gets to the middle, she stops squeezing and just pulls up. That’s where you’ll get the little star design right in the center of the cupcake. (next picture)
Finn wanted in on the fun, he’s the best little sprinkler! Tip- add those sprinkles when the frosting is still nice and fresh, if the frosting dries at all the sprinkles won’t “attach”.
Oh hey pretty little cupcake. I love you. Get into my belly.
Best White Cake Ever
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 4 egg whites
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Bake cake for 22-30 min or cupcakes for 15-18 min
- Use this cake recipe with a Yellow Cake mix instead of white, just swap the almond extract with coconut extract for another mind blowing recipe!
Best White Frosting Ever
- 5 tbsp flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- Cook flour and milk on stove over medium heat until frosting consistency,whisking the whole time.
- Take off heat and let cool. Once cooled, add almond extract.
- Beat together sugar and butter, add cooled flour mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Approx. 5 minutes
My girls (with the help of my sister) made this adorable St.Patricks Days cake! She used the recipe above with a white chocolate drip (you’ll have to google the how-to for that one, ha!). I love how this recipe can be used to make any cake or cupcake creation-use your imagination!
This cake, Ella and my sister made for my mom’s birthday. It was BIG! They doubled the recipe and the layers were thick. For the separate color layers you just divide the batter evenly into bowls for how many layers you want. Then, you’ll add the food coloring to each different bowl. 2 layers, 2 bowls, 2 colors. 4 layers, 4 bowls, 4 colors. You get the idea.
Print recipe HERE.
Onto the cake! A few tips for the perfectly even layers…
Using a cup measure, add cake mixture to each pan until all the cake mix is divided up. She used a 1 cup. Adding 1 cup to each cake round at a time. She prefers using the 8 inch cake rounds. I’d snag 3-4 cake rounds to make life easier when your baking up a rainbow cake!
Then into the oven. 25 minutes was perfect for us but I’d keep a close eye starting around 23 minutes. When you press the top (press gently) it should stay firm, not sink at all.
Are you ready for the craziest tip?! My sister and her kids are huge The Great British Baking Show fans, while watching, a baker pulled the cake out and listened to the cake. If it was crackling (like it was still cooking) put it back in the oven. If when you pull it out and the cake is nice and quiet, it’s done. My sister does this and it works! I heard it with my own ears!
We love a nice thick frosting layer between each cake layer, we definitely could have gone thicker with this cake. But, wanted to have enough frosting for the cupcakes too! This icing spatula, because of its angles, makes frosting a cake so make easier!
After you’ve got all your layers on, using the same frosting spatula, frost the rest of the cake with enough frosting that you can’t even tell what amazing cake flavor is inside.
Is there a trick to apply sprinkles to a cake? Probably. But we just threw them on there. Seriously, we chucked larger amounts at the bottom and then lightly at the top. Have a broom ready.
Yup. Tastes as good as it looks. Actually, even better than it looks! Those mini chocolate chips inside make you wonder why they aren’t in every chocolate cake! You know what’s even better than cake at a party? Leftovers for breakfast. (but you didn’t hear that from me, k?!)
Best Ever Chocolate Cake
- 1 box Devils Food cake mix
- 1 3.9 oz box chocolate instant pudding
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 cups mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together.Bake cake for 22-30 min or cupcakes 15-18 min.
- You can use make this cake recipe with a red velvet cake mix instead.
Print Chocolate Cake recipe HERE.
All of Finn’s birthday cake dreams came true with a Goo Jit Zu cake. Seriously, he drew up some plans for how it needed to look, and I would dare say, it was a huge success!
Look at that smile, that’s what it’s all about!