Ann Reardon

10 amazing things you can do with a box of cake mix


That box of cake mix sitting in the cupboard can be put to far more uses than you think. The smartie cookies have become a super quick and easy favorite in our household. They are perfect when friends drop in unannounced. Do you have your own cake mix hacks? Let me know your recipe suggestions in the comments.


Cake Mix Chocolate Smartie Cookies

makes 12 large yummy cookies
10 best cake mix cookies recipes

1 box white wings rich chocolate cake mix
125g (4.41 ounces) or 1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
smarties or m&m’s to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit)
Put the butter into a bowl and microwave it until it is melted. Then add in your egg, packet of cake mix and frosting mix from the box. Mix together until it form as a really thick paste.

Put spoonfuls of mixture onto a lined baking tray. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each cookie slightly and decorate them with lots of smarties.

Perfect Creamy Red Velvet Baked Cheesecake

red velvet cheesecake recipe
750g (26.46 ounces) cream cheese
2 eggs plus one egg yolk
15g (0.53 ounces) or 5 tsp flour
25mL (0.85 fluid ounces) or 5 tsp cream
60g (2.12 ounces) or 1/4 cup butter
1 box red velvet cupcake mix

Preheat the oven to 160C (320 degrees Fahrenheit)
Place the cream cheese, frosting mix, eggs, flour and cream into a bowl and beat until smooth.

Melt the butter and combine with the red velvet cake mix. Tip into a lined, loose-based tin. Then use the back of a spoon to spread it out and push it down to make the base.

Pour the creamy cheesecake mixture on top and spread it out.

Wrap the outside of the tin with foil so no water can get in. Then place into a water bath and bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until it no longer jiggles when you shake the side of the tin.
Let it cool before taking it out of the tin and serving.

A cake you can make if you’re camping

10 best cake mix recipes camoing
a box of chocolate cake mix
300mL (10.14 fluid ounces) can of soft drink

Tip the cake mix into a tin and add half a can of soft drink and stir together.
If you’re at home, pour it into a cake tin and bake in the oven. If you’re cooking on an open fire, follow the directions on the video – allow about 40 minutes to cook.

If you don’t have soft drink you can use a tin of fruit instead.

Once baked, make the frosting using a small amount of the soft drink and pour over the top.

Tie Dyed Cake

colorful cake
one box vanilla cake mix
various gel food coloring

Preheat the oven to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit)
Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the packet.

Place 1 cup of cake mixture into three bowls and add the coloring of your choice. Boxed cake mix is best for these sorts of recipes because it can handle being over-mixed while you are adding the colors. Pour the mixture into a cake tin, starting with half to two thirds of one colour, then the next just pouring right into the center each time. Bake that in the oven and once it is cooled cover it in frosting.

Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls

cake mix recipes
520g (18.34 ounces) 3 1/4 cups flour
450mL (15.22 fluid ounces) or 1 3/4 cups water
1 packet vanilla cake mix with frosting
50g (1.76 ounces) or 1/4 cup oil
3 tsp yeast

Place the oil, water, flour, yeast and packet of vanilla cake mix into a bowl. Mix and then knead until elastic. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise. If you have a bread machine you can just place these ingredients into the machine and put it onto the dough setting.

Once the mix has risen, punch it down, tip it onto some baking paper and roll it out into a rectangle. Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle it generously with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Starting at one edge roll it up to make a long snake. Slice sections of the dough about 3 fingers wide and place them upright into the tin. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise.

Bake in the oven until golden and the base of the tin sounds hollow when you tap it.

Take your frosting mix and add to it just enough water to make it liquid but still thick. Drizzle it generously over the top of your cinnamon rolls. Serve warm.

Funnel Cakes Cake Mix Recipe

10 best cake mix recipes ann reardon
1 packet of vanilla cake mix
160g (5.64 ounces) or 1 cup of extra flour
1 egg

Place the flour, egg and cake mix into a bowl with enough water to make a thick paste.

Pipe your mixture onto a baking tray, spray with cooking oil and bake until they are golden.

Serve with your favourite topping.

Cake Mix Caramel Apple Pudding

caramel apple pudding cake mix recipe
1 box of cake mix made according to the directions on the packet
60g (2.12 ounces) or 1/4 cup butter
232g (8.18 ounces) or 1 cup brown sugar
800g (28.22 ounces) tin of unsweetened pie apple
300mL (10.14 fluid ounces) cream

Preheat the oven to 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit)

Spread the butter onto the bottom of a baking dish and sprinkle it with the brown sugar. Add the tin of unsweetened apples over the top and spread it out.

Pour over the cream and finally the prepared cake mixture on top of that.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling hot caramel down below.

Cake Mix Scones with Jam and Cream

1 egg
1 packet of vanilla cake mix
160g (5.64 ounces) or 1 cup flour
enough cream to make a thick dough, add just a little at a time

Combine all the ingredients – do not over mix. Gently roll it out and cut circles of mixture. Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with jam and cream.

Strawberry Chocolate Poke Cake

10 best cake mix recipes
1 packet rich chocolate cake made as directed on the packet and baked in a tray
the packet of chcolate frosting that came with the cake mix
250mL (8.45 fluid ounces) cream
additional 500mL (16.91 fluid ounces) or 2 cups of cream
2 packets jelly
250g (8.82 ounces) chocolate
30mL (1.01 fluid ounces) milk


Up-market Cake Mix

10 best cake mix recipes

A box of chocolate cake mix with what it says you need on the packet
Additional 2 eggs
110g (3.88 ounces) or 1/2 cup sugar
2 Tblspns icing sugar
3 tablespoons raspberry juice
400mL (13.53 fluid ounces) cream
fresh raspberries

Seperate the eggs, both the ones needed for the cake mix and the extras.

Make the cake mix according to the directions on the packet but replace the whole eggs with all the egg yolks.
Split the mixture into two tins and bake at 180C (356 degrees Fahrenheit) until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Whip the egg whites, sugar and icing sugar to stiff peaks.

Fold in 3 tablespoons of raspberry juice, this will give the meringue a raspberry flavour.
Pipe two spirals the size of your cake onto non-stick baking paper. Pipe any left over mixture into individual meringues. Bake at 110C (230 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 and a half hours.

Once everything has cooled, layer your cake, cream and meringue discs. Top with fresh raspberries and little meringues.
Copyright © 2017 Reardon Media Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. How To Cook That


I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can purchase your very own copy:

All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

63 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    Ha-ha,I thought I’d peak on Amazon to see if I can buy the cake mix you used in the U.S., I was curious about the frosting pack. $24 USD to ship a $3.00 cake mix. ??
    I guess shipping has gone way up in recent years. I used to ship packages overseas to friends in the military monthly.

    • That is super expensive. Ann just used a local supermarket brand. We suggest you use something you can get locally too.

  2. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann want to try the caramel apple pudding however you use a very deep round glass oven dish, will it still work in a shallower rectangle oven dish. Cheers

    • Hi Margie, it will but your cooking time may be shorter. This may mean you don’t get quite as nice a caramelly sauce in the bottom. A deeper dish would give better results.

  3. Rating: 4.5

    Hi Ann
    It’s a while that I commented on your side. However, I always use your recipes and my family loves them. Thank you so much for a gift that God has given you
    I wanted to ask about the smartie cookies, is’t save just store them anywhere? It can be in a simple container with a lid or astriclky a tight container lid?
    Thank you.
    Please use this email: address removed.

    • Hi Lerato, Well done on your baking! It is a good idea to store the biscuits in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

  4. Hi can i please get the cars template

  5. Rating: 4.5

    I want soft smartie cookies that are not crispy. So, how long will I bake it for?

    • Hi Haadyah, you will need to test it out with the brand of mix you intend to use and then adjust your cooking time for the results you prefer.

  6. Oven temp for cinnamon rolls please? A quick response would be appreciated. They are currently on their second proof

    • Hi Qasim, Unless otherwise stated all Ann’s baking is done in a moderate oven. Hope yours turned out beautifully.

  7. May I use any boxed cake mix for these? I checked white wings on the website and its around 510 g including frosting. The brand available to me (doesn’t come with frosting mix), is around 450 grams. Would that be ok to use? Would love to try out the cinnamon rolls.

    • Hi Qasim, It should be fine.

  8. There’s a mistake in the cinnamon rolls recipe. It doesn’t require the flour mentioned

    • Rating: 5

      My bad. The flour is required but is left out in the instructions. Realised that after watching the video again

      • Great pick up Qasim. I have corrected the error.

  9. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann! For how long do you bake these Smartie Cookies for?

    • Hi Haadyah, it will depend on how big you make your cookies and how soft or crisp you like them. Start checking from about 10mins

  10. Rating: 5

    I made the cake mix caramel apple pudding. It was very delicious. I have made your chocolate cake recipe twice. It is the best chocolate cake I have ever had.

    • Thanks Abigail!

  11. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,

    How long do we need to bake the cookies for? (First recipe) thanks!!

    • Hi Ivan, it will depend on the size of your cookies and how crisp you want them. Iw ould check them from 10 mins onwards. You want the center of the cookie to be a lttle firm not soft to the touch.

  12. Rating: 5

    the strawberry chocolate poke cake recipe is a little incomplete? Could you send the missing ingredient amounts as well as the directions ………thanks. Oh and thanks for all these yummy recipes.

    • Hi debi, Thanks for that. The missing items have been restored above. The directions are on the video tutorial.

  13. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    I live in Australia and I was wondering if these recipes will work with any brand or without the frosting.

    • Hi Emily, Ann used an Australian brand here. If the individual recipe requires the frosting as well, then you will need it.

  14. Hi Ann, I live in America and we do not have white wing cake mix. Is there any other brand that you recommend that have both the cake and the frosting packet. Thanks!

    • Hi Andrea, some of the better know US brands are Best Yet, Pillsbury and bBetty Crockers. There are some online comparisons of these cake mixes, so choose one that is too your preferences.

      • Rating: 5

        I live in America too and I have used Duncan Hines cake mixes for years and love them. Sometime I use store brand cake mixes and besides being cheaper they usually work fine. I would advise trying them on a practice run before a really important event. Just in case!! Love your recipes!!!

  15. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,

    What could those who live in a place where cake mix is not sold with a frosting powder do for these recipes? I live in the US and I literally had no clue cake frosting could come in anything other than a tub pre-mixed. I would think the quantity of powder wouldn’t have too much effect on the finished product, but baking is such an exact science that I don’t want to assume and end up with some goopy mess in my kitchen!

    • Hi Alannah, Some of the recipes it wont impact greatly but where needed the frosting packet mix is usually just icing mix (powdered sugar) and in this case cocoa powder for flavour. The packet mixes usually get you to add butter or similar to make up the frosting. You could easily make up your own.

  16. Rating: 4

    Ann..I am a cake decorator and I love your recipes, I have tried so many of favorite was the magic chocolate flower…but I have a question thats not about recipes but is where did you get the cake stand that the red velvet cheesecake is on ???? been looking forever for one like that !!! the white one with ribbon wove through it…Judi

    • Hi Judith, Ann has collected her serving platters from a variety of places. We have seen similar stands on ebay and amazon. Search for a pedestal footed cake stand with interchangeable ribbon.

  17. One box of chocolate cake mix + 1 can of pumpkin + 1 cup of water makes a healthier version. Also I add 1/4 cup of cake mix to my pancake batter for the most delicious pancakes.

    • Sounds good!

  18. Rating: 5

    I appreciate having both the ounce and gram equivalents. Weighing ingredients has helped to eliminate the guesswork, and it saves time. I believe you use metrics in Australia. I like weighing in grams, also, but maybe you can resolve a few of my biggest questions: First, I am confused about the weight of a cup of flour. Can you tell me what brand of flour you have? It weights heavier (5.64 oz. or 160 grams). My usual weights are 4.25 oz. (120 grams) for cake flour and 4.5 oz. (130 grams) for both all-purpose flour and bread flour. I don’t increase the weight for bread flour, since the amount of flour is not exact and usually adjusted while kneading, anyway, but I have noticed that the weight of flour (too much flour) affects the rise and taste of bread more than it would a cake or cupcakes.
    My second main question concerns the weight of an egg. (I hope I am not sounding a little strange by now.) Standard Measurements for a large egg in the U.S. are as follows: 1 yolk = 0.67 oz., 1 egg white = 1.0 oz., and the shell = 0.33 oz. Egg yolks and whites can vary, but when I weigh them separately according to the standard, the batter is often too wet. Any thoughts? Thank you! P.S. I have made some of your candy recipes. They are wonderful. You have amazing ideas!

    • Hi cyoung, thanks for asking. All standard measurements are averages and Ann also found that there was quite a bit of variation when it came to the actual product. Australian cups and US cups are different so that is another reason why grams are given. So Ann tests and weighs all the products she uses so that the quantities she gives are as accurate as possible. Having said that if you are finding the mixture is impacted (eg too wet) then it is a good idea to make slight adjustments for local product. It sounds like you are already doing that well. There are some recipes where of course adjusting the quantities can really mess with your result because it is the balance of ingredients that helps the cooking process work well. Macarons are a good example of that.

  19. Rating: 5

    Ann, you’re amazing. Keep up the good work.

  20. Rating: 4

    Your recipes look good to the eye, and I bet they taste as good, too.
    I have a problem reading the recipe itself. The format should be simpler (no need to state grams, ounces and cup measurements for each ingredient) because it becomes confusing. I also found many, many typographical errors.
    Thanks for providing comment space it is usually helpful to us at this end of the computer.

    • Thanks for the feedback Mary. The measurements are really important to many of our subscribers and are regularly requested. That is why they are always provided.

      • Rating: 5

        Personally I love all the different measurements. I don’t know if my cups are US or not, so grams for me all the way, even for liquids. Thanks for the all your hardwork

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