Want to learn how to bake but have always found it too intimidating? This lemon cake with yellow cake mix recipe is a good place to start.
This super-easy lemon cake is ridiculously moist and packed with lemony goodness!
The frosting on top adds flavor and a rustic flair. It’s so good, no one will believe it came right out of the box.
Bring this to your next potluck, and your friends will be shocked at how good you are at baking.
Lemon Cake With Yellow Cake Mix
Lemon cake with yellow cake mix: cake purists may frown upon the idea, but don’t listen to them!
This cake is insanely moist, tender, and delicious – just as good as any homemade cake.
Boxed cake mixes sometimes get a bad rap for being not good enough.
In fact, a friend just recently told me to throw out my Betty Crocker mix they found in my cupboard!
What most people don’t know, however, is that these unloved cake mixes can actually make the most decadent desserts. This recipe is proof.
The secret is gelatin! It’s a brilliant idea that can turn any boxed mix into a phenomenal, celebration-worthy dessert.
- Yellow Cake Mix. Any brand will do. You can also use other flavors. I like using lemon.
- Lemon-flavored Jello. The key to making the cake seriously moist! Orange Jello works as well.
- Vegetable Oil. For extra moisture.
- 4 Eggs. To bind the cake ingredients and give the cake its form.
- Lemon Extract. For that tart, lemony flavor.
- Powdered. For a sweet glaze. Do not substitute with granulated sugar, otherwise, the glaze will be gritty.
- Lemon Juice. For that tart and zesty flavor!
Tips for the Best Cake
- Want to get the most juice out of a lemon? Here are some hacks:
- Warm the lemon in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let it cool for a bit and squeeze.
- Let it soak in hot water for several minutes before squeezing.
- Roll it against a flat surface for several seconds.
- Cut it lengthwise for better grip.
- Make sure the glaze is smooth and lump-free by sifting the powdered sugar.
- Any cake boxed mix works for this recipe, but personally, I prefer lemon.
- Replace some of the vegetable oil with two scoops of sour cream for extra moisture.
- We’re using lemon Jello here, but you should also try a mixture of lemon and orange.
- Other recipes call for pudding mix instead of gelatin, so feel free to experiment!
- For more flavor, spike the cake with rum or brandy.
- Do not over-mix the batter or your cake will turn out dry. Use a whisk, not an electric mixer, to beat the ingredients together.
- Use room-temperature eggs for a smooth batter.
- This recipe calls for a tube pan, but you can use any type of pan as well, such as a 9×13-inch baking dish or a 9-inch round pan. You can even use a muffin tin to make cupcakes!
- If using a bundt pan, pick a light-colored one. Darker bundt pans can sometimes cause over-browning.
- Also, you want to grease a bundt pan very well to prevent the cake from sticking to the bottom. There are non-stick bundt pans available in most stores, but in case you don’t have one, these tips will help:
- Grease the pan well – every nook and cranny included – with butter or non-stick spray. Coat it lightly with flour. Or,
- Brush the pan with cake release – a paste made of flour, oil, and shortening.
- Remove the cake from the pan no longer than 10 minutes after baking. Use a knife to loosen the sides.
- Flip the pan over and give it a wiggle until the cake comes out.
- If you notice the batter browning too much, cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil.
- Poke the cake with holes right after baking so the glaze seeps through.
- Top the cake with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries or compote. A scoop of vanilla ice cream works wonders, too.
- You can also sprinkle a bit of lemon rind on top of the cake for a more lemony flavor. Use a grater to zest your lemon.
Why Bake With Lemon Juice
Lemon juice adds a zesty refreshing flavor to the boxed cake mix. With the help of lemon juice, your cake will be far from tasting artificial.
We’re also using lemon juice to flavor the glaze. Not only does it give the cake a refreshing tart flavor, but also helps lock in moisture.
How to Avoid a Fallen Cake
While a fallen cake still tastes pretty good, it doesn’t look pretty at all. Here are a couple of tips to avoid your cake from sinking:
- Oftentimes, there is a slight difference between the temperature you’ll set your oven to and its actual temperature. This deviation can make or break a cake. That said, it’s best to use an oven thermometer so that you can monitor and regulate the temperature in the oven.
- Don’t rely on visual cues. It’s possible for a cake to turn golden brown and puff up beautifully and still be undercooked on the inside. Always use the toothpick method to make sure it is cooked through.
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