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Whether you’re celebrating a friend’s birthday or a veganversary or you’re just trying to liven up someone’s day, baking a delicious vegan cake is a surefire way to make someone feel special. Vegan cakes are actually very simple to make. But I’ll be honest: Sometimes dealing with a whole recipe can be daunting. And oftentimes, I’m just too dang lazy. That’s about the time when boxed cake mixes come into the picture and make life worth living again.
AHHHH, HEAVEN. If you didn’t know, some regular boxed cake mixes are accidentally vegan (check out some of the Duncan Hines brand varieties). You’ll notice that the boxed cake mixes call for chicken periods. No worries—there are plenty of ways to replace eggs in nonvegan recipes.
Yes, that’s right, folks—we’re about to take laziness to a new level with some of these recipes. Why waste more time baking than you need to when you could be out saving more animals and such? Welcome to the magical world of boxed cake mix hacks! (Unless otherwise specified, just mix the given ingredients together and follow the instructions on the back of your cake mix box for the baking temperature and time. It’s that freaking simple.)
1 box chocolate cake mix + 1 can (12 oz.) Coca-Cola
This recipe is super-easy and produces a moist and light chocolate cake—and no, you can’t taste the soda! Just mix a can of Coke with your cake mix and bake. HINT: You can pretty much use this trick with any boxed cake mix and any soda! Try lemon-lime soda combined with white cake mix or Cherry Coke combined with chocolate cake mix for cherry-chocolate cake. YUM.
1 box yellow cake mix + 1 cup unsweetened applesauce + 1 cup water
Again, this is a ridiculously easy recipe, and it will produce a yummy classic yellow cake. The applesauce adds the teeniest bit of tasty fruitiness.
1 box spice cake mix + 1 can pumpkin pureé
This recipe has become a true obsession for me! The pumpkin spice flavor is perfect for the holiday season, but once you taste this baby, you’ll want it all year round. The batter will be super-sticky once you mix it, but once baked, it will produce a fluffy and perfect cake. HINT: Stir a generous amount of pumpkin pie spice into your frosting for an even jazzier treat.
1 box yellow cake mix + 1 cup orange juice + 1 6-oz. container vegan Greek-style yogurt (plain or vanilla)
I know, we’re getting fancy here! Seriously, this cake is mind-blowing. It really tastes just like an orange Creamsicle. Just whisk the orange juice with the Greek-style yogurt (the one I use is made from coconut milk) until fully blended, then combine with the cake mix. HINT: Serve this cake with some vegan vanilla ice cream and just die of melt-in-your-mouth happiness.
1 box yellow cake mix + 1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple + 1 21 oz.-can cherry pie filling + 1 cup vegan butter
OK, so this sounds (and, honestly, looks) like something weird that your grandma’s geriatric friends might bring to a potluck dinner. Despite that (and despite the fact that it’s called “Fruity Dump Cake”), it’s actually insanely delish. Here’s what to do: In a large baking dish, layer the pineapple and cherry pie filling, then sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the top. Cut the vegan butter into slices and place evenly over the cake mix. Stick in the oven for an hour at 350˚F, and you’re done!
Oh! And one last tip:
HALLELUJAH! You’re now officially a vegan boxed cake mix expert. Now, let’s go grab a Coke and some cake mix and get to baking!