Cake Mixes from Scratch and Variations Recipe -
Cake Mixes from Scratch and Variations Recipe
  • READY IN 55 mins

Cake Mixes from Scratch and Variations

Recipe by  

"A convenient substitute for commercial mixes. Quick, easy, and yummy. Best of all, YOU control the ingredients!"

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 -9x13 inch cake Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    35 mins

    55 mins


  1. For a Yellow Cake: Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening until fine crumbs are formed. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then high for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently.
  2. Pour batter into greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Variation for a White Cake: Prepare as for the basic cake except use 3 egg whites for the 2 whole eggs. Whites may be beaten separately and added for a lighter cake.
  4. Variation for a Chocolate Cake: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the basic cake mix prior to adding the milk.
  5. Variation for a Spice Cake: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice to the basic cake mix.
  6. Variation for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake: Melt 1/2 cup butter in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Add 2/3 cup brown sugar, stirring into the butter. Arrange pineapple slices in the pan. Top with the basic (yellow cake) mix recipe. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, cool 5 minutes, and invert to serve.
Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 22, 2006

Ok guys - I have a suggestion. I've been using this recipe for a couple of years since our son is allergic to red dye (which ironically, is in almost all commercially prepared yellow cake mixes). I have made the basic yellow cake and also the pineapple upside down cake version. DO NOT use the shortening - use oil instead, and you will get a much lighter cake which is not dry and dense. I have tried it with shortening and with the oil, and hands down, the oil version wins. I also increased the milk to 1 1/2 cups instead of 1 cup (or 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup pineapple juice if using the upside down cake version). VERY good with the tweaked changes, so I'm going ahead and giving it 5 stars. Hope this helps. :o)

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 01, 2010

I had to make a LOT of changes so this recipe is only getting stars because 1) it's pretty simple/easy 2) the baking time and temperature are accurate. That said, I had to change many of the ingredients (added an extra 1/2 cup of milk, an extra cup of sugar, an extra egg, one extra tsp. extract, used cake flour, and used 1/2 cup oil instead of shortening). With these changes, the cake had a better texture and flavor. Also, I mixed the wet ingredients THEN mixed in the dry until everything just came together. If you over mix, the texture won't be right.

Apr 05, 2008

I'm giving this 4 stars because of the adjustments I made. I just tried the white cake variation, except I used oil instead of shortening and I used cake flour instead of all-purpose. I recommend using cake flour as I makes it more fluffy and tender. If you're going to use all-purpose, sift it, then measure it out. This takes care of the density problem some reviewers have had. Also, I didn't follow the directions. When making cakes, you don't want to disturb the flour too much, otherwise it forms gluten strands which toughens the cake, and it comes out to be more like a bread. Here's what I did: In a large bowl, combine oil milk and vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed (room temperature is best). Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients until just blended. Fold in egg whites and pour the batter into the dish immediately. Mine baked for about 30-35 minutes. Combining the ingredients that way made it come out tall, fluffy, tender, moist, and full of flavor!

Feb 07, 2004

I'm a cake decorator, and I've been using this cake mix recipe for years. It is the absolute best tasting cake in any of it's flavor variations. Anyone who had trouble with this recipe either 1) didn't have fresh baking powder or 2) didn't realize that from scratch cakes do NOT look and taste like boxed mixes (and that's a GOOD thing). I recommend using butter flavor shortening and only use real vanilla.

Oct 07, 2003

I've been using this recipe for nearly a year; I can't believe it's taken me this long to rate it...I use it as a base for almost every cake I make; I've made variations with chocolate, peppermint, cardamom, rum, fresh raspberries...pretty much everything comes out perfect. To some of the reviewers who have had trouble with the cake being dense, try beating it slightly longer than specified...also I usually make the white cake and beat the whites separately as suggested, that makes it fluffier. I also usually cook it in a loaf pan, but if you're using a flatter pan (13x9) I find it's better to lower the temperature somewhat to prevent the edges burning. A great basic recipe, though, and it's even low-fat!

Oct 30, 2005

Before I baked this Cake I read the reviews and found them very helpful...First I used 2 Cups of sugar and instead of milk I used 1 1/2 Cups of flavored coffee creamer.. I know this sounds really odd but it makes the cake soooo Moist and flavorful..Use any flavor you would like trust me you will NOT be dissapointed..When I bake cakes I use my judgement on cooking time and just insert a toothpick or knife in the middle to jugde doneness.. This recipe is really good if you make it your own

Mar 21, 2004

Delicious and easy. I made a lemon cake variation. I used the yellow cake recipe, but instead of 1 cup of milk I used 2/3 cup of milk and 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Family loved it.

Aug 27, 2006

Delicious! I used the yellow cake recipe. I tweaked it a little. I add 1 package of vanilla pudding and increased the eggs to 3. I also added 1/3 cup sour cream. I also did half butter and half butter flavored shortening. Thanks for sharing!


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 142 kcal
  • 7%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 22.5 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 16 mg
  • 5%
  • Fat
  • 5 g
  • 8%
  • Fiber
  • 0.3 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 2.1 g
  • 4%
  • Sodium
  • 144 mg
  • 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More
Subscribe Today!

In Season

Not The Same Old Chicken
Not The Same Old Chicken

We have so many top-rated chicken recipes, you'll never run out of dinner ideas again.

Slow Cooker Time Savers
Slow Cooker Time Savers

Imagine dinner making itself in the slow cooker while you relax or do other things.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Strawberry Cake from Scratch

This impressive cake is rich with the flavor of real strawberries.

Four Egg Yellow Cake

See how to make a simple, fluffy, and moist yellow cake.

How to Make Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

In a topsy-turvy world, this may be the perfect dessert.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States