7 secret ingredients that make cake mix taste homemade

It's your Great Aunt Mildred's 80th birthday party and you're on cake duty. The only problem? You've got eight billion other things to do, and this red velvet triple-decker isn't going to bake itself. Or is it? Here are seven cheats to make cake mix taste like you made it from scratch. They'll never know. Promise.

See the ingredients below (we bet you've never thought about No. 5):

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7 secret ingredients that make cake mix taste homemade
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7 secret ingredients that make cake mix taste homemade

Whole Milk: Substitute the water in the recipe on the side of the box with milk for a dense texture.

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Sour Cream: Add the ingredients as directed, then include two dollops of sour cream to make the cake extra moist.

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Pudding: Want to kick up the flavor? Combine 2 tablespoons of instant pudding powder (vanilla for vanilla cake, chocolate for chocolate cake) with ½ cup water or milk, 3 eggs and 1/3 cup vegetable oil.

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Mayonnaise: Substitute the oil in the cake mix recipe with 1 cup of (yep) mayo. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.

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Coffee: If you love chocolate covered coffee beans, this one’s for you. Try substituting brewed coffee for water the next time you make a boxed chocolate cake.

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Lemon: Squeeze half a lemon and grate 2 tablespoons of zest into your yellow cake mix, then add the other ingredients as usual, to give it a tart kick.

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Butter: Swap melted butter for vegetable oil to get that “this took three hours to make” taste. (It’ll only take about 30 minutes.)

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