How to Make Your Own All-Natural Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

Time to reveal a surprising fact about that store-bought cake you’re eating:

Vertical image of a white bowl with a dry and sandy white powder next to cupcakes, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Many professional bakeries and restaurants use premade cake mixes. Gasp!

Mom-and-pop grocery shops? Boxed mix.

High-end luxury resort hotels? Boxed mix.

Gourmet specialty food stores? Boxed mix!

Vertical top-down image of a dish with a crumbly light yellow powder on a towel next to mini liners.

I’ve worked in many bakeries – while there are some that go completely from scratch, far more choose to bake with the premade stuff.

But there’s no need to be upset!

There are valid reasons why busy, high-volume businesses prefer this option over homemade: it saves time and labor, it provides consistency with each batch, and the final product really does taste delicious!

Vertical image of a thick dry white powder in a dish next to a towel, white liners, and an empty muffin pan.

Come on, don’t blame them. Who doesn’t love those boxes of yellow cake mix? I’ve used them tons of times – all those cake pops I made? I usually opt for the boxed stuff to make the base.

You just dump it in a bowl, add eggs and oil, and the next thing you know, you’re pulling out a warm, perfect cake from your oven. It’s almost too easy.

The downside to those lovely little boxes is that you get a whole lot of artificial ingredients and preservatives. Ew.

So, what are we to do?

Vertical top-down image of a dry white powder in a dish next to baked yellow cupcakes and liners.

We still need to make those last-minute 2 dozen cupcakes for school, parties, and potlucks – all those little occasions that life throws at us.

Here’s the answer… an easy DIY, all-natural yellow cake mix!

There are at least a zillion flavors in the world, but nothing beats the flavor of an old fashioned yellow cake. It’s so sweet, and has that subtle, sentimental essence of childhood memories and fun birthday parties every time you get that whiff of sugar and aromatic vanilla.

But I’m telling you, you’ve never tasted anything like the flavor of a homemade version.

Vertical close-up image of a dry white powder in a dish in front of baked yellow desserts.

It’s a simple combo of flour, sugar, dry milk powder, butter, vanilla, and a little salt.

Incredibly rich and moist when you bake with it, you’ll suddenly realize how it became such a popular flavor in the first place!

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Horizontal image of a small bowl filled with a light white crumbly powder next to mini cupcakes.

All-Natural Homemade Yellow Cake Mix


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups (two 9-inch cake layers, one 9-by-13-inch cake, or 24 cupcakes) 1x

Description

If you do a lot of baking, save yourself some time and skip a few steps with our recipe for an all-natural homemade yellow cake mix.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place sugar, all purpose flour, cake flour, milk powder, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a large food processor or a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse/mix at low speed until well combined.
  2. Add the butter and vanilla to the mixture and pulse/mix again at low speed until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  3. Use right away, or place in an airtight container or bag and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: Baking

Keywords: yellow cake mix, cake flour, milk powder, vanilla, butter

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep Ingredients

Horizontal image of a white bowl with cubes of butter next to mini cupcakes on a dark wooden board.

Measure out the dry and wet ingredients. Cut the two sticks of unsalted butter into small cut with a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board.

Step 2 – Combine Dry Ingredients

Horizontal image of dry white ingredients in a white bowl next to white mini liners.

Place granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, cake flour, milk powder, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a large food processor or a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Either machine will work perfectly. I prepared this recipe in a stand mixer with no issues.

Step 3 – Add Butter and Vanilla

Horizontal top-down image of a dry mixture in a bowl next to baked cupcakes.

Add the butter and vanilla extract and combine again until the mixture resembles fine crumbs, like dry sand with a few small chunks. Pulse or blend at a medium speed.

The small amount of liquid will not turn it to a mush – it will remain fairly dry.

Step 4 – Use Immediately or Store

Horizontal image of a small bowl filled with a light white crumbly powder next to mini cupcakes.

Use right away, or place in an airtight container or airtight bag and store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using. You might need to use your hands or spoon to break up any large chunks that have stuck together while it was chilled.

Okay, So I Made the Recipe – Now What?

Once you whip up this delish mix, all you have to do is add some water and eggs to make an all-purpose batter for cakes and cupcakes.

We’ll definitely provide a few recipes for you to use (coming soon!), but here are the basics:

Whisk together 1 recipe Homemade Yellow Cake Mix with 1 1/4 cups water and 2 eggs until the ingredients are completely combined and a thin batter forms. It will look a little grainy.

Horizontal top-down image of a white bowl with a sandy powder next to batter in mini cupcake tins.

Apply as you would to any cake recipe – it will yield 24 cupcakes, two 9-inch rounds, or one 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350°F until puffy and perfect!

What do you think you’ll make first? I’d love to hear your own DIY ideas for baking basics! Let’s chat in the comment section below.

Looking for more sweet DIY recipes? We love going completely from scratch:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 11, 2012. Last updated: October 8, 2019 at 22:14 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best cheesesteaks, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

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