Shhhh…..Secret cupcakes.

Yesterday, I talked about my love of soup and/or cake when I’m feeling less than wonderful, I was not kidding. I made cupcakes for desert Monday night.

Hee Hee. *twitch* *twitch* pardon the sugar high! *twitch* *twitch*

Sugar high after a warm, hug in a cup.

if having soup and cupcakes is wrong, I don’t want to be right….

I’ve got a confession of sorts to make, I’m sure I’ve said this before, I do NOT make everything from scratch. I use some boxed goods. I “doll up” canned goods. I am a mostly-homemade cook. A semi-homemade cook. I cheat though.

Yep. I’m a homemade cheater.

Sometimes I use boxed cake mix.

Many times I make cake from scratch, like pound cake. Other times, I find cake mix on redonkulous sale prices, prices so low that between the sale prices and coupons the cake mix is almost free. When cake mix is almost free…I buy it.

So, when I make cakes from boxed mixes I “doll up” the mixes. I add a secret ingredient.

How do I “doll up” cake mix?

Sugar free Instant pudding mix. Hush. It works, trust me.

It makes the cake moist and more flavorful.

I would never win CupCake Wars with my “dolled up” cake mix, but my family and friends enjoy my cakes and cupcakes. Let’s just say cake and cupcakes never go bad in my house.


Plus, I’m not the sort to go on CupCake Wars anyway. I could not deal with the stress.

To make “Dolled up” cake or cupcakes

Choose your brand: pick a boxed cake mix… you choose the one you like…it’s your cake.

Add: 1 small box of sugar-free pudding mix to the dry ingredients, then follow all the cake making directions on the box.

It will be a moister cake and I bet you will enjoy it. It will taste less “from a box” made and more homemade. People will want your recipe and will think you’re brilliant.

I’m not the only one using pudding mix as a secret ingredient. My bloggy friend at Life Without Pink posted her husband’s chocolate chip cookie recipe with the same secret ingredient.

Do you have any secret ingredient recipes?



  1. Ha, we all have our vices! Those look pretty darn good.

    • That’s true Greg. We do all have our vices. They taste pretty darn good. πŸ™‚ I
      think I made the icing too chocolatey.

  2. Well, I will admit that when I’m doing heavy decorating for my nieces cakes, sometimes I’ll used canned frosting. They don’t know the difference!

    • πŸ™‚ it’s great to have little short cut options isn’t it? πŸ™‚

  3. I love cheater meals/baked goods like that–yeah, from scratch is great, but sometimes you just want it now and you just want it easy (hmmm, let’s not double-entendre that). I guess my cheater meals are when I get the frozen fake meat products rather than use basic/real ingredients. And I’ve been known to break out the bisquick for just about anything that bisquick can be used for (biscuits, rolls, dumplings, pancakes, pigs in a blanket…the list goes on.)

    Looking forward to hearing about those jalapenos, by the way–candied? I am intrigued.

    • Bisquick is another good cheat. I don’t use it often, but I have some. Which frozen “fake meat” product do you buy? I looked at some Morning Star products today at Kroger. They’re proud of those, the price it mighty high (here).


      As soon as I can try the jalapenos to make sure the recipe was right, I’ll post about them. Did you get my e-mail? I sent it last night about canning. If it made sense, great. If it did not, blame my medication. I should not be allowed to take my cough medicine and e-mail people.

  4. I wonΒ΄t tell anyone….anyhow, no one round here understands my English anyway! I sometimes use tinned roasted peppers …. sometimes (not always, but sometimes) lifeΒ΄s too short to roast a pepper. Go girl….life is for living and eating cupcakes πŸ™‚

    • Ha! Thanks! It’s a shame they don’t understand you, I’m sure your accent is lovely.
      We all have a few shortcuts we use from time to time.

  5. OMG YUM! We will have to try that. Thanks for linking back to me πŸ™‚

    • You’re most welcome. I figured it was a fun reason to link posts since the “secret ingredient” was the same. πŸ™‚

  6. I have always used a box of instant pudding in my cakes as well as 1 cup of sour cream. So moist!! πŸ™‚ Did I just give my secret away?!??! LOL πŸ™‚

    • Hi Neecey!

      Sour cream you say? Interesting new thing to try next time I use a boxed mix.
      Isn’t it funny how we alter store bought and really make it our “own”.

      Thank you so much for the comment!

  7. thanks for sharing your secret ingredient! I made boxed cupcakes with my niece this weekend – works wonders for little ones as they come with all the decorating bits πŸ™‚

    • It’s so easy to toss together. That’s why I buy them when they go on sale. Easy to keep around for cake emergencies.
      Yes, I called it a cake emergency.
      I really wanted cake, so it seemed like an emergency to me. πŸ˜‰

  8. Puding in the cake mix has always been a fav of mine. I like to consider myself a ‘from scratch’ cook but sometimes I JUST CAN’T!! So I take already started and doctor it to our liking! Much harder these days with Tom on a low salt, low fat diet, but I still throw a few tricks in when I can!

    • I knew I was not the only one using the pudding trick. πŸ™‚
      I do mostly homemade, but sometimes…ya know. πŸ™‚

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