white cake with funfetti sprinkles on white plate

Our family loves this recipe for easy white cake! The vanilla cake turns out so moist and flavorful, gets tons of compliments each time I make it, plus no one knows it’s a box cake mix recipe! Learn our tips for how to make a box cake taste homemade.

I’m a fan of box cake mix recipes probably just as much as you are! They are super quick and convenient. 

I wanted to share this recipe because I know many of us don’t have lots of free time to be spending in the kitchen, but when you make something, you want it to taste good, right?

This cake mix recipe is perfect for all of us who like the ease of a box mix, but maybe want to doctor up the cake mix for more of a homemade taste. Plus, I feel that this doctored up version of a white cake comes together just as quick as the box mix because you can still put everything into one bowl and beat it together.

slice of white cake with funfetti sprinkles on white plate with bite removed

What is an Easy Vanilla Cake?

I consider an easy cake to be one that starts with a box mix. Box cake mixes are great and very handy, plus they can be transformed into bakery style cakes with a few extra ingredients. You are essentially doctoring up a cake mix with a few cake mix hacks. 

What’s the Difference Between White Cake and Vanilla Cake?

White cake is technically made with egg whites only, to keep the cake as white as possible. Bakers may also use clear vanilla extract to keep the cake white.

Vanilla cake is typically made with whole eggs (the white and the yolk) and contain regular vanilla extract. The flavor of white cake and vanilla cake are nearly identical. This recipe for easy white cake could also be called vanilla sheet cake. The are pretty interchangeable. 

ingredients to make white cake mix from box mix on marble background with text overlay

How to Make a Box Cake Taste Homemade

It’s all about adding ingredients to the cake mix to give the cake better texture & taste. In our case, we’re adding ingredients with moisture.

Easy White Wedding Cake Ingredients

  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • sugar: adds sweetness and flavor
  • all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure
  • salt: just a pinch to balance the sweetness
  • egg whites: binds the cake together by providing structure – using only egg whites keeps the cake more white in color
  • vanilla extract: adds that classic vanilla flavor to the cake
  • skim milk: adds moisture
  • buttermilk: adds moisture & fat for richness
  • sour cream: adds moisture & fat for richness
box of duncan hines classic white cake mix

How to Make Box White Cake Recipe

For this recipe you’ll want to use a 15.25 oz box of Duncan Hines white or vanilla cake mix. I know some boxes out there are 18.25 oz, so be sure you’re getting the right size. You’ll use egg whites only to keep the cake looking extra white.

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, sugar, flour, salt, egg whites, milk, buttermilk, and sour cream, beat with an electric mixer until combined, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 37-43 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding frosting.
slice of white cake on white plate with colorful straws in background

What Brand of Cake Mix to Use

I prefer Duncan Hines cake mixes, as do a lot of food bloggers, plus Wilton recommends Duncan Hines brand and Wilton is a cake powerhouse, so I trust their opinion. 

Frosting to Pair with Vanilla Cake

slice of white cake with rainbow sprinkles on white plate

Try our chocolate cake mix recipe from a box or our easy white cupcakes from a box!

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For a step-by-step of how to make this doctored up white cake mix recipe, watch this short video:

Our family LOVES this doctored up white cake mix recipe! The cake turns out so moist and flavorful, gets tons of compliments each time I make it, plus no one knows it starts with a box mix!

Easy White Cake from Box Mix

Yield: 9x13 inch cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Our family loves this recipe for easy white cake! The vanilla cake turns out so moist and flavorful, gets tons of compliments each time I make it, plus no one knows it’s a box cake mix recipe! Learn our tips for how to make a box cake taste homemade.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix, 15.25 oz (I prefer Duncan Hines)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (clear or regular)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • t tbsp milk, if frosting becomes too thick

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, sugar, flour, salt, egg whites, vanilla extract, milk, buttermilk, and sour cream, beat with an electric mixer until combined, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 37-43 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and vanilla extract, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, mixing by hand. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting no longer looks wet and tastes good to you. Then I use my electric mixer one last time to make sure the powdered sugar is really incorporated and ready to go. If the frosting becomes too thick, add a dash of milk.
  2. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake, add sprinkles if desired.

Notes

Pair it with chocolate frosting.

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