Last Sunday we decided to celebrate an early Christmas. I had these adorable Christmas cupcake sprinkles I wanted to use so I decided to make a variety of mini cupcakes. I wanted to show you all how easy it is to split up your box of vanilla cake mix and make several different flavors. This is such a great trick for when you don’t want to make several entire batches of cupcakes for each flavor. I also am including my technique for making boxed cake mix taste like it came straight from a bakery.





Since I was hosting for Christmas, I decided to go with gingerbread, candy cane, and red velvet for my flavors. I’m also going to include some other variations that are also super simple to make. After this post, you will never need to buy a flavored cake mix again. In fact, I actually prefer this method because then I can really customize each flavor and use better ingredients. First, let’s start with the directions for modifying your box of vanilla cake mix. It basically involves adding an additional egg, changing the oil for twice the amount of butter, and changing the water with milk instead.



How to Modify a Box of Vanilla Cake Mix to Taste Like it's From the Bakery

Cook Time: 14 minutes

58 - 64 mini cupcakes


  • 1 box of vanilla cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Simply add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until completely combined.

remember mini cupcakes will only take 10-14 minutes to cook. I like to fill my mini cupcakes up to almost full with the batter so they rise more at the top, but also so there is a balance between the cake and frosting. I don't like my mini cupcakes to be too mini.



Next, you are going to divide your cake batter into 3 smaller bowls. This is approximately 1 1/2 cups per bowl. You will be just fine if the measurements aren’t perfect.

  • Gingerbread Cupcakes: add 2tbs cake spice and 1/4tsp fresh grated ginger (cake spice is best because it contains a perfect combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)
  • Red Velvet Cupcakes: add 2tbs cocoa powder and 1/4tsp red food coloring
  • Candy Cane Cupcakes: take 1-2 large candy canes and crush into small pieces. Add to batter and save about 1/4cup to sprinkle on top of the batter right before placing in the oven. Also, I recommend doing your batch of candy cane cupcakes first before the candy melts. This way your cupcakes will have cute red dots throughout like a confetti cupcake. If it has already melted just sprinkles some extra candy cane pieces right before you add them to the cupcake pan.


Here are also a few very easy variations you can do as well.

  • Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberry, or Cherry Jubilee: You can either add diced pieces of the fresh fruit, or you can create preserves and lightly swirl in 2tbl. A preserved will have more of that fruity flavor.
  • Chocolate Chip: Simply mix in 1/4 cup chocolate chips. You can also get creative and add 1/4 cup chopped pieces of your favorite candy bar, reese’s pieces, or chopped peanut butter cups.
  • S’more: simply push 1-3 mini marshmallows in the middle of the batter. Then sprinkle with graham cracker crumbles and top with chocolate frosting.

Here is a video which shows a step by step of how to take your box of vanilla cake mix and make 3 different flavors of gingerbread, red velvet, and candy cane. Enjoy, I know you will love them just as much as we did!




Join Our Inner Circle!

for Exclusive giveaways to the most delicious restaurants, events, and attractions!

Welcome to our Inner Circle!