DIY Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

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DIY Homemade Yellow Cake MixThis isn’t one of those “I won’t eat boxed cake mixes anymore” posts.  Although it has been a fun adventure for me to find recipes I can make at home and cut back on the processed store-bought varieties, I have no shame in admitting that I’ll take a good ol’ short cut any day of the week!  So, yes, you will still see me throw a box of cake mix in my shopping cart here and there.  Just like you will see me whip up a “fancy-schmancy” batch of boxed brownies, even though I have a from-scratch recipe I love just as well.

So, why do I give you this recipe for a DIY version of yellow cake mix?  It’s because I love that I can whip together 5 whole cups of this stuff and store it in my freezer so it’s ready for when I have an urge to make a cake batter flavored recipe.  You’ve seen them popping up all over the place.  Cake batter is creeping up in basically every thing…from ice cream, to milk shakes, to even breakfast dishes! I don’t always have a box of cake mix on hand, and when I do, I hate opening it for just a cup or half and wasting the rest.  This solves that problem.

DIY Homemade Yellow Cake Mix 2I have not made a cake with this mix, and I don’t think I ever will.  But, if you want tips and instructions for that, then please head over to Mel’s fantastic post and read her suggestions.  For me, I have a different perfect yellow cake recipe (I have yet to photograph and share) so my recommendation for this mix is solely for using it in cake batter-flavored recipes. Are we clear? Good.

And, just so you know where I’m going with this.  August is my birthday month.  Since the actual day is near the end of the month, I decided to feature a few different birthday cake-flavored recipes all month.  I’ve debated on making and posting my own birthday cake, too, but let’s just get real…I’m horrible at decorating cakes. (One of the reasons I haven’t photographed/shared my favorite yellow cake recipe.)  So, I’m not going to promise a cake, but I think you’ll like what I have in store instead. 🙂

DIY Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 5 cups dry mix

Serving Size: 1/2 cup dry mix

DIY Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

  • 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 unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled to very cold
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Add all ingredients, except the butter, into a food processor. Process for 15 seconds, until combined. Add the butter and lightly fluff with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Add vanilla, then pulse until the mixture is crumbly and fine. Use immediately in any recipe calling for yellow cake mix, or freeze immediately in a zipper bag for up to 2 months.

Source: Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, originally Cook's Country


If not using right away, transfer to a zipper bag and freeze immediately. If you allow the mixture to sit out too long, the butter will start melting and change the texture of the dry mix. If this does happen, freeze it for about 1 hour then throw it back in the food processor and pulse until it reaches the fine consistency.


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  1. Can’t wait to try this!

  2. Perfect! Ive been making a ton of cake batter flavored goodies, so I know what you mean. August is my birthday month too (my day is Saturday in fact – 11th) so happy birthday to us!!

  3. I do like a good alternative to boxed cake mixes 🙂

  4. Great idea to use this in cake batter applications – I’ve been wanting to try cake batter ice cream and never thought of using this mix. Brilliant!

  5. Sweetsugarbelle says:

    I agree! I hate opening the box for like a tablespoon of cake mix. This is a great idea!

  6. This.Is.AWESOME. I see so many great recipes that call for cake mix, but I hate using it on a regular basis and usually never have boxes laying around. This is a PERFECT solution! Can’t wait to mix up a batch!

    P.S. I love your mixing bowl – where did you get it?

    • Thanks, Michelle! The bowl is actually from Walmart a couple years ago, that I only use for mixing once in a while. It’s also oven proof to 450 degrees! 🙂

  7. Brilliant! Thanks for the mix recipe and happy early birthday!

  8. Laura @ Mrs in the Making says:

    What a great idea!!! I am constantly seeing recipes that call for a partial box of cake mix, or a few tbsp of sugar cookie mix, and I HATE wasting the rest!! Thanks for solving that problem!!

  9. Love this! Can’t wait to see what else you are making with it!

  10. This is awesome! I have so many recipes that I really love but require a mix. But, I try to make everything from scratch, which leaves with a problem. Thanks for posting it!

  11. What a wonderful recipe, I stopped using commercial cake mixes and had been looking for a substitute. Since some in my family can’t have dairy what could I substitue for the powder milk?

  12. Gah!! I am so ridiculously excited about this. I have a recipe that I haven’t made in several years since I never boxed cake mix on hand. Mmm, can’t wait to make this!

  13. Is there something I can substitute for dry milk powder? I live overseas, and frankly I have never seen it where I am. Thanks for this information. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    • It is also called nonfat instant dry milk. Do you have that? Otherwise, I am not familiar with a substitution. Maybe another reader can offer some advice?

  14. Hi!

    In recipes calling for one box of cake mix, would I use this entire recipe? Or measure it out ounce for ounce? This recipe obviously renders more than one box contains, but I’m now thinking that maybe that’s because the boxed mixes are so dehydrated…


    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Olivia,
      I haven’t used this in a recipe calling for one whole box of cake mix, so I’m not completely sure. But, to start, I would weigh it out to equal the weight of the box mix and see if that works. If you can, please come back and let us know what ended up working for you! 🙂

  15. Do you have instructions on how to make this mix into a cake? Thanks.

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Ruth,
      Within the post, I link to Mel’s blog who does have instructions and tips for baking a cake with this mix. 🙂

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