Kitchen Shortcuts: 7 Ways to Make Your Own Baking Mixes

Cut down on the time it takes you to make a cake from scratch by stocking your cupboards with homemade baking mix. We’ve found 7 recipes that prove how easy it is to make your own cake, cookie, or brownie mix, and you can even give the mixes as gifts if you want to share your secret. You’ll need sealable containers, such as tupperware or mason jars, to store your DIY mix, and the shelf life is shorter than what you would purchase in the store. All of that is definitely worth it, though, since you’ll always have fully homemade baked goods on hand after following any of the recipes below.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Bloomigdale’s

1. Yellow Cake Mix

A basic yellow cake is never amiss on the dessert table, and with this Food Network recipe, you can easily have a batch of homemade cupcakes or fill two 9-inch cake pans with batter and be baking in no time.

Ingredients:

Mix

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

To bake

  • Cooking spray
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: To make the cake mix, whisk together the flour, sugar, dry milk, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Store in a resealable bag in a cool dry place for up to 3 months until ready to use.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment and coat with cooking spray. Alternatively, place liners in 2 regular-sized cupcake pans

Whisk 1¼ cup water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined and slightly frothy. Add the dry mix and whisk vigorously until well combined and smooth, about 50 strokes. Divide between the prepared cake pans, or fill each cupcake well ⅔ full.

For the cake pans, bake until lightly golden and slightly puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack right-side up to cool completely. Frost and decorate as desired.

For cupcakes, bake until golden, puffed, and a toothpick comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool completely before frosting as desired.

Source: iStock

2. Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar

Another classic, crowd-pleasing dessert you can have a homemade mix on hand for is chocolate chip cookies. Very Best Baking‘s mix will yield about two dozen chocolate chip cookies. Be sure to include directions on how to prepare the cookies if you plan on giving the jar away.

Ingredients:

Mix

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

To bake

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) softened butter or margarine
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions: Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Place flour mixture in 1-quart jar. Layer remaining ingredients, placing morsels on top of the flour mixture, then brown sugar, and finally granulated sugar. Press firmly after each layer. Seal with lid.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat softened butter or margarine, egg, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until blended. Add cookie mix and nuts if using; mix well, breaking up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Source: Thinkstock

3. White Cake Mix

From Tasty Kitchen and I am Baker is a cake mix formulated for making white cakes. The mix, when prepared with the other ingredients below, will yield two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans; it can also be used for cupcakes. The mix can be stored for up to 3 months.

Ingredients:

Mix

  • 2¾ cups flour
  • 1¾ cup super fine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons salt

Assembly

  • ¾ cups unsalted butter
  • 5 whole egg whites
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoons almond extract

Directions: To make dry mix, sift together all dry ingredients, including the sugar, and place in an airtight container. You’ll need at least a 5-cup mason jar because the ingredients total about 4½ cups.

When you’re ready to make cake, preheat oven to 320 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on how quickly your oven bakes cakes). In bowl, cream butter. Add egg whites one at a time until fully incorporated. Add milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Combine.

Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just incorporated. Bake at for 20 to 30 minutes. If using full time, check at 25 minutes.

Source: iStock

4. Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Quick Bread

Like the chocolate chip cookies, Sunset‘s recipe will create a perfectly layered mix for personal use or gifting. The quick bread mix can be kept at room temperature for two to three months and yields a 9-by-5-inch loaf.

Ingredients:

Mix

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup miniature chocolate chips

To bake

  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup melted butter

Directions: Layer the mix ingredients in a sealable jar or bottle, placing the walnuts and chocolate chips on top.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the contents of the bottle.  In a small bowl, beat buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir wet mixture into dry ingredients just until evenly moistened (batter will be lumpy).

Scrape into a buttered and floured 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

Source: Thinkstock

5. Devil’s Food Cake

The mix from Restless Chipotle will be devilishly good as a gift or stored in your pantry for personal use. The mix yields a very thick 13-by-9-inch cake, or you can break it into smaller pans for thinner layers, adjusting the baking time as needed.

Ingredients:

Mix

  • 1 cup extra dark cocoa
  • 2½ cups vanilla sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ cups mini chocolate chips

To bake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup butter melted in 1 cup boiling water or coffee
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions: Mix dry ingredients together and store, tightly covered, in a cool, dry place.

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the eggs, melted butter or coffee, and sour cream to the mix. Beat well and spoon into a 13-by-9 inch pan that has been greased. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Source: Thinkstock

6. Brownie Mix

You already keep a bagged and boxed brownie mix on hand that you picked up in the store, but why not use ingredients you probably also stock your kitchen with to make your own bag of mix? All you have to do is follow this recipe from PBS and Savory Sweet Life.

Ingredients:

Mix

  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

To bake

  • ½ cup hot water
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions: In a gallon-sized zip-top bag, add the flour, chocolate chips, white and brown sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Seal the bag.

To bake the brownies, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-by-13-inch pan for thin brownies or a 9-by-9-inch pan for thick brownies. In a large bowl, whisk hot water, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract together until well combined. Add the brownie mix to the wet ingredients. Mix the ingredients until the batter is smooth but thick and all the dry ingredients have been mixed in.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until done. Allow the brownies to cool before cutting into squares.

Source: iStock

7. Spice Cake

Spice up your mix and your dessert life with Bakerette‘s mix. After baking the cake, you could ice the cake with a cream cheese frosting, like this one from AllRecipes.com or top it off with ice cream. Store the mix in an airtight container.

Ingredients:

Mix

  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup nonfat dry milk
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

To bake

  • ½ cup butter plus 1 tablespoon, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch cake pan. In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on high speed, cream butter until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add water and vanilla and continue beating for approximately 2 minutes more.

Slowly add the pre-made cake mix to the wet ingredients one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down sides. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Tap on counter to distribute and smooth top. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Cool thoroughly before frosting or serving.

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