There isn’t always time to make a cake from scratch, which is why boxed cake mixes come in clutch for the busy baker. As you probably know, there are a number of tricks that can elevate your average cake mix.
One of the most popular ways to upgrade a store-bought mix is to replace the water with milk, the oil with butter, and add an extra egg. These simple swaps are guaranteed to trick any taste-tester, but there are also some more unusual substitutions you may not have thought of.
For instance, would you have thought to add coconut oil to your mix? Neither would we. A common boxed cake recipe calls for vegetable oil, but some bakers opt for melted refined coconut oil instead. While not particularly calorie-friendly, your taste buds will love it.
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Refined coconut oil doesn’t actually have a coconut-y taste, so those of you who don’t love tropical flavors need not be wary. On the other hand, virgin coconut oil can be used if you prefer that extra boost of coconut flavor.
So how does the trick work, exactly? In essence, its high saturated fat content traps more oxygen, making the cake’s texture fluffier, lighter, and more moist. You’ll never want to make another cake mix without it!
To try it for yourself, simply melt some refined coconut oil and use it in place of vegetable oil. This is a one-to-one swap, so you’ll be using the same amount of coconut oil as the amount of veggie oil the box calls for.
However, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind when adding other ingredients. Be sure that the water and eggs are both at room temperature before adding them to the coconut oil. Any cold substance that makes contact with coconut oil will cause it to solidify and become lumpy—you don’t want that.
Using coconut oil in desserts can be a game-changer—without making them taste like a piña colada—and eliminates the need for oil or butter in many recipes. Just remember what we said about the high amount of saturated fat, which can cause health problems if consumed in large quantities.