Although we LOVE vanilla, what would the world be like if that was the ONLY flavor? We have tried many variations of this bundt cake, with a few simple changes:

Instead of using 4 teaspoons of GF vanilla, substitute with 3-4 teaspoons (depending on your taste) of your favorite GF flavor extract, such as strawberry, lemon, banana, or almond. One of the many great features of our mix is that you can be as creative as you want; think along the lines of using a raspberry or banana extract in the batter and then topping it with the chocolate glaze recipe found below.  For a birthday cake flavor, it’s as simple as making the mix according to the directions, but adding in a heaping handful of colorful sprinkles to the batter, then more sprinkles on top of the glaze.

Note: When using almond extract, I use just one teaspoonful, as it is very strong-flavored.

For a truly special, decadent treat, try making this easy glaze to drizzle on to your cake, instead of dusting it with powdered sugar. You will need:

  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon GF vanilla (or other GF flavoring of your choice)

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat, then whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth. Drizzle with a spoon or pour over cake, moving quickly as glaze sets up fast.


And for you chocolate lover’s out there, have we got a recipe for you!

In addition to the cake mix, you will need:

  • ½ cup cocoa, unsweetened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • An additional ¾ cup milk (making the total amount of milk needed as 1 ¾ cups)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Mix cake as directed on package, except add the cocoa, sugar, and additional milk with eggs and vanilla. After mixing in the melted butter, fold in chocolate chips. Bake as directed on package. After cake is completely cool, dust with cocoa or powdered sugar, if desired. To make a chocolate glaze, follow the directions for the vanilla glaze, except add 2 tablespoons of cocoa, increase powdered sugar to 2 ¼ cups, and increase milk to 3 tablespoons. *Please note: a trick to prevent chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the batter, reserve a couple of tablespoonful of the dry mix and toss into the chocolate chips before folding into the batter.


Red Velvet fans, unite!

In addition to the cake mix, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons dark cocoa, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 cup buttermilk 

Mix cake as directed on package, except add the cocoa and food coloring with the buttermilk (in place of the regular milk that the package calls for) and eggs.  Continue to follow directions on package, adding the melted butter, then bake as directed on package and let cake completely cool.  For the cream cheese glaze, follow directions for the vanilla glaze, except add 3 tablespoons of softened cream cheese and increase milk to 3 tablespoons.


Wake up to COFFEE CAKE…here’s how:

Reserve 2 tablespoons of dry cake mix and set aside.  Mix remaining cake mix as directed on package.  Use a well-greased 9 X 13 pan instead of the bundt pan and bake at 350 for approximately 15 minutes, or until cake is partially set. While cake is partially baking, mix the following with a pastry blender or with a fork:

  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans or nut of your choice (or you can omit them, if that’s your preference)
  • the 2 tablespoons of reserved dry cake mix

Mix well until butter is well-incorporated and mixture is crumbly.  Remove partially baked cake from oven and working with your hands, crumble topping over cake and continue to bake for another 12-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  This last part is TOTALLY OPTIONAL, but I think it takes it from ordinary to extraordinary:  In a small saucepan, add 2 cups powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons milk.  Whisk over low heat until mixture is smooth; working quickly, use a spoon to drizzle over crumb topping, let cool (if you can wait that long!), and serve with a cup of your favorite brew.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Follow the above directions for coffee cake, except add 1 cup of pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice to the batter.  Note: Bake as directed above, but this version requires additional cooking time.  Temperature varies with each oven, but mine required about 12 additional minutes of final baking time.  After 17 minutes, check with a toothpick to ensure doneness.


Maple Bacon…what???

Make cake according to the directions on the package except substitute maple extract for the vanilla extract in the cake mix and the glaze recipe.  While cake is cooling and before glazing, prepare bacon-  line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside; rub 6-8 slices of thick-sliced bacon with brown sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes, depending on your oven and keeping a close eye on it to prevent burning.  Bacon should be very crisp; drain on paper towels until cool, then roughly chop and spread over glaze while glaze is still wet.


Almond Joy

Make cake according to the directions on the package except substitute coconut extract for the vanilla extract in the cake mix.  While cake is cooling, prepare coconut and almond slices; spread 1/4 cup shredded or shaved coconut and 1/4 cup sliced almonds on a cookie sheet and under a watchful eye (it can burn very quickly!) place the cookie sheet under the broiler, watching for the coconut to just turn brown, then remove from the broiler and let cool.  Let cake cool completely and prepare chocolate glaze as directed above in the Chocolate Cake recipe and working quickly before the glaze dries, top with toasted coconut and almonds.  Better than any old candy bar!!


Peanut Butter Cup

Make cake according to the chocolate variation found above; instead of making a chocolate glaze, follow directions for the plain glaze, but add 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I do not recommend using a low fat version) and whisk until smooth.  Pour over cake and immediately top with chopped peanut butter cups, if desired.


Layer Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Mix cake mix according to directions on bag, but use two 9″ cake pans, well greased.  Bake at 350 for 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks until completely cool.  For the buttercream frosting, beat 1 1/2 sticks of very softened butter until creamy; then add 4 cups powdered sugar and beat on low until blended- mixture will appear chunky.  Then, mixing on low speed, add 3 tablespoons of milk and one teaspoon of vanilla and beat until smooth.  If frosting still seems too thick to spread, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time, until frosting is at the desired consistency.  Place the first layer on serving plate and frost, then top with second layer and frost the top and sides.  *Tip- before setting first layer on serving plate, place narrow strips of waxed paper along the edges (overlapping where necessary) and place first layer on top.  Frost cake as directed above, then gently remove strips and your serving plate will be nice and neat on the edges!

Layer Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Follow directions above for cake preparation. Place 1 cup fresh strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth, then transfer to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until reduced by half, strain puree through a mesh strainer to remove seeds, then set aside to cool completely. Beat 2 sticks softened butter until light and fluffy, then proceed to add 3 cups powdered sugar, beating well after each cup. Add cooled strawberry puree and 1 teaspoon vanilla and continue to beat until mixture is smooth.


Brown Butter-Peach…an ode to our home state of Georgia

In addition to the cake mix and required ingredients, you will need- 2 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen and thawed, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed.  Toss peaches in cinnamon and brown sugar, cover and set aside to macerate.  Make cake according to package directions, except brown the butter before adding to the mix.  To do this, add butter to a saucepan and place over medium heat, until butter melts and begins to simmer; reduce heat to medium-low, keeping it at a slow simmer and watching carefully until butter starts to turn a golden brown and has a nutty scent.  Remove from heat immediately and mix into batter as directed on package. Place several (about 1/2 cup) peach slices in a decorative pattern on the bottom of your well greased bundt pan, following the lines of pan, then carefully pour half the batter over the slices.  Drain remaining peaches and roughly chop, then gently place over the top of the first layer of batter. Top with remaining batter, smoothing batter over chopped peaches where necessary.  Bake per package directions at 350 for 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let sit in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a cooling rack and let cake completely cool.  Make glaze, if desired, according to original glaze recipe, exceptbrown the butter, following browning directions above.


Cake Pops

In addition to the cake mix and required ingredients, you will need- 2 bags candy coating discs in the flavor/color of your choice (commonly found at craft stores, in the cake decorating section), pop sticks (also found at craft stores), a block of styrofoam (also found at craft stores and I like the large rectangular size), and about 2 cups of pre-made or homemade (see buttercream recipe above) frosting of your choice.  Bake cake as directed, in flavor of your choice; I prefer to make it in a sheet pan, but any form will do.  Allow cake to cool, then crumble into a large mixing bowl. Add frosting by the heaping spoonful, one at a time and mix until smooth and pliable, about the consistency of play dough. You may not need the entire 2 cups of frosting- if consistency is too soft, they will not adhere to the stick. Roll into a ball (not too large, about the size of a walnut and I use gloves for this step), insert pop stick, and lay onto a wax paper covered sheet pan and place in the freezer for about an hour, or until completely firm.  Melt candy coating discs according to package directions- I prefer a glass 3-cup measuring cup for the depth- and carefully dip each cake pop into the candy coating, then place stick into styrofoam block and top with sprinkles, nuts, mini marshmallows, etc., if desired.  Allow to completely cool and enjoy!


Berry Lemonade

In addition to the cake mix and required ingredients, you will need- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam (or any berry jam you’d like; strawberry, blueberry, or blackberry would all work well!), 4 teaspoons lemon extract, and the zest of 1 lemon.  Prepare cake mix as directed on package, using lemon extract instead of vanilla extract and add half of the lemon zest to the batter.  Place jam in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds and stir well, then set aside.  Pour half of the batter into a prepared (and well-greased) bundt pan, then drizzle warmed jam on top, then top with remaining batter and bake as directed on package.  After cake has completely cooled, prepare glaze as directed in recipe found at the top of this page, except use 1 teaspoon lemon extract and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and add remaining lemon zest.  Pour over cake and allow glaze to cool completely before serving.

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Carrot Cake

In addition to the cake mix and required ingredients, you will need- 3 cups grated carrot (not matchstick carrot) and  1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, but also add grated carrot and cinnamon; bake as directed on package or you may opt for a layer cake or cupcakes.  After cake has completely cooled, you may use a simple glaze (see recipe above) or, to make it extra special and more of a traditional carrot cake, make this easy cream cheese frosting: You will need- 1 stick softened butter, 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 1 pound powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest.  Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth; add sugar in, 1 cup at a time, until well blended.  Then  add vanilla and orange zest and beat until smooth.  Spread on frosting and top with 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans, if desired.

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Apple Caramel Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

In addition to the cake mix and required ingredients, you will need for the cake batter- 3 cups peeled and finely chopped apple, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon,  and 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans.  For the frosting, you will need- 8 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup softened butter, 6 cups powdered sugar, 4-6 tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. For the caramel, you will need- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup powdered sugar.  Reserve 2 tablespoons dry mix and toss with chopped apples and set aside. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, but also add the nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Fold in apples, then pour into a well-greased pan or pans of your choice. I made a layer cake, but it would also make beautiful cupcakes or bundt cake. Bake at 350 for appropriate baking time for pan of choice (see tip page for more information) or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake rest in pan(s) for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack until cake is completely cool. For the frosting, beat the softened cream cheese and butter on high until well blended; add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk and mix well. Continue adding milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency. Frost cake and prepare caramel topping; in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar and whisk constantly over medium heat until it reaches a boil. Continue whisking while boiling for 1 minute, then remove from heat and allow caramel to cool and thicken for about 8-10 minutes. I transfer the caramel to a squeeze bottle to drizzle over the top and sides of frosted cake, but you could also use a spoon to lightly drizzle the caramel.  Top with toasted pecans and allow caramel to completely cool. You’re welcome.

 

 

Holiday Variations:

Eggnog

Make according to cake mix directions, except substitute 1 cup prepared eggnog for the 1 cup milk.  For the glaze, make according to regular glaze recipe above, except substitute rum extract for the vanilla extract.


Chocolate Peppermint

Make according to the chocolate cake recipe above, except substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla extract in the cake mix and the glaze recipe.  While glaze is still wet, top with crushed candy canes.


Pumpkin with Marshmallow Glaze

Make according to cake mix directions, except add 1 cup pureed PURE pumpkin (be careful not to get it confused with pumpkin pie mix) and 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.  Also, increase milk to 1 3/4 cups.  Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cake cool completely, then prepare marshmallow glaze- in a saucepan over med-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; then add 2 cups mini marshmallows and stir until smooth.  Pour over cake and top with toasted pecans, if desired.  Let glaze cool completely before serving.


Chocolate Layer Cake with Buttercream-Mint Frosting

Prepare mix as directed in chocolate cake recipe above, except pour batter into 2 9″ layer pans that have been well greased and bake at 350 for approximately 25-30 minutes, checking for doneness after about 22 minutes, as every oven is different.  When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, remove from oven and leave in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Allow cakes to completely cool.  Follow the recipe for the buttercream frosting above, except instead of adding vanilla extract, add 1-2 teaspoons of GF mint extract, depending on how strong you want the flavor. Although not necessary, I like to add 3 drops of green food coloring for visual effect. Place first layer on serving plate, then add a layer of frosting, then top with second layer and frost top and sides. Roughly chop Andes chocolate mints and sprinkle on top of cake.