I love to bake (or maybe it’s I love to eat what I bake???). Either way, one thing I hate about baking is the complete mess it makes during the process. Somehow I always end up standing in a pile of flour on the floor or sugar stuck in my hair or icing splattered all over the walls. Please tell me I am not the only one with these problems (yes problems, usually more than one occurring!).

Lately, I have been on the hunt… okay actually not “on the hunt” just merely thinking about … a yummy cake to bake for Tate’s 2nd birthday party this coming weekend. All week I have been asking Tate what he wants for his birthday and his only response is “a cake!” “I need a cake!!” (sometimes he also says “juice” … clearly he does not get sugar often). With all of our family coming into town and the high pressure of not disappointing Tate with his only birthday request I have been stressed to the max with finding a recipe to bake. It turns out, though, I really do not have much time these days to search and test out tasty cake recipes between unpacking and furnishing our new house, prepping for his birthday celebrations and turning our house into Hotel Stevens for our weekend guests. Life is busy and cake baker is not on the list this week (nor is it ever!).

I have decided to take the easy-way and bake him a cake from a box. Betty Crocker style with a few little twists of my own. Over the years I have resorted to a cake box mix for other cakes, but added or substituted ingredients to come up with a recipe that I think rivals that of a bakery if I do say so myself! Sometimes I feel bad not starting from scratch, but really, why create more effort than you have to. I hope you enjoy!


My few little twists:

  1. Substitute the oil in the recipe with butter.
  2. Substitute the water in the recipe with milk.
  3. Add one (or two) more eggs than what the recipe calls for.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  5. Add in a package of vanilla pudding (This box “claimed” to already have pudding in the mixture, but I still added another package. I love the fluffiness it adds!).


And for my icing recipe. Almond Buttercream Icing.


  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 5 cups powdered sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons almond extract (any flavor of extract may be used, but almond is my favorite!)
  4. 5 tablespoons milk


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter.
  2. Beat in powdered sugar, extract and milk.
  3. Add in additional milk and powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.


Happy Birthday to our Little Man!!

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1 comment:

  1. Is the baking time and such all the same with the substitutions?



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