White/Yellow Durable Cake for Carving~Doctored Box Mix

I found this recipe on CakeCentral.com— I really like it for carving cakes….especially cakes that are tapered at the bottom (Topsy turvy cakes, Pillow Cake, etc.).

****We use Duncan Hines cake mix

**** If using Betty Crocker or Pillsbury (pudding in the mix) cake mixes,  I do not add the box of instant pudding .

***I often double this recipe.

Durable Cake for 3D and Wedding Cakes


1 box Yellow or White cake mix  — we prefer Duncan Hines or a brand without pudding in the mix

  • 4 egg whites
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 small pkg of instant vanilla pudding mix
    1 cup sour cream


    Preheat oven to 350 Incorporate all ingredients together one by one on low speed.
  • Make sure to mix thoroughly between each ingredient.
  • Once all ingredients are mixed turn mixer to medium and mix for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 – 35 minutes
Category: Cakes and Cupcakes, Recipes


  1. dsala says: #1

    How many recipes would I need for an 11″x15″ sheet cake?

  2. Julie Brooks says: #2

    Hi Dsala! I have a 12x18x2 sheet pan and I use 2 cake boxes. So I think you would be safe with the same.

  3. Angela Murtagh-Scott says: #3

    Im confused im in the U.k what are packet mix’s ?? and what could I use as an alternative ??


  4. Jacqueline Ash says: #4

    Angela in The UK you can buy the boxes of cake mixes from Betty Crocker at Sainsbury’s ;-))

  5. Angela Murtagh-Scott says: #5

    Hi what would I use for the vanilla pudding mix ?? is that like angel delight ??

  6. BeBe says: #6

    Oh, I’m not familiar with the Angel Delight product. Jello is the brand name of the vanilla pudding mix we use. It’s a powder that is mixed with cold milk for its intended use. We are just adding it dry into our recipe.

  7. Jacqueline Ash says: #7

    Hi Angela, yes it’s like Angel Delight but you can also use the pudding from Dr Oetker also, and pls do not use the pudding that has to be cooked, I tried this and it was not pretty lol, it has to be instant pudding 😀
    The Jello in the US is 102gr so I measure this out from my pack and I add this to my cake mixes, works everytime :)

  8. Jaclyn says: #8

    Can I use jello instead of pudding? I need strawberry and lemon cake.

  9. Jaclyn says: #9

    never mind. They have strawberry & Lemon pudding.!

  10. yummy23 says: #10

    Will the cake still be durable if milk is used instead of water? Thanks in advance.

  11. BeBe says: #11

    Hi, yes it will.

  12. Tami says: #12

    I tried this cake recipe this weekend. Everybody loved it. Thanks

  13. Kirsten says: #13

    This cake was delicious. I generally prefer to do all homemade cakes, but i gave this one a try because I was doing my first 3-d sculpted cake. I followed the recipe, but just added mini chocolate chips…it was great! Everyone loved it! Thanks!

  14. BeBe says: #14

    Wonderful, thanks for your post!!

  15. emilyluvstobake says: #15

    I tried this cake today, and though most of it baked properly and definitely seemed done, there was a thick layer near of the bottom that was like a dense sludge….I still used it for carving (minus the sludgy part!) and it worked great, but I’m wondering if I didn’t mix it well enough at the end? Or overmixed it? I followed the directions, and thought I mixed it for about 2 minutes on med at the end. I need to make another carved cake next week, so I’d just like to figure it out before then! I used Duncan Hines and instant vanilla pudding. Thank you!

  16. BeBe says: #16

    Hi Emily, it sounds as though it wasn’t baked throughly. Could there have been something else in the oven underneath this that was keeping the heat from the bottom of the pan? Do you think the oven temp. is correct? It doesn’t sound as though it is a mixing problem.

  17. Ursela Sultan says: #17

    how many recipes to use for a 13×9 ? 3 inch deep

  18. nelsonaxis says: #18

    can you use butter instead of oil in this recipe?

  19. BeBe says: #19

    I haven’t tried the recipe using butter but I think it would be fine.

  20. BeBe says: #20

    Hi Ursela, you will need 2 recipes for a 13 x 9 x 3 pan. On the homepage you will see Member Resources, if you click on Helpful Links you will see Wilton Serving Charts that will give you the amount of batter needed for various size pans……this might be helpful in the future.

  21. antigoni grivas-beninger says: #21

    Hi, i was wondering if this cake freezes well and how if so, har far in advance from decorating should I take it out of the freezer?
    Thank you.

  22. BeBe says: #22

    Hi Antigoni, yes, you can freeze layers that are well wrapped for 2 months. While the layers are still warm, wrap with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil.
    The cake layers need to be at room temperature before you frost and this could take several hours depending on your climate. If you are using a crusting buttercream and frost before your cake is room temp. it will take forever to crust.

  23. Anda Nematalla says: #23

    I’m wondering if I can use a chocolate cake mix with this, instead of just yellow or white cake mix? I’m making a wedding cake this weekend and the bride requested chocolate with raspberry buttercream frosting.

  24. sophiescupcake says: #24

    Hi Bebe,

    I was wondering if there’s some sort of substitue for chocolate pudding mix? I’m unable to get chocolate pudding mix (or any pudding mix for that matter…) in my country and was wondering if the cake will be less durable for craving without the pudding mix? What can I add to make the cake denser?

  25. sophiescupcake says: #25

    I just went ahead and make this cake without the chocolate pudding mix and it was a nightmare!
    The cake was so soft and crumbly that it didn’t even firm up in the fridge :(
    Is there a durable chocolate cake recipe that doesn’t need chocolate pudding mix?

  26. Megan says: #26

    How come the chocolate durable cake have 1/3 c plus 2 tbls of oil and this one only has 1/3??

  27. BeBe says: #27

    Hi Megan the chocolate durable just seemed a bit drier so just wanted to add more moisture.

  28. Megan says: #28

    Okay thanks, also im doing a wedding cake and the bride wanted white cake, i used white pillsbury and vanilla pudding and it still came out looking like a yellow cake. Should i be concerned that the bride wont be happy with this?

  29. BeBe says: #29

    Hi Megan, you could use 4 egg whites instead of the 3 whole eggs , the vanilla pudding also contributes to the yellow color. I personally think the whole eggs give it a better texture. I would talk to the bride, the color is actually between a white and yellow. If this is the cake you are comfortable making, this is what you should tell her.

  30. Myra Kimball says: #30

    I make this cake as my standard go to. I use it for a standard non-sculpted cake, carved cakes, and I will be using it for a Topsy Turvy wedding cake in July. When I make a white cake, I use white chocolate instant pudding instead of vanilla so I will have a more white cake. Everyone loves this cake. Just for FYI, I recently mixed up one box to see how much batter I get with the new box sizes (16.5 oz). I got 5 cups of batter.

  31. BeBe says: #31

    Hi Myra, thanks so much for posting your information.

  32. Jennifer G says: #32

    When I take this cake out of the oven, it shrinks. It seems like the sides slope inward toward the top so I have to to a lot of trimming to get straight sides. Does anyone else have this problem? Do you think adding the flour and/or using whole eggs would solve the problem with shrinking?

  33. Jennifer McMorris says: #33

    Hello! Is this cake like a pound cake consistancy? I need a good pound cake recipe if any one has one for a 4th of July cake next week.

  34. Jennifer G says: #34

    Did anyone try adding the extra four? Does it make it more sturdy and maintain straight sides?

  35. Jennifer McMorris says: #35

    @Jennifer G I think the egg whites is to keep the cake white in color because the recipe is also for wedding cakes. Sounds like you’ve made this cake is it a pound cake consistancy? can’t help you with youre sides and shrinkage every cake I bake in my oven shrinks have you tried the even baking strips that you wet and wrap around the cake pan while it bakes? Good Luck!

  36. antigoni grivas-beninger says: #36

    Hi, can you use this recipe for cupcakes and if so how long do you bake them for? Thank you

  37. ria gray says: #37

    I am new at decorating and baking. I have been use Duncan Hines cake mixes but when I stack the cues no put Dow.s and a cardboard bottom they seem to still sink or tilt. I was told I. Cake class not to use the ones with pudding they sink more. Can someone advise which recipe on the site works best for stacking cakes? Thank you in advance

  38. BeBe says: #38

    Hi Ria, we often use the White Almond Sour Cream recipe from the recipe section for tiered cakes. Also, have you watched the video on Making a Cake from Start to Finish? That might explain some of your questions. We like to use Pillsbury cake mix that has pudding in the mix and haven”t noticed the cakes sinking . If your cakes have not baked long enough, they could sink in the middle. Also, maybe your cakes need to settle, this is explained in the video. Let us know how things go as you try these suggestions.

  39. Annissa DeJarnett says: #39

    Can I triple this and mix it all at once? Or should I mix one recipe at a time?

  40. BeBe says: #40

    Hi Annissa, yes, you can mix it all at once if your mixer will hold that amount.

  41. Annissa DeJarnett says: #41

    Thanks! That makes life easier.

  42. debbie Meier says: #42

    What happens if you use the whole eggs instead of just the egg whites for the chocolate cake please?

  43. nicole romero says: #43

    what brand of cake mix do you use which one would you reccomend

  44. BeBe says: #44

    Hi Nicole, When making the Durable cake recipe we like to use Duncan Hines because it does not have pudding in the mix as the recipes uses instant pudding as one of the ingredients. For other doctored recipes we use Pillsbury most often.

  45. Mary Buscemi says: #45

    What size cake mix & pudding boxes? With the changes in manufacturing sizes it gets confusing. Thanks!

  46. BeBe says: #46

    Hi Mary, the pudding mix is 3.4 ounces (96g). You should get the same results from the 16.5 or the 18.25…..these are Duncan Hines weights.

  47. Kels says: #47

    How does using whole eggs vs whites affect the outcome?

  48. unctoothlady says: #48

    Do you think this can be doable with subbing butter for the oil? I prefer the taste of DH butter cake and i’m not sure that the taste would be the same with the oil.

  49. unctoothlady says: #49

    Nevermind. I saw this question asked and answered earlier.

  50. Kels says: #50

    I would like a durable peanut butter cake. Could I add some peanut butter to this recipe? If so how much, would you suggest omitting anything else? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This cake will be covered in fondant.

  51. BeBe says: #51

    Hi Kels, we have not tried the recipe with peanut butter but I think you could add 1/3 cup peanut butter and reduce the vegetable oil to 1/4 cup and it should be fine. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try. Also, the cake would be delicious with a peanut butter buttercream filling. Here is a link to that recipe, link to mycakeschool.com

  52. Kels says: #52

    Thanks BeBe, I will be trying it this weekend with the baseball hat cake.

  53. Nadeen says: #53

    Hi Melissa and Bebe,
    I need to make a dense marble cake. I’ve read online that I can use both the white durable recipe and the chocolate durable recipe and combine them. Any suggestions on how to do it? Do I prepare both recipes seperately and then combine in the pans? Please any help I will really appreciate it :)

  54. donna kirk says: #54

    Hi there,
    if i am using betty crocker cake mix do i still need to use the instant pudding mix. I am from the uk so would i get away with the angel delight mix? many thanks

  55. BeBe says: #55

    Hi Donna, I am not familiar with Angel Delight Mix, but you can leave out the box of instant pudding if the Angel Delight has pudding in the mix.

  56. Nadeen says: #56

    Hi Melissa, i was wondering if it’s possible to use this recipe with a red velvet cake mix to make a durable red velvet cake? and if so what would i use for the instant pudding mix?

  57. BeBe says: #57

    Hi Nadeen, Yes, you could use Red Velvet Cake mix. I would use chocolate for the instant pudding mix.
    Here is a link to a Cake Central Red Velvet Durable, I have heard good things about it also.

  58. lidaswarts says: #59

    How many people does the topsy turvy cake serve? I have to make a sweet sixteen cake for about 50 kids.

  59. Martha LeGall says: #60

    Would it be ok yo combine dry ingredients in a bowl and wet ingredient s in snother bowl and combine at once?

  60. BeBe says: #61

    Hi Martha, cake mixes are so forgiving I think it would be fine.

  61. Michelle Valenti says: #62

    If you are looking for your cake to be white rather than yellow, use white chocolate pudding mix instead of vanilla. This is an awesome recipe! Use it all the time with many compliments!

  62. Carmen Mendez says: #63

    In my country we do not have any mixed cake in box. I would like to do it from the scratch, could you recommend any recipe? I want a dense consistency for carving.

  63. Alberta Mote says: #64

    Melissa, I am getting ready to attempt my 1st topsy turvy cake. My niece wants one for her graduation. She also wants one tier to be strawberry. I have never seen strawberry instant pudding so what would you recommend or do you have a recipe for a durable strawberry cake? Thank you.

  64. BeBe says: #65

    Hi Alberta, You could use the White/Yellow Durable Cake for Carving Doctored Box Mix recipe from the recipe section, just substitute a strawberry cake mix. Even using vanilla instant pudding I think you would still have the strawberry flavor. You could also add 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract for a bit more strawberry flavor. Hope all goes well.

  65. Alberta Mote says: #66

    Thank you so much for the fast answer.

  66. corin cruz says: #67

    How many recipes should I make for 50 people cake? Is there a post on measurements on here ?
    Thanks so much!!

  67. BeBe says: #68

    Hi Corin, This recipe will make two 8inch round layers. Here is a link to the Wilton Party Serving Chart, link to wilton.com It will help you decide which size layers you will need for 50 servings. On the homepage of the site, just above Melissa’s picture, you will see Member Resources. Click on Select a Page and choose, Helpful Links, there you will find other serving charts such as the Wilton Wedding Serving Chart. You might find that helpful also.

  68. corin cruz says: #69

    Thank you SO much!!

  69. Mallory Farrell says: #70

    If I add regular size chocolate chips to this recipe will they sink?

  70. BeBe says: #71

    Hi Mallory, it is a rather thick batter so they probably would not. You could toss the chocolate chips with a small amount of flour, just to slightly coat them and help prevent sinking.

  71. trina karnes says: #72

    Melissa help I accidentally put 1 cup of water instead 1\2 do need to start over

  72. Melissa Diamond says: #73

    Hi Trina, I’m sorry that we didn’t get this late last night, we had already logged off. You’ve probably found your solution by now, but I think that starting over or doubling the recipe would be the only options! I know how frustrating that must have been! xo

  73. Lisa Hillebold says: #74

    I am wondering what I would need to do to make a lemon cake using this recipe and making sure it’s still durable and tastes good? Or where I could find a durable cake recipe that is lemon

  74. Linda billingsley says: #75

    Love the white, yellow and chocolate durable cake recipes. Can this work using red velvet cake mix? What do you add? Thank you

  75. Lisa Burke says: #76

    Hello, I am making several vanilla cakes this week that do not need to be white. Instead of egg whites can I use whole eggs. If so how many for a single recipe? I hope I didn’t miss this answer previously!

  76. BeBe says: #77

    Hi Lisa, Usually the formula is two eggs whites equals 1 whole egg. I have not tried this durable recipe with whole eggs so I’m not sure the texture would be the same. The egg whites give it a lightness. Cake mixes are very forgiving so it should be fine. You could try one whole egg and 2 egg whites, or buy a carton of pasteurized egg whites as that doesn’t seem as wasteful.

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