White Cake (Doctored Box Mix)

I have gotten rave reviews from this cake over the years.  It has a wonderful flavor and moistness.  Don’t forget to wrap and freeze your layers while they are still warm!

***This recipe does not work as well with fondant covered cakes–it is a little too soft for the weight of the fondant. 

1 box White Cake Mix

Ingredients as listed on the box (water, oil, and eggs)

2Tablespoons Mayonnaise

1teaspoon Vanilla

1/8 teaspoon almond (or imitation almond) extract

Sift cake mix into mixing bowl.  (Sifting noticeably improves the texture)

Add ingredients listed on the box.

Add vanilla, almond, and mayo.

Mix all ingredients for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Leftover batter can be refrigerated for up to one day.

Pour into greased/prepped pans and bake at 325 degrees until cake springs back when touched in the center.


Category: Cakes and Cupcakes, Recipes


  1. Ivette says: #1

    I use a similar recipe but with sour cream, will it have the same effect?

  2. laura says: #2

    Melissa, I just tried this white cake recipe to make a coconut cake for my hubby’s bday. OMG, it was very moist & delicious. I bought the cake mix with the pudding in it but tried using the best foods mayo & it was great. I will use this again. Thanks for the great ideas!
    Laura (Santa Fe Springs, CA)

  3. AfrocenTreats says: #3

    Hi. Can anyone please tell me if I am supposed to mix this recipe for 2 entire minutes if using a stand mixer? Usually I cut the time in half.

  4. Melissa Diamond says: #4

    Hi there–I’ve always done 2 minutes and had good results! ;0)

  5. Suzanne Price says: #5

    Do you use any particular brand of mayo for this recipe? It seems like different brands significantly vary in taste…

  6. Suzanne Price says: #6

    SO sorry – I just noticed you said Hellman’s in the recipe! Please disregard the last comment! :)

  7. tara07628 says: #7

    Would this recipe work well with cupcakes?

  8. BeBe says: #8

    Hi Tara, yes, it makes great cupcakes. It is the recipe we use most often for cupcakes.

  9. ekachu27 says: #9

    Am I able to stack this cake for a 3 tier cake?

  10. Melissa Diamond says: #10

    Hi-Yes, you should be just fine as long as you make sure to allow time for settling (soft cakes like this do settle a little more than the denser ones) — and most importantly, you have to have good support. All of the weight should be supported by dowels or your support system, not the cakes themselves. This is true with any tiered cake.

    **As I mentioned above though, I don’t recommend this cake for covering with fondant.

  11. Heather Peterson says: #11

    Whenever I have made cakes and cupcakes from box mixes, I always substitute the water with buttermilk, and add one additional egg. Can I continue doing that and still add the additional ingredients above?

  12. Melissa Diamond says: #12

    Hi Heather–I think that your recipe should work just fine with the addition of the mayo and flavorings. Let us know what you think!

  13. Julia Lommatzsch says: #13

    Can you use any other flavor with this recipe or only white? Sorry I feel like this is a stupid question.

  14. Allyson Mize says: #14

    Can you doctor a red velvet mix the same way you do the chocolate mix?

  15. BeBe says: #15

    Hi Allyson, yes, that will be fine.

  16. amber rowland says: #16

    Can I use a different flavor box mix?

  17. BeBe says: #17

    Hi Amber, yes, you can use other flavors. You can substitute the almond flavor for something else if you think it does not compliment your cake.

  18. Martha Valerio says: #18

    Hi Melissa can you use the Duncan Hines cake box…I don’t like the Pillsbury? Thanks for your great school and your help.

  19. BeBe says: #19

    Hi Martha, yes, you can use Duncan Hines.

  20. Krislyn Porter says: #20

    Hi Melissa and Bebe,
    I know this has nothing to do with this post, but I also knew that if I wanted an accurate answer, you guys would be the ones to ask! How long do frosted cupcakes keep in an airtight container? Also, is there a better way to keep them fresh, I would rather not freeze them.
    Thank You!!

  21. BeBe says: #21

    Hi Krislyn, I think cupcakes are best eaten by the second day, especially if they are made from a scratch recipe. We keep our frosted cupcakes in a bakery box or other container that is NOT airtight……..being in an airtight container can sometimes cause the cupcake liners to pull away from the cupcake. The frosting on the cupcake helps to keep them moist but because they are so small they can dry out more quickly than a cake. If you have a large order, it is best to bake, then wrap the cupcakes in aluminum foil so they are airtight and freeze. When you are ready to use, allow to thaw wrapped, then frost. They will taste fresh.

  22. erica grzejka says: #22

    Does anyone know how much cake this recipe will make?


  23. BeBe says: #23

    Hi Erica, it will make two eight or nine inch layers

  24. Mrs. Vee says: #24

    Hi Melissa & Bebe,

    I just followed this recipe to make cupcakes for my son’s birthday party. The cupcakes tasted great but were very spongy in texture – a little too spongy. I baked them at 325 for 20 minutes but I did not freeze the cupcakes when they were warm. Does the freezing step apply to cupcakes? Will freezing improve the texture?


  25. Elvira Viesca says: #25

    Hi my question is Can I use butter instead of oil? Thank you so much:)

  26. BeBe says: #26

    Hi Elvira, I have not tried using butter with this cake mix recipe, but I think it would be fine to do so. Just have the butter softened to room temperature, or you could melt the butter.

  27. Elvira Viesca says: #27

    Thank you Bebe. have a wonderfull day.

  28. renee Mikulin says: #28

    Have you made adjustments to this recipe since the box size has been reduced ? Will it come out the same ?

  29. Vicki Knez says: #29

    Can you recommend a good white cupcake recipe. I’m doing a large wedding and so far have tried several recipes. They either don’t crown or they pull away from the wrapper. I have 200 to do. Suggestions? Thanks!

  30. BeBe says: #30

    Hi Vicki, We use the above recipe when using a box cake mix, it is a light and fluffy cupcake. We also like the Classic White Cake (Scratch recipe), here is a link, link to mycakeschool.com. If you would like your recipes to have more of a dome, Melissa has a video in Cupcake Basics, here is a link link to mycakeschool.com You can skip ahead to about the 2 minute mark. She is showing how to give the cupcakes a higher dome by giving the cupcakes a burst of high heat for the first 5 minutes of baking….. I think we state at the end of our recipes if they are good for cupcakes or not. Recipes that are very moist tend to pull away from the cupcake liners. Also, storing them in air tight containers can cause the liners to pull away.

  31. sandy perlman says: #31

    Just used this rece to make mini cupcakes. Added some vanilla bean to the recipe. Topped off with your vanilla frosting but added melted white chocolate to the frosting. So moist, and so delicious. thank you!

  32. BeBe says: #32

    Hi Sandy, Thank you for posting!! Your changes to the recipes sound wonderful!!

  33. Rita Bunk says: #33

    Hi Melissa,

    Can you use a Betty Crocker cake mix? Thank you for all your inspirations!

  34. Radyne Stane says: #34

    you mentioned to wrap cake when it is still warm,how long do you do this for and do you put it in the fridge-frost when needed or after it has cooled somewhat-please state what the advantage of doing this is Thank you and I love your website!!!!!!!!

  35. Elvira Viesca says: #35

    Hi how are you? How many cupcakes come out of this recipe?

  36. BeBe says: #36

    Hi Radyne, The cake layer will cool in the pan maybe 10 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a cardboard cake circle, let it cool a bit longer, but while it is still warm wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. This will give you a more moist cake. The cake layers can be frozen for up to 2 months. If you are pressed for time you could freeze for 2 hours and still get a good result. Your cake will still be good if you skip this step, we just think it makes for a more moist cake. Also,
    If your cake in going to be in the freezer less than 10 days you can Double wrap with plastic wrap and skip the aluminum foil.
    Just want to mention, we wrap our cardboard cake circles in aluminum foil so they can be reused.

  37. BeBe says: #37

    Hi Elviria, You will get 2 dozen cupcakes.

  38. Lauren says: #38

    Hello! Quick question for you. Approximately how long would you bake three 6″ cake layers? Thanks for your help!! It is greatly appreciated!

  39. BeBe says: #39

    Hi Lauren, If you are using 6 inch pans that are 2 inches deep with 2 1/4 cups batter in each pan you would bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.When a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake layer comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached it is done. It will also pull away from the sides of the pan, very slightly. This baking time is based on the Wilton Chart, link to wilton.com. This and other information can be found on the homepage under Member Resources, click on Helpful Links and then the Wilton Party Serving Chart

  40. Lauren says: #40

    Thank you so much, BeBe!! This is incredibly helpful!

  41. Terry Campbell says: #41

    How would you make this recipe a little denser? I am doing a 4 tier wedding cake. I know you depend on the dowel rods for support. But don’t want the cake to crumble. Thanks.

  42. BeBe says: #42

    Hi Terry, I think you should use the White Almond Sour Cream (doctored cake mix) recipe. You could leave out the almond flavor for a vanilla cake. The addition of flour and sugar extends the recipe to make it go further in addition to making it a denser cake. I think you will like it.

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