My Favorite “From-a-Box” Bundt Cake

posted by Andrea | 02/27/2013

bundt cake

You may have noticed that I don’t have many traditional cake recipes on my blog — and that’s because I don’t particularly love cake or frosting. However, the Triple-Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe I posted over 2 years ago is STILL one of my favorite desserts. It’s so simple, it starts with a boxed mix, and Dave just so happens to love bundt cakes — win, win, win!

Dave and I love chocolate — so the “triple chocolate” is definitely a winner for us. However, there are other times when we might prefer a less overwhelmingly chocolate dessert (like if we’re bringing dessert to a potluck or a friend’s house), so I started experimenting with different cake mixes and different ingredients and made a whole bunch of variations of this most delicious (from-a-box) cake.

But you’d never guess it was from a box… seriously!

I make some version of this cake at least once or twice a month — or whenever we need a quick dessert. Often, I’ll make 2 cakes at the same time, cut them both in half, put half of each in the freezer for later (yes, they freeze extremely well), and save half to eat right away.

If you’re looking for a simple and delicious dessert recipe for yourself or an upcoming event, give this one a try!

Recipe for My Favorite “From a Box” Bundt Cake

Print this recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pkg. any variety of store-bought cake mix (18.5 oz.)
  • 1 pkg. any flavor instant pudding (4 serving size)
  • 1 1/3 c. water
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. mix-ins (optional) — chocolate chips, nuts, peanut butter chips, etc.

DIRECTIONS: 

Mix cake mix and dry pudding in a medium bowl.

Add the wet ingredient and any mix-ins; stir until combined.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan.

Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

Remove cake from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Can’t get much easier than that!

The best part of this recipe is that you can use it over and over and over again — just with different ingredients to suit your tastebuds (or your cravings).  Feel free to try your own combinations of cake mix, dry pudding mix, and mix-ins — this is just a short list of some of our favorites!

NOTE: This picture is just an example to make my point that any cake mix can work… however, I did NOT make the chocolate cake from the white cake mix  🙂

Our favorite ingredient combinations

  • Chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Chocolate cake, butterscotch pudding, 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips + 1/2 c. peanut butter chips
  • Yellow cake, vanilla pudding, semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Yellow cake, lemon pudding, 2 t. lemon extract, 2 T. poppy seeds
  • Chocolate cake, butterscotch pudding, 1/2 c. chocolate chips + 1/c. pecans
  • Red velvet cake, vanilla pudding, white chocolate chips
  • White cake, vanilla pudding, 2 t. almond extract, slivered almonds as a garnish

The pudding makes this cake super dense and moist, so you honestly don’t need frosting. However, if you love frosting, feel free to try different varieties of frosting, glazes, or even just powdered sugar.

And yes, this cake definitely tastes delicious with ice-cream!

bundt cake

Do you have any “go-to” desserts you make all the time?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly, recipes!

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40 comments

  1. Karen A Hanzel

    10/01/2019

    I tried the version with the chocolate chips–I used a yellow cake mix. I think it will be tasty but I just dropped it out of the pan and a few places stuck : (

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m sure it will still taste great — maybe next time grease the pans a bit more to hopefully prevent sticking!

    [Reply]

  2. Phyllis

    07/21/2019

    Hi Andrea! I just found your site and can’t wait to try this recipe (even though I’m not what you’d call a “baker.”) I wanted to try a Bundt cake with strawberries. I have a strawberry cake mix, non-instant vanilla pudding, butter, eggs and about 2 lbs of fresh ripe strawberries. What I’m not sure about, and I hope you will help me with are the following: 1-Do I need to adjust any of the other ingredients because I have the cook and serve pudding instead of instant. 2- Is it OK to use butter instead of oil and half & half or milk instead of water. 3-Do I need to add or adjust ingredients in order to add a cup or so of fresh minced/diced strawberries to the mix? I know I’m asking a lot and would love, love, love to hear from you about my idea – even if you say it just won’t work! My son and I love chocolate, so we’ll be trying your recipe next month. It’s just so HOT here in NC, we thought…FRESH STRAWBERRIES! I’ll be using a buttercream/strawberry icing/glaze with sliced strawberry garnish. Thank you so much!
    Phyllis

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    hi Phyllis! Welcome to my blog 🙂
    The strawberry cake sounds AMAZING!
    My answers to your questions… yes, you can use melted butter instead of oil and yes, you can use half & half instead of milk.
    However, you can not use the cooked pudding and get the same results. It has to be instant pudding as you only add the powder to the cake mix. I’m always in favor of trying new things, so you COULD make the pudding (and cool it) ahead of time, then reduce come of the liquid called for in the cake recipe — but I still don’t think you’d get the same results, and I’d personally be leery of trying it for company!

    As for adding the strawberries, I’ve rarely ever add fresh fruit to cake mixes as we are more chocolate people, so I don’t know for sure, but I think adding the strawberries should be fine. If you wanted to sprinkle them with sugar and let them “drain” in a colander for a bit before adding, that would cut down on the potential sogginess. You could also coat the strawberries in flour before adding them (so they don’t all stick together).

    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

  3. Claire

    02/10/2019

    When it comes to box mixies i usually doctor them by replacing the water with whole milk, oil with melted butter, and adding one more egg than the box asks for. When doing your bundt cake method, would doctoring the box mix work? Has anyone tried it? TIA

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    give it a try — what’s the worst that can happen!

    [Reply]

  4. Bev Miles

    12/06/2017

    Thanks for the many recipes. We use to be able to buy bundt cake mixes in the 50’s and 60’s and I loved the Chocolate one with the cocoanut center filling. I have the recipe for the filling and
    now I will be able to make that cake again. Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    glad to help. We love this cake!!

    [Reply]

    Karen A Hanzel Reply:

    Bev,
    I remember those mixes!!!

    As a kid in the 70’s I made them from those mixes all of the time, and I completely forgot about the cocoanut center. I wish there would be a revival of this product.

    [Reply]

  5. Connie

    12/03/2017

    This is the best cake ever. I am not sure how many times I have made different versions but each time they work out great. Thank you for the great recipe….easy as it is

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much Connie — we LOOOOOOOVE all the variations of this cake too. It’s a recipe I make VERY regularly all year long!

    [Reply]

  6. Linda

    01/21/2017

    LOVE. . . .LOVE. . .your from-a-box bundt cake recipes. . . .sharing with my knit group. Thank You!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks Linda — we love it too!

    [Reply]

  7. Marilyn Stinson

    09/17/2016

    This is a GREAT recipe. Love it! Question: it seems all the cake mixes come in 15.25 oz (not 18.5 like they used to). How do I need to adjust your recipe for the new size mixes????

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I use the same recipe even though the cake mixes are sometimes smaller. It still works perfectly for me!

    [Reply]

  8. jean m griffin

    12/03/2014

    “Hi” This looks like the perfect recipe being able to pick and choose what you would like to use. age 76yr F Thank-you Your family looks lovely. Jean

    [Reply]

  9. Heather

    09/04/2014

    Made this cake for a church pot luck on Saturday, with no leftovers. So delicious! I just made cake # 2 for us to enjoy at home. Question: How do you freeze this cake? Wrap in aluminum foil or just bag it up in a freezer bag? Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — glad you liked it! We LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake!

    As for freezing, you can do either — zip top bag or wrap in plastic wrap + aluminum foil. I’ve done with with very delicious defrosted cake each time 🙂

    [Reply]

  10. Patti

    08/30/2014

    Just tried this cake – the chocolate flavors – and used caramel ice cream topping drizzled over the top. Everyone LOVED it! Thank you for the recipe. Can’t wait to try other flavors, but I’ll bet the chocolate stays our favorite! 🙂

    [Reply]

  11. Kristen

    03/21/2013

    Do you ever have trouble getting your cake out of the pan when using chocolate chips? I’ve made this twice and even though I grease and flour the pan I still get chocolate chips that stick to the pan. Any advice?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Kristen, sometimes the chocolate chips do stick to the bottom — but it’s usually just a few so I don’t worry that much. However, I have found the greasing the pan with Crisco (oleo from a can, not the oil) and no flour works the best for this cake. I just made one again yesterday and only had 2 or 3 chips stick to the pan.

    If you continue to have problems, you might consider borrowing a different pan from a friend to see if it could just be your specific pan!

    [Reply]

  12. Kristen

    03/05/2013

    Well, frustration got the best of me today with the potty training of my almost 3 year old. I sorta promised him we could make a cake if he went #2 on the potty. Let’s just say, he held me to it and we just enjoyed the chocolate version with semi-sweet and butterscotch chips. Win some, lose some! lol I can’t wait to try the Red Velvet, sounds so good!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Well, at least you got cake out of the deal! The chocolate version is our favorite too 🙂

    [Reply]

  13. shelly

    03/02/2013

    Thank you for all the recipes you post. I try most and they are all easy and wonderful. This cake recipe is a keeper for sure. I bought a cute bundt pan on QVC.com from the Temp-tations line in teal and it comes with a serving platter and a clear lid if you want to use it for other things which I will. Would be nice for fruit and such. You can watch the video presentation to see the other uses. Just wanted to share this with everyone because I love mine~They call it a fluted tube pan.

    http://www.qvc.com/Temp-tations-Old-World-Fluted-Tube-Pan-With-Serving-Tray-Search-Results.product.K36058.html?sc=K36058-SRCH&cm_sp=VIEWPOSITION-_-1-_-K36058&catentryImage=http://images-p.qvc.com/is/image/k/58/k36058.001?$uslarge$

    [Reply]

  14. shelly

    03/02/2013

    Made your recipe today for a chocolate bundt cake, chocolate with mini choc.chips~

    For the Glaze on top I found this easy recipe and it worked and tasted fabulous. Sprinkled a few multi colored sprinkles on top. Going to take it to Church tonight!

    1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
    1 cup choc. chips
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Put milk in microwaveable bowl add c.chips and microwave 45 second. Enough to warm it up to melt the chips. Becareful to not get it too hot. Take out of microwave and continue to stir to help the chips melt completely. Add the vanilla and pour over cake. This will not harden but remain tacky. Tastes wonderful!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Sounds yummy — I’ve made a similar glaze before and can attest that it’s fabulous!

    [Reply]

  15. Shelby

    02/28/2013

    Wow I never knew there were so many variations to this cake. I have used this same recipe only yellow cake mix , butterscotch pudding and then mix cinnamon, pecans and brown sugar together and sprinkle on cake. It is always a hit whereever I take it. I will be trying some new variations soon!

    [Reply]

  16. Ann

    02/27/2013

    I want to see a picture of your bundt pan. I have 3 different sizes, some metal, some ceramic. I have NEVER been happy with how things bake in them so I always avoid bundt recipes. How would I know what size, etc. to use?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Ann. My bundt cake pan is a 10″ pan. Here is the link to the exact pan I use — and I’ve always been happy with how my cakes turn out!

    [Reply]

  17. Laura

    02/27/2013

    You can also do a version of this with a box of any kind of cake mix and any kind of pie filling, no other ingredients needed!

    [Reply]

  18. Natalia

    02/27/2013

    Thank you for these ideas, Andrea!!! I’ll try some of the combinations, soon, starting with the chocolate flavors! 😉

    My “go-to-dessert” I make pretty often is “Apple Blossoms”. (A cute version of home-made apple strudel). It’s using store bought puff pastry (that I buy in bulk and keep in the freezer) and apples.
    I prepare the apples by coring and cutting into small pieces, then I cook them with just a little sugar and cinnamon, until they become soft. I mash them with a wire wisk every now and then. When most of the juices have evaporated, I let it cool down while I prepare the dough: roll it out and cut into 3″x3″ squares, then place a dollop of “chunky apple sauce”. I pick up the squares by their corners and place in a muffin tray, arranging the corners to look pretty. Bake @ 400 for 20 minutes. Dust with sugar powder when cool.They look fancy to take to parties or potlucks, but I never tried freezing them for later. (I never had a problem with leftovers, either…:))

    Thanks for the Blundt Cake (with-a-twist or two) recipes!
    I’ll try at least one version this week-end!

    [Reply]

  19. Anne

    02/27/2013

    Reading your post today brought back a childhood memory I have not thought of in a very long time. My mom use to make your triple chocolate bundt cake recipe. It was our household favorite, too! Thank you for the memory. 🙂

    [Reply]

  20. Sher

    02/27/2013

    My family’s favorite “go to” dessert is variations on “Trifle” but it usually ends up being called “Birthday Bowl”. Cake layered in a big glass punch bowl with other ingredients such as chocolate pudding, whipping cream, crumbled up Skor bars…you get the idea. Have also done “Black Forest” bowl…can of cherry pie filling instead of skor bars! My youngests favorite involved fresh strawberries, chocolate cake and whip cream, with chocolate covered strawberries on top 🙂

    [Reply]

  21. Lissa

    02/27/2013

    I do this all the time but also add sour cream to make it even more moist

    [Reply]

  22. Amy

    02/27/2013

    We love and use this method for doctoring up a box mix also. Our favorite is lemon with poppy seeds.

    [Reply]

  23. Kayla H

    02/27/2013

    We do lemon with lemon pudding and a lemon juice/powdered sugar glaze. It is sooo moist! I’ve never thought to change it up, I will definitely have to try other flavors!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Kayla — try the chocolate for sure!!

    [Reply]

  24. Kimberley

    02/27/2013

    Hm, looks delicious! Can’t wait to give it a try! Have you thought of trying the idea of using milk instead of water, butter instead of oil and adding an additional egg? This is an idea that I got off of pinterest when making a cake using a box cake mix. It works extremely well! I have made 2 cakes this way since finding it and I have to say, it really tastes bakery fresh! Thanks for sharing this post…I love bundt cakes! And they are perfect for portion control because like you stated, you can freeze half!

    [Reply]

    Barb Reply:

    Kimberley: do you use melted or just soft butter? i am making this today. thanks if you can help.

    [Reply]

  25. Jane

    02/27/2013

    This cake is a family favorite. It freezes great.

    [Reply]