The Secret to the Cake of Your Dreams Lies in a Mix

Many cakes are better made from scratch — chocolate, angel food, and carrot for starters — but when it comes to yellow cake and Funfetti, we're proudly on team boxed cake mix. We're not sure what it is (some sort of magic dust, perhaps), but it just tastes right. That being said, there are a few things that can be done to make it taste even better.

POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

First off, this is going to be controversial — but skip the Funfetti cake mix. Instead pick up a box of yellow cake mix (it's richer in flavor than Funfetti's white cake base) and a big container of rainbow sprinkles; you're going to make your own Funfetti! Don't even think about tossing a tub of store-bought frosting into your cart (sorry, but no — shortening-based frosting is just wrong).

POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

Mix up the cake mix according to the box's instructions (in this case, we added 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 3 eggs), and then fold in a whopping 3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (don't overmix, or the sprinkles' color can bleed). Bake the cake according to the box's instructions — we're partial to a good, old-fashioned sheet cake, for ease, but you do you — and let cool completely.

POPSUGAR Photography | Nicole Perry

Meanwhile, it's time to make the frosting of your dreams. This is not the time for a swiss meringue buttercream, which is too airy, light, and, frankly, refined for this application. Rather, we're going for a dense, salty-sweet, butter-rich recipe that's like tub frosting but 100 percent tastier (and made with far less scary ingredients). Follow this salted buttercream recipe, scaling back all of the ingredients by half.

Finally, ice your cake, blanket it with a ludicrous amount of rainbow sprinkles, and decorate with the cutest candles you can find. On the hunt for candles? We've had the best luck at suburban Target and Safeway stores; Amazon also has some cute options.

Want to take your boxed-cake creations to the next level? Try one of these clever recipes that also start with a mix.