This is considered a “doctored” recipe because the ingredients are altered slightly from the original box recipe. There are many ways to doctor a box mix, however this is one of the simplest to increase the moisture in your cake.

One batch yields about 30 ounces.


  • 1 box Vanilla-flavored cake mix - our favorite is Pillsbury cake mix, however any vanilla-type will do. For vanilla like to use Pillsbury Moist Supreme White Premium Cake Mix
  • 3 Large eggs - to substitute eggs use ¼ cup of   Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup MINUS 1 tbsp Water - yes, subtract 1 tablespoon of water!
  • 1 tbsp Sour cream - this is the secret to increasing moisture!
  • ½ cup Canola oil - Canola has less 'flavor' compared to vegtable oil

Other materials

  • Cake pans – for one box mix use two 6” pans or one 9” pan
  • Shortening to grease the pan
  • Flour to dust the greased pan
  • Paper towels
  • Stand or hand mixer and whip attachment
  • Cake knife or another serrated knife that is as the pan width
  • Cake board, cardboard pad, or flat plate



  1. First, prepare your pans. Use a paper towel to coat the inside of your pans with a generous layer of shortening. Place flour in the greased pan (about 2-3 tablespoons) and swirl the flour in the pan to coat the inside of the pan with flour. Pour out any excess flour that does not stick to the pan.
  2. Preheat your oven to 345o (instead of 350o for more even baking).
  3. Place your eggs in your mixing bowl and manually use your whip attachment to break up the eggs by beating them slightly.
  4. Add the water, sour cream, and canola oil to the mixing bowl.
  5. Next, add your cake mix to the mixing bowl.
  6. Using the mixer, mix in low / stir mode for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Increase mixing speed to a medium mode and mix for 1 ½ minutes, continuing to scrape the sides as needed.
  8. Pour your finished batter into your cake pans and bake as follows: for two 6” pans, bake for 40 min filling ½ of your batter in each pan, and for one 9” pan, bake for 55 min filling pan entirely with your batter
  9. After baking, remove the cake from the oven and let cool for about 20 minutes or so.
  10. After cooling, and with the cake still in its pan, use your cake knife to cut the cake ‘dome’ that has risen over the pan using the top of the pan as a cutting  guide.
  11. Place a cake board on top of your pan and flip the pan over to remove the cake. If the cake is coming out, tap your pan gently.
  12. Continue to let the cake cool completely for about 2-3 hours. After completely cool, your cake can be iced directly, or stored. To store, wrap well and store in the refrigerator a few days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. The cake can also remain at room temperature for a couple of days