Easy and Delicious Recipes That Start with Cake Mix

Whoopie pie dessert and coffee on table. Horizontal top view


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Whoopie pie dessert and coffee on table. Horizontal top view

Fun with Funfetti

Everyone wants to save time in the kitchen, and that's especially true for little luxuries such as dessert. Resourceful cooks have figured out how to use boxed cake mix as a shortcut in all kinds of recipes. With a wide array of flavors available, it's easy to get creative and switch up a dessert. Next time you're craving sweets but don't have a lot of time, try one of these recipes that start with a box of cake mix — and aren't even cakes. Do you have other favorites? Let us know in the comments.

Related: Betty Crocker-Era Holiday Recipes That We Secretly Love

Plate of Red Velvet Cookies
Stack of Homemade Divinity Candy
Cindy Shebley/istockphoto

Birthday Cake Fudge

Who knew that you could make fudge with cake mix? It's white cake mix that gives this fudge the unmistakable flavor of birthday cake. You can add any sprinkles you like to match a party, or use Funfetti mix for a classic look. You can also switch things up with chocolate cake mix and chocolate chips.

Recipe: Dinner Then Dessert

Related: A Surprising Ingredient Makes These Desserts Irresistible

Ice cream and pancakes
Chelsie Webb/istockphoto

Cake Batter Pancakes

Kids would love to eat these birthday cake pancakes for breakfast — maybe on their birthday. Using a combination of cake and biscuit mixes ensures the pancakes are light, fluffy, and not too sweet. The recipe includes a frostinglike glaze, but you can use syrup instead. No matter what you top them with, don't skip extra sprinkles.

Recipe: Betty Crocker

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Mixing ingredients to bake birthday funfetti cake

Cheesecake Cake Batter Dip

Cheesecake is amazing, but it's a long process from start to finish. For the lazy version, try this dip flavored with cake mix. It's great for football parties or holiday gatherings where people might want a little something sweet. Serve it with graham crackers or Nilla Wafers for dipping.

Recipe: I Wash You Dry

Looking Across Cinnamon Rolls Rising

Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls

Cake mix gives cinnamon rolls a really tender crumb and some sweetness. You'll still have to go through the work of kneading and rolling them out, but you know they'll turn out with the extra leavening in the cake mix. If you like, make these the night before and store them in the fridge, letting them come to room temperature before baking the next morning.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Flat Lay Freshly Baked Cherry Crumble

Cake Mix Cobbler

This is one of the fastest and easiest dessert recipes ever. All you do is put a layer of frozen berries in a 9x13 pan, spread cake mix on top, and pour soda over the top. It bakes up much better than you might expect, and you can use any combination of fresh or frozen fruit and cake mix.

Recipe: Simply Stacie

Italian biscotti cookies with a cup of coffee

Quick Cake Mix Biscotti

Your morning coffee routine will be so much better with one or two of these biscotti cookies. Use cake mix and flour to make a thick dough, then bake once, slice, and bake again for that crispy, crunchy cookie. This recipe is flavored with almond and cranberries, but you can use all kinds of dried fruits and nuts.

Recipe: Pie Lady Bakes

Whoopie pie dessert and coffee on table. Horizontal top view

Triple Chocolate Stout Whoopie Pies

Whoopie pies are like giant sandwiches made with cakelike cookies and loaded with filling. This is a classic version with devil's food chocolate cakes — the secret ingredient, stout, gives it depth of flavor — and a fluffy marshmallow cream-based chocolate filling.

Recipe: Betty Crocker

Fruit cake with crumbles
Angelika Heine/istockphoto

Pineapple Cherry Dump Cake

This recipe serves as a template for all kinds of dump cakes, so called because you just dump the ingredients in the pan without even mixing them. The cherry pie filling and crushed pineapple is pretty standard, but you can use whatever fruit and cake mix inspires you. It comes out like a cross between a crisp and a cobbler.

Recipe: Spruce Eats

Related: Ridiculously Easy Dump-and-Bake Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Rice crispy cereal bars with icing and sprinkles and milk

Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

These special-occasion Rice Krispie treats would go over well at a birthday party. White cake mix gives the crispy bars a distinct flavor, and more gets incorporated into a pourable frosting to gild the rainbow lily.

Recipe: Sugar Spun Run

Cracked Lemon cookies in blue plates on white wooden background

Lemon Cool Whip Cookies

Thanks to cake mix, there's only four ingredients in this delightfully airy cookie. Combine lemon cake mix with a container of Cool Whip and an egg. Roll the sticky dough in powdered sugar, then bake. They turn into beautiful crinkle cookies that melt in your mouth.

Recipe: Tidy Mom

Peach Cobbler And Vanilla Ice Cream

Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler

Peach cobbler is a Southern summer staple, and this recipe uses cake mix and a slow cooker to make it extra easy. Crystallized ginger gives the fresh peaches a sharp tang, while oats give the cake mix more texture. Ginger ale keeps the ginger theme going throughout the topping.

Recipe: Southern Living

Belgian waffles

Birthday Cake Waffles

Though you'll need a few more ingredients than just the cake mix, these crispy-on-the-outside waffles are worth it. Funfetti cake mix and an extra dose of sprinkles makes them festive enough for a celebration; the cream cheese frosting doesn't hurt either.

Recipe: Taste of Home

Homemade dark chocolate fudge brownies cake.
yuphayao phankhamkerd/istockphoto

Cake Mix Brownies

Ever absolutely need fudgy brownies, but don't have a box of mix? You can make it anyway if you have chocolate cake mix. Make it as you would brownie mix, with oil, eggs, and some extra vanilla and chocolate chips for good measure. If you like them fudgy and not cakey, wait to let them cool before you dig in.

Recipe: Build Your Bite

A popcorn bowl on a party table.
Eik Scott/istockphoto

Cake Batter Popcorn

Family movie night will never be the same once you discover this recipe for cake batter popcorn. A little bit of Funfetti cake mix, lots of melted white chocolate, and plenty of extra sprinkles are all you need to coat lightly salted popcorn in rainbow cake batter-flavored candy.

Recipe: I Heart Naptime

Homemade Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey butter cake is a St. Louis specialty that has a vanilla blondie-style bottom layer and a creamy, gooey layer similar to cheesecake. Most recipes start with a box of cake mix to form the bottom layer, and the goo is a simple cream cheese mixture, making it a cinch to put together when you need something decadent.

Recipe: Allrecipes

Related: The Surprising Stories Behind Popular Regional Desserts

Sliced pumpkin pie
Tatiana Volgutova/istockphoto

Pecan Pumpkin Dessert

This recipe is practically magic. The filling is a pumpkin-pielike custard, and the topping crisps but can still be cut like a cake. It's great for any fall gathering, including Thanksgiving. While it calls for yellow cake mix, spice cake is a great substitute. 

Recipe: Taste of Home

puppy chow
puppy chow by bisongirl (CC BY-NC)

Sugar Cookie Puppy Chow

Puppy chow is a fun snack also called Muddy Buddies. It's normally made with chocolate and peanut butter; this recipe uses melted almond bark, Funfetti cake mix, and sprinkles on Chex cereal for a celebratory alternative. 

Recipe: Deliciously Sprinkled