The Great Cake Mix Challenge: and Mini Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

A couple weeks after we bought the house, Hubby started teasing me saying that I better quit buying groceries so we don’t have to rent a Uhaul van to move them.  He’s been teasing me so much that he issued a challenge.  Well, if you know me at all, I am always up for a challenge to prove Hubby wrong.

Here’s my confession:  I buy cake mixes.   I see great looking recipes that need a chocolate cake mix so when they are on sale, I buy three.  Then I get home and either can’t find or can’t remember which blog I saw the recipe on.  Then the process starts all over again.

Due to this never ending process (and my daughter Kalissa doing the same thing), I have accumulated (I am embarrassed to say) 17 cake mixes.  Hubby said he doesn’t think I will use them all up before we move.  I plan to prove him wrong.


I put myself on a buying freeze…now I just need to get on a using them up wave.  Today I made these.  They are a standard recipe here at our house because they are so easy.


Take one spice cake mix (carrot cake works good too).  Add one small can of pumpkin (15 oz) and 1 cup water.  Mix them up and put in mini muffin tins that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop them in the oven for 13 minutes or so and they are done.  EASY, right?!?!?  They honestly are delicious.

When I did child care, the kids absolutely loved these…and yes, I have substituted squash for the pumpkin and that’s good too…and I’ve put mini chocolate chips in too.  It’s a really quick recipe and make about 40 little muffins.

Okay…17 mixes and if we move in a year, I need to use more than one every month.  I can do this…right??  YES!  I CAN DO THIS!!  Will you help?

Do any of you have a cake mix recipe you’d like to share with me to help me use up some of these boxes of cake mix??  I’d love to try it and feature it here on the blog.  You can email if to me at or you can leave it in the comments.  I already have a few spice cake mixes on the blog.  You can find them here.

33 thoughts on “The Great Cake Mix Challenge: and Mini Pumpkin Muffin Recipe”

  1. A real good easy recipe is 1 box angel food cake mix and a 20 oz can of crushed pinapple in juice mix both together and bake in greased pan orignall reciepe called for bunt cake pan but i ususally use a 9×13 pan for about 50 min don’t need to frost you can also add some nuts and coconut saw you had lots of the angel food mix best of luck with the challange

  2. Hope you’ll share the recipes on your blog. I collect cake mixes, too. Use them in one way or another for fellowship hour on Sundays. Thanks, Jo!

  3. After you bake the cake/cookies/cobbler/whatever, be sure to pass the item out to other people so you don’t end up eating it all. I think your neighbors and friends are going to love you this next year. Take baked items over to the dorms!

  4. I just stuck this easy one in the oven for a pot-luck supper tonight.
    cook 1 box chocolate pudding mix (not the instant) according to directions (I always do mine in microwave)
    add to one box of chocolate cake mix…dry
    sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and bake.
    This is always a favorite and very seldom do I get to bring any home…so I usually sneak a piece before we take it!

  5. We love dump cake here. Open a can of cherry pie filling and a can of crushed pineapple. Pour both into a 9×13 pan. Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix over the top. Sprinkle coconut and/or pecans (to taste) over the top of the cake mix. Melt a stick of butter and drizzle over the top of the coconut/pecans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the top is golden. I don’t know why you couldn’t substitute for the yellow cake mix.

  6. Kathy’s recipe is a staple at my house. We use apple or peach pie filling on the bottom and sprinkle with the cake mix then melted butter. It makes the best cobbler.

  7. I just wanted to let you know how much I admire your ambition and get-up-and-go! You do more in a day than I can in a week. I check your blog every day because I know you will have something interesting on it. I love your plans for the house and look forward to seeing it happen. Any hints for finding extra energy?

  8. we love cookies made with Spice cake mix and oatmeal and sugar and oil and eggs and a spot of vanilla -seriously- those are the ingredients (the original recipe uses yellow cake mix, but i haven’t found a cake mix I didn’t like with this recipe). AND you could make, bake and freeze some of those delicious looking muffins for your post move breakfasts while you are still looking for your pots and pans:) OR Christmas is coming -you’ll be going through those mixes fast.

  9. Jo, Here is a website that has quite a few different recipes using mixes – including some cookie recipes:

    I read your blog every morning with coffee for a couple of years now. Truly enjoy it.
    I live on the outskirts of New York City and have always wanted to live in the Mid-West in a farming community, where family, faith and community are very intertwined.
    Best of luck on your new home!

  10. Jo, I can’t imagine you’d have a problem using that many mixes…you have 5 kids and 2 in-laws and your husband and they all have birthdays, that’s eight right their. Notice I didn’t include you? Someone else can make you a cake:) Using one of your mixes of course!

  11. Jo,
    Try this recipe, its such a hit around here!
    Today’s recipe is for Chocolate Chip Mocha Bars. You all have made these so many times that you will not need any extra info besides the basic recipe.

    Chocolate Chip Mocha Bars

    1 yellow cake mix
    2 tablespoons instant coffee
    2 tablespoons hot water or leftover coffee
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup melted butter
    12 ounces chocolate chips

    In mixing bowl, dissolve coffee in hot water. Add cake mix, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, and melted butter. Beat until smooth, batter will be thick. Add chocolate chips. Press into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cookies will harden some as they cool. Cut into bars and serve.

  12. 3-2-1 Cake is a huge hit at our house. 1 angel food cake mix & 1 any other flavor mixed together (dry) then put in Tupperware container. 3 TBSP of the powder, 2 TBSP of water mixed in a coffee mug and then microwave 1 minute. Then you have individual servings of cake without heating the house or tempting those of the household who may be trying to watch caloric intake. That would USE TWO cake mixes! :)

  13. Here’s one that’s always a hit……..the custard part sinks to the bottom. It’s sure not low cal but darn is it good. I’ve also done it with a mixture of Strawberries and rhubarb which was yummy. I tried blueberries a few nights ago & my SIL went nuts over it. I only used 2 cups of blueberries.

    1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
    4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
    1 cup sugar— a little over the cup
    1 cup heavy whipping cream- real, not coolwhip or such…and unwhipped.

    Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with rhubarb and sugar. Slowly pour cream over top.
    Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or a scoop of icecream if desired.
    Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12-15 servings. Warm leftovers in the microwave to serve.

  14. super simple recipe. i see you have angel food cake mixes. take a box of angel food cake mix and add one 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple with juice. mix well, put in greased 9×13 pan and bake 35 minutes at 375. just two ingredients and easy and delicious.

  15. I like to use cake mix in my pancake batter. It really makes them fluff up and they taste sweeter. I use about 1/3 cake mix and 2/3 pancake mix. White cake mix is my favorite flavor to use, but my kids like chocolate and strawberry also.

  16. I’m not sure if this will help or make you want to buy even more after flipping through the pages of her books, but have you heard of The Cake Mix Doctor? Her recipes use cake mixes to create other things from cookies to cakes etc.

    She does have some recipes on her website too like this one that’s really yummy

    And this recipe I sadly cannot tell you where I found it as it was before I started keeping track of that type of thing. It is, however VERY good for a special day. Maybe you can save this for the very last cake mix you have in the house to celebrate winning that little bet. LOL
    You just mix the cake mix up as usual and make waffles instead of a cake. We had company staying with us a few years ago and this was what I made for breakfast one day and she just raved about them. I used the sweetened sliced strawberries you find in the freezer at the store but fresh strawberries would be good too.

    Decadent Chocolate Waffles
    Makes approximately 1/2 dozen waffles

    1 Chocolate Cake Mix
    Chocolate Syrup
    Strawberries (sliced)
    Whip Cream (Chocolate or regular)
    1 lg Chocolate Bar

    Mix cake mix according to directions.
    Using a Belgium Waffle maker, use one ladle of cake mix per waffle.

    After waffle is cooked, place on a plate, put strawberries, & chocolate syrup.

    Top with whipped cream & grated chocolate.

  17. Bonnie Pfrimmer

    I don’t have a receipe but my daughter is a baker and buys cake mixes when they are on sale. She keeps them in the freezer so they don’t get bugs in them. Just a hint.

  18. I know you can do it! Perhaps when you make a batch you could actually double it and take a batch to one of your neighbours? They look delicious!

  19. Pingback: Best Pumpkin Recipes on the Net (August 2013 Edition) | The Food Explorer

  20. I just used the jiffy mi or corn bread mi and the green chili peppers over cheese then the corn bread melted butter on top bake For some reason my pc For some reason my mi is not letting me post the net letter Will cut machine off and try again

  21. Pingback: Kitchen Challenge | Jo's Country Junction

  22. Pingback: Kitchen Challenge | Jo's Country Junction

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