Add Melted Ice Cream To Your Boxed Cake Mix For Sweet Baking Bliss

Cake mixes are the sweetest shortcuts you can find in the grocery store. It opens so many doors for the burgeoning baker, taking out guesswork while offering endless creative leeway. Think of it as an opportunity to design a house without having to worry about the building blocks. One fun way to play with this box mix format? Adding melted ice cream to the mix. 

This brilliant idea comes from "The Cake Mix Doctor" Anne Byrn. In her cookbook, Byrn noted that the idea originally came from the Pillsbury test kitchen. They had received letters from enterprising home bakers claiming they had made delicious use of melted ice cream in combination with the Pillsbury boxed cake mix. Blended with eggs, this tantalizing pairing creates a cake that calls to mind both the comforts of the bakery and the creamery. Providing a triple threat of liquid, flavor, and fat to the cake mix, melted ice cream is like a super ingredient for your box mix. In particular, melted ice cream, which shares qualities with heaving whipping cream, gives cakes a soft, delicate crumb.  Not only is this hack tasty and easy, but it's endlessly customizable, allowing you to use whatever flavor you love best. Let's dive into how you can bring this yummy trick to your home kitchen. 

A rich upgrade to your standard cake mix

First, let's discuss what ice cream will work best for this recipe. Brand and flavor do not affect the overall composition of the cake or its quality. A generic brand of vanilla will work just as well as a pint of Haägen-Dazs, and you can use any flavor you fancy, from chocolate to strawberry. The key to using melted ice cream is that you get a full 2 cups to mix in. Some lower-quality ice creams will have more air whipped into them, which means certain brands of ice cream will yield less once melted. The other thing to keep in mind is that any solid candy or saucy mix-ins in your ice cream may affect the consistency of the cake you make. To be safe, use plain flavors with minimal to no mix-ins present. From there, all you have to do is add it to your box mix of choice and three eggs to create a perfectly tasty cake batter.

So what are some flavor combinations should you think about? Go classic and add vanilla ice cream to a Funfetti box mix base, or melt some chocolate ice cream and mix it into a red velvet cake mix to make it extra cocoa-rich. You can also double down on a flavor, blending berry ice cream with a berry box mix. Or make a Neapolitan-twisted cake with a strawberry ice cream-spiked vanilla mix frosted with chocolate buttercream. The options are endless.