• Zeek Ashraf

Home Baker Reveals Her Tips and Tricks to Spruce Up a Boxed Cake Mix

The task of baking a faultless cake from pure scratch can be daunting, and quite honestly even frightening for some newbie bakers. And while a boxed cake mix is a fair alternative, it tends to lack a certain oomph that a traditional one simply exudes. In order to resolve this distressing issue, I have consulted with one of the finest pâtissiers our country has to offer, the most formidable weapon in my arsenal, a force greater than Betty Crocker herself: my mother.

Apart from her full-time job of keeping our household running in tip top shape, Ainthu Saeed is the owner of the Crumble Bake Shop, an online bakery established in Male’ early last year. Ainthu’s boundless love for all things sweet started young, her earliest recollections being of sneaking fresh ulhaali spirals and sticky gobs of toddy syrup from her Arcadian childhood home. She carries this very love with her into the kitchen, her glorious concoctions ranging from floral cupcake bouquets to full-fledged themed dessert tables.

Although her work involves getting down and dirty with heavy duty mixers, infinite rolls of parchment, and every size of measuring cup ever invented, she occasionally fixes up a quick cake mix for the family to enjoy over some haveeru sai. Here is a list of Ainthu’s top tips and tricks, so that you can make your own boxed cake taste almost as good as the real thing.

1. Add an extra 50g of flour

This stops the cake from being crumbly, a trait often associated with ready-to-make mixes. The additional flour helps the cake hold its shape better, giving it a dense, more homemade texture.

2. Use butter instead of oil

Butter has a much deeper flavour profile than that of your ordinary, run-of-the-mill vegetable oil. This is especially evident in yellow or white cakes, where the richness of the butter truly shines.

3. Use whole milk instead of water

Whole milk brings a wonderful creaminess to your batter, making for a luxuriously textured cake. Add a splash of vanilla essence to your milk before combining, for a bit more intensity in flavour.

4. Make your frosting from scratch

An absolute must. Store-bought frosting cannot compare to the lusciousness of its superior homemade variant. This step might take a slight bit of extra effort, but it makes all the difference in the world.

5. Get creative!

Add some chocolate chips or peanut butter into your batter, fill your layers with gooey Nutella or toasted marshmallows. The sky is the limit when it comes to mix ins and decorations, so go crazy.

If after reading this article you still cannot bring yourself to bake, you can always check out the Crumble Bake Shop’s extensive menu to satisfy your sweet tooth instead. To keep up with all they have to offer, visit their Facebook page here and follow them on Instagram here.

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