Our Test Kitchen Found the Best Yellow Cake Mixes

When we think of a good cake, we always think homemade—like something Grandma would make. But in reality, we know that making a cake from scratch isn’t always practical. Seriously, who hasn’t forgotten to make cupcakes for that bake sale until the morning of? That’s why so many home cooks like to keep a backup plan in the cupboard: a box of cake mix. If you’re going to make a boxed mix, you want it to taste as homemade as possible.



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That’s why our Test Kitchen put eight brands of yellow cake mix (a great standard mix) to the test to find the one that will make those last-minute bakes really shine.

What Makes a Great Cake Mix

Our Test Kitchen sampled all these cake mixes with the following standards in mind:

  • Flavor: A good yellow cake (from a box or not) should taste buttery and sweet—not artificial
  • Texture: We want cake to be light, fluffy and moist. Dense, crumbly cakes need not apply!
  • Appearance: The cake should look like something we want to dive right into (with plenty of frosting, of course!).

With all this in mind, our Test Kitchen grabbed their forks and dug into eight brands of cake mix including the big names and some store brands.

Want to learn more about how our Test Kitchen chooses their favorite products? Check out our testing methods.

Our Test Kitchen Preferred Cake Mixes

After much cake debate, our Test Kitchen found three mixes that really stood above the rest. Here are the boxes you should keep in your pantry in case of a baking emergency.

Lightest and Fluffiest Yellow Cake: Pillsbury





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When you need a good cake mix, don’t hesitate to grab one of the biggest brands in the aisle! Pillsbury yellow cake mix produced a light and airy cake that was also perfectly moist—quite the difficult balance to strike. When it came to flavor, Pillsbury delivered. Our Test Kitchen thought this sponge had that great buttery taste that you want from a yellow cake along with a hint of vanilla to give it just a bit more complexity. You can’t beat this brand for a tender, flavorsome cake, one that will serve as a great foundation for all kinds of desserts.

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Butteriest Yellow Cake: Betty Crocker



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Baking big shot Betty Crocker’s yellow cake mix produced a light and airy cake with a beautiful golden hue. This brand also offered a good buttery flavor and a nice sweetness that makes you think of a traditional birthday cake. This is a great option for kids’ cakes especially. You can turn it into your own version of a confetti cake by tossing your favorite sprinkles right into the batter.

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Richest Cake: Baker’s Corner from Aldi



a piece of cake sitting on top of a table


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Sabine Marcelis designs work-from-home cubicle with bright yellow interior



a close up of a box


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Candy Cubicle is a desk by Sabine Marcelis, created as part of the Design Museum’s Connected project at London Design Festival, that hides its contents inside a pale wooden shell when they are not in use.

The wooden box sits on hidden wheels and can be opened along a central axis, transforming it from a block into an L-shaped desk setup.

This offers storage for books and documents on one side and space for a computer on the other.



a close up of a box: The desk is made of maple wood


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The desk is made of maple wood

Marcelis created the piece in response to a brief by the Design Museum and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), which called for nine international designers to develop a wooden desk and chair set up to suit their “new ways of working from and living at home” during lockdown.

Candy Cubicle was designed not for Marcelis herself but for her partner, an architect with whom she shares a loft together with their newborn baby.

“He has a big screen, which has taken over our dining table for the past month,” said Marcelis.

“It’s super annoying – it’s always there, it’s ugly. I just want to be able to hide it. The desk is something that can be transformed from working mode and then back into hiding mode. It means we won’t constantly be confronted with work equipment.”



a box on a table: The interior is varnished in a bright yellow, glossy lacquer


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The interior is varnished in a bright yellow, glossy lacquer

The entire desk, as well as the drawer trolley and matching cylindrical stool nestled within it, are set on wheels so that they can be easily closed and moved around the loft’s open floorplan.

From the outside, the wooden desk is finished in a muted white colour while the entire interior is covered in a high gloss yellow varnish.



A drawer trolley is nestled inside and can be pulled out when needed


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A drawer trolley is nestled inside and can be pulled out when needed

The yellow a references a scene from the movie Pulp Fiction, in which John Travolta’s character peers into a briefcase but all the audience can see is a tantalising golden glow emanating from within.

“It makes you wonder: what on earth is inside? I was keen to achieve that sense in this project – a minimal shape that beautifully shows the wood but then there’s something inside it that’s to be discovered,” she said.

“The object we’ve come up with has two states: the closed, anonymous object mode, then it opens up and the inside is completely contrasted to the outside.”



Marcelis's trademark translucent resin is used to form the wheels


© Provided by Dezeen
Marcelis’s trademark translucent resin is used to form the wheels

Like all of the designs in the Connected project, it was realised by the British furniture maker Benchmark with whom she was only allowed to communicate via the internet.

Another challenge lay in the material itself. Generally, Marcelis works with things such as resin, as in her Fendi fountains, the plaid Burberry displays and Candy Cubicle’s see-through wheels.

But in this case, almost the

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