boxed cake that tastes homemade & buttercream frosting

April 15, 2013

I have received so many emails about these dang cake/frosting recipes.  I’m so sorry it’s taken me forever to get this post up, but I think it’ll be worth your wait!
Both of these cakes below were made with the recipes I’m sharing.  The cake on the left is a copy cat of Boston’s cake here.  My friend Shirley and I made it a couple of weeks ago for her son’s second birthday.  It turned out way better than Boston’s and I love what we did with the top!  If you’ve never had homemade fondant- you’ve got to try it.  The store bought fondant is so gross.  The homemade marshmallow fondant is to die for!  I’m not sure which tutorial we watched for the fondant recipe, but this one seems to be a similar if not exact.  And I didn’t use my Kitchen Aid.  Hand kneading works fine.  And here is a good tutorial for how to put the fondant on your cake.  The video is sponsoring some type of mat.  I don’t have the mat, I just used loads of crisco and some help from my mom.  That mat looks amazing though, I want it bad!  And the cake on the right was for Savy’s first birthday smash.  You can find that post here.
Alright.  So you start out making this recipe for the cake.  It’s delicious.  The cake itself isn’t super sweet because you’re replacing the water with buttermilk.  But when you add the sweet buttercream frosting to it- ahhhh.  It’s like the stars just align!
Cake Mix
Follow the directions on the cake mix only replace the oil with butter and the water with buttermilk
While your cake is baking, make the buttercream frosting recipe below
And ta-da!!  Sooo easy and it literally tastes like it’s a cake made from scratch.  Cheater…. ha!
So you’re going to put freezer paper on the bottom of your cake pans so that the cake comes out nice and clean.  Then I always stick mine in the freezer for a couple of minutes so I don’t have to wait for the cakes to cool.  They need to be completely cooled.  Then I pop them out of the pan and use a cake leveler.  I had no idea these things existed until a couple of years ago when I took the beginner cake class from hobby lobby.  Best thing ever invented.
image source
You’ll just level out your cakes– make sure to freeze the tops for cake pops later on- and then start stacking them or freezing them.  I freeze cakes all the time, it saves soooo much time.  Wrap them in saran wrap and then aluminum foil and they are good for weeks.  The night before you want to actually frost them, go ahead and put them in the fridge and by the afternoon they’ll be all defrosted and ready to go.  Here is a good article about freezing cakes.  For Boston’s cake we ended up using three 9″ rounds and three 6″ rounds.  I want to say it took two boxes of cake mix and then one and a half batches of frosting and one and a half batches of fondant.


1 c. butter, softened (not melted)
1 1/2 t. real vanilla
5 c. powdered sugar
2-4 T heavy cream

Cream butter, add vanilla.  Then add your powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time beat well.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl often.  When all powdered sugar is added icing will appear dry.  Add cream and beat on high until light and fluffy

Here’s the icing being dry…
And here it is after adding some whipping cream.  Don’t make it too runny or it won’t set up and it’ll be hard to use
I just used regular food dye, but normally I use the gel dyes.  You can buy them at hobby lobby
You can buy these Wilton bags at Hobby Lobby too.  I have the reusable ones but cleaning them is such a pain.  These ones work great!
You’ll just snip the top off and pipe an entire circle around the cupcake.  Then pipe another smaller circle on top of the first circle of frosting.  I totally forgot about this trick until just barely, so that’s not what I did in the photos of the cupcakes.  But it will make the piping look much prettier!

Just a few helpful tricks-

1) Don’t try to dye fondant red or black.  Go and buy sugar paper from Zurcher’s or Hobby Lobby.  That’s what we used for the black and white checkers on the bottom of Boston’s cake.

2) I believe I used a 1M tip for Savy’s cake.  It’s just a bunch of little circles squished together.

3) When you are stacking your 6″ cakes onto your 9″ inch cakes, insert two paper towel rolls (cut to size) in the middle of the cake to help support the weight of the 6″ layers.

4) Once you’ve put fondant on your cake you’ve essentially sealed in the moisture.  It will be good for a couple days on the counter before serving.  In case your worried about time!

5) Don’t put your fondant in the fridge!  It’ll harden up and you’ll never be able to soften it out.  Fondant lasts for forever and I’m always tempted to make it for Boston to play with like play-doh.  Seriously, don’t be scared to make fondant.  It’s so easy and soooo yummy.  The store bought fondant is disgusting.  Marshmallow fondant?  DELICIOUS!

If you have any questions about Boston’s cake, or Savy’s please feel free to leave a comment below and I will do my best!  And remember, I don’t bake cakes for a living!  I just dabble in a couple things here and there.  Google is your friend.  The Wilton forums are awesome too.

And as always, if you’ve like these tutorials or want to remember them for later, please pin them to your food boards on Pinterest!

  • seriously such a great post! always make the frosting and no one ever questions the rest of the cupcake!

  • Oh my goodness, my stomach just growled. These look delish!


  • i can’t wait to try it!

  • I love the pink cake! You should check out this blog she is amazing baker!

  • thanks for the tip! 😀 lots of love

  • Thank you for sharing… pinned this to my cupcake board! 🙂

  • Michelle

    It all looks amazing!!!! Does the cake recipe used melted butter or softened? Also, how much butter and buttermilk? Can’t wait to make these!!!!

  • Tory

    How long can your buttercream frosting be stored and how would you store it?

  • Clarissa

    How much butter and buttermilk?