Condensed Milk Is The Key To Totally Upgrading Your Boxed Cake Mix

Tres leches cake with red berries
Tres leches cake with red berries - Mediterranean/Getty Images

Avid home bakers who love to save time and energy probably know how to make boxed cake mix taste homemade. While there is nothing wrong with following standard instructions and adding the usual water, oil, and egg to the included blend of premixed ingredients, there are many ways to take a standard yellow or chocolate cake mix from subpar to seemingly homemade satisfaction with a few simple ingredient swaps. Buttermilk, sour cream, and even coffee have been recommended to replace flavorless water and oil, but what about using an ingredient that can also add a bit of sweetness to your resulting confection?

Condensed milk is just the right ingredient to add moisture and a hint of developed sweetness to your next boxed cake. This non-refrigerated dairy product is made from concentrated milk that has been sweetened. The result is a sticky, thick liquid that can be added to several different foods to render additional richness or a softer complimentary texture to your most favored baked goods. Sweetened condensed milk can be added directly to your cake mix in moderation or used as a delicious frosting alternative. Before we look at any potential downsides to using this convenient product, let's dive into all the creative ways condensed milk can be used to elevate your next boxed cake.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

How To Upgrade Boxed Cake With Condensed Milk

Tres leches cake slice
Tres leches cake slice - nehophoto/Shutterstock

Sweetened condensed milk can be used in a variety of ways to upgrade your next convenient cake mix. First, to clarify, the main difference between evaporated milk and condensed milk is that the latter is sweetened and can't often take the place of milk or water in a 1:1 ratio. If you wish to use sweetened condensed milk in your cake mix, diluting this concentrated milk with 50% water is recommended. This homemade mixture can replace the liquid component of your packaged mix yet be aware that since condensed milk is sweet, this may affect the resulting flavor of your boxed cake.

Luckily you can use condensed milk as a delicious topping in more ways than one. For starters, you can make your own version of Tres Leches cake by combining sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream to make a delicious soaking mixture to keep your boxed cake extra moist. You can also poke holes in your freshly baked cake and pour over condensed milk. The cake will absorb the thick sweet milk and make for an extra rich treat. Lastly, feel free to try condensed milk as a convenient no-fuss glaze or frosting.  Keep in mind however that even though there are several ways condensed milk can upgrade your next boxed cake, using this concentrated dairy product may also present a few minor limitations.

Condensed Milk May Expedite The Expiration Date Of Your Boxed Cake

Bowl of condensed milk with spoon
Bowl of condensed milk with spoon - Towfiqu Ahamed/Getty Images

Most home bakers welcome varied suggestions on how to make box cake mix better, however using condensed milk presents a few drawbacks. Even though over half of the liquid has been cooked out of condensed milk during production, this ingredient is still considered a veritable dairy product. If you skip baking condensed milk into your next cake and instead, use this product to moisten or adorn your confection, this may decrease your dessert's shelf life. Moreover, using condensed milk as a soaking agent leads to the breakdown of the cake's crumb quite quickly, especially if left out at room temperature for a solid chunk of time. Once you open a can of condensed milk, this product should be stored in the refrigerator. To extend the life of your boxed cake so this sticky sweet treat lasts at least 3 days, any leftovers should be placed in cold storage.

As stated above, be mindful when using condensed milk since this product is extremely high in sugar. According to Healthline, there are roughly 15 grams of sugar in just 1 ounce of condensed milk. While the sweetness can be tapered with milk or water when baked into your cake, when used as a frosting or moistening agent, there aren't many ways to avoid the added sugar. Keep these minor limitations in mind and you can strategically use condensed milk to upgrade your next boxed cake.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.