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Make your own additive-free homemade cake mix! Whip up cakes and cupcakes in minutes, just like a boxed mix.

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Boxed cake mixes are superbly convenient. Just dump, mix, and bake.

But while convenience is lovely, we also want something tasty that nourishes our family and guests – we want to make our cake AND eat it too. πŸ™‚

So, why not have the best of both worlds – healthy AND convenient?

When I was invited to write my book, The DIY Pantry, a book that replaces common everyday store-bought pantry staples with simple, wholesome, homemade varieties, I knew cake mix had to be included. In fact, I included two: this yellow cake variety and a chocolate cake mix that truly takes the cake. (Pun totally intended. πŸ™‚ )

And the beauty of a homemade mix is simply that: measure, mix, and bake. Super, super simple.

So, may your birthdays, baby showers, Sunday teas, and other cake making occasions be truly delightful – and nourished. πŸ™‚

By the way, if you'd like to avoid the Yellow 5 and Red 40 that lurk in many cake mixes, check out our post on how to make homemade food coloring. Not that you'll need it in the mix itself, but you might want it for your frosting. πŸ™‚


Make your own additive-free homemade cake mix! Whip up cakes and cupcakes in minutes, just like a boxed mix.

DIY Cake Mix

Yield: Makes 4 1/2 cups dry mix


For the cake mix

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached & unbromated)
  • 1 1/4 cups unrefined cane sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup palm shortening or cold butter, cubed

To make the cake

  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs


To make the mix

  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add the palm shortening or cold butter cubes and rub them into the flour mixture until the entire mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Store the dry cake mixture in an airtight container for up to 6 months if you used palm shortening, or for up to two weeks if you used butter (mix made with butter may also be stored in the freezer to extend its shelf life to six months).

To make the cake

  1. Mix the milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and eggs into the dry cake mix (if you've made a large volume of mix, measure out a scant 4 1/2 cups cake mix). Mix well and beat for 2 minutes.
  2. Scrape the batter into greased pans and bake at 350F for the estimated time listed below until a toothpick comes out clean or until the cake springs back when touched lightly near the center.
  3. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes; then invert onto a rack to cool completely. Store cake or cupcakes in an airtight resealable plastic bag or other airtight container for up to 5 days.


Makes one 9" x 13" cake, two 9" round cakes, 24 cupcakes, or 36 mini-cupcakes

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11 thoughts on “DIY Yellow Cake Mix

  1. Pingback: How to Make Colorful Homemade Sprinkles (plus DIY yellow cake mix!) - Keeper of the Home

  2. Lauren says:

    Thank you! I’ve been fighting with this exact problem- cake mixes are super easy, but full of junk. I will definitely mix up a batch or two of this soon!

    • Kresha Faber says:

      Well, palm shortening stays stable at room temperature, whereas coconut oil may want to change states back and forth with temperature fluctuations and I suspect it will not allow the same fluffy, flaky crumb structure in your baked goods. If you’d like to try it, go ahead, but the coconut oil will need to be quite solid when you rub it into the dry ingredients in order to create a homogenous mix.

      If you try it, let us know how it goes!

    • Kresha Faber says:

      Let’s see – marble cake as in yellow cake and chocolate cake swirled together?

      Yes, you can definitely do that. I’ve got a recipe for chocolate cake mix in my book, The DIY Pantry, in addition to this yellow cake, but if you don’t want to buy the book, you can make a “cheat” version by making a second batch of this yellow cake mix and adding 1 cup of cocoa powder and increasing the coconut oil to 2/3 cup.

      Does that help at all? Or did I totally misunderstand your question?

    • Kresha Faber says:

      Yes, pretty much any other melted fat or oil will work. My preference would be melted butter, avocado oil, or even olive oil. They’ll make it slightly denser, but the difference is usually negligible. πŸ™‚


  3. Pingback: How to Make Colorful Homemade Sprinkles (plus DIY yellow cake mix!) | Keeper of the Home

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