Vegan Cake Mix – Everything You Need to Know
Cake mix is a pre-mixed powder that can be turned into a cake batter when you add a few extra ingredients to it. They are made up of pantry staples such as flour, sugar, cocoa powder, fat and flavourings. But is box cake mix vegan? And can you veganize cake mix? Keep reading to find out!
If you’ve ever been into baking, you’ll have most likely started out using cake mixes. I know I certainly used my fair share of them when I was a child! Boxed cake mixes are an easy way to make a cake without having to buy lots of different ingredients separately. There’s also less chance of mishap!
To make a cake mix into a cake, all you need to do is add wet ingredients, mix it all up and pop it in the oven. Typically, these wet ingredients are eggs, butter, oil, milk and water. The ingredients you need to add depends on the particular boxed cake mix you use- each one is different.
Are box cake mixes vegan?
A lot of the time, in the UK at least, they actually are! Even though the instructions say to add eggs, butter and/or milk, it’s easy to veganize cake mix. You can do this easily by using a few nifty baking hacks!
Of course, as with any food that is accidentally vegan, there are some things to watch out for. Some cake mixes include things like chocolate chips, sprinkles or colourings that may not be vegan-friendly. Non-vegan ingredients to look out for would be things like milk and milk powder, gelatine, carmine or E120, egg powder, beeswax and shellac. In the USA, sugar is sometimes processed using bone char- therefore cake mixes may not be vegan-friendly unless specifically marked as such. See: Is sugar vegan?
There are also a few boxed cake mixes that are specifically made for vegans and marked as such. The only ingredients you’ll need to add are vegan-friendly ingredients like banana, oil or water.
How to make cake mix vegan
So, how on Earth do you veganize cake mix?
There are many ways to make a vegan cake from boxed cake mix. The first way is by using the vegan cake mix hack. The second is to use dairy and egg substitutes.
For a butter replacement, you can use a dairy-free block butter such as Stork. If your cake mix recipe calls for margarine, you can use vegan margarine (the spreadable type that comes in a tub) instead, in the same quantity. If the cake mix box says to add melted butter or margarine, you can use vegetable oil instead if you don’t want to use vegan butter/margarine.
Milk and egg substitute
Individual milk and egg substitutes will work just fine in cake mix but sometimes they can make your cake a little dense or chewy. In my opinion, the best option for a fluffy cake would be to use vegan buttermilk in place of the eggs and milk in your cake mix. Do not add buttermilk as well as water/dairy-free milk, or the mixture will be too runny.
Add the other ingredients you need for the cake mix (usually this will be a fat such as oil), then add your vegan buttermilk in slowly until you get a cake batter consistency. You can always add more buttermilk but you can’t take it away! I’d also recommend adding a teaspoon of baking powder to the mixture too, to help the cake rise in the oven.
If you prefer not to use buttermilk, the next best egg substitute would be a flax egg or a chia seed egg. Check out my vegan egg substitute post for other alternatives and exact quantities per egg.
For a milk alternative, any dairy-free milk with exception of coconut milk can be used at a 1:1 ratio. I personally find that soy milk works the best as it’s the closest thing macro-wise to cow’s milk.
Which cake mixes are vegan-friendly?
I’ve listed some of the accidentally vegan cake mixes below and a few that have been created specifically for vegans. Keep reading to find out how to make accidentally vegan box mixes without eggs or dairy.
Accidentally vegan cake mixes
These are all of the cake and cupcake box mixes that I could find that don’t contain eggs or dairy. Some are marked as vegan but require you to add eggs or dairy, which is why I’ve listed it here and not in the certified vegan section further down. You’ll find all of these in either Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose or Holland and Barrett.
- Amisa gluten-free chocolate cake mix
- Morrison’s lemon drizzle cake mix
- Morrison’s sticky toffee pudding kit
- Morrison’s plain sponge mix
- Morrison’s chocolate sponge mix
- Morrison’s ginger cake mix
- Tesco chocolate sponge cake mix
- Ms Molly’s chocolate sponge mix
- Tesco Victoria sponge cake mix
- Ms Molly’s Victoria sponge mix
- Dr. Oetker chocolate pudding mix
- Asda vanilla flavour sponge mix
- Smart Price Victoria sponge cake mix
- Asda chocolate sponge mix
- Sainsbury’s sweet sponge cake mix
- Waitrose Christmas cake kit
- Dr. Oetker colour changing cupcakes
- Asda unicorn cupcakes
- Paw patrol cupcakes
- Peppa Pig cupcakes
- Baby Shark cupcakes
Certified vegan cake mixes
The cake mixes listed below are clearly marked as vegan and only require vegan ingredients be added. Some may instruct you to add a vegan egg or dairy replacement. You’ll find these in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s Waitrose or online.
- Bosh chocolate fudge cake mix
- Funcakes cake mix
- Creative Nature banana bread mix
- Superfood Bakery lemon and poppyseed loaf mix
- Free and Easy carrot cake mix
- Orgran gluten-free cake mix
- Baked In sticky toffee mug cake mix
If you have milk or egg allergies, make sure to check the allergy warnings on the packaging before you purchase. The mixes are prepared without eggs or dairy but there may still be risk of cross-contamination.
How to veganize Betty Crocker cake mix
Is Betty Crocker cake mix vegan? Technically yes, although it is not explicitly marked as such. The mixture itself doesn’t contain animal products but the box will tell you to add milk and eggs. However, it’s super easy to veganize Betty Crocker cake mix.
You may have seen the Betty Crocker vegan hack already but if not, allow me to explain! The secret vegan cake mix hack is to add some fizzy juice (soda) to the powder. That’s all you need to do to veganize cake mix! You don’t need to add anything else- no eggs, oil, water, butter or milk. It sounds like magic and it really is!
You need to add 330ml of soda to one box of Betty Crocker cake mix. This is the amount that comes in a typical can in the UK. For chocolate or red velvet cake mix, use Coca cola or diet Coke. For other flavours like vanilla or carrot cake, use lemonade or Sprite.
You can use the Betty Crocker cake mix hack for other kinds of vegan box cake mixes too. You’ll probably need to adjust the amount of liquid depending on how much cake mix comes in the box. If we use the same formula as the 425g Betty Crocker mix, you’d need to use 0.77ml of soda per 1g of cake mix. So if your cake box mix is 350g, you’d need around 270ml of Coke or lemonade.
Which Betty Crocker cake mixes are accidentally vegan?
Luckily, all of the Betty Crocker mixes in the UK are vegan-friendly! This does not apply to all Betty Crocker boxed mixes, only the cakes. The muffins, cookies and brownie mixes contain milk and/or eggs.
Betty Crocker offers the following egg-free and dairy-free flavours, although these are not suitable for those with allergies due to the risk of cross contamination.
- Tempting chocolate cake
- Devil’s food cake
- Gluten-free devil’s food cake
- Chocolate swirl cake
- Zesty lemon cake
- Red velvet cake
- Rainbow chip party cake
- Velvety vanilla cake
- Classic coffee cake
- Country carrot cake
Which Betty Crocker frosting is vegan?
All Betty Crocker frosting is accidentally vegan in the UK. Much like the cake mixes, there is a risk of cross-contamination so they are not suitable for those with milk allergies. Check out my vegan icing post for more vegan frosting recommendations.
Is cake mix vegan? Vegan cake mix does exist and there are also many accidentally vegan cake mixes. You can use an easy hack to veganize cake mix with a can of soda, or you can use individual dairy and egg substitutes.