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55 Desserts That Start with Cake Mix

These great cake mix recipes use the store-bought mix as an ingredient, not an end point. Your gorgeous dessert will still be distinctive and delicious—and look nothing like the photo on the box.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Poke Cake

When my family is planning a get-together, I can count on three or four people asking if I’m bringing this chocolate peanut butter poke cake. If you don’t have a chocolate cake mix, use a white or yellow one and stir in 3 tablespoons of baking cocoa. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas

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Butterfinger Cookie BarsTaste of Home

Butterfinger Cookie Bars

My boys went through a phase where they loved Butterfingers. We made Butterfinger shakes, muffins, cookies and experimented with different bars; this one was voted the best of the bunch. Make sure you have an extra candy bar on hand because it’s hard to resist a nibble or two while you’re chopping. —Barbara Leighty, Simi Valley, California

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Apple Pie Cupcakes with Cinnamon ButtercreamTaste of Home

Apple Pie Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

These apple pie cupcakes are always a hit! They are so easy to make and the flavor just screams fall. Of course, they're just as delicious any time of year. —Jennifer Stowell, Deep River, Iowa

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Peanut Butter Caramel BarsTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Caramel Bars

When my husband and our three sons sit down to dinner, they ask, "What's for dessert?" I have a happy group of guys when I report that these rich bars are on the menu. They're chockfull of yummy ingredients. —Lee Ann Karnowski, Stevens Point, Wisconsin

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Almond Chocolate BiscottiTaste of Home

Almond Chocolate Biscotti

My neighbors look forward to getting my gifts of these chocolate-covered cookies. I love that this chocolate biscotti recipe is such a cinch to make. —Ginger Chatfield, Muscatine, Iowa

Not sure which brand of cake mix to buy? Check out the brands our editors and the Taste of Home Test Kitchen recommend.

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Pear Bundt CakeTaste of Home

Pear Bundt Cake

Next time you make cake from a mix, try my easy and delicious recipe. The pears and syrup add sweet flavor and prevent the cake from drying out. And since there's no oil added to the batter, this tender fall-perfect cake is surprisingly low in fat. —Veronica Ross, Columbia Heights, Minnesota

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Lemon SnowflakesTaste of Home

Lemon Snowflakes

You’ll need just four items to whip up these delightful cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas

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Irish Creme Chocolate TrifleTaste of Home

Irish Creme Chocolate Trifle

I was given a bottle of Irish cream liqueur as a gift and had leftover peppermint candy, so I created this delicious trifle. It's always rich and decadent. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California

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Cake & Berry Campfire CobblerTaste of Home

Cake & Berry Campfire Cobbler

This warm cobbler is one of our favorite ways to end a busy day of fishing, hiking, swimming or rafting. It's yummy with ice cream—and so easy to make! —June Dress, Boise, Idaho

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Pecan Pumpkin DessertTaste of Home

Pecan Pumpkin Dessert

I always fix this recipe for Thanksgiving. It was given to me by a friend and I've shared it with many others. —Sue Williams, Mt. Holly, North Carolina

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Caramel Apple CupcakesTaste of Home

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Take these extra special cupcakes to your next event and watch how quickly they disappear! With a caramel topping and spice cake base, they're the perfect mix of two fall-favorite treats. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas

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Lemon Angel Cake BarsTaste of Home

Lemon Angel Cake Bars

A neighbor gave me this recipe years ago and it's been in flavor rotation ever since. It can be made ahead and serves a bunch, so it's perfect for parties and potlucks. —Marina Castle, Canyon Country, California

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Come-Home-to-Mama Chocolate CakeTaste of Home

Come-Home-to-Mama Chocolate Cake

You’ll spend less than a half hour whipping up this cure-all cake that starts with a mix. Sour cream and chocolate pudding make it rich and moist, and chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate make it decadent comfort food at its finest. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

New to baking cakes? Check out our ultimate guide on how to bake a cake from scratch.

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Butterscotch Toffee CookiesTaste of Home

Butterscotch Toffee Cookies

With its big butterscotch and chocolate flavor, my cookie stands out. I like to enjoy it with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. It’s my fallback recipe when I’m short on time and need something delicious fast. —Allie Blinder, Norcross, Georgia

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Pistachio Cake with WalnutsTaste of Home

Pistachio Cake with Walnuts

It didn't take long for this cake from the 1970s to become the favorite birthday cake of my husband, Joe. —Patty LaNoue Stearns, Traverse City, Michigan

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Triple Fudge BrowniesTaste of Home

Triple Fudge Brownies

When you're in a hurry to make dessert, here's a "mix of mixes" that's so convenient and quick. The result is a big pan of very rich, fudgy brownies. Friends who ask me for the recipe are amazed that it's so easy. —Denise Nebel, Wayland, Iowa

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Tres Leches CupcakesTaste of Home

Tres Leches Cupcakes

This cupcake version of tres leches cake actually uses four types of milk, plus cream, but quatro leches cake just doesn’t have the same delicious ring to it. If you love dairy, you won’t be disappointed with this special take on the classic.

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Sweet Potato Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars

Your whole house will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin spice when you bake these wonderful sweet potato cheesecake bars. They look complicated but are so easy, you can whip up a batch anytime. —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York

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Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Whoopie PiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Baking a fun treat is a must when my four grandchildren come for “Grandma Camp.” This year I’ll recruit the oldest, Henry, to help pipe the cake batter. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Cranberry Layer CakeTaste of Home

Cranberry Layer Cake

I adapted a Bundt cake recipe to create this layer cake. Cranberries, walnuts and homemade frosting make it taste so delicious that you'd never guess it starts with a convenient cake mix. —Sandy Burkett, Galena, Ohio

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Pina Colada Tube CakeTaste of Home

Pina Colada Tube Cake

We named this a “pina colada” cake because it has coconut, pineapple and rum. It’s a soothing finish at the end of a big spread. —Debra Keil, Owasso, Oklahoma

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Quick Chocolate Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Quick Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

These cookies freeze well, so it's easy to keep some on hand for last-minute munching. In summer, I often make them larger to use for ice cream sandwiches. —Mary Rempel, Altona, Manitoba

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Caramel Nut Breakfast CakeTaste of Home

Caramel Nut Breakfast Cake

I first tasted this incredible coffee cake when a kind neighbor brought it by. It was so good that my brother-in-law tried hiding it from us so he wouldn’t have to share. —Arlene Isaac, Crooked Creek, Alberta

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Cranberry Eggnog Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Cranberry Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

My family loves everything cheesecake. These bars combine tart cranberries and rich cream cheese, and taste even better when chilled overnight! —Carmell Childs, Ferron, Utah

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Sacher Torte SquaresTaste of Home

Sacher Torte Squares

Sacher torte is a Viennese cake that requires several steps. My squares are an easy alternative, but they still feature the classic apricot and chocolate flavors. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Easy Oatmeal Cream PiesTaste of Home

Easy Oatmeal Cream Pies

These easy cookies use only five ingredients and taste very similar to a store-bought cookie. Of course, everything's better from your own kitchen! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

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Macadamia Sunshine BarsTaste of Home

Macadamia Sunshine Bars

Your guests will be delighted with my bars. They are packed with nuts and dried fruit. I think that when you take a bite of this treat it’s like a mini-vacation to a Polynesian paradise. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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German Chocolate Tres Leches CakeTaste of Home

German Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

I first tried tres leches cake while in Ecuador several years ago. Since then, I’ve changed it up by adding some of my favorite ingredients, namely chocolate and coconut. This version also has a splash of rum for an adults-only treat. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas

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Glazed Cherry Coffee CakeTaste of Home

Glazed Cherry Coffee Cake

With its pretty layer of cherries and crunchy streusel topping, this coffee cake is great for breakfast. Or you can even serve it for dessert. —Gail Buss, Beverly Hills, Florida

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Warm Rocky Road CakeTaste of Home

Warm Rocky Road Cake

When it's warm, this reminds me of super moist lava cake. And until I made this, I didn't think a slow cooker cake could be so attractive. It's a real winner. —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia

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Graham Streusel Coffee CakeTaste of Home

Graham Streusel Coffee Cake

I use this sweet coffee cake recipe often. It's quick and easy to make. —Blanche Whytsell, Arnoldsburg, West Virginia

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Rum-Glazed Pumpkin CakeTaste of Home

Rum-Glazed Pumpkin Cake

For years, my co-workers were taste testers as I worked on a recipe for pumpkin cake. This version wins, hands down. —Gilda Smith, Santee, California

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Butterscotch-Toffee Cheesecake BarsTaste of Home

Butterscotch-Toffee Cheesecake Bars

I took a cheesecake bar recipe and added a new flavor combo to transform it! The butterscotch and toffee really taste divine here. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia

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Pear Upside-Down GingerbreadTaste of Home

Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread

I prefer to bake from scratch, but this Christmasy cake mix recipe is a favorite. For a change of pace, use apples and walnuts in place of the pears and pecans. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Pumpkin Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These big, soft spice cookies created by our staff have a sweet frosting that makes them an extra-special treat. Enjoy! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Minister's DelightTaste of Home

Minister's Delight

A friend gave me this recipe several years ago. She said a local minister's wife fixed it every Sunday, so she named it accordingly —Mary Ann Potter, Blue Springs, Missouri

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Can't Leave Alone BarsTaste of Home

Can't Leave Alone Bars

Convenient cake mix hurries along the preparation of these tasty bars. I bring these quick-and-easy treats to church meetings, potlucks and housewarming parties. I often make a double batch so we can enjoy some at home. —Kimberly Biel, Java, South Dakota

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Apricot-Pecan Thumbprint CookiesTaste of Home

Apricot-Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

I enjoy experimenting with cake mixes to make new cookie recipes. I love apricot, but feel free to fill the thumbprint in the center of these goodies with any fruit preserve you like. —Nancy Johnson, Laverne, Oklahoma

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Pineapple Orange CakeTaste of Home

Pineapple Orange Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes. It’s moist and light yet so satisfying. I’ve been adapting it for years and now it’s almost guilt-free. —Pam Sjolund, Columbia, South Carolina

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Little Holiday CakesTaste of Home

Little Holiday Cakes

My college friend shared this cupcake recipe that has pie crust on the bottom, raspberry jam in the middle and cake on top—scrumptious for a buffet or potluck. —Dana Beckstrom, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Caramel-Pecan Dream BarsTaste of Home

Caramel-Pecan Dream Bars

These ooey-gooey cake bars that pull ever so gently from the pan and hold a firm cut are a baker’s dream come true. —Cay Keppers, Nisswa, Minnesota

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Rhubarb Berry Coffee CakeTaste of Home

Rhubarb Berry Coffee Cake

I rely on a cake mix to speed the prep for this moist streusel-topped dessert that pairs tart rhubarb with sweet strawberries. It's great all by itself, but feel free to add some frosting or ice cream. —Jackie Heyer, Cushing, Iowa

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Peppermint Patty Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Peppermint Patty Sandwich Cookies

At my annual holiday party, these cookies are a big hit with kids and adults, especially when I mix festive food coloring or crushed candy canes into the filling. —Amy Martin, Vancouver, Washington

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Cherry Crumb DessertTaste of Home

Cherry Crumb Dessert

This dessert is a sweet treat, especially when garnished with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream! The crust and crumb topping have a wonderful nutty flavor, and the smooth fruit filling looks beautiful when served. —Ann Eastman, Greenville, California

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Black Forest Dump CakeTaste of Home

Black Forest Dump Cake

I make a Black Forest cake the easy way: Dump everything into a dish and let the magic happen. Give it a cherry topping by reserving two tablespoons of juice from the canned cherries and stir into whipped cream. —Meghan McDermott, Springfield, Missouri

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Cherry Dream CakeTaste of Home

Cherry Dream Cake

I serve this cherry cake for holidays because it's so festive and easy. No one will know your secret is adding a package of cherry gelatin to a boxed cake mix! —Margaret McNeil, Germantown, Tennessee

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Caramel-Fudge Chocolate CakeTaste of Home

Caramel-Fudge Chocolate Cake

To satisfy the chocolate lovers in our family, I added hot fudge topping and chocolate chips to a caramel-covered dessert that's quite popular in our area. The moist cake layer is a breeze to prepare using a boxed mix, and the rich toppings make it especially decadent. —Karen Stucky, Freeman, South Dakota

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Favorite Frosted Cinnamon RollsTaste of Home

Favorite Frosted Cinnamon Rolls

I serve these yummy frosted rolls warm from the oven as a Christmas morning treat at our house. Even if you are not accustomed to working with yeast dough, you'll find this dough is easy to handle. —Julie Sterchi, Jackson, Missouri

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Sweet Potato Cranberry CakeTaste of Home

Sweet Potato Cranberry Cake

This convenient recipe uses items you have in your pantry, like sweet potatoes, cranberries, coconut and chocolate chips. Everyone will enjoy this delicious dessert! —Amie Valpone, New York, New York

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Rainbow Layer CakeTaste of Home

Rainbow Layer Cake

Fruity gelatin helps create the rainbow effect for this pretty cake. Lemon frosting is a nice and springy finishing touch. —Dawn Shackelford, Fort Worth, Texas

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Giant Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Giant Spice Cookies

I heard this cookie recipe over the radio about 1950—shortly after my husband and I married. The big spicy treats are so nice and chewy, they remain my favorite to this day. —Sandy Pyeatt, Tacoma, Washington

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Root Beer Float CakeTaste of Home

Root Beer Float Cake

I add root beer to both the cake batter and fluffy frosting of this summery dessert to get that great root beer float taste. Serve this moist cake to a bunch of hungry kids and watch it disappear! —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon

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Ultimate Chocolate CakeTaste of Home

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Semisweet chocolate chips add rich flavor to this moist chocolaty cake that's lower in fat. Slices of it are excellent for dessert or a snack. —Kay McMicken, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Easy Cake Mix BarsTaste of Home

Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri

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Eggnog Cream with Spiced Pecan Raisin DunkersTaste of Home

Eggnog Cream with Spiced Pecan Raisin Dunkers

I have a thing for eggnog and other creamy desserts like s’mores, pudding, mousses and dips. So I turned them into one yummy dip with homemade dunkers. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois

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Hazel Wheaton
Hazel is a writer and editor who has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years in the fields of travel, jewelry arts and food. As the editor of the Taste of Home Christmas Annual (among other titles), she's in the holiday spirit all year round. An enthusiastic baker, she's known for her cookies, cakes and other baked goods. And she still wishes she could cook like her mother.