Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting, How to make boxed cake mix taste better, Butter with a Side of Bread

We had a birthday recently and I always like to try new recipes and techniques when I make my kid’s birthday cakes. My oldest daughter’s birthday falls just after Christmas and unfortunately for her, I’m always still tired from the holidays to do anything really elaborate! Luckily you can take a few simple steps to create a really fun birthday cake in no time at all.

See some incredible cake ideas for boys here! 

I saw posts from the Pinterest Test Kitchen and Livestrong on Pinterest that both give instructions on how to make a boxed cake mix taste “better.” Now I may be alone in this, but I think boxed cake mixes taste okay on their own. Is it just me? The only thing is, I wished they had a less crumbly texture. I love that the cakes are soft, but I can tell if a cake is homemade because it tastes richer and holds up better.

So here’s what I did. Take any cake mix and change the following:

  1. Replace the oil in the recipe with real butter. {1/2 was what my box called for}
  2. Replace the water in the recipe with milk
  3. Add one (or two) more eggs than the box calls for- so I added 4 eggs to my cake
  4. Also add 1 small box of pudding mix to the cake batter.
I baked the cupcakes as the box directed and they looked perfect! I decided to taste one immediately too because I have no self control I wanted to see if making these changes made any difference. The verdict? Yes, it made a difference, but not as much as I thought it would. There was a very subtle difference in the taste and it was more moist. The cake did hold up better though, so I was pleased. I think next time I’ll substitute just the butter and add the pudding- I’m thinking I’ll get very similar results.
Now, on to the frosting! I found this recipe several months ago and absolutely love it. LOVE. It’s so good. Only thing is, it’s not the healthiest frosting in the world, so I don’t recommend eating it everyday for a year. Everything in moderation, right?!
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting, How to make boxed cake mix taste better, Butter with a Side of Bread
The main ingredients for the FROSTING. Marshmallow creme, BUTTER and powdered sugar. YUM.
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting, How to make boxed cake mix taste better, Butter with a Side of Bread
I used this Princess Cake & Cookie emulsion I found at Ross for $3- I love it! It adds a nice citrusy,  sweet flavor. to the frosting, instead of using traditional vanilla.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
Modified slightly from Baked Bree

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme {use the whole thing}
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 TBSP milk

Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the marshmallow creme.

Whip for 2 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and milk until it’s the texture that you want. If you’re frosting cupcakes, a slightly thicker frosting is better because they hold their shape. However if you’re frosting a cake, I’d add more milk- 3 TBSP or even 4, so that you can spread the frosting well.

Photo from GLORIOUS TREATS. Go visit her blog- she’s awesome!
Now, when it comes to actually decorating cupcakes, I’m a novice at best. I know the basics and I tend to just stick with those because they work and I would much rather eat the cupcake than spend hours making it look amazing and incredible. So, I saw a post about decorating cupcakes from Glorious Treats and look- she even included a fun little video! I love her simple tips and followed them to decorate these cupcakes for my daughter. I used the first and second tips {from the left} and did the rose cupcake technique she showed in the video. I added a dusting of sparkly decorating powder as well, which I found at Orson Gygi here in Salt Lake. {LOVE that store!}

The results? I think they looked pretty good! Even better- they tasted amazing!

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting, How to make boxed cake mix taste better, Butter with a Side of Bread


  1. We have just started making this frosting and it&#39;s a hit!! We have made it about 4 times now. It is much less greasy than the butter-cream we usually make to pipe.<br /><br />As for jazzing up a cake mix, I liked this variation a lot from The Sisters Cafe,<br /><br />They use sour cream and an extra egg, etc. I didn&#
  2. Thanks twocuff- I&#39;m not the decorator extraordinaire, but I can fake it well! ;) Don&#39;t tell my kids though... they think all my cakes are amazing and let me tell you I&#39;ve created some interesting ones! <br /><br />rmb- isn&#39;t this frosting DELICIOUS?! I&#39;ll have to take a look at your cake variations too. Sour cream?? interesting!
  3. A cup of coffee would go great with these. I&#39;m currently hosting a giveaway to win a $20 Starbucks gift card and would love for you to enter!
  4. i haven&#39;t done marshmallow buttercream but i do marshmallow fondant- it actually tastes GOOD. i may just make this recipe you posted to go with cookies for the kids&#39; v-day parties at school. i have 3 classes worth of cookies to do!
  5. Hi,<br />You have some great ideas and we would like for you to share with our readers too. We are hosting our first link party tomorrow and we would like to invite you to link up with us. We have a fun blog to co-host with us. Hope to see you there.<br /><br />Thanks!<br />The Busy Bee&#39;s,<br />Myrna and Joye.<br /><br />
  6. Thank you so much for this! YESSSS!!! I love making little cakes to brighten up the week and it&#39;s so much easier to use mixes, but they often don&#39;t taste quite right. I am going to try these fixes next time! Thanks!
  7. My mom used to make frosting like this all the time. She even made banana frosting this way using mashed bananas, and orange juice in place of the liquid.<br />
  8. I was skeptical, I usually scrape buttercream frosting off of cake because it is too sugary and sweet. This icing is the BEST. Smooth, creamy, not sugary at all. I piped about a 1/4&quot; layer on top my cupcakes and they were perfect.
  9. Thank you for this recipe. YUM!<br /><br />To jazz up chocolate boxed mix, I sub coffee for the water. It doesn&#39;t give a chocolate taste, but makes for a deeper chocolate taste. Another trick is to add a tablespoon or two of Miracle Whip, it makes any flavor mix taste richer.
  10. Sounds like a great icing. I also have practically an identical recipe from Joy of Baking from many years ago but it calls for unsalted butter. Also would like to know how this frosting holds up to the heat? I&#39;m doing 5 dozen cupcakes for my grandson&#39;s birthday and it will be an outdoor event. Also, on the Lorann flavorings, I have a lot of the oils as well as bakery emulsions and they
      • Hello, Did you ever come up with a chocolate version? I'm in the mood to make a chocolate/peanut butter swirl buttercream and I use this recipe for all of my usual cupcakes. Thought I'd try something new this weekend and would love some advice on how to make this recipe both chocolate and peanutbutter. I was thinking of adding some coco powder/ taking out some sugar for the chocolate, but was unsure of the peanut butter addition. Wouldn't that mess with the consistency? What are your thoughts on the matter?
        • If you add cocoa powder, I wouldn't take out any sugar because cocoa powder is so bitter- it will need it! I'd simply just try adding 1/4 cocoa powder to the recipe for chocolate. For peanut butter- I'd add 1/4 cup peanut butter. That's it! i'm glad you like this recipe- I love it too!
  11. I just made this and it isn't thick enough to pipe. I have added more powder sugar but it's starting to taste like powder suger. What can I do
    • Hmmmm...this is my go-to frosting recipe and I always pipe it, I'm not sure what happened! Maybe you can try putting it in the fridge for a bit? I've also added 1 TBSP of flour to other frosting recipes in a bind.
  12. Hi!! I love this frosting!!!! I have been looking for a frosting with that same consistency and thickness because I always do one and it is runny or something happens but this frosting is great. It tastes delicious. I think I found my new signature frosting. Thank you for the recipe :)
  13. I make this icing all the time and love it! To make it even better beat it for at least 10 minutes and it gets fluffier and less gritty from the sugar. I also don't use any milk or liquids. Tip was given to me by a professional baker.
  14. What is healthy icing? 😀 This looks great. I'm going to give it a shot, but with Fluffernutter brand marshmallow fluff. The Jet puffed has a funny taste to me. Also, if anyone finds that the powdered sugar is gritty in icing, sift it into the mixer bowl a little at a time.


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