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Recently it was my younger son’s birthday.  His favorite cake is white cake with chocolate frosting.  I’ve attempted multiple different recipes for this but the cake usually tastes a bit dry.  When I make a boxed cake it’s always moist but the flavor is “off”.  I was about to try yet another new recipe when my brilliant husband looked up how to make a boxed cake with butter on line.  He TOTALLY SAVED THE DAY!  He found a great clip from the Rachel Ray show  where Sunny Anderson (one of my favorite chefs) was rebooting and greatly improving boxed cakes.  Sunny solved my conundrum with several suggestions:



First, she recommended that you substitute melted butter for the vegetable oil.  Second, substitute milk for the water.  Third, add one half a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter as the vanilla has probably lost some of its flavor sitting on the shelf in the cake mix.

Lastly, add an extra tablespoon of butter for each yolk that is deleted. So this box mix called for three egg whites or three whole eggs. So I used three egg whites and then added three extra tablespoons of melted butter.

I made all these substitutions and baked the cake.  They all worked perfectly.  I let the cake layers cool completely on a rack.



Now for the frosting. I don’t know about you but I believe the whole purpose of cake is to serve as the vehicle for the frosting.  The recipe I follow, (almost exactly) is the one on the back of the Hershey’s cocoa 



One stick salted butter, melted

2/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa 

3 cups powdered sugar (sifted if it’s lumpy)

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

One pinch of salt (the salt is my addition to the original recipe)


  1. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the melted butter with the cocoa.

  2. Alternately add the powdered sugar and the milk until the frosting is of spreading consistency.

  3. Add extra milk if needed to get the consistency you want.

  4. Add in the vanilla and the pinch of salt.

  5. Frost the cooled cake.

  6. Enjoy 🎂!


The piece of cake is on a darling mum covered dessert plate that I bought several seasons back at Crate and Barrel.  The woven rattan placemat if from Amazon.  I love these placemats as they’re versatile and easy to wipe off if spills occur.

The tumbler and flatware are from Crate and Barrel.  The fall-hued napkin is many years old.

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