One Cake 5 Ways

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This moist, sweet and tender cake is easy to make with homemade vanilla cake mix. This decadent dessert can take on different yummy flavors like pistachio, coconut and more. Learn how to make One Cake 5 Ways – and they’re all delicious!

A Collage of Slices of Cake in Vanilla, Lemon, Banana, Pistachio and Coconut Flavors

One Cake 5 Ways

Today’s recipe takes one super easy cake and shows you how to mix it up into five different flavors! Each is delicious and super moist. Pistachio, banana, lemon, coconut and vanilla – take your pick!

So you may remember the Homemade Vanilla Cake Mix I shared with you a few weeks ago. Well, I expanded upon that today and added pudding mix to the batter!

Like most cake mixes you buy at the store that come with “pudding in the mix!”, I decided to add some pudding to the mix. It not only adds moisture to the cake that lasts for days, it adds some fun and different flavors without having to change your recipe. I’m loving it! I’ve also included a couple different frosting options that are easy to adjust to the cake flavor you choose. One is a more standard buttercream and the other is a cream cheese frosting.

So to start, we’ve got our standard vanilla cake. You could certainly leave out the pudding mix, but it totally amplifies the vanilla flavor and adds moisture that lasts and lasts. I paired it with a vanilla buttercream, but you could change it up for the cream cheese frosting – or add some flavored extract.

A Plate Holding a Slice of Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting and Sprinkles

Next up is the coconut. Again, so much amped up flavor and moisture. And with a coconut frosting – summer in a cake pan!

A Piece of Coconut Cake Topped with Frosting and Toasted Coconut

I also tried one of the new JELLO “Simply Good” pudding mixes in the banana flavor. I considered using the regular banana pudding flavored mix, which would totally work too, but I loved the idea of a more natural banana flavor. It was perfect in this cake! And when paired with the cream cheese frosting – it’s the jam!

A Slice of Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on a Plate

Another delicious option is the pistachio pudding. Such a great way to give a cake some pistachio flavor! I topped it with some cream cheese frosting with a little honey mixed in and some chopped up pistachios. I’d be lying if I said I’m not slightly in love with pistachios these days, and this cake just made them even better!

A Piece of Pistachio Cake Topped with Crushed Pistachios on a Plate

And last, but not least – lemon! Citrus can be tricky when baked into a cake, so this is a great, easy way to make a moist and easy lemon cake. It’s perfect with a cream cheese frosting – yum!

A Slice of Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Lemon Garnish

I did try a few other pudding flavors, but these were the ones I found to be most successful. One I really wanted to work out well was the butterscotch and sadly, even though it baked fine, the flavor didn’t come through. 🙁

All five cake options are delicious and super easy to make! It’s such a great way to mix up a cake flavor without a lot of fuss. Plus, the cakes are super moist! I hope you have fun switching it up!

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A Slice of Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on a Plate
Recipe

One Cake 5 Ways

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This moist, sweet and tender cake is easy to make with homemade vanilla cake mix. This decadent dessert can take on different yummy flavors like pistachio, coconut and more. Learn how to make One Cake 5 Ways – and they’re all delicious!


Scale

Ingredients

CAKE MIX

  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (414g) sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3.4 oz instant pudding mix*
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) hot water

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

  • 3/4 cup (168g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (95g) shortening
  • 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp flavored extract
  • 3 tbsp (34ml) water or milk**

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (57g) butter, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups (518g) powdered sugar
  • 23 tbsp (30-45ml) water or milk**

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAKE:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and grease a 9×13 inch cake pan.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pudding mix in a large mixer bowl.
3. Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
6. Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
7. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

1. Combine the butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
2. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add the flavor extract of your choosing (vanilla, coconut, etc) and the water or milk and mix until smooth.
4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
5. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake.

TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixer bowl and mix until smooth.
2. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add the water or milk and mix until smooth.
4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
5. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake.


Notes

Feel free to use the pudding mix of your choice. I used Jello brand and found vanilla, coconut cream, banana, pistachio and lemon to work the best.

The milk or water can be replaced with another flavoring, such as honey, lemon juice or something else to add additional flavor to the frosting.

Makes 12-16 servings.

Nutrition info is for any flavor of cake with buttercream frosting.

Keywords: vanilla cake recipe, easy vanilla cake recipe, coconut cake, coconut cake recipe, lemon cake, easy lemon cake recipe, banana cake, banana cake recipe

Enjoy!

One Homemade Cake Mix - 5 different flavors! Easy to make and switch up!

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Recipe rating

67 Comments
  1. Marc

    So easy, so moist, so wonderful! So versatile depending on your pudding choice, endless possibilities!
    I went Butterscotch pudding, Cream Cheese frosting with a caramel flavor. We all sat back in silence as we ate our cake, not saying a word, just in total bliss.
    Thanks, Lindsay

  2. Lara

    Hi is there anything that can be substituted for pudding mix as we don’t have that in the U.K. ? Would love to try this recipe. Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      I’m sorry, but I don’t know of an alternative for flavoring the cakes another way. It would still bake fine as a vanilla cake though without the pudding mix.

      1. Farzana Patel

        UK equivalent of pudding mix would be Angel Delight although it doesn’t come in too many flavours as the US Jello version. Can also buy the US version from Amazon although not cheap

  3. Pat Costello

    Great idea, Lindsay! Tried the the vanilla and it was not only super easy but made twelve delicious cupcakes in no time. Jello has Simply Good Puddings in Choco Late and Strawberry, too, and I wondered if you’ve tried either of those? Both sound wonderful, don’t they? I’m thinking of adding some chopped fresh strawberries to the berry one and substituting a bit of cocoa for part of the flour to ramp up the flavors of the chocolate.

    1. Lindsay

      With the strawberry one – are you sure it was a pudding mix? Or was it actual jello? I tried the jello one (didn’t see a pudding version) and it didn’t turn out great. The strawberry flavor really didn’t come through. I’m guessing the chocolate one would be fine. You could also try this chocolate version of this cake. 🙂

      1. Pat Costello

        Nope, you’re right, it was strawberry jello. In our store, they have the Simply jello and pudding  all mixed together. Sorry!

  4. Annie

    Can this recipe be made in a round spring form pan? Or does it need to be in a sheet pan for the texture cake to hold together?

    1. Lindsay

      It’s a very thin batter, so you’d want to be sure it’s a very leak-proof springform pan. Plus, it’s going to be a little too much batter for a 9 inch, if that’s what it is. You’d need two pans for two layers.

      1. Sarah Taylor

        Question, why is it that in your video the dry ingredient baking soda is being used but then in the ingredient list it says baking powder?? My cake is baking in the oven right now, I’m really hoping it did not get messed up. Sorry, just being honest.

      2. Lindsay

        It is mislabeled in the video. Just follow the written recipe, which is correct. Sorry about that!

  5. Cookie

    I love using pudding mix for baking! It adds a lot of moisture. I love that this cake can be so many things! 😀 I was wondering if you could try a pudding mix for cookies? I have a friend, (and I’ve seen a lot of recipes) where people add a vanilla pudding mix to their dry ingredients when they make chocolate chip cookies, and their cookies are always adored.

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve never seen an orange pudding mix. I’ve seen orange jello – is that what you mean? I did try this with Jello and didn’t care for it as much, but you could certainly try it. The cake baked fine.

      1. Lin Stumpf

        Oh, I know, I have never seen orange pudding, either. Wishing there was! I was just wondering if you had any other suggestions (or recipes) for adding orange to a cake recipe.

      2. cecelia dowdy

        I made a cake with Jello back when I was in junior high. We made it for Home Ec for a fundraiser. It was a poke cake. We baked the cake mix then poked out holes and poured jello into the holes.

    2. Sherry Stone

      Can this be turned into a layer cake? I want to make this for my daughter’s birthday but I want to make a layer cake.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12