The Secret Ingredient That Makes Boxed Cake Mix Taste Homemade

We discovered it totally by accident.

Holiday Mixing Bowl

Recently, my roommate's boyfriend lost a bet (we were trying to cut down on our dessert consumption, but he caved on vacation), and, somewhat ironically, we decided that the loser had to bake the rest of us a cake. It didn't take long for us to pick our preferred flavor: the super-sweet, sprinkle-studded deliciousness that is Funfetti.

See: Our All-Time Favorite Desserts

Off he went to the store, only to return to find that we didn't have the vegetable oil the boxed mix required. Instead of going back out to the deli, I suggested he try coconut oil. As someone who dislikes the flavor of coconut, he was skeptical—but I reassured him he wouldn't taste it. He warmed it in the microwave until it was liquefied, measured out the specified amount, added it to the mix, and proceeded as usual.

The cake, however, was far from average. It was exceptional, especially considering it came from a box. It was moist and extra light and fluffy, and—dare I say it—tasted just as good as a homemade vanilla cake. We couldn't stop eating it straight from the pan, dipping pieces into the tub of Funfetti frosting. It was, hands down, the most delicious cake from a box I've ever had.

WATCH: Make Our Lemon Coconut Pound Cake

If you want to try this hack, it's easy: just replace the oil called for with melted coconut oil. I suggest using refined coconut oil, which doesn't have a coconut-y flavor. Unrefined (or virgin) will also work, but you'll be able to taste it in the cake. Try it with any flavor cake, not just Funfetti. And don't save your coconut oil for cakes alone. Try it in these dark chocolate chip cookies, almond butter cups, or even pie crust.

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