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Everyday Cheapskate: The Great Cake Mix Fake

Mary Hunt on

If I didn't know better, I'd swear that boxed cake mixes reproduce in the dark of night on the shelves of my pantry. One day I counted 18 boxes of cake mix!

Here's how that works: Cake mixes go on sale routinely. One week it will be Duncan Hines, and then Pillsbury takes its turn, and so on. The typical sale price for a cake mix is $1. I hold onto my cake mix coupons until that particular brand goes on sale. My 35-cent or 50-cent coupon cuts that sale price even further. Do the math. My goal is to never pay more than 50 cents for a cake mix, and when I can pull that off, I stock up.

There are so many other ways you can use a cake mix beyond making a cake -- like making cookies and even waffles.


1 (18.25 ounce) yellow cake mix

1/3 cup vegetable oil


2 large eggs

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Dump cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in the oil and eggs until well blended. Mix in the chips (go ahead; use your clean hands). Drop dough by teaspoonfuls or roll into balls the size of walnuts, and place 2 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten just a bit with your fingers. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from pan to cool on wire racks. Yield: About 2 dozen 2-inch cookies.

Because there are so many different kinds of cake mixes (with pudding, with double pudding, extra moist and so on), you may need to make slight adjustments to this recipe. For example, I've found that with some varieties of cake mix, the dough is so stiff and dry it's not possible to form the cookies into balls. When this happens, I simply add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water until the dough is workable.


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