It usually takes a lot of time to make anything from scratch.  And time is the one thing college kids don't have. Sometimes it's easier to grab some food that's packaged in a box that requires only a few steps or simply needs to be heated up.  

However, a lot of times, you won't know exactly what's going into your body if you decide to go the boxed route. Making your own food from scratch is the only sure way to know exactly what you're eating every time.   

This is true especially for dessert. Boxed cake mixes usually have tons of sugar, salt and other additives to make it taste better.  If you make your own mix, you have full control over what you're putting in. You can add less sugar, or use wheat flour instead of white. You can also use coconut oil instead of butter. The options for healthier substitutes are endless.

Next time you want to make a cake, but fear you won't have enough time, try throwing together the beginning ingredients the night before and then they'll be ready to use whenever you need them.  

"Boxed" Chocolate Cake Mix

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:35 mins
  • Servings:10
  • Easy


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coffee
milk, coffee, chocolate, cream
Photo by Angela Kerndl
  • Step 1

    Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and cocoa powder together in a large bowl.

    chocolate, coffee, sweet, cake, cocoa, candy
    Photo by Angela Kerndl
  • Step 2

    Place mix into a container and refrigerate until you decide to bake the whole cake. The mix should be fine for up to a few weeks.

    chocolate, coffee
    Photo by Angela Kerndl
  • Step 3

    Mix the eggs, vanilla extract, milk, and the coffee together in a separate bowl and then add it to the dry mixture. Put the cake mix into a pan and place it into the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F. Let cool.

Either way, if you decide to buy chocolate cake mix, you're not going to save that much time anyway. It's hardly less convenient to throw a few extra ingredients together yourself rather than use the ones that have been sitting in a packaged box for who knows how long.   

Besides, homemade anything usually tastes better anyway. Add toppings if desired and enjoy your made from scratch cake!