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Make a Pound Cake from Jiffy Yellow Cake Box Mix?

AsburgerCook's picture

Make a Pound Cake from Jiffy Yellow Cake Box Mix?

I've been having a ridiculous adventure, trying to make a Betty Crocker Pound Cake box mix taste good. No such luck. I was going to just make a pound cake from scratch, but sometimes a box mix is just simpler, easier to keep on hand, and quicker.

Then, thinking about it, I flashed on my efforts with a Jiffy Yellow Cake mix.

The Jiffy mix calls for 3 minutes of beating the batter (with 1 egg, and 1/2 cup cold water) to incorporate air. I didn't know that in the past, and just mixed it like regular batter. The cake didn't rise much, and I figured..."Hey, it's Jiffy!" But given the way-too-much-rise of the BC mix, maybe I want a "fallen" cake?

Looking up yellow cake mixes recently, I found that Jiffy actually tends to rank quite high on the taste and quality scales. I wanted to make a chocolate eclair without choux pastry, so I figured...why not use a Jiffy cake layer, sliced in half? Lay down some vanilla instant pudding, sandwich the layers, and cover with some cocoa powder ganache. 

Yeah...pretty slippery sandwich, though. :-) So, nope!

This time I beat the batter for the 3 minutes and baked the cake. It rose very nicely, just like a regular cake! It tasted really good, too, when I sliced off the dome to make a flatter "sandwich." I was impressed!

The eclair thing didn't work, but the cake was nice! (I ended up filling those little store-bought shortcake "cups," and dumping the chocolate on top. Not bad!)

So how would we do this? The Jiffy needs 3 minutes to incorporate air, and I already know there's probably not much baking powder. At least compared to the BC pound cake mix. I checked the ingredients, and they do have some baking powder and also baking soda. Along with lecithin (to make up for just the 1 egg, I suppose.)

Looking it up, a "pound" cake historically used 1 pound each, of Flour, Unsalted (?) Butter, Egg, and Sugar. How it gets its flavor beyond the sugar/butter, is a mystery to me. But over the many years, people ended up adding some vanilla (or other flavors).

There's no liquid either, but people add milk, half-and-half, heavy cream, sour cream, 7-Up, or other liquids. (That half-and-half trick may actually add moisture. Keeping it in mind.)

Because of the amount of sugar, butter and eggs, the historic cake is very nice and moist. It actually doesn't need liquid unless it's being tweaked for a more modern cake.

A couple of people have a "hack" for turning a box cake into a pound cake. The upshot is to use the cake mix instead of flour, but to use the basic pound cake preparation method.

The key here is to match the weights of ingredients, like a pound cake. So they take the box mix weight (usually around 15+ oz), and add an ounce or so of flour to simulate the 1 pound.

They'll add eggs to make the pound, and butter and sugar likewise. From there, it's standard pound cake procedure. But I'm not sure how they're adding, say, sugar to make a pound, if there's some already in the mix?

I did learn that I'm supposed to cream the butter and sugar, froth the eggs and add them slowly. And only THEN, at the end, fold in (or gently mix) the flour. To prevent gluten formation! Okay, so that might have worked in the BC mix, but too late -- I'm done with that mix.

Since I have no idea what I'm doing, I figured I'll dump it on your lap(s) too. LOL! After all, a committee is always more efficient than one or two people. Right?

I bought a couple of the yellow cake mixes (still only 98-cents at Wally Mart), which would save a dollar on the pound cake. 

Not sure yet if I'll use 1 box plus 8 oz of AP flour. Or maybe just both boxes.

The typical boxed cake mix is a little more than 15 oz. Each Jiffy box is 9 oz.

What do you guys think?


AsburgerCook's picture

Jiffy mixes have been around since 1930, introduced by the Chelsea Milling Company. I figured they know what they're doing, and probably have a "basic" yellow cake. But I wanted to know how much of what ingredients likely are in the package.

King Arthur also has been around a long time, and has become what Gold Medal used to be. If I could find a KA recipe for a yellow cake, I could work out "typical" percentages, then apply them to the Jiffy mix.

The first KA recipe used cake flour, so I blew that off. I'm convinced (and now have pretty much proved to myself) that the Betty Crocker pound cake was too dry because of either cake flour, or other low-protein flour.

I found a recipe for one 9" layer - a yellow cake. I had to convert some of the volume measures to grams, and learned a few things. KA also has an "ingredients weight" page, and they say 1 egg = 50 grams.

The historic pound cake weighed the pound of eggs in their shells. We now have digital scales, so the 50 grams is a Large Egg - yolk and white, no shell. 1 Large Egg In the Shell = about 54 grams on average. (A non-shell egg is about 46 grams.)

Here's what I started with: The 611 g Basic was when I realized I should discount the yogurt, since Jiffy wants water. Plus a couple of other logic issues.

My next problem was how to translate that to the Jiffy mix. At first, I included the eggs. Then I realized, no -- the Jiffy mix tells me to add 1 egg plus 1/2 cup of cold water.

I used the percentage of the total from the "Basic" calculations of the KA recipe. Then assigned those to the 255 gram Jiffy total. Eventually, it worked out:


The Jiffy mix total weight is 255 grams. The ingredients show it has salt, baking powder, baking soda, and some kind of oil, and lecithin. The rest would be sugar and flour, and I would add water and 1 egg.

King Arthur is using UNsalted butter, then adding in salt. Jiffy has some salt, and I just used Salted butter for my addition, figuring it would compensate with the added flour and sugar.

I wanted 108 grams of everything because 2 eggs equal that. Since I don't want to mess around with partial eggs, I figured the original pound cake had equal parts of the four ingredients. Ergo, 108 grams of Egg would thereby "mandate" 108 grams of the others.

Seeing how much smaller it is than the KA layer, I decided to gamble, and use a small loaf pan -- 7-1/2" x 3-1/2" x 2-1/2" (tall). If the batter was too much, so what? Turns out it was the perfect size.

I'd originally intended to use 2 Jiffy boxes, but then realized we're only the two of us here, and we don't eat all that much sweet stuff. A small pound cake would be perfect! Turns out the small pan was also perfect!

This first cake turned out extremely well! I haven't yet figured out the photograph thing, but I'll do that later. The only difference is that I had to go to 35-minutes instead of 30 minutes. The box assumes 8" round pan, 9" round pan, 8" square pan, or cupcakes. 

Since I added an extra egg (2 eggs now), plus all the extra flour, sugar, and butter, there was more batter and it was more moist. I went 30, checked, added 10 minutes, and it came out at about 204-F internal temp. Next time I'll go 35 minutes.

The cake browned nicely, has that typical "crack" along the top, and rose to the top of the dome being about even with the rim of the pan. The crumb is very fine, like a pound cake, and it's WAY more moist to the mouth than the BC cake.

This looks very much like an old Entenmann's pound cake, for those in the US who know the store-bought cakes. It reminds me much more of the Sara Lee frozen pound cake, which also is small. One slice is just the right size to have with a cup of tea or coffee, and about half the height of the Betty Crocker (which I still have on the counter, so compared).

All in all, I'm totally impressed! One more iteration, and I'm going to substitute the second egg for 64g applesauce. I'd like the cake just a bit more dense, slightly more moist, and a bit more "chewy." These all are "negatives" for a typical cake, but I think they're "positives" for a pound cake.

If I can figure out the pictures, I'll make the next one and upload an image. This really works!! And for $1.75, how can you go wrong? Not to mention I can keep some Jiffy boxes in the pantry and I have all the other stuff.

And yes, the baking soda and powder is much more reasonable! The cake rose, and I didn't beat it on high for 4-6 minutes! I just incorporated everything. But I did use room-temperature ingredients.

Okay, let's see if these images work: Cool! Right click and open in a new tab, and they're bigger -- easier to see.

Jiffy Pound Cake - 7.5" Pan

Jiffy Pound Cake


Sugarowl's picture

If you want it to be dense, just use sour cream for the liquid and add an extra egg. That's usually the standard doctoring-up method for box mixes.

Applesauce is usually used as a substitute for oil, not to make it denser. If you subtract and egg, the cake won't have enough "glue" to hold it together. Applesauce isn't sticky enough, it will make it more moist, but it will just fall apart. That's why pound cake recipes usually have a lot of eggs. A substitute for eggs is a banana, but it still doesn't have the same "glue factor".

Another factor to consider is the type of flour. It doesn't say on the box mixes, but I suspect that some incorporate cake flour into them. Cake flour makes a more delicate cake.

But why not just use a regular pound cake recipe?

I use this recipe when I want to make a pound cake (for carving/shaping):


Pound Cake by user Mbalasaka on

 Makes 2- 8" or 2- 9" rounds

 6oz butter (soft)

13oz Sugar

4 Large Eggs

2tsp Vanilla Extract

9oz All Purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

 1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Whole Milk


1. Beat together butter and eggs for 5 minutes on medium speed.

2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on low for a few seconds to combine. Scrape bowl. Beat on medium for 3 minutes.

3. Sift flour in bowl, add baking powder and salt. Stir together with a whisk.

4. Add flour alternately with the milk and sour cream on low speed: 1/3c flour, 1/3 milk, 1/3 flour, 1/3 sour cream 1/3 flour.

5. Mix on medium for two minutes.

6. Bake at 350F until done, start checking at 25 minutes.


By the way, this site is more about the bread making side of baking, not cakes.


AsburgerCook's picture

Hi there :-)

(Just saw your last line about the site being more about bread. It's why I posted this under the general Forum Topic "Challenges," although it could have been under "Cookies, Cakes and Pastries.")

Yes, many people always comment about using sour cream. The problem is it dries out whatever I've used it in. In another thread, trying to get a pound cake box mix to work, I tried everything! I believe the Betty Crocker (BC) mix uses cake flour, which I avoid if I ever find out it's being used.

This post was my attempt to abandon the BC entirely, and "assume" that Jiffy likely used AP flour. Which I think they do.

Like you, I'd thought applesauce was used as an oil or fat substitute. I read up on it, and found it's often recommended as a substitute for egg. The pectin from the apples acts very much like the lecithin in an egg to create a matrix of support.

Thinking about it, I decided I'd just add 2 TBsp of applesauce -- the cake is so small -- and keep the second egg anyway. I was going to substitute for the second egg, but have changed my mind and will just add to the above calculations.

The reason for the box mix is to avoid making an entire pound cake from scratch. I have a couple of great recipes for that, but using the mix is for a fast cake, every so often. Plus, the Jiffy mix is small, and renders a cake the two of us older folks can eat before we get fed up with "cake." LOL!

Applesauce is indeed, used to replace fats and oil, and that's also a common recommendation. What cracked me up is that a lot of sites indicated that, "when using applesauce, reduce the recipe liquid in a 2/3 to 1 ratio. If you add applesauce and keep the existing liquid, your cake may turn out more dense and chewy." LOL! 

Well that happens to be what I'm looking for! I'm not interested in a "light, airy and tender" pound cake! How that ever became a "thing" is beyond me.

The version I just made, using the above additions came out really well, and almost exactly like a real pound cake. It's small, and looks and tastes almost exactly like the Sara Lee pound cake. Sara Lee, I think, uses heavy cream instead of sour cream. And theirs is a bit light, still.

My final version will probably have either some applesauce, or perhaps a Tablespoon of dry milk powder. I'm still experimenting with the powdered milk in cakes, having used it in bread a lot. I want to taste the applesauce version to make sure I don't get an "apple" flavor. It's a pound cake, with a lot of sugar, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Plus: This Jiffy "hack" costs about $1.75 USD, since I already have some flour. I bought a Sara Lee, to see what it was like, and I think it cost around $5 USD in 2024!! With egg prices, and Butter prices!!, I can cost it out per tablespoon or per 1 egg. That's somewhat frightening, and we are.

I would eat this version just fine! And since it's small, cheap, and quick to make, it also gives me the perfect foundation to experiment. There are a lot of other cakes or breads that I find to be too "light and tender" (Southern biscuits comes to mind!). This will help me solve those problems.