Last Updated on April 30, 2022
If you've run out of cake mix and only have a brownie option, don't fear! We've created the ultimate guide on how to make cake from brownie mix!
Believe it or not, these two pre-mixes are surprisingly the same. The biggest difference is the ratios of ingredients they are made from. This makes it a lot easier to make cake from brownie mix, as you simply have to alter the ratios.
Difference Between Cake And Brownie Mix
By having an in-depth look at exactly what each is, you can easily compare them side by side. This comparison will then make it a lot easier to determine exactly how to make cake from brownie mix (and vice versa).
What is a cake mix?
Cake mixes contain all dry ingredients often included in a cake. Even some traditionally wet ingredients have been dried to make the mixing process easier.
This pre-mix contains sugar, flour, leavening agents (often baking powder), powdered flavoring, stabilizers, and colorants. A chocolate cake mix will also contain cocoa powder for the dark color and chocolate taste.
Naturally, there will be loads of different ratios used and ingredients included depending on the type of cake you are making and the manufacturer. But, this is the basis of every cake mix.
The only ingredients that are left to add are eggs, oil (almost always for chocolate cakes), and cream or milk. These ingredients help bind the wet ingredients and rehydrate them. This helps certain ingredients react and perform their functions.
Cakes have a relatively open crumb (at least as compared to brownies). They are dry in texture but should have some moistness to them. They are very aerated and rise high when baked.
What is a brownie mix?
A brownie mix contains pretty much the same ingredients that a cake mix down, but in different ratios. For example, it will contain more dry ingredients like flour, but less leavening agent. this helps create a fudgy gooey texture that brownies are known for!
They also contain a ton of fat (butter or shortening) which helps make them chewy too. They also add a lot of rich flavors which often make them overwhelming.
Brownies are traditionally very moist, have a dense chewy texture, and are very rich in flavor.
What are the differences?
It all comes down to the texture! Chocolate brownies and chocolate cake will have pretty much the same flavor profile. It is the difference in texture that definitively separated these two baked treats.
The difference in texture does have a lot to do with the mixing method of each. But, they mainly differ because of the ratio of ingredients used for each.
Brownies have a much denser texture than cakes. this is especially prominent when comparing chocolate cake and chocolate brownies side by side.
They also tend to have a lot chewier texture, whereas cakes (even if they are moist) have a dried texture. There are many different types of brownie textures, however, none of them even come close to that of a cake. And before you say it, cakey brownies are still too dense to be anything close to a regular cake.
And finally, while cakes are noticeably less dense, they can also be extremely soft and sponge (beyond what even a regular slice of cake is). This includes cakes like angel food cake and a chiffon cake.
How To Convert Brownie Mix To Make A Cake?
It is very easy to make cake from brownie mix. But, you have to know what to adjust.
If you look at the comparison of the two items above, you will notice a big difference in their textures. So, here is how you can lighten (or soften) a brownie mix to create a fantastic chocolate cake!
1. Adjust the fat
The fat which brownies contain is what makes them incredibly rich, dense, and chewy. So, to make cake from brownie mix, you will have to reduce the amount of fat that the recipe or box mix asks for.
Now, you can either reduce the physical amount called for or replace some of the fat with a lighter alternative.
When altering the oil addition, we recommend adding only half of the oil and replacing the other half with unsweetened applesauce. It will also provide the mixture with moisture, but overall make a lighter batter for the cake.
2. Add more eggs
Cakes contain more eggs than brownies. It helps leaven them and give them a soft, less chewy texture. To make cake from brownie mix, you only have to add one additional egg to the recipe to achieve the desired effect.
Remember, in baking, we always use large room temperature eggs, unless otherwise called for.
3. Adjust the leavening agent
Cakes rise a lot higher than brownies. So naturally, you will need to add more leavening agents to the brownie mix to achieve a cake-like texture.
The easiest leavener to add would be baking powder. Add 1 teaspoon of additional baking powder to your brownie mix. It will give it more rise and make it look (and taste) more like chocolate cake.
You can separate the eggs. Beat in the egg yolks with the rest of the ingredients. But, whip the egg whites to medium-stiff peaks and fold them in at the end. This will make the batter airy and help act as a leavener.
4. Adjust the baking times
Brownies only bake for about 30-40 minutes, obviously depending on the size of the pan and the height of the batter. Cakes on the other hand easily take at least 40 minutes to bake.
So, when baking a cake from brownie mix, make sure that you check the doneness after only 30 minutes. Then you can accurately determine how long the cake should bake until it is fully done.
To make cake from brownie mix has never been so easy. But, it always seemed impossible because no one has ever explained how to do it for every mix! If you still have any questions, do not hesitate to ask us in the comments below.
How do I turn brownie mix into cake?
First, you will need to reduce or substitute the fat. For oil, we will remove half of the amount called for and substitute it with unsweetened applesauce. Next, you also need to add one more egg than the recipe called for, as well as 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Also, check the doneness of the cake after 30 minutes to prevent overbaking it.
Can brownie mix be used as cake mix?
It is possible to use a brownie mix for a cake. But, you will need to make some adjustments to the ingredients used in the mix. This will create a more cake-like texture instead of a dense chewy brownie one.
What is the difference between cake mix and brownie mix?
The main difference in the mix itself is the leavening agent. Cake mixes often contain more leaveners to create a more aerated texture for cake. The main difference is in the ingredients you have to add. Brownie mixtures require more oil and less eggs.
What can I use instead of cake mix?
If you don't have cake mix on hand to make a cake with, you can always use a cupcake mix instead. Alternatively, you can convert a brownie mix or muffin mix into a cake mix. And, as a last resort option, there are also plenty of cakes made with pudding mixes.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.