Okay…here goes nothing. I’m going to say it and then duck for cover. Ready? I love me a good boxed cake mix! There…phew. It’s out now and I feel a sense of relief. But truly, I have zero problems with cake mixes. They are fluffy, easy, and totally yummy. A few extra ingredients can take a standard run-of-the-mill cake mix and turn it into a phenomenal cake. And that’s exactly what I did with this dairy-free Key Lime Pie cake using a doctored mix.
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Doctored Cake Mix: Key Lime Pie Cake Inspiration
It was Saturday and I was tired. Like really tired. I had spent the previous night talking and laughing outside by the campfire and went to bed far later than what a responsible adult should but my soul needed that time of light-hearted connection.
My children, however, get up at 7 am sharp every single morning. Regardless of what time they go to bed the night before, their internal alarm clocks are as prompt as ever (insert me shaking my fist in the air.)
So after only a handful of hours of sleep and a pot of coffee, I was still tired. I knew what flavor of cake I wanted for Sunday Family Cake but had no desire to put forth a lot of effort…insert trusty cake mix!
How to Doctor Up A Dairy-Free Cake Mix
I always, and I mean always, keep a box or two of white cake mixes in my pantry. I don’t even hide them, no shame in my cake mix game. I grabbed a box and tossed it in my KitchenAid.
Cake mixes do tend to get a bit clumpy so I always recommend giving them a quick sift first or a minute or two in the mixer with the whisk attachment to break any of those clumps.
Now here’s where the magic happens. Don’t do what the box instructions tell you to do, grab some egg whites, jello, greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil. And literally, dump it all in the mixer. Mix, pour, and bake. Bam! Done! So grab that trusty cake mix (I know y’all have one) and I’ll show you how to turn it into a fabulously fast and fanciful Key Lime Pie cake.
If you love a good doctored cake mix recipe, I’ve got a few here for you to try:
Fluffy dairy-free lime cake layers filled with sour key lime filling and covered with the most delicious white chocolate graham cracker crumb buttercream. An easy recipe using a doctored cake mix that makes the perfect spring and summer treat!
1 box (461 grams) white cake mix *can sub gluten-free cake mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer give the cake mix, jello powder, and salt a quick whisk to break up any clumps.
Add in all the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Be careful not to overmix.
Divide batter between the prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to fully cool.
Key Lime Filling
In a medium pot combine sugar, cornstarch, and key lime juice and mix until smooth.
Cook mixture on medium-low heat constantly stirring until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.
Add in the lemon juice, butter, and green food color (if using) and stir until melted and fully combined.
Pour into a shallow dish and cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Allow to cool fully.
White Chocolate Graham Cracker Buttercream
In a small microwave-safe bowl melt the white chocolate chips in 30-second intervals until fully melted and smooth. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 10 minutes.
Add the icing sugar, graham cracker crumbs, salt, vanilla extract, and pink food color (if using) and mix on low until combined.
While the mixer is on low, slowly pour in the melted white chocolate.
Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
Place one leveled layer of lime cake on a cake board or plate. Top with approximately 1 cup of buttercream.
Pipe a border of buttercream around the edge and fill with approximately ⅓ cup key lime filling. Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides.
Decorate as you desire. I left the top edge raw and unfinished for a rustic aesthetic and used fresh key lime slices, graham crackers, and white chocolate chunks and shavings to decorate a top border. Enjoy.