Vanilla Pudding Sour Cream Bundt Cake (Boxed Mix)

by Crystal | Beat Bake Eat

Doctored cake mix bundt cake made with sour cream and vanilla pudding mix. This is an easy dessert recipe that gets so many compliments every time I make it because it tastes like it’s homemade! Out of all the many different things that you can do to make cake mix better, this has to be in the top 10.

Vanilla Pudding Sour Cream Bundt Cake (Boxed Mix) - Doctored cake mix bundt cake made with sour cream and vanilla pudding. This cake comes out so soft and moist every single time and it tastes like it's homemade! | Beat Bake Eat

Easy Cake Mix Cake with Pudding and Sour Cream 

For those of you who consider yourself “not really a baker”, this recipe is perfect for you! 

It’s semi homemade or semi from scratch so you still get the great taste of fully homemade cake but without all the work. And you know what the best part is? I’ve made this cake multiple times and no one ever knows that I used cake mix. It is that good. Hands down, the best boxed cake mix hack I know.

You can make this cake entirely without a mixer or a whisk! Yes, you read that right. I always make it by hand using a large spoon and since you only need one bowl to mix everything in, those are the only two things (besides the bundt pan) that you need to dirty.

For those of you who are experienced bakers, I know you don’t really like using cake mix but this recipe will surprise you! The results are fantastic.

It’s one of my favorite vanilla dessert recipes; a great way to improve boxed cake mix. 

Vanilla Pudding Sour Cream Bundt Cake (Boxed Mix) - Doctored cake mix bundt cake made with sour cream and vanilla pudding. This cake comes out so soft and moist every single time and it tastes like it's homemade! | Beat Bake Eat

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 box (15 – 16 ounces / 432 – 461 grams) yellow or vanilla cake mix, unprepared
  • 1 box (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix, unprepared

Adding all of these extra ingredients makes this box cake taste homemade!

I used Betty Crocker cake mix but you can use Pillsbury, Duncan Hines, or whatever you have on hand.

By the way, you can use different flavors of cake mix and pudding mix to make different variations of this cake!

Vanilla Pudding Sour Cream Bundt Cake (Boxed Mix) - Doctored cake mix bundt cake made with sour cream and vanilla pudding. This cake comes out so soft and moist every single time and it tastes like it's homemade! | Beat Bake EatWhat happens when you add Sour Cream to Cake Mix?

Adding just the right amount of sour cream to cake mix will yield a cake that is richer, more flavorful, and slightly but pleasantly dense. 

If you add too little you’ll hardly notice a difference and if you add too much the cake will be too dense and heavy.

What happens when you add Pudding to Cake Mix? 

Adding pudding mix to cake mix enhances the flavor, adds moisture, and yields a fluffier texture.

Vanilla Pudding Sour Cream Bundt Cake (Boxed Mix) - Doctored cake mix bundt cake made with sour cream and vanilla pudding. This cake comes out so soft and moist every single time and it tastes like it's homemade! | Beat Bake Eat

How to make Sour Cream Cake with Cake Mix

First, preheat the oven to 325°F. Why this temperature? I had much better results baking the cake at this temperature rather than at 350. When baked at a lower temperature it is softer and more importantly, moister! The crust is perfectly golden brown and not dark and dry.

Next, grease the bundt pan well with oil or butter. Use your fingers or a bristle pastry brush to cover the entire surface of the inside of the pan. Be sure to get in all those nooks and crannies and the tube as well!

Then, mix together all of the ingredients; combine the sour cream, oil, and milk, beat in the eggs, then incorporate the cake mix and pudding mix. The batter will be oddly thick but that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before removing. I know that seems long but I find that when you take it out too early, it is more prone to fall apart and I know no one wants a broken cake!

Lastly, after the cake has cooled significantly, top it with your favorite glaze or frosting. This cake isn’t overly sweet so you can get away with plastering on a thick layer of frosting. But if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, a simple glaze will do. For the cake you see in these pictures I mixed together some powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract and poured it on.

Vanilla Pudding Sour Cream Bundt Cake (Boxed Mix) - Doctored cake mix bundt cake made with sour cream and vanilla pudding. This cake comes out so soft and moist every single time and it tastes like it's homemade! | Beat Bake Eat

This bundt cake comes out soft, moist, fluffy, and flavorful every single time! You can serve it at room temperature or cold. It tastes amazing both ways! I find that it actually tastes better overtime.

If you make this recipe let me know how it turns out in the comments below!

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Vanilla Pudding Sour Cream Bundt Cake (Boxed Mix) - Doctored cake mix bundt cake made with sour cream and vanilla pudding. This cake comes out so soft and moist every single time and it tastes like it's homemade! | Beat Bake Eat

Vanilla Pudding Sour Cream Bundt Cake (Boxed Mix)

Crystal | Beat Bake Eat
Doctored cake mix bundt cake made with sour cream and vanilla pudding. This is an easy dessert recipe that gets so many compliments every time I make it because it tastes like it’s homemade!
4.79 from 61 votes

Click the stars to rate!

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 15

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 box (15 - 16 ounces / 432 – 461 grams) yellow or vanilla cake mix, unprepared
  • 1 box (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix, unprepared

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Prepare a 10 – 12 cup (9 – 10 inch) bundt pan by greasing it very well with oil or butter. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the sour cream, oil, and milk.
  • Beat in the eggs.
  • Add the cake mix and pudding mix and gently mix until fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the greased bundt pan. Smooth the top into an even layer.
  • Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted deeply in the center comes out clean, then again on the opposite side.
  • Cool in pan 20 minutes then remove by placing a large plate over the top and flipping it right side up. If cake doesn’t fall out right away, give the pan a few light taps until it does.
  • Let cake cool completely for about an hour or at least until no longer piping hot before frosting.
  • Top with frosting or glaze of choice. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.
  • Serve at room temperature or fridge cold.

Notes

  • You can also use golden or white cake mix.
  • Can I use low-fat or nonfat sour cream? Low-fat may work but I cannot guarantee that you’ll get the same results and I strongly advise against using nonfat. The fat plays a big role in the taste and texture of the cake. I've only ever used full-fat sour cream for this recipe.
  • Can I use butter instead of oil? No! This will drastically change the texture of the cake. I have tried it myself. The flavor of the butter is really good but the texture changes completely. You will not get the same results! The butter weighs the cake down and is not as moist as oil.
  • My cake mix already has pudding in it. Do I still add the pudding mix? Yes! Do not leave it out!
  • Does this cake need to be refrigerated? Yes, however it can be left out for 24 hours. After that, refrigerate immediately.
  • How long does it last? About 4 – 5 days.


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Keyword cake mix cake, how to improve boxed cake mix
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64 comments

Rosanne August 17, 2020 - 4:54 pm

Can you use different flavored instant pudding mix?

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat August 18, 2020 - 10:15 am

I recommend sticking to vanilla but if you really want to use a different flavored pudding, pick one that will compliment the flavor of the cake mix!

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Monica October 3, 2020 - 6:56 pm

I used a yellow cake mix and lemon pudding! Added the zest of a whole lemon and squeezed half a lemon for the juice! It was a party in your mouth! I love you recipe!

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat October 4, 2020 - 2:11 pm

That sounds delicious!! I’m so happy that you like my recipe, Monica. Thank you for taking the time to rate and review it! (P.S. I hope you didn’t forget to put frosting on top!)

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Rosanne October 25, 2020 - 10:36 am

I used to make this cake 50 yrs ago. But always baked it at 350. This time I baked it at 325 and if fell when taking it out of the oven. Tasted ok but consistency was dense. Next time I do 350

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat October 28, 2020 - 4:28 pm

I’ve made this cake multiple times and it’s always a hit; never dense. It sounds like you may have overmixed. It’s much more likely to be soft and underbaked rather than dense.

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Rm November 6, 2020 - 6:56 am

Just making sure, Should you lightly coat the pan with flour after greasing it before you put the batter in?

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat November 6, 2020 - 12:25 pm

I never do but you can if you want to!

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Vee September 27, 2021 - 3:41 pm

This recipe is amazing!! It is a family favorite now.

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Beat Bake Eat September 28, 2021 - 4:47 am

Yay!! It’s a family favorite for us too. So happy you like it.

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Selena December 23, 2021 - 9:08 pm

Will this cake still come out the same consistency of I use a different pan like a sheet cake?

Beat Bake Eat December 23, 2021 - 9:53 pm

From personal experience, baked goods do have a different texture when baked in a different pan than the recipe calls for! When I’ve opted for longer and wider pans, the end result is usually a fluffier and more airy baked good. For a 9×13 cake I’d recommend checking after 30 – 35 minutes.

Caroline December 10, 2020 - 4:19 am

Hi I tried this cake as a Bundt cake before I used it for a 2 layer birthday cake and it came out moist but not as fluffy as I expected. What can be corrected to create a fluffy texture rather than dense/pound-cake feel?

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat December 10, 2020 - 9:55 am

Hmm, it’s not supposed to be dense at all. Did you mix it according to the instructions? Step by step? Personally, I always make this cake by hand to ensure that I don’t overmix. As long as you mix it according to the instructions, mix gently after adding the cake mix and pudding mix (step 5), then stop mixing when they are moistened and fully incorporated, the cake should be soft, moist, and fluffy. What did the batter look like? Was it rubbery?

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Margaret January 15, 2021 - 3:26 pm

I just got my new Bundt pan yesterday, and I couldn’t wait to use it. I got a cake mix, Duncan-Hines Butter Golden, and followed your directions to a tee. The cake came out beautifully! Everything was great, except….this cake mix, which I thought was just a fancy-named yellow cake, tastes EXACTLY like pancakes! Lol. Not a bad thing. I love pancakes. But this after-dinner dessert has definitely turned into a delicious BREAKFAST cake. Thank you for the recipe!

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat January 18, 2021 - 11:51 am

Wow! Lol. I’m happy it came out great for you and thank you for the 5-star rating. That pancake flavor sounds interesting though. Did you top it with icing? Or maybe some maple syrup? 😅

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Deborah Eyink February 2, 2021 - 12:04 pm

Do you have to use a bundt pan??

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat February 2, 2021 - 7:22 pm

You can use a 9×13 inch pan but I’d recommend you check the cake after 35 minutes to ensure that it doesn’t overbake.

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Rhonda Moore March 31, 2021 - 1:14 pm

I’ve made regular vanilla. I’ve made lemon using lemon cake mix and lemon pudding. Made Creamsicle using orange cake mix and vanilla pudding. I have jazzed up the lemon and orange cakes with zest from lemons and oranges I happened to have in the frig. Last week I used Devil’s Food cake mix and chocolate pudding(wish I had used chocolate milk too). Every one of them has been delicious. Today, I’m making Pina Colada cake using pineapple cake mix, banana pudding mix, and coconut milk. Based on licking batter off the spatula, it is going to be great!

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Beat Bake Eat March 31, 2021 - 2:11 pm

Wow. I’m genuinely happy you like the recipe this much!! I’ve made the vanilla, chocolate, and lemon. I wish I had thought of using chocolate milk for the chocolate version! That’s such a good idea but maybe it would’ve been too sweet? Turning this into a pina colada cake didn’t even cross my mind! Damn, that sounds good. Are you going to top it with anything? Maybe next time you can add some rum to it.

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Deborah Eyink February 4, 2021 - 5:28 pm

Thank you Crystal……I made your 2 banana bread recipe and it turned out very good……I like your page and will be using it again for this cake mix recipe…….Bring on the entrees…….

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat February 5, 2021 - 12:44 pm

So happy to hear that! Let me know how the cake turns out.

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Effie February 26, 2021 - 12:53 pm

I’m writing to thank you Crystal for your recipes. I’ve tried the lemon cake and mini donut muffins and my family and I love them. I’m really happy the ingredients are usually things already in my cabinet and fridge. I love how moist everything is and it stays that way for days.
Glad I found you, please continue creating your good recipes!

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Beat Bake Eat February 26, 2021 - 5:42 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to write me a comment, Effie. You’re so kind. I’m very happy that you like my recipes and I really appreciate the encouragement, especially at a time like this.

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Kathie February 26, 2021 - 8:49 pm

Made your cake tonight. So delicious, my husband and I both loved it. It is so moist. Recipe was easy to follow and easy to make. Love it. Thank you so much for this great recipe. I will be trying more of your recipes in the future.

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Beat Bake Eat February 28, 2021 - 11:41 am

You’re welcome! I’m happy you both enjoyed it. This is one of my favorite ways to doctor cake mix. Yay! Let me know which ones you try.

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Yaya March 28, 2021 - 3:38 pm

Everyone in my family loved it! My husband, who frowns at the taste of boxed cake mix, ate 1/4 of the cake in one sitting. My granddaughter and her friends loved this cake so much that I got a “make me a cake, please”, list for every flavor in the rainbow from them. Going to try all of your recipes after making this awesome cake. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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Beat Bake Eat March 28, 2021 - 4:25 pm

I love that you love this cake because my family and I feel the same way about it! It really does not taste like a cake mix cake. I guess you’ll just have to make it again. 😄 You’re very welcome, Yaya. Thank you so much for taking the time to rate and review my recipe. Happy baking!

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Christine Fister June 5, 2021 - 7:33 pm

Use right size Bundt pan! I probably needed to decrease heat 325. The top burnt, well bottom at 50mins inside is exceptionally moist, almost not done.

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Beat Bake Eat June 6, 2021 - 11:04 pm

Oh, no. You’re supposed to bake it at 325F! When you get another chance, try it again at the right temperature. It’s a lovely recipe.

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PBrag June 19, 2021 - 7:24 am

You say this cake last 4 to 5 days. That is a joke. This cake doesn’t last an hour in my house. Sooo Good. Even my grandmother in law went back for seconds!!! Thanks for the recipe. I have shared it as well. I’ve also tried several variations and besides vanilla, the best variation I found was using a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate pudding and chocolate milk.

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Beat Bake Eat June 19, 2021 - 9:04 am

You almost scared me for a second 🤣 It doesn’t last long at my house either and everyone always goes back for seconds! I’m really glad it was a hit. I’ve never tried that variation specifically but thanks for letting me know! I don’t think I’ve ever seen dark chocolate cake mix or dark chocolate pudding. It sounds really delicious though.

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Shonda June 30, 2021 - 9:53 am

Making this tonight for a coworkers birthday. I’m going to try making it into cupcakes, hopefully they turn out as yummy and pretty as the bundt. Wondering what glaze you used? Thanks!

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Beat Bake Eat June 30, 2021 - 12:45 pm

Thank you for the 5-star rating, Shonda. That sounds great! I wish I could tell you how long they need to be baked for but I’ve never made cupcakes with this recipe before. I’d love to know how they turn out. For the glaze, I adapted it from my Gingerbread Loaf Recipe. It went something like this:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon table cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
water (I usually add 1/2 teaspoon at a time until I reach my desired consistency)

The glaze you see in the picture is thin and runny which I didn’t really like so whenever I remade this glaze I would always add less water. Also, it works best if all of the ingredients are at room temperature because the butter tends to clump when mixed with cold cream/water.

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Anonymous July 22, 2021 - 6:45 am

Followed directions exactly and it came out perfect! Delicious!

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Beat Bake Eat July 22, 2021 - 11:28 am

That’s really great! I’m happy you like it. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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Jade August 7, 2021 - 7:45 pm

I have been making “Wine Cake” for about 50 years, using sherry. Excellent cake, sour cream makes it extra moist. Have made the “Harvey Wallbanger” cake too, using vodka and Galliano, gets rave reviews!! I did bake at 350 as my other recipes all are at 350.

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Beat Bake Eat August 7, 2021 - 9:40 pm

Ouu, I’ve never heard of those. I’ll have to look them up and give them a try then! I never bake with alcohol. I think it’s time I start. I’m happy you like this recipe as well. My cake always burns at 350F but I’m relieved it worked out for you. Thanks for leaving a review, Jade.

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Anonymous August 10, 2021 - 7:22 pm

The baker who submitted this recipe is wrong. The question answered said the cake would last 4-5 days. Wrong! 4-5 days if it is a household of one. Any more occupants than that and it will be gone in two days Max. It is very tasty!

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Beat Bake Eat August 11, 2021 - 1:59 am

Lol, why you gotta scare me like that?! It’s true. It doesn’t last long at all; so good. Thank you so much for the 5-star review!

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Monica Turner November 2, 2021 - 10:02 pm

The oilest cake that I have ever baked! Threw entire cake in the trash!

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Beat Bake Eat November 3, 2021 - 7:34 am

Sorry your ingredients went to waste. I’m not sure what could’ve went wrong.

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Patti December 12, 2021 - 5:44 pm

Why does this fully baked cake have to be refrigerated? I had a very similar recipe with a simple glaze that I used for years. We never refrigerated it.

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Beat Bake Eat December 17, 2021 - 1:57 pm

I find that it spoils much quicker when you don’t and certain glazes and frostings need to be refrigerated after a certain point.

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Mildred Louise Wilson January 12, 2022 - 4:38 pm

It says only a box of pudding mix that is 4 servings. Can you tell me how many ounces are to be used in this cake?

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Beat Bake Eat January 12, 2022 - 6:47 pm

The box that I use is 102 grams, it doesn’t say how many ounces. The reason why I stated “4-serving size” is because the gram/ounce measurement can vary slightly from box to box. This is the exact one that I always use.

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Mildred Wilson January 13, 2022 - 10:10 am

What size box (in ounces) of pudding mix should you use?

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Beat Bake Eat January 13, 2022 - 12:12 pm

The box that I use is 102 grams, it doesn’t say how many ounces. The reason why I stated “4-serving size” is because the gram/ounce measurement can vary slightly from box to box. This is the exact one that I always use.

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Sierra February 16, 2022 - 7:55 am

Such a delightful cake! It was a hit at a pot-luck, and my husband liked it so much he asked me to make another one the next day! It was such a simple recipe to whip up.

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat February 16, 2022 - 10:04 am

Thank you, Sierra! My family loves it too. Thanks for the 5-star review and if there are any other cake mix recipes you’d like me to publish just let me know.

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Denise K February 22, 2022 - 10:14 pm

I followed the recipe exactly as written and it turned out beautifully. Very moist and light. I will continue to use this recipe for future 🎂 cakes.

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat February 23, 2022 - 11:58 am

Yay! That’s great to hear. ☺ Thank you for the 5 star rating, Denise.

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Anonymous March 5, 2022 - 1:41 pm

I have been making this cake for many years. I have tried baking it at 325 before but It just doesnt raise very high and deflates when you take out of the oven. Im going back to 350. I think it needs a higher heat as its a heavy cake. But tasty. I make the same with chocolate cake and throw in a handful of chocolate chips. Its decadent.

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat March 5, 2022 - 8:47 pm

Do whatever works for you! My cake burns at 350F and turns out quite fluffy and soft at 325F. I’ve made the chocolate version as well. I appreciate the feedback!

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Anonymous March 14, 2022 - 2:04 pm

I have been making this cake for many years. I never added 1/2 cup of milk and I always baked it at 350.

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat March 14, 2022 - 4:23 pm

Okay.

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Kene Rodriguez March 30, 2022 - 10:13 am

Maybe the addition of the milk changes the temperature suggestion. Either way, I now have a cake to try out today! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe! I read every review, and now I am required to follow through with this! lol I will come back with my review. Thanks again!

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat April 1, 2022 - 11:10 am

I believe you’re right! 1/2 cup of milk is a drastic change. You’re welcome. How did it turn out?

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Susanna April 1, 2022 - 7:58 pm

Delicious! So moist! Everyone loved it. Wondering if other flavors of cake and pudding could be used?

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat April 2, 2022 - 7:23 pm

So glad you like it! Yes, absolutely! Get creative.

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Terry April 3, 2022 - 12:04 pm

WOW, just had to let you know how great this bundt cake turned out even with few substitutions. I used coconut oil melted and cooled 1.1 and 0 fat yogurt 1.1 and added a bit less than 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut. I’ll make the glaze and add a bit of coconut to that too once it’s fully cooled. It’s definitely going to be made again. Thanks for making me look like I can BAKE!

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat April 6, 2022 - 11:57 am

That sounds amazing! I could just imagine how good this would smell. Aw, you’re welcome. Thanks so much for leaving a review, Terry.

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Essie April 17, 2022 - 12:56 pm

I made this recipe for Easter (with the sprinkles). I followed all the instructions and my cake was so moist it fell apart when I took it out of the pan. I oiled it well, but wonder if spraying would have been better and perhaps letting it sit a little longer than 20 minutes. Luckily I was able to piece much of it back together and hide some of it with the frosting and sprinkles!

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Crystal | Beat Bake Eat April 18, 2022 - 8:44 pm

Yes, excess oil in the pan could have been the cause since it would soak right into the cake and not stick to the pan as well as nonstick cooking spray. That’s exactly what I would have done!

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