Meg Makes: Thinking outside the brownie/cake-mix box

Meg Makes: Thinking outside the brownie/cake-mix box

This weekend, my mother-in-law served delicious brownies that tasted as homemade as anything I'd expect. They came from a mix, though — she doctored them up with coffee and chopped hazelnuts.

Her recipe is below, and it got me thinking — what else can you do with a boxed brownie or cake mix and some creativity? I asked my Facebook friends and got some great recipes. My friends are mixing in everything from raspberries to caramels, regular and white chocolate chips and even lemon zest!

Keep reading to see some possibilities.


1 package brownie mix

eggs and oil in quantities mix calls for

1/3 cup coffee, substituted for water

1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in oven for five minutes. Let cool while you mix up brownies. Fold in nuts and pour in to a baking pan in size that mix recommends. Bake using mix's instructions.


1 package brownie mix

ingredients the mix calls for

3 regular-size Symphony Bars with Almonds and Toffee (not family size)

Follow mix's instructions to make brownie batter. Pour half into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Lay three candy bars on top of batter. Pour rest of batter over top, and bake according to mix's instructions. Edges will be dry, so trim them before serving.


1 package Devil's Food cake mix

1/4 cup oil

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups water

1 package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup chocolate chips

Swish oil in a 9-by-13-inch pan, then add rest of ingredients. Mix with a fork for two minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, though start checking it at 30 minutes.


1 package brownie mix

1 egg

1 stick softened butter

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with foil or parchment, then grease with butter or spray. Stir together brownie mix, egg and butter — it will be very thick. Place half in pan and pat it down. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk on top, but avoid edges.

Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, then use your hands to pat down remaining brownie mixture on top. There may be areas where you still see sweetened condensed milk. Bake for 27-32 minutes. You may double for a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan, but you'll need to bake it a little longer.

Meg Dickinson is a local communications professional who spends many of her waking hours daydreaming about food. To submit a recipe, email

Sections (1):Living
Topics (2):Food, People

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