If you don’t have the ingredients, time or talents to bake a cake from scratch, boxed mixes offer a convenient option. But when you’re baking out of the box, you’re stuck with the ingredients used by the manufacturer -- which means you’re also stuck with the calories, carbs and fat it contains. But if you’re creative with your side of the cake-making process, you can easily reduce the fat in your final boxed cake mix dessert.
Ditch the egg yolks and use egg whites instead. Use two egg whites for every one whole egg called for in the boxed cake mix recipe. Your final product might have a slightly fluffier texture.
Substitute half the oil or butter for pureed fruits, like applesauce, pears, prunes, dates, bananas or pumpkin. For example, if the box calls for 1 cup of oil, use 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of the fruit substitute instead. If the batter looks a little dry, add more fruit puree until you’re pleased with the texture. As you grow more accustomed to the low-fat version, you might try cutting the oil altogether and using only pureed fruit.
Whisk 12 ounces of soda into the boxed cake mix until thoroughly mixed and bake accordingly -- no other ingredients are necessary. You’ll have a delightfully moist and fluffy cake without the extra fat. Although regular soda typically doesn’t have any fat, you can also use diet soda if you want to cut extra calories. Use cola or root beer in chocolate cake and cream soda or fruit-flavored soda in white or vanilla cake.
Limit the amount of nuts you add to the batter. Although nuts provide a healthy type of fat, it’s fat nonetheless. If you’re looking to reduce your overall fat consumption, don’t get too heavy-handed when you sprinkle the crunchy mix-ins into your boxed cake batter.
Watch your cake while it’s in the oven. Boxed cake mixes made with fat substitutes tend to bake a bit quicker, so leaving them in the oven too long could result in a dry dessert. Begin by cutting about 10 minutes off the suggested baking time. Ensure doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center to see if it comes out clean. Check once per minute until it’s done.