If you have the time and the ingredients, there is nothing better than a homemade dessert. If you have no time and it’s a boxed dessert or nothing, then bake the boxed dessert. But there is a compromise you can make between a 100 percent homemade or boxed dessert and that’s to take the boxed dessert and make it your own by adding new or different ingredients.
For example, a cake mix is a really good product to keep in your pantry. In only a short time you can have a boxed caked whipped up and baking in the oven. Top it off with a can of pre-made frosting and you have dessert in a flash.
Make it more homemade by substituting milk for the water in the mix and butter for the shortening. Instantly your cake has improved in flavor and texture too. Skip the canned frosting and make your own icing. How difficult is it to mix up softened butter, vanilla, powdered sugar and a bit of milk? Add cocoa powder if you want a chocolate frosting or substitute strawberry flavoring for the vanilla and tint the icing pink for a cake that everyone seems to love.
A brownie mix is handy to have on hand. Crack open a couple of eggs, add some water and bingo you have a pan of brownies ready for the oven. If you want to make your brownies taste homemade, mix in white chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. You’ll end up with a boxed brownie that tastes like Grandma made it.
Want an apple pie and want it now? Use boxed pie crust and a can of apple pie filling. Sprinkle a tablespoon of lemon juice over the filling to “wake up” the apple flavor and finish with a brown sugar and butter crumble topping. Serve this pie while it’s still a little warm with vanilla ice cream. This homemade tasting pie will surprise your friends when (or if) you admit the filling came from a can and the crust came from a box.
One of the craziest recipes, but delicious and with a strong homemade taste is this simple “dump” cake. Mix up a vanilla cake mix. In the bottom of a greased, 9 by 13 inch pan, line up mini marshmallows until the bottom of the pan is filled. Pour the cake mix over the marshmallows. Evenly spoon a can of blueberry pie filling over the cake mix. Bake according to cake directions. Cool and serve with whipped cream.
Another delicious variation is chocolate cake mix and cherry pie filling. The end result is just fabulous especially if you sprinkle coconut on top of the pie filling before you bake it in the oven.
Whether you make a boxed dessert or a homemade dessert or even if you make a “semi-homemade” dessert, when you serve something sweet, still warm from the oven, no one will care how it was made.