Not everyone thrives when it comes to baking from scratch. And even if they do, sometimes they’re hard-pressed for time. That’s why boxed mixes are so helpful. Whether it’s the holidays or simply craving that gingerbread flavor, you may grab a box of gingerbread mix to make cookies, cakes, and other dessert creations. But do you know how to improve boxed gingerbread mix?
Well, if you don’t, you will soon, for these tips will help you become a master of this kind of mix. In fact, you’ll make your boxed gingerbread mix have that homemade taste without all the extra work of making gingerbread desserts from scratch!
How to Improve Boxed Gingerbread Mix
Boxed gingerbread mix is handy, but it tastes like it came out of the box. Using the tips below, no one will ever know your dessert started life in a box from your pantry!
Use Milk Instead of Water
First, reading the instructions on the back of your gingerbread mix box will usually tell you to add water. Ignore that and head to the fridge for milk instead. Using milk gives your gingerbread that dense, homemade taste.
Whole milk will give you the best results. Even better, buttermilk will create wow-worthy tastes. You can also make buttermilk by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of either fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir it together, then add it to your mix instead of the water.
Throw in More Eggs
This is a secret for many other boxed desserts and works well for gingerbread mix. You can add more eggs than the box instructs. This will provide more richness and make your gingerbread desserts moister. No one wants hard, crusty gingerbread. A good rule of thumb is to use 2 eggs as it will elevate the moisture in your final product.
Bust Out the Butter
Another thing that the gingerbread box will tell you is to use oil. Oh, but homemade doesn’t taste like oil. It tastes like butter. If you want to know how to improve boxed gingerbread mix, you need to bring the butter into the mix. Butter has that richness that works so well in gingerbread desserts. So well, in fact, that you may even forget you used a box mix!
Pour Some Sugar On
Gingerbread mix from the box usually lacks enough sweetness. And since you’re adding more richness through milk, butter, and eggs, you can add more sugar. It will help balance things out and bring out that sweet side of your dessert.
A Little Flour Helps Too
Depending on what you’re making with your gingerbread box mix, some additional flour will also help. Yes, it’s already in the mix, but to keep it balanced, a little more will achieve that texture you’re looking for here.
Create Some Layers
Why does gingerbread cake from a box mix taste so bland? You’re not making layers. And layers are what make cakes rock. You can put frosting between them and bring balance, creaminess, and more delight to every bite. Plus, it just looks more beautiful and impressive.
Experiment with Other Flavors
Now that you’ve improved the texture and presentation of your boxed gingerbread mix, it’s time to consider other flavors. Adding some cinnamon will definitely give it a boost. Making a cake for adult palates? Try adding some rum.
You can also go with fruits. Strawberries, while that might sound surprising, pair exceptionally well with gingerbread flavor. So do other berries. You may want to top it with fresh fruits or make a fruity sauce to accompany your gingerbread creation.
Refrain from Flattening It for Cookies
With all these tricks, there is one specifically for cookies. Most times, you probably roll the gingerbread dough out flat to cut out shapes for the holidays. While those are cute, they result in dry, crusty cookies. To truly enjoy gingerbread as a cookie, drop the dough like you would with other drop-style cookies such as chocolate chip. That’s the secret to incredible gingerbread cookies!
Top It Off
There are so many ways to improve boxed gingerbread mix. And once you doctor up the texture and taste before baking, you can top it off for the grand finale. A beautiful white chocolate drizzle with whipped cream will impress. You could also try pouring chocolate ganache on top.
Frostings, such as cream cheese, buttercream, buttermilk, cinnamon, or gingerbread flavor, is also a win. You can finish that all off with chopped nuts. Walnuts and almonds would be great!
Keep it simple with a dusting of powdered sugar, or make a brown sugar sauce for those gingerbread cakes. Or, if you’re a pumpkin spice fan, those flavors are definitely a match for your gingerbread creations that come out of the box. Even a lemon glaze will give it a much improved and special flavor.
And now that you’re thinking outside the box yourself, you can see that there are so many ways to improve boxed gingerbread mix. It all starts by ensuring the texture and richness are boosted first, and then you can go wild with your imagination to dream up delicious new dessert creations!