Cheating Part I: Cake Mix Cookies

Who has ever cheated? Raise your hand. I confess, I am a cheater. Not on taxes or my husband mind you but in the kitchen. We all have done it, right? Purchased items from the salad bar only to fix it with a few other ingredients to call it your own or opened a can or jar of something, added a few fresh items and called it dinner. I do it out of convenience, lack of planning, and laziness. What’s your excuse?

The other day I needed some quick “homemade” cookies for my kids’ lunch boxes. I could have taken out all the ingredients to make some real homemade ones but it was late, I was tired, and I didn’t want to deal with the mess. Solution: Cake Mix Cookies. As much as I love to make my cakes or any baked goods from scratch, I do keep a few mixes on hand for emergencies. The cookies baked up beautifully and can be made with whatever flavor of mix and additions you like. I used yellow cake mix and chocolate chips.

Cake Mix Cookies
1 cake mix- I used yellow
2/3 cup regular oats
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
1/2 – 3/4 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix the first 4 ingredients until dough comes together then add chocolate chips. Roll into a little bit bigger than an inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake at 375Β° for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 30 cookies.

Tomorrow in BRK: More cheating confessions. I could go to food blogger jail for this one it’s so bad.

Do you cheat? Confessions are free.

Related Post:
Cheating Part I: Cake Mix Cookies


  1. Rindy R
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    I’m all for cheating – especailly if it enable me to steal some love and thankfulness from my family – which is what I would get if I made these cookies. They look great! How simple – my hand is raised high for cheating!

  2. Dawn
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    well I will cheat with this one for sure, never thought to use cake mix for cookies. I did cheat on muffins once using a box of instant stuffing mix to combine with eggs & bacon to make morning muffins. They were a huge hit. I need to make those again actually.

    And to answer your question on my blog: Irish Eggs Benedicts are my favorite of all time and I love that my hubby remembered me. They are the same as regular eggs benedict, but they use corned beef has instead of ham. Sooooo good. If you've never tried it you must!!

  3. Dawn
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    corned beef hash! sorry LOL (of course I mess up the most important sentence of all!!!)

  4. pigpigscorner
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    I’ve never used cake mix for cookies! What’s the tecture like?

  5. Elyse
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    these look great! i don’t often buy cake mix, but i would consider buying it just to try these cookies; they look so good! a couple of years ago, i made the most simple “cheat”: you combine almost an entire tub of cool whip with a box of cake mix (any flavor). scoop that out onto cookie trays and you’ve got the perfect little cake cookies! how easy is that? (warning: the dough is extremely sticky, but end results and time-saved are totally worth any mess)

  6. Sophie
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Ya know, this is such a creative recipe, I’m not sure if it qualifies as cheating :). I love the combo of cake mix and oatmeal, what a fun twist on an oatmeal cookie!

  7. Anonymous
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Cheating is bringing home store bought cookies, putting them on a plate and saying you *made* them.

    Ditto any take out food where you hide the containers and claim to have made it yourself.

    Personally, I don’t think combining some store bought ingredients, with some pantry items, all of your labor, to be cheating. You did make homemade cookies for your children. You just used some of the ingredients pre-mixed. It’s just efficiency, is all, and that’s okay from time to time, right?

    Think of it this way, when you make homemade cookies from scratch, you are not out there milling the flour and getting eggs from a basket under the hen, or shelling walnuts. Likely you’re opening a bag of flour already ground for you, a carton of eggs already washed for you, and sometimes a bag of walnuts already chopped for you.

    My defense to using cake mixes from to time is this — Bisquick, and how that was invented. A chef on a railroad needed to premix most of his biscuit ingredients so that he he only needed to add liquids to get hot bread on the dining car table, in an efficient way. A traveling exec was impressed how quickly hot biscuits were brought to the table, and learned the secret of premixed dry ingredients, and Bisquick was born.

    The way I see it, you’re just a really busy railroad chef, and you used premixed dry ingredients for your cookies. They are still made at home for your children.

  8. Kate
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    Oops, that was me, didn’t intend to be anonymous!

  9. That Girl
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    It’s only cheating if you pawn it off as your own. As long as you admit, it’s just making life easier.

  10. Sheila
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    I agree with others, this is not cheating. You mixed things up, you baked and you still had dishes to clean.

    How easy is this for as close to from “scratch” as possible?! Great idea (as usual).

  11. Karen
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    I remember my grandmother had a recipe for making coookies using a box cake mix. A little cheating is okay… it keeps our head from getting too big for our halos. πŸ˜‰

  12. tamilyn
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    Umm, I guess I cheat a lot. Cake mixes, rice side dishes, brownie mix. I guess I feel it is more important-for me-to make sure the family is fed and worry less about how it came together. Life is busy, take the help when you can get it because it is more important to be with the ones you love, rather than in the kitchen watching life.

  13. Sara
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    These look really good! My husband buys cake mixes when they’re on sale – they’re about the only thing he knows how to cook :). He does all the dishes though, so he’s a keeper!

  14. biz319
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    What a great idea!!

    Yep, I am a cheater too!

  15. PaniniKathy
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    Wow, you just brought me back about 25 years to when I used to take sewing classes at a friend’s house after school. Her mom would always have a plate of cake mix cookies out (which, of course, I had to gravitate to immediately after walking through the door). I always enjoyed them and I’m sure Mrs. Ito appreciated how quickly she could produce fresh-baked cookies on a daily basis!

  16. Joie de vivre
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    Sandra Lee has a whole show about this on the Food Network. But don’t worry Robin, according to her it’s not cheating but “semi-homemade”. πŸ™‚ Now doesn’t that sound better! I love recipes like this.

  17. grahamstravelblog
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    I do a chocolate version of the cake mix cookies. I’ve never been able to get yellow cake mix to work though. I’ve found that there is a surprising amount of variability in cake mixes when it comes to making cookies. These also tend to dry out very quickly, so keeping them in an air tight container is important.

    I’ll make these when I feel like baking for coworkers only they haven’t done anything to deserve real cookies lately. The jokes on them though, they’ll eat nearly anything.

  18. grahamstravelblog
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Two more things. The texture can be gritty since you are skipping the step of creaming. That’s with my recipe anyway, there isn’t enough liquid. I added an egg and it was much better. How about it RobinSue?

    That Sandra Lee lady really grinds my gears. She takes store bought cupcakes and puts sprinkles on em. She never measures her cocktails, always makes big pitchers of them. She shortcuts everything. Where’s the pride? Where’s the worksmanship? If I ever meet her, I’m sure I’d kick her square in the crotch. She’s glorified being a major cheat. Don’t get me started on Sandra Lee.

    A shortcut here and there I can live with, but what she does is not OK. I’m going to go and cook something from scratch.

  19. GFE--gluten free easily
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    I’d say my turtle treats I shared the other day were cheating in the sense you use it because they require a major already ready ingredient, but still wonderful. Good old Heloise used to share a lot of cookies made from cake mixes. I made a few back in the day and they were good, but now that I am gluten free, I don’t buy mixes. Too expensive, too many weird ingredients, etc., but I still “cheat” per your usage. I agree with the others that it’s not cheating unless you share the recipe as totally your own … as if you ground your own flour, made your own butter, etc. LOL


  20. JennyMac
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Hey, if I mixed it, added stuff and baked it….it’s not cheating!!! As someone said if you BUY it and try to pass it off as yours….cheatin’!

  21. Kate
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    Graham, I agree with the SL analysis. She takes it wayyyy too far, while at the same time, laying claim to a concept that is neither new nor original. EVERYONE cooks the way she does, only we know enough not to fill a cake with apples and corn nuts and call it a Kwanzaa Cake.

  22. Robin Sue
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Maybe the real issue here for me is that I am not so much cheating in the method but cheating in giving my family something that is not as healthy as homemade. But I am an everthing in moderation kind of gal.

    I do not care for SL’s way of cooking as she can take it to the extreme. I know we all have short cuts but wow she can be ridiculous. All that chemically processed food three times a day, everyday. Yikes!

    As for the texture of these cookies, they are on the crispy side and not dry. But I do use Golden Butter Recipe yellow cake mix by Duncan Hines. I did store in an airtight container and I am eating one now that is 7 days old and is still crispy and not stale. How did they last so long in my house? They are for the kid’s lunches and when they know something is only for their lunch boxes it lasts.

    I would like to try other mixes, chocolate, spice, etc. So thanks for the heads up Graham.

    Elyse- I would like to know the specifics on your cool whip cookies.

    Thanks for all the comments!

  23. Grace
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    i’ve seen this on a few other blogs, but i’ve been hesitant to try it myself. if you say it’s worthwhile, i’m willing to give it a shot. πŸ™‚

  24. noble pig
    Posted February 19, 2009 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    I have done this a million times, they are always great and there are so many versions.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    What the … can't belive what i see πŸ™‚ Must translate this screen cake to 3 dimension stuff. hmm


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